Cordoba

We leave Sevilla around 8 o’clock in the morning, and take a train to Cordoba. The journey takes about 1,5 hours.We walk from the train station to the city center, Cordoba is small in comparison to Sevilla. And although it is only 10.30 AM, we are sweating like hell! The old synagoge in the old town gives us a bit cooling, but it is a very small building, so not much time to kill here. The old town is very cosy by the way, with it’s small alleys and back-streets. We don’t enter the church of Bartolomeo, since the entrance fee is € 1,5 per person. If we spend money on every single attraction, this won’t be a budget-friendly trip anymore 😉

We are just around the corner of the World Heritage listed Mezquita, but we want to keep are visit reserved for the hottest part of the day. So we try the Alcazar Reales first. The entrance fee here is only € 4,5 per person. Really worth the money! The building itself brought us some very welcoming cooling, and the garden is absolutely beautiful. From the castel, we have a view over the Royal Studfarm as well (you can only visit this when there is a show – costs € 15 per person). We walk through this part of the old town, and end at the supermarket for ice cold water. It just keeps getting hotter …

In the afternoon we visit the place for which we came to Cordoba: the Mezquita. The entrance fee is quite expensive, € 10 per person, but the free entrance is very limited. This building, which at the beginning was a mosque, but evolved to a church and kept the historic references to the mosque, is over 1000 years old! It is truly stunning! We liked the simple mosque-part better than the bombastic church-part, and we enjoyed an amazing Ave Maria brought by a visiting choir.

We would like to climb the bell tower, which is not included in the entrance fee (+ € 2), but it’s closed. We’ll try it again the next morning.  Crossing the old roman bridge towards our hotel, and the only reason we go back outside is to get icecream at the nearby supermarket, and some dinner later in the evening. We learn it’s 45 degrees outside. We are in the middle of a really severe heatwave … The thunderstorm in the evening (we just got back in time) is powerful and beautiful to watch. For a short while, temperatures drop!

We would really like to go up today. The bell tower of the Mezquita opens at 9.30 AM. We’re in time, and would like to buy a ticket for the first block (visits are limited at 15 persons, every half hour). Unfortunately that block is already sold out, and we don’t have time to wait. We have a train and plane to catch. We walk back to the train station, and have a look at some other interesting places on our way. But there’s nothing like the Mezquita!

Our train leaves on time, but just before we enter the train station of Sevilla, the train stops … We are stuck in the train, without much information (yes, it is worse than the Belgian railway!), with some people trying to translate the little information we get (we are in the first carriage, on the first row, luckily because apparently an intercom is not familiar in Spanish trains …). We start to get just a little bit nervous we won’t get to the airport in time, but as experienced train travellers, we did calculate some spare time! After 1 and an half hour the train finally moves again. We ran out of spare time to visit something else in Sevilla, apart from the supermarket to get fresh water. It’s 46 degrees again. We have had enough heat for some time, and take a bus back to the airport.

A five-day trip to the south of Spain in June? In normal conditions it should have been very nice weather, but nowadays there is no more normal …

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