This Saturday was a first for me, I was all alone in the city. With my friends gone to the beach I found myself at a lost as to what to do with myself! After a brief moment of humming and hawing I decided to embark on a new adventure, take on a new role for the day and that was: Irish tourist. Ever so challenging I know, I can´t help it, my imagination just runs wild sometimes! Anyway, while I´m quiet used to being mistaken for a tourist here, not being Spanish and all, actually being a tourist for the day was something totally new for me and, I must say, I rather enjoyed it!
Having lived in Córdoba for almost a year you´d imagine that I´d know the place pretty well by now. Well at least that´s what I thought anyway but, as it turns out, I don´t! Obviously I know enough about the place to have fallen in love with it and to have a life here. However, I´ve come to discover, since today really, that I´m quiet ignorant when it comes to the history of this beautiful city and also what it has to offer tourists! I´d never taken the time to explore those areas, odd considering as I live in the most touristic area in the city!
In any case I got up this morning and reached for my map, selecting places I had heard my friends talking about during the course of the academic year and also places that were located near me. I made a route and a schedule, I do make quiet a professional tourist if I do say so myself, got myself ready and excitedly left the apartment layered in sun-cream and accessorized with flip-flops and my camera ready to take on my role for the day!
First stop: Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. I´m not going to go into too much detail about it in this post as I´m going to write individual posts on each place I liked throughout the course of the week. I´ve way too much to say about each and I don´t want you falling asleep while reading and missing out on anything!
Anyway back to the Alcázar. The Alcázar is a former Roman fortress and residence of Christian Kings. It is said to be in this very compound that Spain discussed and planned its vogage to discover America, there is even a monument dedicated to this very event right in the middle of the grounds; a statue of Columbus and the King and Queen! Amazing! Not only can you see the former residence but also the royal baths, the Moorish inspired gardens and the spectacular view of the city from its towers! I´m delighted I decided to start here, I had been a bit uncertain about going as one of my friends had mentioned that there wasn´t much to see there. Maybe it´s because I had low expectations starting out that made the visit so good, who knows! All I know is I really loved every minute I was there!
Next stop; Caballerizas Reales or Royal Stables, as thery´re known in English! These stables were built in the year 1570 as an order from King Felipe II. It was in these stables that the pure breed Andalusian horses were first bread. Nowadays these stables are known for their equestrian shows which depict “the passion and spirit of the Andalusian horse”. However, during the day you may wander through the stables and look at the horses, the arenas and the antique buggies that are on display! A nice way to pass the time it you ask me, the Irish tourist!
From Buggies to Baths, the next stop brought me to the Baños del Alcázar Califal or The Royal Baths Museum. This museum reflects the order in which the Roman Baths followed; cold rooms, warm rooms and hot rooms. It´s a surprising insight into the role of baths in the Roman times, it´s well preserved and very informative. However, as I´m not big into history, it was slightly on the dry side for me! I did learn from it and enjoyed the experience but it was probably my least favourite stop of the day and I´m pretty sure, unlike the others places I visited today, I won´t be going back!
After the Baths it was time for a quick spot of lunch and a siesta to prepare myself for the evening ahead! Once refueled, washed and re-layered with sun-cream I set off for my next destination: Museo Arquelógico or The Archaeological museum. This museum is famed as being one of the most complete museums in Spain and I know I wouldn´t feel the need to question that! The museum guides you through the different lifestyles that have existed in Córdoba from pre-history to the middle ages. There is everything you could imagine there from jewellery to pots and pans to headstones. You can even see part of the area that these artifacts were retrieved from and what´s more; it´s free! It´s defienately worth a stop into if you ever find yourself in my role: a tourist in the area!
Next stop: Museo de Bellas Artes or Museum of beautiful art, ´don´t let the slightly cliché title put you off, it really is beautiful with beautiful art! The art work, consisting of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints, that´s on display in this museum is spread out over several rooms. The works themselves date from the 14th to the 21st century. While the works were amazing what really grabbed my attention was the entrance. To get to the museum you have to walk through this beautifully manicured garden with a fountain in the centre, I´ve no other words for it other than…breath-taking! Again, this museum was free, so even if art isn´t your thing, I´d definately recommend going in to see the courtyard and the building – Beautiful!
Final stop of the day, you must be getting tired by now, I know I am: Posada del Potro. This Inn dates from the 14th century and is the only example of an Inn which remains in the City. It is said that Cervantes stayed here and used this Inn to draw inspiration for Don Quixote, how true this is I don´t know! Today, however, it´s no longer an Inn but instead a cultural centre and exhibition place. I must say, I´m not sure if it was because it was my last stop and I was tired, this was my favourite stop of the day! It was refreshing to see modern crafts and culture in such a quaint settling. Fantastic!
Well I hope you´ve managed to stay awake through my fun-filled adventure as a tourist! I think it´s time for me to take a nap now! Hope you´ve had a good Saturday!
As always, thank you for reading!