Córdoba

The Mezquita is breathtaking and that alone is worth a trip to Córdoba. Now that we’ve been there I would suggest doing Córdoba as a day trip from Seville. The Mezquita, the alcázar, and the Roman bridge are all near each other and it’s only 45 minutes by train.

Day 1: Seville to Córdoba

We made our last trek from our hotel to the Seville train station. Our train was going all the way to Barcelona but we got off at the first stop in Córdoba. It was a pleasant walk along a park and through old city streets to get to our hotel. Our room wasn’t ready yet which was not a surprise since we got there about 10:15 so we left our bags and went exploring.

star shaped fountain
This star shaped fountain was in the entrance courtyard to our hotel.

We started with the alcázar. The interior was neither large nor lavish. The gardens were both large and lavish.

Then we walked across the Roman bridge which was just down the road. It was quite crowded and it looked like many people were dressed up. Since it was Sunday we thought they might be socializing in conjunction with mass or something. We saw an old waterwheel along the way. 

The river was surprisingly wild. We enjoyed watching the water birds.

Roman bridge and Mezquita
A view of the Roman bridge with the Mezquita in the background.

After the bridge we decided to walk to the Viana palace. It was a bit of a hike across town but good exercise.

As we left the palace we headed back toward our hotel looking for some place to eat along the way. We ended up on a dead-end street at one point. We think some people on a balcony were calling out to us to warn us of that, but my Spanish isn’t good enough to be sure! We found a place with a table outdoors and ate there. There was initially a violin player and then a guitar player in the square. We gave the guitar player a few coins.

By this time we could check in so we went back to the hotel, checked in, dropped our bags in the room and went up to check out the rooftop deck. Another view of a cathedral, this time the Mezquita and its Bell Tower.

We decided to go get some beer but being Sunday some of the closer places were closed so we ended up walking about a half mile into a more modern neighborhood before we found beer. We came back and drank it on the roof deck where we ran into an English couple who asked if we’d gotten the beer at the hotel and we said no we walked a mile to get it. Slight exaggeration but they agreed that was a good idea.

Cordoba city walls
At least we got a nice view of the city walls on our hunt for beer.

Day 2: The Mezquita

We had the express breakfast this morning at the hotel. They ask you to arrange a time a day before and decide whether you want the express or full breakfast. The express breakfast included coffee and two choices of bread or pastries. For €3.50 it’s a pretty good deal since we paid €1.50 for coffee in Seville and the breakfasts we’ve been buying at the grocery store have been running about €3-4.

The highlight of our day was the Mezquita starting with the bell tower.

We had an hour and a half between our scheduled times for the bell tower and for the cathedral itself (we left plenty of time because we didn’t know how long the Bell Tower would take) so we wandered around the complex and took another walk on the Roman bridge. We enjoyed a pianist on the bridge so we donated some money. It was far less busy today than yesterday. They have some interesting souvenirs here although we figured the ones right next to the cathedral are probably the most expensive ones in town.

pigeons on bridge
It's odd looking down at pigeons. These are on one of the bridge supports.

After the cathedral we had lunch at Casa Pepe de la Juderia. Fine dining tapas! They replaced our plates and silverware in between courses. We had a flamenquin AKA the turducken of pork: pork loin wrapped around ham, breaded and fried. It was served with french fries and what tasted like homemade mayonnaise and was delicious. Then we had roasted artichokes and ham served with what looked like cress and an egg yolk which we broke to make a sauce. Also good though we enjoyed the artichokes the other day more.

We found a closer supermarket that was open today and got some beer and spent some time just relaxing on the rooftop deck.

Day 3: Knee Recovery

Well today was supposed to be a day trip to Ronda. But since I sprained my knee or something on the way to the train station we nixed the day trip opting to rest my knee instead. We ventured out later in the day to eat at Bodega Mezquita. We wanted to have the menu del dia but the online menu didn’t spell out what that was and the servers couldn’t explain it so we ended up with two dishes. And it was fine because they were good and we were full.

storks flying over
We saw hundreds of storks fly overhead today. This is just one flock.

Then we were going to get some beer and go back to our place but the first place we passed the beer was €1.50 and the two places we’ve been going to were both closed. So we waited until they were supposed to open at 5:30 and Steve went to get beer and the closest place was still closed so he went to the next one. But we got our beer damn it! I also got an umbrella to help support my wonky knee.

One last view of the Mezquita. We’re off to Granada tomorrow.

the Mezquita

Essentials​

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Lodging

Our room at the Soho Boutique Atalia was nice. It was a little cozy and the window opened onto the lobby downstairs. The bathroom was a human car wash system with no directions for how to use it. It took a few minutes of study to figure out how the various valves and sprays worked. We loved the roof terrace and breakfast was a good value.

Dining

Lots of dining options to choose from. We found the Casa Pepe de la Juderia excellent and El Rincon de Andalusia only average (the albondigas were good). The food at Bodega Mesquita was great. If you’re interested in the menu del dia you might want to grab it on the way in; we couldn’t find it by scanning the QR code on the table. 

Transportation

We walked everywhere, until I injured my knee and we needed a cab to the train station. It’s a fairly long but pleasant walk from the train station to the major sights, which are all near each other. The taxi was €7-9.

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