Day 5 - June 12
After spending 4 lovely days in Barcelona, it is time for us to leave. Our next stop was Cordoba, and we booked the 8.30am train leaving from Barcelona.
Sheryl’s not too happy about leaving Barcelona…
We arrived at the train station early and grabbed some breakfast first. Food was important, our (ok, my) aim was to sleep on the train ride since it takes about 5 hours…
We then boarded the train and took a couple of selfies…
Then I don’t remember much. I think I fell asleep. Sheryl tried marking some of her school work but she also fell asleep shortly :P. Along the way I woke up a couple of times and these are some of the shots…
After close to 5 hours, we finally arrived at the Cordoba station!
The station actually sells maps for 1 Euro, which we bought (bad mistake, the map wasn’t very good, our Airbnb host gave us a much better map!). We then took a taxi to the lodging and met with Xavier (one part of our lovely Airbnb couple hosts. Maria wasn’t home at that time.)…
View from our lodging!
Another view from our lodging!
Our lovely lodging.
The sofa converts into a bed ^^.
Lovely map that our Airbnb host Maria (the other part :P) drew for us!
After we had taken enough photos and finished exploring the room (the convertible sofa-bed is quite neat!), we checked with Xavier if it was alright to use their washing machine, which they kindly allowed. Once we had our clothes in the washing machine, we decided to head out, based on the detailed map above.
Please see here for the actual Airbnb room we stayed in.
We initially wanted to head straight to the Mezquita, and hopefully find one of the bicycle shops along the way so we can rent them, but we ended up at the Palacio De Viana first as it was nearby (we had to head back in an hour or so to dry the clothes).
Nearby our lodging, there were some recycle bins…
The Palacio De Viana is a very peaceful and beautiful place with 12 patios.
We then headed back to the lodging to dry our clothes… And Sheryl also decided that more clothes needed to be (hand-)washed! We were a formidable team with her washing the clothes and me hanging the clothes (in the scorching sun -_-)!
The weather was so hot and dry that by the time Sheryl had finished washing the clothes, the ones that I had originally hanged out to dry were already dry!
Once we were done with housework, we headed out again.Again, we tried looking for one of the bicycle shops to rent a pair of bicycles, but they were all closed. In fact, almost every shop was closed! The people in Cordoba seem to follow siesta from 2pm to 5pm. We also headed to Bodegas Campos, a restaurant recommended by Xavier and Maria, but they were only serving drinks during this time too :(.
We left Bodegas Campos (at this time) without getting anything, and went on to explore Cordoba.
After a lot of walking, we finally went to a drinks place that was on the map that Maria had drawn for us, where we got a nice seat and a lovely view. I remember this part of the trip being quite amusing, we ordered ice coffee and were given two cups of coffee and two glasses of ice. We then poured (on our own) the coffee into the glasses of ice :P.
There was also a beautiful outdoor area, but no one was there, probably due to the sun…
We resumed our exploration of the city once we had rested enough, and headed to the Roman Bridge…
Next up, we headed for the Mezquita…
Unfortunately, we were told by the security guard that the Mezquita is closing (it was about 6pm). However, there is a night tour that starts at 10pm, and he advised us to look for him again at 8.30pm at one of the other entrances as the tickets will be sold then.
We went on walking and soon reached the Alcazar! Since we had missed the Mezquita (for now), we decided to visit the Alcazar in the meantime.
There were a lot of pigeons in the Alcazar!
Am I tall enough?
So close! :P
We headed to the top of one of the towers… Here’s a video of what we saw:
We then headed for the gardens in the Alcazar, they’re really beautiful!
I’m taking off!
We then left the Alcazar and headed back to the Mezquita to buy the tickets, but not before Sheryl bought some food :P.
Back to the Mezquita, we walked around but were unable to find any open gates or guards :(! We found one guard after a while, but he told us that the Mezquita is closed and there’s no night walk, and to come tomorrow. We decided to walk one more round, and finally found the same guard who told us about the night walk, and also bought the tickets:
The night tour is amazing (more on that later), I wish I could point you to some website, but I’ve tried Googling and was not able to find anything. At the moment, the best way to get onto the night tour seems to be checking with the security guards at the Mezquita itself during the day. Here’s some of the comments I’ve seen on TripAdvisor that agrees with this point:
Getting on the tour was tricky. We had found a friendly guard during the day, who told us about it, and told us to show up that evening and buy a ticket at the door. The people at the TI, by the way, were most unhelpful, and had earlier told us that we’d have to buy tickets days ahead at some distant location. - Alex B
We had about an hour to go before the night tour started, and decided to make a dash for Bodegas Campos again, and we’re so happy we did! The food there is simply amazing, one of the best food I’ve had in my life and definitely one of the best food during my entire Spain trip!
The best ravioli.
Amazing potato croquets.
We had to eat faster than we’d like due to the night tour starting in less than an hour, but we enjoyed ourselves a lot nonetheless! A really great place for food at a relatively affordable price :).
Alas, it was time to being the Mezquita tour. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos during the tour, although we did manage to snap some before we got told not to…
The night tour is really good. The lighting is beautiful and adds on to the the beauty of the Mezquita. Because cameras were not allowed, we were also able to fully focus on the tour. I still remember meeting this old uncle who was really friendly and clearly in awe of the Mezquita. He tried conversing with us but unfortunately we could not understand Spanish :(. It was also humbling for me because at that moment I realized how lucky I am, to be able to visit a country far away at this age. A lot of times we don’t count our blessings.
After the Mezquita night tour, we went back to the arch beside the Roman Bridge, and were lucky enough to catch the violin girl under the arch. It was a lovely moment and a beautiful way to end the night.
I have a recording of this on our GoPro, but do not have it at the moment. I will definitely update this post with that video as soon as I can. The atmosphere and the music together makes the whole experience surreal.
Update: Here’s the video!
This was also the first day of the World Cup 2014, and along the way we saw some places showing the live matches, and stopped by for a short while:
And we’ve come to the end of Day 5 of our Spain trip :)! Thanks for reading so far!
Other parts in this series:
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 1 - June 8 to June 22
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 2 - Barcelona Day 1-2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 3 - Barcelona Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 4 - Barcelona Day 4
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 6 - Cordoba Day 2, Seville Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 7 - Seville Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 8 - Granada Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 9 - Granada Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 10 - Madrid Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 11 - Madrid Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 12 - Madrid Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 13 - Toledo Day Trip
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 14 - Last Day in Spain