Visit the Aljama Mosque in Cordoba and then travel to Ronda, standing atop the magnificent El Tajo Canyon. Dinner at a hotel in Ronda.
14.07.2016 - 14.07.2016 38 °C
Hotel - Parador, Plaza de Espana, Ronda - Room 111 - hotel in a stunning location overlooking the gorge. In fact, dangling over the edge.
When we went to breakfast this morning, there were Roman ruins under our breakfast table. How amazing. My feet are also back to normal. Thank goodness.
Before we left Cordoba, we undertook a walking tour of the old city and visited the magnificent Aljama Mosque, which is actually a mosque and a cathedral combined. It is very famous and the photos just don't do it justice. It is a most stunning place. Our local guide was Maria. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of moorish architecture. When the Muslims conquered Spain in 711, the church was first divided in Muslim and Christian halves. The sharing arrangement lasted until 784 when the Christian half was purchased by the Emir Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the original structure and build the grand mosque of Cordoba on its ground. Cordoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance Cathedral Nave in the 16th century.
It is hot but the narrow streets provide some protection from the sun.
We had lunch at a street cafe, beer and pizza and were joined by Rob and Pam from New Zealand.
Waiting for the bus.
On the way out of Cordoba, we stopped to take a photo of this old bridge and arch.
We left Cordoba and headed for Ronda. Our hotel in Ronda is run by the Government, but has the best position in town - right on the edge of cliff, overlooking the valley. Magnificent views.
We then went on a walking tour with the local guide Pepe. Pepe was a pain in the neck. He was older than most of our guides and said that we walked too fast. We were hot and tired and wanted to get the walking tour over so we could relax in our hotel before dinner that evening. Pepe took us to Casa Don Bosco which was built in the early 20th century and is accessed via a tiled entry way. The house contains a large collection of regional ceramics as well as 19th century tapestries. From the terrace, we had fabulous views to the gorge and our hotel.
He then took us to Plaza de Toros, the oldest and most highly regarded Spanish bull ring. It was built in 1785. In this bull ring in the 18th century, Pedro Romero introduced a new style of bull fighting on foot as opposed to horseback. He was also the first to begin using a red cloth. His son and grandson were also bull fighters.
After the guided walking tour, we walked into the streets and sat and had a couple of beers. We were joined by Grant and Curvetta and Coral and Eddy. There was a Pommie couple sitting at the table next to us and she was off her face, but kept drinking and nearly fell off her chair several times. They started chatting to us and told us they had been living in Spain for about 18 months, and kept moving around. They had sold their home in the UK and were supposedly living the dream in Spain. Drinking all day in the pub is not my idea of living the dream!
We had a set menu dinner in the hotel tonight. It was nice but being a government hotel, they wanted us to pay for the water at our table. Isabel sorted that out, quick smart.