April 12, 2017 - Malaga with a trip to Cordoba
The Spanish love their ham!
This is the second time we have had a cruise stop in Malaga and the second time we have taken excursions out of the city. The last time we were here we went to Granada to see the Alhambra (silent H) and this time we were off to Cordoba.
We booked both excursions through Spain Day Tours. The company is reliable and provides good service. I think if they offered some sort of food experience to go along with the tour, it would have been perfect.
We met our tour group bright and early (6:45 am) and were on our way to Cordoba at about 7:30 am. We were treated to a stunning sunrise in Malaga.
The bus was really nice and comfortable for the two-hour drive. I love driving through this part of Spain. The landscape is beautiful – hills, olive trees, vineyards…you don’t see any livestock though. I did see the Osborne Bull - I always keep my open for it when driving in Spain.
They used to advertise sherry on these bull signs but now there are laws prohibiting advertising alcohol on roadsides. The bull has cultural significance so it was allowed to stay without the advertising.
It’s Easter week and that means it’s busy! People are off work and travelling with their families. We’ve heard (but not seen) that elaborate religious processions happen every day this week. They usually start late afternoon/early evening and can go until the early morning. Every parish has a procession and in Malaga there are 47 parishes…that’s a lot of processions. The cobble stone streets are covered in wax from the candles people carry during processions.
Our bus dropped off us near the historic centre of Cordoba. We walked across a bridge that was built in Roman times over the Guadalquivir river. It was originally built in 1st century BC but is has had some reno’s since then.
Cordoba’s historic centre is a UNESCO site. It is absolutely beautiful and there is so much history. In the 8th century, Cordoba was conquered by the Moors and Cordoba became the Muslim capital of the area. In the 10th century, Cordoba was recognized as one of the most advanced cities in the world. In 1236, King Ferdinand took the city in the conquest and things changed.
Like the Grand Mosque (Mezquita) turned in to a Cathedral. The Mezquita is an amazing mathematical feat and it’s huge! Many additions happened over the years but it all flows together. The arches line up as you look through it. There is now a central alter and 56 chapels in the Mezquita. The Catholic additions are very ornate. Personally I like the mosque elements better.
Walking the streets of Cordoba was wonderful. We toured the flower street and the Jewish area. The synagogue is now a historical site as there are not many (any?) Jews in Cordoba.
We had a bit of free time before we met to head back so we grabbed a sandwich and some Cordoba cake.
There is a lot to see and do here and I would definitely return to spend more time.
Back at the ship, we made it to Happy Hour. Priorities.
But, it seems some of our fellow passengers might not have made it back.