Thursday, May 7, 2009

Unexpected Delights - Cordoba

For some reason I'm unable to cut and paste my word document, so this will be a shorter than intended post.
I am so happy in Cordoba. I love the winding streets and the unexpected sights around every corner. Over head is a bell tower; a white stucco wall draped in red and purple bougainvillea, a tree full of white egrets in the middle of the river, the columns of a Roman forum, two unexpected art exhibits.

There are lots of tourists and I'm steering clear of the tourist area where busloads of tourists clog the streets. But this is also a living city with mothers and fathers and grandfathers walking their children to school, men in suits and ties riding scooters down terrifyingly narrow streets (press close to the wall behind you when a bus passes!). People actually live downtown and there are grocery stores and schools as well as department stores and restaurants.

I've eaten at a variety of restaurants. The outdoor tables were clustered at the base of a church the first night with a triangle of deep blue sky above my head with swifts crying as they flew back and forth. I had a crusty bun drizzled with olive oil and stuffed with manchego cheese and tomato for lunch in a smoky taberna with men standing at the bar to talk and drink beer or fino (sherry). One waiter was hustling as they served drinks and food to 16 people and found time to put out free bowls of tapas - really good olives.

The weather has been unexpectedly hot. It was 39 degrees at 6 o'clock last evening, and I am beginning to understand why the Spanish take a siesta. I was very grateful I could tour a Roman ruin from 6:30 to 8 in the evening rather than under the midday sun. And it's really pleasant to eat dinner in the cool of the evening.

This is a wonderful place.

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