Tag Archives: Alcazar
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Cordoba

15 Dec

Another amazing day. This time I decided to go on a walking tour of Cordoba. The guide was through viator.com and I highly recommend the tour company. The wonderful guide’s knowledge was incredible.

So we started exploring the Alcazar and then moved on to the many historical buildings amongst the old Jewish Quarter. Visigoths were the first to inhabit, where now stands the Palace and Cathedral, then Romans, Christians, Muslims (who built a mosque in 785) plus many others who came and went and destroyed most of the buildings. Some amazing history with Kings adding on bits to the Castle and Cathedral over 000’s of years. Alfonso the Wise even started a library as he wasn’t into fighting! The interior is a mixture of Gothic, Moorish, Christian dating back to the 1300’s.

The interesting thing is that with all of the wars and inquisitions that were held throughout the history of Cordoba (and it being an important port and considering the capital for some time), money ran out. So the architecture is a mixture of what was left lying about. It is really interesting to see.

  

I had a lovely visit. Quaint streets that you get lost in. Little tapas bars that excite you with their typical Andalusian menu’s. They have a thicker variety of gazpacho topped with cured ham. It was delicious! When I was leaving people were starting to line up for the Cordoba v Barcelona football game that was on that night!

Gazpacho Cordoba style from Bodega Taverna Rafael

The sad thing was that they were giving an eucalyptus tree a trim: only to find out that they were chopping it down. It’s branches had dropped and hurt some people. The funny thing was that there was no protest, no sadness. I mean the tree was over 200 years old, so for me it was a BIG deal. But hey, for the Spanish, they were walking around on 2000 plus year old heritage site. What’s a 200 year old tree in their big scheme of things? My picture doesn’t show how large the base of the tree was. I did feel sorry for the ol’ girl. She looked so serene there and she has watched over the port for so long.

The 'young' 200+ aged eucalypt

The ‘young’ 200+ aged eucalyptus tree made me a tad homesick

Farewell Madrid – Hola Sevilla.

11 Dec

What have I been up to? Well, yesterday I went to Segovia and it was an absolute delight. The Romans built an aqueduct over 800m long end in the 1st century or early 2nd century (yes really) and most if it remains today and the highest is 29 meters. Goodness knows how they did this to make it last so long especially without mortar! Bless the Romans!

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Of course there is a HUGE Cathedral – the last built in Spain and is considered the masterpiece of Basque-Castilian Gothic churches. But the draw card is the Alcazar. I know after going to Granada, all other Alcazar’s are going to look like a poor relation, but hey it was pretty awesome. It looked like a fairy castle and housed many Kings (with awesome names such as Alfonso the Wise, Sam the Wise (on no that was the hobbit), Queens and Queen Isabella (named after my Mum and daughter me thinks).

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Anyhoo – the tapestries, artwork and furniture were amazing. As were the stained glass windows and it was cool seeing the armour that they wore. So much fighting! And of course the artwork hanging on the walls reflects this. It now houses an artillery museum.

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I like this guys armour. He had hearts where his mouth was supposed to be! Maybe he was the Queen’s favourite? The view from the top of the tower was spectacular and there were snow on the neighbouring mountains as it was fffffaa-freezing!

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They also had these really cool black & white birds that looked like and about the same size as our magpies but they obviously weren’t! There really wasn’t a lot of tourists around, a couple of small busloads but not many. I felt a bit sorry for some of the purveyors in the old city – as there wasn’t much action. There was a high street filled with exclusive stores, but it seemed to be full of locals. For the state of the economy, I’m not finding it all that cheap. A bottle of awesome red Spanish wine costs 1,50E upwards, and a glass in a tapas bar costs 2,50E plus.

I’m on the train now to my next adventure – Sevilla. Catching the bus three stops to my new home really isn’t worth it – but my suitcase is getting a tad heavy and cumbersome! And it will be nice to get maximum temps of a sunny 15!

The view from the train is pretty spectacular – even if we do go through a lot of tunnels and are traveling at over 250kms/hr! Olive trees everywhere! Orange trees everywhere. Then some grape vines! It’s quite amazing. And so is the Spanish wine! And oranges! And olives! No wonder they have olive oil icecream – I gotta find me some of that!

Ah, life is grand.

 

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