An Andalusian Adventure II: Córdoba, City of Flowers
Updated: Jul 5, 2019
I’m sat writing this blogpost on my balcony in Paris (wow that sounds boujee af). I arrived a few days ago, after a somewhat tumultuous experience- which I’ll tell you all about another time. The air is stuffy, as the city isn’t very well ventilated, the Parisians can be rude and the metro is cramped and sweaty. But hey, that’s what I signed up for and today, after a somewhat exhaustive first day at a new job, the sight of the Sacré Cœur gleaming in the sun made me think of little moments of happiness in life. So whilst I'm still adjusting to the restlessness of Paris, my mind has been wandering back to a simpler time, a quieter time in which I felt truly at peace. That was when we visited the city of Córdoba.
I’ve never been to Greece before, yet having seen postcards of serene white islands of Mykonos and Santorini, I couldn’t help but feel transported there when we arrived in Córdoba from our short bus journey from Sevilla. We had scheduled two days to see the city; it was the middle of April and the Semana Santa celebrations were dying down profusely. What I hadn’t anticipated was the sweltering heat- this was April, and in the U.K we’re used to grey, cloudy skies and drizzly weather. Córdoba was a whole other ball game. We were melting and disgustingly sweaty all the time- it was around 30 degrees and I for one wasn’t prepared.
The city, although lively and populous, still had a hidden charm to it; despite being crowded, and we didn’t feel suffocated amongst the throngs of tourists. I immediately felt a sense of calm within me. Now Córdoba is pretty small in comparison to Sevilla and Granada and its reputation doesn’t precede it. What reputation you may ask; well we came to Córdoba to discover the Mezquita- a holy place which fuses together Islam and Christianity. This was the “pièce de resistance” of Córdoba and weren’t leaving until we saw it. I had high hopes for it and perhaps I’d built it up too much in my head- I can’t deny that it is a beautiful building with an amazing courtyard, however I wasn’t completely blown away by it. But from my pictures (and perhaps a visit there yourself) I’ll let you guys make up your mind about it. I do recommend paying that little bit extra to go up the tower to get some amazing views of the city (you’ll thank me later).
Myself, Paige and Steph spent the first day wandering around the cobbled streets and never-ending alleyways, cruising through the streets and stopping at all the jewellery shops we could find. If you haven’t been to Córdoba I would recommend a weekend trip. Two days for us was the perfect amount of time to fully divulge into the culture of this quaint town. The Calleja de las flores is a must see- although you’ll be fighting with a lot of tourists to get the perfect Instagram shot. Córdoba is renowned for its patios and you can even book onto specialised patio tours however most are free to see.
Another thing to see in Córdoba is the old Roman Towers, which are quite a walk away from the city centre but they’ve been preserved beautifully and if you’re a bit of a history buff you should definitely check them out. Córdoba has strong ties to Rome, which is evident in the large bridge that runs through the city. It’s hard to miss and a bit of a work out for the legs! But in all seriousness, you get a fantastic view of the city and walking along it you’ll encounter a myriad of street performers, singers and kooky characters.
My highlight of the trip was heading to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos- we waiting in a queue for about 45 minutes just to gain entry but it was so worth it. The gardens are beautiful- even if horticulture isn’t your thing I still believe it would be hard for anyone to not be blown away by the perfectly primed courtyards and flowerbeds. Although I’m not your type of girl to go on hikes, I would say that I do have an affinity with nature- maybe its because my dad was a gardener, who knows? All I can say is that whenever I’m in a botanic garden I get really pensive and reflective. Green spaces are definitely my happy places.
The overarching reason as to why I loved Córdoba so much was the memories that I made there. I really got to wind down and relax, although we were on holiday in Andalusia, constant travel can be tiring and sometimes overwhelming. We had rented an air bnb in Córdoba, which was the best decision ever. We could take a breather and have some alone time whilst also being able to relax and enjoy each other’s company. During that trip we had some really candid conversations and really got to know each other a lot better. Although it wasn’t perfect, it was an integral part of our trip and I’ll always remember that night we sat and cooked a tapas feast and watched Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (which if you haven’t seen it before- what on earth are you doing?!)
The next and final instalment of this mini series will cover our final days in Granada- a city which sparked an ever-growing interest in myself between the cultural and historical bond between the Middle East and Spain.