Cordoba

Following last week’s post on the Patios of Cordoba, in this post I’ll put up other things to see and do in Cordoba.

Cordoba Mosque

Of course EVERYONE has heard about the Mosque of Cordoba. It’s right in the centre of town so if you head straight to the centre, you won’t miss it.

Cordoba Mosque

The mosque used to be, well, a mosque! That is, a place where Muslims went to worship, built during the centuries of Moorish rule in Spain. So of course, the architecture is typically Arab, similar to what you can also find in the Alhambra of Granada and other Moorish sites and monuments.

Cordoba Mosque

It was built over several centuries by a bunch of Moorish Caliphs with lovely Arab names but unless you’re really into this, I won’t repeat their names here. You can find their names in the pamphlet that they give you when you go to visit the mosque. Or in Wikipedia.

Cordoba Mosque

After the Reconquista, that is, when the Spanish Christians fought the Moors and regained control of the peninsula, the Mosque of Cordoba was turned into a cathedral. The cathedral itself was actually built inside a small section of the large mosque, respecting the rest of the building and its architecture and designs.

Cordoba Mosque

It’s a historic monument, like a museum, so of course entry is not free. It’s not very expensive although I don’t remember how much exactly. We went to Cordoba with not a lot of money because we went on a tour where everything was paid for (breakfast and lunch as well as, of course, transportation to and from the city, + entrances to all the winning patios from the patio competition I talked about in last week’s post). Even so I had no difficulty paying the entries to the mosque for the three of us.

Cordoba Mosque

This was an attempt to capture the original, old entryway to the mosque (NOT the huge mass entrance through the courtyard where everyone must go now to access the monument, where the ticket office is located) – without capturing the heads of hundreds of tourists walking all around it and posing!

(Okay it’s true, we were tourists too – but we didn’t pose haha!)

Cordoba Mosque

I’m sure the whole world must be familiar with these arch-famous coloured arches, and you’ve probably seen more than a dozen photos of them all over the place. Well here I regale you with a few more!

There’s also a very nice river, with a Roman bridge, that passes through Cordoba. It’s the Guadalquivir, actually. The same river that passes through Sevilla. Anyways, I didn’t remember that the Guadalquivir passes through Cordoba too, but later I remembered it.

Cordoba Roman Bridge

Cordoba is also the city where the movie Carmen with Paz Vega was set. So if you’ve ever seen Carmen…… you’ve seen the city haha! (Okay, not really.)

There’s a synagogue (not a current one in use, the one that used to be used by the Jewish community before the Reconquista) as well, but it was only open in the mornings. So we didn’t get to see it because the visit to the patios was in the morning.

I had lots of photos of typical streets in the winding Arab historic centre, but they were jammed with tourists! This was the only pristine photo I managed to capture.

Cordoba Typical Street

We had time to browse through some souvenir shops and grab an ice-cream. The ice-cream was really necessary as the temperature was over 40 degrees! And it was only the beginning of May.

Although it might seem corny, I do rather like to wander through souvenir shops. I don’t usually buy anything. But I do enjoy seeing what strange and funny relics are available. There’s always something weird or original to catch your eye!

Cordoba Abandoned Building

Okay, clearly this was not taken at a souvenir shop haha!

Finally, you can also listen to Medina Azahara crooning masterfully about Cordoba on YouTube, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9vE8zFvG78

Have you ever been to Cordoba? What did you do during your visit? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Stories From Granada

Patios of Cordoba

Marbella, Land of the Jet Set?

What I Do On Weekends

Patios of Cordoba

I thought I’d get this post up before the appropriate time of the year had already passed.

Patios of Cordoba

Every year they have a patio competition in Cordoba, to see which home-owners have the most drop-dead gorgeous, beautifully designed and decorated patios. These patio owners REALLY go all out to get their patios up into tip top shape.

Patios of Cordoba

So these are the patios that won the competition. (Although they’re from last year hehe. I’m a little behind on the posts methinks……)

Patios of Cordoba

I don’t know about you, but I woulda had the most terrible time trying to choose the winner from among all these stunning displays.

Patios of Cordoba

Unfortunately, it was impossible to get away from the swarms of tourists while taking the photos. The patios are only open to the public for a limited number of hours each day, so basically the whole country and much of Europe and North America packs itself into these patios during these few short hours. It’s impossible to catch a pic of these beauties without loads of tourists about – unless you just happen to be a reporter, of course, and you get invited to snap photos for a newspaper or magazine!

Patios of Cordoba

So nuff talking. I’ll just let these wonders speak for themselves.

Patios of Cordoba

On many patios they had these tiles with wise or witty sayings. (Click on the photos to see them close up and if you know Spanish, you can read them!)

As you can see, this is a well. In the “olden days”, before modern plumbing, people relied on these wells for their water supply. So now you know. If the public water supply were ever cut off, these lucky blokes would have no problems.

Check out the eyes painted on the upper blank wall!

Next week I’ll continue some more with our exciting visit to Cordoba. So check it out, if you haven’t already!

What about you? Have you ever been to Cordoba? Did you get a chance to visit the patios? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Photographs From a Typical Day In a Life

Torre del Mar Curiosities

The Orange Trees

The Blueberry Fiend

Just a Short & Silly Post

Well this is just a short and rather silly post. There’s no theme to it, and not much point to it either, really.

I always wonder, when I read about people living in faraway countries, what it is that they see every day when they leave their houses and go about their daily business. What are streets like in other countries? What do the buildings look like there?

So this is a typical street in my neighbourhood. Nothing extraordinary about it. It’s not a neighbourhood that stands out for anything in particular. It’s not a place tourists come to browse around. It’s not an especially luxurious neighbourhood. Just a typical working class street in Malaga.

Malaga Street

How does this street compare to streets in your city or town? Please do leave me a comment, I lurrve to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Canada vs. US vs. Spain

Snippets of Life

Photographs From a Typical Day

Blog About Blogs and Blogging

Paleo Paleo Boom Boom Boom

I just found a diet by chance that lots of people are raving about. In theory it sounds like a nice, interesting diet, that has a lot of health benefits. But in practice it’s full of foods that I hate and you can’t eat the foods that I love.

It’s called the Paleo diet and its premise is that people should eat like cavemen did because we evolved to eat what cavemen ate.

Paleo diet drumsticks

So cavemen ate mostly meat, roots and fruits and berries. And that is what is in the diet. You can eat any veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds. You can eat olive oil and butter and coconut oil. So far so good, I like all these!

But you’re supposed to fill yourself up with meat all day long. And you can’t eat cakes or pies or burritos or bread or oatmeal. I HATE meat (except maybe chicken wings).

They say that cereals and grains have lots of toxins and people were never meant to eat them. Cavemen didn’t eat them. People didn’t have flour until they started growing crops.

People who follow the paleo diet report lots of health improvements like greater flexibility and mobility, their pains are gone, if they had illnesses especially chronic ones these illnesses are much better or gone, they have no digestive ails……

The thing that surprises me the most, though, are the photos of paleo children. They all look so radiant and healthy. Vegetarian children, on the other hand, tend to look rickety.

Well I’d read that children need to eat lots of protein because they are building themselves and they build themselves with amino acids. But adults? Unless you’re a weight lifter or something……

And what about all the nitrates from eating too much meat? And what about all that uric acid that forms kidney stones? Don’t paleo eaters have those problems?

Well I dunno. I read the interviews with some of the longest lived people in the world. A 114 year old Scottish grandma said she owes her great health to never having remarried (after she was divorced or widowed, can’t remember which) at an early age, and to eating oatmeal every day of her life. And a 114 year old man in the US said he ate a banana a day all his life. On the other hand, a 114 year old Italian lady attributes her great health to never having married and eating 2 eggs every day. She also eats pasta every day because all Italians eat pasta every day. (Well all Italians that I know, anyways, so no one accuses me of stereotyping!)

A 114 year old granny here in Spain attributed her longevity to eating only foods that she loved and never listening to what scientists said you should or shouldn’t eat. Her favourite food was crispy fried bacon and she admitted to eating a plateful every day. The employees at her nursing home confirmed it. They said every day they prepared a plate of crispy fried bacon for her, which she enjoyed with relish.

(Okay, I know it sounds like they were all 114 years old. The truth is I don’t quite remember their exact ages. But they were all around 114 (maybe 113, 115……).)

Anyways, if you think about it, cavemen were all short and muscular. But after agriculture and learning to make bread, people became tall and willowy and skinny.

Also, humans making the evolutionary leap to growing crops and making flour is what has permitted all the evolutionary development that we have enjoyed since then. It’s quite clear that as long as cavemen were spending their whole lives chasing buffalo around all over the place, they could never develop anything like civilisation, the arts or written language.

Cereals and grains are the basis, as far as I’m aware, of just about every society on earth. Even if a culture doesn’t eat much wheat, they do eat SOMETHING that is a cereal or grain: millet, rice, corn or maize.

So I don’t think something that is eaten every day by people all over the world, and has been eaten by people all over the world since prehistoric times, could be that bad for you, could it? If cereals and grains were that toxic, you would think that humanity would have been extinguished long ago.

I think it’s quite clear that the paleo diet is something that could only have been invented in the United States and it will probably never become a big hit in Spain. Because BERRIES feature prominently in that diet. And guess what? Berries don’t grow in Spain!

You probably didn’t know that. And I lament it a lot. Because berries are my favourite food!

But it’s too hot for berries to grow in Spain. Only up in the north, where the weather is similar to North America or France or other northern European countries, they have berries. But in the rest of the country it’s citrus fruits and citrus fruits and more citrus fruits. And olives, of course. You can’t believe how much Spaniards LOOOVEEE their oranges and lemons!!

And strangely enough I don’t love oranges or lemons very much. My theory is that you acquire your taste for food at an early age, you’re not born with it. And you acquire a taste for the food that you eat the most at that age. So in Spain everyone eats oranges all the time, because it’s what there is. Here berries are imported (at exorbitant prices) from northern countries – and no one likes them!

Anyways, an interesting theory, that of the Paleo diet. But I really don’t think I’m very much up to it. I just can’t STAND the sensation of a fillet or thick chunk of beef. Ugh! Gives me the shivers and the creeps when I imagine chewing away on one of those.

Besides which there is nothing tastier in the whole wide world than a good chunk of freshly baked bread, soft and spongy on the inside and crispy and aromatic on the outside. Mmmhh!

Pan con aceite

What about you? Do you follow or believe in any special diet? Please don’t hesitate to leave me comments. I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The Blueberry Fiend

Happy Giant Cockroach Hunting!

Pa Amb Tomàquet

Bye Bye Birds!

FREE Ebook This Weekend Only!

Just a quickie to let everyone know that this weekend only, I’m GIVING AWAY my latest ebook, “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” FOR FREE.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship

Now, it’s not really my intention to start up a new and thriving career writing ebooks, so it will probably be a looong time before I ever have another ebook up for free. (Or even put this one up for free again – which I will probably never do again!)

You can get all the details on the Amazon page by clicking here.

Well, won’t get into the sales pitch and all that or anything here. You know if this is a subject that interests you. If it doesn’t, I’d still love it if you’d continue browsing through the rest of this blog. I’ve got lots of posts in it hehe!

And if you ARE interested, well, grab the day! Take advantage of this moment and snatch up your copy of “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” for free. Before this promotion ends forever!

Once again here is the link.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship

Voting In Spain

We just had some big elections here in southern Spain. Well, I say big. I mean, typical. Governments in, governments out. Do we really care who’s in charge?

Political Parties of SpainWell, but anyways, apolitical though I am, I do care up to a teentsy tiny point who’s in charge. So I decided to do something unusual and go and vote.

Now, I don’t know what it’s like to vote in other countries, since I’ve only voted in Spain and Canada. And I don’t know whether the process in Canada is normal either.

In Canada, you don’t just sign up to vote whenever you want to. Every four years someone comes around to your door and asks you who in your family is eligible to vote. You probably have to provide some sort of proof that the people you name are eligible to vote, like a passport or birth certificate or something, that proves the person is old enough to vote. I wouldn’t know, my parents always took care of all that.

This is called “Census Day” in Canada, and during the days leading up to this all important date, there are ads in all the media reminding people to stay at home that day so that they can get onto the Census List and receive the right to vote.

I always wondered what happened to people who didn’t or couldn’t stay at home on Census Day and couldn’t get onto the Census List. Did that mean that they couldn’t vote?

And what about people who moved after Census Day, but before the next one four years hence? Did that mean that they couldn’t vote after they moved, until the next Census Day swung around?

But since those were never concerns of mine anyways, I never discovered the answers.

Now, here in Spain, the process is completely different. I like it here more, because it’s much more within your control.

Here in Spain there are Censal Offices. There’s an office in every neighbourhood, town and village. So it doesn’t matter where you live, even if you live way out in the outback or on a farm, you can sign up to the Census List.

People won’t come to your door here. Nope. It’s YOUR responsibility here to go to your nearest Censal Office and sign up for yourself. You should sign up your family members too.

Once you are signed up, your name will automatically be sent to your Poling Station every time there is an election, and you can vote.

It’s as simple as that. Easy peasey.

On the day of the election, all you have to do is wiggle your way down to your Poling Station, well equipped with your ID, of course.

When you get to your Poling Station you will find a few police officers hanging around, usually looking a bit bored, in order to keep order. I live in a quiet neighbourhood, so manning a Poling Station is a rather boring task round here.

Inside the Poling Station you will see a couple of tables with a candidate from each of the main political parties sitting around eyeing each other rather suspiciously. They are there to make sure that there is no monkey business by members of opposing political parties.

It also saves trying to round up volunteers on the street who would be willing to sacrifice a beautiful Sunday hanging around in a Poling Station.

You have to present your ID and when they find your name on their lists, you can vote.

In Canada, the way to vote was, you went into a little private cubicle where you could pick up a sheet of paper. The names of all the candidates and their political parties were printed on the paper, and you had to choose just one. I don’t remember whether you chose your candidate by circling them, or making a tick mark next to them or making an X next to their name. But the point is, you had to read the instructions and make the correct type of marking, or your vote would be invalid.

Then you would slide the paper inside an envelope, which you would then seal and put inside the voting box.

Here in Spain, you also get to go into a private cubicle. But you don’t get a piece of paper with the names of all the candidates. Here, in the private cubicle, you will see piles of flyers in holders on the wall. There is a flyer for every candidate and their political party.

You must choose the one flyer corresponding to the one candidate and political party that you want, and you must slip that one flyer inside an envelope.

Then you seal the envelope, so no one can see which flyer you had chosen, and put the envelope into a voting box.

After that you can leave, pass the bored police officers, and hang out in the nearby bars, where you can observe all the people venting their passions and adrenalin with heated debates about politics.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The Orange Trees

In The Studio of Antonio Lopez

Poetry by Hermenegildo: Bienvenida Sea La Primavera

Bye Bye Birds!

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

I was feeling quite sad because there are always things all over the place to remind me of what I had and don’t have anymore. Right now father’s day is coming up (here in Spain), so I am reminded all the time that I don’t really have a father anymore. The same thing when mother’s day comes around. Everywhere people seem to have so many people around them, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and husbands and wives.

I know we choose our lives and the people who are going to be in our lives before we’re born. And I always say, one day I’m going to have a psychic reading and ask why I chose to have no family in this lifetime.

But I also think, there are always people who are worse off. I think of Louise Hay, who had to face what I think is one of the most terrible things a person can have to face: having cancer. And she had to face it all alone. She had no family either, to help her or take care of her or support her as she fought cancer. She had to deal with her cancer all alone.

And then there’s Lazarillo de Tormes. You might not know who Lazarillo de Tormes is. He’s a fictional character, written about 5 centuries ago here in Spain. No one knows who the author is or, obviously, what the author’s life was like. But going on the premise that most novels are at least semi-autobiographical, we can assume that some of the things about Lazarillo would be true about his author too.

Lazarillo was an orphan. He had a terrible life as a child. He would be taken in by families who would abuse him and force him to work hard and beat him if he didn’t work hard. He finally “made it” by getting into petty crime and doing things like stealing. I don’t remember the ending.

They say some things you can look for if you don’t have them in your life. You can look for friends. You can look for causes, or organizations to belong to. But you can’t ACQUIRE a family, if you weren’t born with one.

Some people say, yes you can. You can get adopted into a family, or adopt one. But the fact of the matter is, not anyone can become your family and in fact, at least here in Spain, blood IS thicker than water. Here in Spain you can’t ACQUIRE a family. A family is something you are born with. And if you weren’t born with one, you will never have one. Because blood is blood and you will never share blood with anyone if you weren’t born into their family.

That’s just the way it is here. I had a best friend (we’re still really good friends, but maybe not best friends anymore because we live in different cities) and often she would wish that she could spend big occasions, like Christmas or summer holidays, with me instead of with her family. But she couldn’t. Her family wouldn’t let her, and she couldn’t be disloyal to her family.

Here in Spain, family ALWAYS comes first. And you can’t acquire a family or get adopted into a family. You just can’t. It’s just not done. No matter how close you are to someone, they might even love you more than they love their family. But you will never form a part of their family. And if they have to choose between you or their family, they will always choose their family.

I do see how blood is thicker than water. I often think it’s such an irony that to see what genes I have, I have to look at my kids, because they are the only people who share genes with me. I find it so curious how so many things that you think are just individual quirks, are actually genetically programmed.

My son has so many of the same gestures and expressions as his father. He’s never seen his father make these gestures (because he hardly ever sees his father), and they are not common gestures. So I know he didn’t pick them up by observing other people. He was just born with these gestures and tendencies, apparently they are in his genes.

And I can see how when you grow up surrounded by people who share your genes, you feel a certain affinity with them, that you don’t feel with people who are genetically different from you. Even if the people who are genetically different from you are supposed to be your parents.

When you grow up with people who share your genes, you look at them and you think, I’ve got the same expression as my mother. Or, look at that face that my father makes in X situation, I do exactly the same thing in that situation!

Have you noticed similarities with your family members that go far deeper than just a loving relationship, or interests in common? Please leave me your comments below. As usual, I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The Meaning of a Friendship

Childhood Friends

Blog About Blogs and Blogging

How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?