#7 Cordoba

This is the entrance to the city of Cordoba.

Cordoba is an hour and ½ drive from Seville. It is well worth the drive to see such a lovely little city. You will realize that in this city Jews and Muslims lived side by side peacefully as they did in many early times in Spain.

There is a very small early Synagogue in Cordova still left intact. We were walked through the small winding streets of the once Jewish Quarters, which is very lovely and well kept, and then on to The Cathedral.

It is especially important when visiting Cordoba to go to the enormous Cathedral for a reflection.  I did have time to reflect on inspiration, beauty, as I perceive it, and truth, as I understand it, righteousness, and taking pleasure in life, guilt free.

At first the site on which the Cathedral sits was the Church of San Vicente and was demolished to make way for the creation of a Mosque now the Cathedral of Cordoba. What have made this huge complex so unique are the red and beige arches. Other aspects are hugely important as well, but for now it was important to experience the beautiful overlapping arches. The red is achieved with red bricks.  Although it was a very hot day and trailing our guide was exhausting, the city and the Cathedral were and are wonders of the world to me. If time permitted, I would have liked to stay within those rooms full of arches and make some decisions. As it was, I did make a decision, I just hoped for more.

MARRANOS:

Our guide’s explanation of the calling of the converted Jews Marranos:

Remember this, one of the Spanish words for pig is marrano. We were told by our guide much about the Marranos who are/were the Jews, who during the time of the Inquisition in Spain had effectively converted to become Catholic or Christians in order to remain in Spain.  Jewish inhabitants of Spain were asked to convert to become Catholic or Christians or leave the country and their homes. So to prove that a Jew had successfully converted he or she was asked to eat the meat of the marrano, the pig.  If the pig meat was eaten then they were considered a Marrano, an eater of pig. So the proof became the name. I stood there in the courtyard, which had been the Jewish Quarter and decided this is something I must always remember. Why, because it is true and it is something I did not now before coming to Spain.

There is a beautiful bridge leaving the historical area of Cordoba and after a long and exhaustingly hot tour of this area, we were to walk the bridge to meet our bus on the other side.  Albeit my face was red and sweat was running down the back of my neck, but other than that, I was on the move towards the bridge.  My family was worried that I was too tired to do the bridge. I do not know what the heck they said to the guide, but she asked if she should order a taxi for me.  What the… are they kidding? I said, “Why?” She said, “I don’t know.” Skip said, “Well because you are so slow.” Pissed was I, and said, “Turtles win races and off I started out over the bridge.  I was second over that sucker and learned a very important lesson.  When you do win or are over before everyone else there is no one there to cheer you. Really. Also, you rushed through the experience of walking over a bridge and have only being over it to remember. Turtles win races in fairytales and in real life; I have been the turtle and I have been the winner. Yes!!!!!

Here they are going over the bridge and here comes the turtle.

COSTA DEL SOL:

We are now in Costa del Sol.  The word Sol I know means sun and the sun shines down with a fury. It is so beautiful and hot, hot, hot here. We enjoyed a midnight stroll along the boardwalk that stretches for miles and miles.

Long ago these beautiful built up towns of Costa del Sol used to be tiny fishing villages of not more that 300 people, but now you will find huge condo complexes, gorgeous homes of the rich and famous and cities within cities. These little fishing villages have truly been transformed into a huge tourist destination. From our location today, we are to visit Malaga the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and a private museum with his paintings put on display by his grandson.

It feels like 1,000 degrees, but in the shade and out on the beaches it is cooler. This afternoon, all I want to do is stay in our room, with the air conditioner blasting, but alas you are at the beach, so go out and enjoy. Mama Mia, they go topless here.  We noticed ladies are very free about their bodies and comfortable within them. It was one of those non-verbal messages to me.  I don’t have to strip to the waist, but should be happy with what is still there! Still working, still quite presentable, still supple and well hydrated and not too much of it all. One grandmother lifting her grandbaby up and down was so huge and so tan. Everyone is so tan. It looks like hey painted it on, but it is not. One topless wonder was redder than a fresh boiled lobster. Many topless women were mothers with children around them totally unconcerned they might be marking them for life. Marked, how, I do not know for sure. Perhaps it is a good thing, perhaps, not. What do you think?

Oh so sorry, no photos.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joy
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 21:50:14

    Sheila dear, i have very fond memories of all these places. I visited them a million years ago with Ellen. The cathedral we called the peppermint cathedral because the red and white reminded us of peppermint candy.

    I wanted to go to Spain on a whim because I loved flamenco music. I only wished I had stayed in Granada longer as we were there for just a day and eve. The countryside always felt like California with the same familiar vegetation.

    I do remember the topless beaches. Ellen and I felt so over dressed in our bikinis.

    I am having a good time visiting your blog and my friend Naomi who is having a wonderful time in India. Wish I could be with both of you.

    Reply

    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jul 18, 2011 @ 11:06:57

      Thank you so much for reading and especially adding a comment. We are in Madrid at the moment and I am too tired to out again. We were on the bus from Granada then walked for hours in Toledo and now I can only sit in a chair looking longingly at the shower!!!
      Thanks again. And love from,
      Sheila
      I appreciate your comments and you remember things so amazingly. Wow, your mind is a winner, keep eating the greens. Yes, you were here. I do not every want o come again, but if they want to pay, I’ll think again. It is too hot, too crowded and not that ohlala

      Reply

    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jul 24, 2011 @ 02:47:12

      Oh JOy I apprecaite you so much and loved your comments. Thank YOU so much.

      Reply

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