After Sevilla, we woke up early to take a bus to Cordoba. One thing I never got used to in Spain was how incredibly late the sun came up. As in, 8:30 am. You could be out at 7:30 and it would still be dark and almost no one was out. We caught a 9 AM bus and our walk to the bus station was almost completely in the dark. Very, very weird. That coupled with jet lag made getting up those first few mornings really difficult.
We got to Cordoba and were initially very unimpressed. Except for the old part of town (where we stayed) the whole city wasn’t too attractive. We also had our only two bad meals there, a crappy paella (no doubt frozen and microwaved to order) and some god-awful wild asparagus puree. Our trip to the Mezquita was also somewhat of a disappointment, since much of it was being renovated or cleaned. It was also kind of pricey, compared to the other wonders we saw in Spain (and no student discount…the bastards!). If I ignored the aspects of the Mezquita that were built when the Christians took over and build a cathedral inside it, it was actually quite stunning. Our hostal was beautiful and the owner/manager was a super nice lady that fed us a wonderful breakfast of toast with all the fixings, coffee, juice, and hot cocoa. The tearoom was an amazing sight to behold; hookah pipes, elaborate tilework on the walls, pillows…I felt like I was in a Saudi palace, not a hostal in Spain!
We walked around the old quarter and took pictures of the outer walls, which were really interesting. Scott was feeling very sore and had a swollen ankle (from all the walking we were doing), so I managed to not only find a farmacia on my own, but communicate with the pharmacist well enough to get the appropriate medicine (to the tune of 3 Euros). I was rather proud of myself, given that I haven’t taken any Spanish since I was in 1st grade (in Florida). I won’t lie: there was gesturing involved, but I managed to make a few pleasantries with the pharmacist and accomplish what I needed to. The Spanish system is interesting in that they required that every area have a pharmacy open somewhere all the time. At each pharmacy there is a list of pharmacies in the area and their hours, and they rotate which one stays open all night.
After only one night in Cordoba, we were more than ready to head on to Granada, which I was eagerly anticipating.