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Old 12-13-2008, 05:59 PM   #62
V@lentino OP
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Vankouver
Oddometer: 815
Thumb La Mezquita

Although we left under cloudy sky, the weather progressively cleared up and the ride was beautiful, warm and comfortable.





Of course Torro was there.



And a nice fountain to welcome us in town.



I should have known that after circling around for more than an hour amidst the labyrinth of, under construction, streets that make up the Casco of Cordoba (old town), and Jackie noticed a sign the size of a postage stamp indicating the way to our pension El Portillo, that serendipity had cast its magic spell yet one more time.



Things were just as they were suppose to be.



Thanks to ST the 340 km from Toledo were seamless, and it was just a pleasant ride. As you can see unbearable traffic.



A lot more on this stretch



The country side was beautiful, with fields of red earth where the olive threes abound. We made a couple of stops in Orgaz, and later in Ciudad Real just to admire the moorish cathedral, and indulge in a quick cup of coffee.







BTW, the further south we get the better the coffee seems to become. Rich, dark, thick, but smooth with a faint touch of acidity, what a perfect blend. I usually like a long expresso, in Spain it’s called ‘‘cafe cortado’’

We arrived in Cordoba by mid day to our sunniest, and warmest day yet.



It felt good to be in Andalucia. The streets of the city are decorated with flowers harboring the colors of Spain.





One of the most amazing things are the lemon, and orange threes lining up the avenidas. We could smell their citrus odor perfuming the warm, still air.



After a quick meal of fried Bocarones (species of anchovies), una ensalada mixa, and a pedazo de tortilla, y dos cañas fresquita, in this courtyard restaurant.





Nothing puts a smile on your face quite like a cold one on a hot day.



We headed to visit the Mezquita Catedral (the mosque cathedral).



An oxymoron by name, from the outside, the building looks like a large fortress,



easily identified as a Moor building by its typical arches, and minaret.



But then you start to notice the bells, and crucifix that annunciate the rites of Christianity.



Toledo was at a religious crossroad, the Mezquita-Cathedral is embedded as a Muslim-Christian icon.

As soon as you enter its massive portal, and witness the intricate ceramic, and mosaic designs of the inner wall, and arches that surround the orangery, you know you are in for a threat.



But the amazement really start as you step in the mosque itself. You cannot help but be humbled by its beauty, and the meticulous precision of its design. Each pair of black, and pink marble columns holding the arches are in perfect symmetry with one another.



Yet if you close your eyes, and let the place seep through your inner being, you can almost hear the hooves of arabian stallions echoing through its vaulted walls. It was magnificent.



From the Muslim side



To the Christian side



Lets try this again, from the Christian side



In between



To the Muslim side



A view from the top



Jackie in the box



After a well deserve siesta, we ended the evening strolling through the dedale of narrow sinuous streets,



we saw this



and unknowingly made our way to the plaza de la Corredera,



just a little before 2200, where a Flamenco spectacle was just about to start.



We sat down under the stars enjoying a glass of Rioja while being entertained by the dramatic cantor of AuroraVega.



As I sipped the wine, and allowed myself to be bewitch by the melodious lingering voice, I could not help but notice how far from anything known to me this was, yet the faint smell of garlic, olive oil, and citrus ladening the air made it oh so familiar.

I closed my eyes for a moment, taking Jackie’s hand in my own, and felt like I belonged nowhere else but here.

We made our way back to El Portillo licking the Turon ice cream of a waffle cone with a huge grin painted on our face.

Thank you Cordoba for sharing your magic with us. Tomorrow glorious Sevilla awaits...

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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
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