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Gap Year Abroad

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04/10/2013

A journey to the past

Andalusia is a great place to visit in Spain. There are so many different cities to see that are all relatively close to each other and they are all filled with a rich history.

This past Saturday, Emma, Haley and I took a train to Córdoba. It is a city that is much smaller than Sevilla, but still has many interesting things to see. In ancient times it was an Iberian and Roman city. It was also the capital of an Islamic caliphate in the Middle Ages.  

After we arrived we found our way downtown. On the way we found the old synagogue. It is actually the only synagogue in Andalusia, and one of only three in all of Spain. It is not in use today, but the contrast of the colors in the synagogue and the mezquita was amazing. The walls of the synagogue were still covered in letters, but there was no color. The mezquita was very different.

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After wandering for a bit we found the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. It was very similar to the Alcázar in Sevilla.

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After that we walked down to the bridge to see the river. The river that flows through Córdoba is still the Guadalquivir, which flows through Sevilla. Unfortunately, due to all of the rain we have been having recently the river was very dirty.

After the disappointing view of the river we went to tour the mezquita(mosque).

We waited in line to enter, until we realized you had to buy tickets first. Lucky for us both lines moved very fast, so we decided to sit in the sun and take a lunch break. We were actually very lucky cause it was such a sunny day. I swear it has rained more days than it’s been sunny since I’ve arrived in Spain.

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The mezquita was absolutely beautiful. We spent a good amount of time exploring it. It is currently used as catholic church and an altar has been constructed in the middle of the mosque. This has caused some conflict since many Muslims in Spain and other European countries want to be able to pray in the mosque. Spanish church authorities and the Vatican are opposed to this idea.

After seeing the mezquita we realized that we had basically seen most things in Córdoba(told you it was much smaller than Sevill). So we decided to wander.

We got some copas and tapas at a bar and continued walking. We passed by a wedding party and continued down many winding alleys.

After a while we realized we had absolutely no idea where we were so we figured it’d be a good idea to ask for directions.  The first person we asked was an elderly woman. When we told her we wanted to go in the direction of the train station she gave us a look and told us it was very far. We received the same reaction from the next two people we asked, although it actually wasn’t too far. I’m so used to walking everywhere now that something forty minutes away is fairly close.

Once we knew where we were we headed back to a bakery we had passed right when we arrived. It has smelled delicious so we couldn’t resist checking it out. I was overwhelmed by the amount of delicious desserts I saw. Naturally I couldn’t decide what to get, so I got ice-cream and cake. But don’t judge! It was a small piece of cake I promise. And I gave up sweets for lent so I was very excited to be able to enjoy my favorite food group once again.

After that we got back on the train and headed home.

I have a few more trips planned before I leave Spain so stay tuned for those.

hasta pronto

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