It was my wedding anniversary (a special one) this month so hubby and I decided to go away for a few days on our own. We considered Granada but thought the kids would probably want to see that, so that’s pending – We settled on Cordoba. All my Spanish friends said “Cordoba in August, are you mad?!” but we thought, oh, we’ll be fine – Mad dogs and Englishmen and all that!!!
We booked a nice hotel – Hotel Cordoba Center – which was a 10 minute walk from all the main tourist attractions. On arrival, around 4pm, getting out of an air conditioned car was reminiscent of an 80’s package holiday when you step off the plane and the heat just hits you!! After checking in and unpacking we ventured out again around 7pm to suss out the area, the temperature was 47ºc!!! We obviously stuck to the shade but after 10 minutes had to stop for water – I have to say that the walk from the hotel to the tourist area may have been 10 minutes in may or June but it certainly wasn’t in August!! Halfway between the hotel and the tourist area was a large El Corte Ingles. I have to say, this was the coolest place in Cordoba!! We took to having a wander around the store most days to cool down!!!
The following morning we set off early to visit the Mezquita, the palace of the Christian kings, the Arab baths and the Roman bridge. Everything was very near to each other so we thought we’d get it all done in a day! Thankfully the morning was cooler and we toured the baths and the palace easily but by 1pm when we were crossing the Roman bridge it was baking!! By the time we got to the Mezquita I’d had enough so really don’t think I appreciate the full splendour of it as all I wanted to do was sit down!! We certainly hadn’t factored in how much the heat would drain us! We retreated to the hotel for a siesta and didn’t venture out again until after 10pm but it was still 40ºc!
Next morning we visited the ancient ruins of Madinat al Zahra, a city built on the outskirts of Cordoba in 940 by the then Arab Caliph of Cordoba, or Al-Andalus as it was called then. Excavations began in the early 20th century and still continue today. It was fascinating and hard to believe that only 10% of the city has so far been excavated.
Again, the afternoon sun was too much so we retreated to the rooftop pool in the hotel. We decided on a lazy day for the next day and after a leisurely breakfast, we spent the day by the pool.
That evening we went to the water, light and sound spectacular in the gardens of the palace of the Christian kings which was beautiful. We thought that it would be cooler, but no, still 39ºc at midnight!!
Although it was a nice break, I must admit I wish I’d have listened to my friends as it really was too hot. Now I know why all the Madrilenos and the “Cordobians” come to the caost in August.
Cordoba is a beautiful city and I will certainly go back at some point but definitely not in August!!!
The Palace of the Christian kings
The Roman Bridge
The Arab baths