Our drive from Rascafria to Cordoba was supposed to take about 5 hours – and it did. It’s just that it also took two hours once in Cordoba to find our hostal. Considering both JCB and I were already quite ready to get out of the car, having to drive around a city without street signs trying to figure out where we were going was a strain our already waning patience.
Cordoba, like the other smaller/medium size cities in Spain, has many, very narrow roads. And the only signs that are posted say “Do Not Enter.” Our hostal had posted signs to point us in the right direction, but out of the eleven turns we needed to make to arrive, only 4 had signs – and the last turn, the turn that would have put us right on the street we needed to be on, well no sign for that turn existed.
We stopped several times to ask locals for directions. One very kind man even drew us a map. Still, we managed to mess up again. But luckily, JCB found some landmarks, and after pulling over to let the traffic pass us five or six times, we somehow managed to get back on track. And after only one more wrong turn, we saw THE sign to our hostal. We checked in just in time for a round of tapas...
It’s no secret that JCB and I have been getting just a *tad* sick of tapas. Well, tapas are back! These Andalucians know how to make small plates – especially without ham! Now that we are somewhat closer to the sea, we are seeing a resurgence of fish and other tasty vegetables. Not to mention delicious wines. Our favorite tapa from Cordoba was the salmorenjo – kind of a cold tomato soup with olive oil and a small bit of ham and hard boiled eggs – DELICIOUS.
With the return of great food, we treated ourselves to a great dinner in La Juderia – the Jewish neighborhood in town. Casa Pepe de la Juderia came recommended in Lonely Planet, and it didn’t disappoint us. I had salmon with orange sauce, while JCB ventured out a bit and had ox tail. We enjoyed some sangria, as well. Then the next morning, we continued eating salmorenjo, this time at breakfast with a tortilla de patata. This tortilla was the best yet, probably because our waiter doused it in olive oil and salt before serving it to us. Yes, we are LOVING Andalucia.
After breakfast, we toured Cordoba’s main attraction, La Mezquita. Another Catholic church turned Muslim mosque turned Catholic Cathedral. (La Mezquita is Spanish for mosque.) We were blown away by the beauty of the arches inside. So many entryways upon which JCB gazed... After about an hour of touring La Mezquita, it was time to check out of the hostal and continue our journey onto Sevilla. But Cordoba was a wonderful, if not quick, stop.