Spain Trip - Day 4 - Cordoba and Madrid

Day 4
Monday June 24

We have a large group on our bus so they have us count off to make sure everyone is accounted for. We each were assigned a number on the first day and have to yell it out in order. I am number 74 - the very last number so I have started saying something other than my number to signify the end. I am beginning to worry I will not be able to come up with fun things that I know how to say in Spanish. So much pressure!

It was an earlier start today as we had to pack up all of our things and put them on the bus. Our first stop was Córdoba.

Córdoba is a smaller city but it is filled with an amazing ruin and fantastic whitewashed buildings adorned with colorful flowers.

Córdoba was a spot of peaceful coexistence for three different cultures: Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is home to the Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba. This was first built as a Muslim Mosque and later it was added on to and used as a cathedral to practice Christianity. It is unique in its intricate detail but also in the fact that the cathedral was built inside the mosque and not on top of it. Therefore the history has been preserved.  It is the largest mosque in the entire world, as well as the world's largest temple. 

Cordoba is also known for its unique and colorful courthouses and patios. Every May, the courtyards and patios of houses in the old quarter of Córdoba are opened to the public for the city’s Feria de los Patios, in which locals compete for the honor of having the prettiest space (a prize is awarded at the end of the month).  

As typical in smaller European cities, the streets are narrow and paved with uneven smooth stones.  You have to be careful not to get lost maneuvering your way through the maze as you can't see the horizon and it makes it difficult to get your barrings.  There was not a lot of vehicle traffic here, making it a very walkable area.

After our tour by a local guide, we had time to grab two tapas at a small place and look at shops. At the meeting spot, we were missing part of our group which included my child... Back on the bus and on our way to Madrid.

We made a stop for a bathroom break in a cute little village in La Mancha. If that sounds familiar, you may have heard of Don Quixote in the musical Man of La Mancha. This sleepy little village featured original windmills on the hills that the character battled in the story. There was a quaint church and many statues of Don Quixote with some cute shops featuring saffron and little restaurants.

We took our second look at Madrid at dinner time. We were dropped off by our bus and led through some busy streets by our guide Andrea. EF had reserved a restaurant for us and we all had a dinner of vegetable broth soup, saffron rice with chicken thighs, and tiny cream puffs for dessert.

The city is just throbbing with masses of people. We maneuvered our way through them and back to the bus, but not before experiencing people dressed as giant pandas, minions, Mickey Mouse, and defenders of aliens. There were even some showgirls prancing around looking for money for pictures.

Our hotel for the night is about 15 minutes from the downtown. We have a separate bedroom from a sitting room so a lot more space for the three nights we will be here. We weren’t quite ready for bed so while the kids played games of cards Ry and I went to the hotel bar and had a drink where we were joined by another parent. It was such a gorgeous night to sit outside!

Roman Bridge of Cordoba - built in 1st Century BC

Outside of the Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba

Inside the Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba

Tapas for lunch

A view from the street in Cordoba capturing the side of the Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba looking out over the river

The group gathering for a count off

La Mancha - Don Quiote

Gotta love a guy who will pose for me!

The girls doing a photoshoot in the street

Ryan's turn

The Windmills

Back in Madrid...


Popular street with shops covered to help with the heat

These kids are the best!

Our group of tourist joining the mob of people!

Playing cards at the hotel


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