This weekend I properly ventured out of Seville for the first time (don’t think induction in Madrid really counts as I barely left the hotel). A friend and I went to Córdoba for the weekend! Unfortunately the weather was fairly grim – cold and wet all weekend, just like home!
At only forty minutes away from Seville by train, it was on my list to visit this year (especially as I also have family who are from the city). And now having been, I’d definitely like to come back early on next year once the oranges have ripened and the flowers in the patios have bloomed. I arrived on the train on Seville on Friday evening after work and my friend who’d arrived earlier came to meet me from the station and we walked to our hostel, Córdoba Bed and Be. Such a good hostel! Would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to visit the city. For €25 a night we got a private room for the two of us, with wifi, bed linen, towels, and breakfast for the two mornings we were there! Can’t complain at that. Friday night was great because we both got to see another one of our friends who’s studying just outside Madrid this year and happened to be in Córdoba at the same time we were! Nice to have a catch up.
First port of call on Saturday morning was getting into the Mezquita/Catedral at 8:30am for free before it properly opened for guided tours etc. Such a beautiful building inside and the history attached to the building in fascinating! The mix of different cultures inside is striking. Definitely glad we went to see it after studying it a little in Spanish culture classes last year. Unfortunately we did have to pay to go up the bell tower though (only €2 though so didn’t break the bank), but it was worth it for the stunning views over the city in the rain. The weather made it more atmospheric and interesting for me, like we were getting to see a different side to the city with fewer tourists about.
After some well-earned churros con chocolate and orange juice, we went back to the hostel to sort out our bags/change some things about before heading to the Alcázar for the afternoon. First we had to stop for some lunch though. And what a lunch it was. After more than a month eating Spanish food, we decided we needed a bit of a change and opted for some thai food with the medium spice (we thought it was the safer than opting for super spicy). Half an hour later with noses streaming, tears running down our faces, and mouths burning, we realised that after a month without spicy food this was probably a mistake. What we did manage to eat was very tasty though. The Alcázar itself wasn’t as impressive as that in Seville, at least for me. However, the gardens were lovely – even in the pouring rain! Can’t imagine how beautiful they must look in the sunshine.
Earlier in the week I’d asked my aunt for some recommendations for things to do and places to eat in the city, so on Saturday night we went out to El Churrasco restaurant on her recommendation. We ordered just about the two cheapest things on the menu but the food was delicious! Artichokes with olive oil and ham and a cold layered slice of liver/jam/marmalade (couldn’t figure out quite what the menu said) with smokey goats cheese and apple. Very tasty! To follow we had a traditional pastry from Cordoba which was also very good. Thanks Aunt Irene!
Sunday morning brought with it yet more rain (I’m sensing a theme here) and the bit of the weekend we’d been looking forward to most: the Arabic baths (we were so excited for the baths). On Saturday we’d booked in on a discounted student rate (hiya) for €25 which bought us ~1.5 hours in the baths and a 15 minute massage each. Upon arrival we were welcomed into a room upstairs and offered refreshing mint tea before going downstairs to change and enter the baths themselves. There were three different rooms and baths to choose from: hot, warm, and cold – each offered a different kind of experience, but all were very tranquil and relaxing. Would 100% go again.
After the baths we wandered the city for a while and then went for lunch. Yet another delicious meal combo we happened to stumble upon through
our impressive Spanish skills sheer luck: fried cod with breadcrumbs, Moorish potatoes, croquettes, and deep-fried aubergines with honey. Yum. We then hit the tourist shops to do some browsing, but I decided not to buy anything as I’d definitely like to go back and can always buy things then instead. Then it was time to head to the bus/train stations and say goodbye to each other and the city. Overall, a great weekend despite the slightly awful weather (and the now very damp socks).