Exploring Andalusia: Cordoba
On our way to Sevilla, we stopped in the historic city of Cordoba, the home of La Mezquita, a magnificent mosque and cathedral that draws myriads of tourists to its walls daily. The religious structure was initially a catholic church that was bought over by a Muslim leader in the early 700AD and converted into a mosque three times its initial size. During the Reconquista, Cordoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III who commissioned the building of a Renaissance cathedral in the center of the mosque. To this day, La Mezquita is a unique structure that represents Spanish history and the divide between two religions. Much like its famous cathedral, Cordoba also stands as a city of three religions: Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism.
|La Mezquita and the Roman Wall at night|
Before hitting the streets for dinner, we stopped by Cordoba's medieval castle: Alcazar de Cordoba. Although it was still early June, boy was it hot out. The weather definitely reminded me of dry California heat. It was as if we never left the inland empire. But the views were worth the mild dehydration.
View of the white streets and houses of the Jewish Quarter
Although we did not get to stop by the famous Calle de los flores, we were able to see plenty of white walled homes along cobblestone streets lined with beautiful flower pots. Walking through the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba, the narrow streets and white-washed walls made the temperature a little cooler.
And finally, onward to a tapas dinner at Garum 2.1. What we noticed as we traveled further south, both in Cordoba and Sevilla, was that food was much cheaper than in Barcelona and Madrid. A meal that would easily have cost us 50 euros in Barcelona or 60 US dollars in California cost us only 20-30 euros in Cordoba and Sevilla. Given how affordable the food was, we decided to treat ourselves to some fine dining. We came upon many more "fusion" restaurants in Southern Spain or "New Spanish" style I guess you could call it. These restaurants threw a modern twist on old classic Spanish dishes.
From L to R, top to bottom: Salmorejo (similar to gazpacho, but thicker); olives; oxtail stew; croquetas de jamon; octopus over a bed of fried pig ears; shrimp wrapped in fried potatoes with egg yolk for dipping; honey-soy braised pork over cous-cous; fresh cheese dessert with fruit drizzle and crumble
Back in Madrid
See you in Sevilla