I alternate between loving and hating Cordoba. As each coach load of tourists passes, filling the narrow lanes with the whirring of a hundred cameras, I love it a little less. Every time I see another shop selling child sized flamenco dresses another piece of my heart dies. Then I take the wrong turn down an alley and among the blessed calm find the other side of Cordoba. There is a reason the coaches come here, it’s beautiful. The other Cordoba has amazing food, the local wine is sublime and the tiny plazas are empty. You see more of the other side of Cordoba when you get out of the Judaria and head into the modern city to the places where locals live, shop, eat and drink.
The Cordoba that everybody finds centres around the Mesquita. A cathedral in a mosque, built on the site of a Visigoth church using roman pillars. Sound confusing? Well remarkably it all comes together to form one of the most unique places of worship in Europe. Come in the morning, it’s free to get in between 830 and 1000 and groups are not allowed. It is the best time to see the Mesquita by far.
Really the whole of the Judaria is best in the morning, when the coaches have yet to arrive and the other holidaymakers are still having breakfast. That is an easy time to see the other Cordoba, the Cordoba that is easy to love. Again in the evening the centre comes into its own. The bodegas serve gourmet bar snacks washed down with the unusual but delicious local wine. Like an unfortified sherry the Montilla Moriles is found all over Cordoba, often poured straight from the barrel.
The city really is a food lovers paradise with so many amazing restaurants it’s hard to choose a favourite. Make sure that you try the salmorejo, a cold tomato soup similar to gespacho but thicker, creamier and with a bit of ham and egg thrown in for good measure. The salmorejo is a local delicacy and is delightful. Another great activity on a warm evening is to stroll to Plaza de las Tendilas which is lined with ice-cream shops and seems to be the place that most of the town likes to hang out in the evenings.
Last Edit by sarahgev on 13/06/2011 EDIT NOW >>