Back from a fab holiday in Spain ( Fuengirola) plenty of sun and sangria!
Our hotel was just three minutes from the beach so we did a lot of sun bathing there and our room had a fabulous view.
We booked two excursions, one to Cordoba and the other to Ronda.
La Mezquita in Cordoba ( built 784 AD) is an amazing building, it’s a mosque with a Gothic cathedral in its centre. It has over 800 archways.
Cordoba was a Roman settlement and later ( 711) was captured by a Moorish army. Christians, Jews and Muslims worshipped alongside one another. Cordoba became the capital of Islamic Spain. Cordoba is situated at the highest navigable point of the Rio Gualdalquivir River.
Hearing the name of the river always reminds me of the Lorca poem that I had to learn for Spanish A-level and begins, ‘El Rio Guadlaquivir va entre olivos and naranjos.’
When the Christians conquered the city in 1236 they were so awed by the Mezquita’s Moorish beauty that they left it standing and built their cathedral in the centre creating a church-mosque.
We also visited the Alcazar, a Moorish fortress. I hadn’t realised that Boabdil ( last Moorish King) was held prisoner here. My book for children, ‘The Moor’s Last Sigh,’ is about him.
Seneca was born in Cordoba.
The gardens next to the Alcazar are stunning and have many water features.
Like many places we visited there were orange trees everywhere. The trees are mainly ornamental and the fruit would be too bitter to eat. Our guide told us that people use the juice to clean metal instruments.
Our guide took us around the maze-like streets of the old town and Jewish quarter. The white-washed houses were bursting with colour as May is the month the patios are at their best for the patio festival.
Ronda is a town located in a stunning mountain landscape. There is an impressive bridge straddling the 100 metre gorge that bisects the town. We also visited the bull-ring and later had a spot of wine tasting in a Bodega with tapas!
There was a Spanish theme night in the restaurant and each guest received a glass of sherry poured out in the traditional Spanish way. ( see photo) Such skill!
(Lots of restaurants along the coast serve freshly caught sardines, grilled in front of your eyes and often cooked on an old fishing boat berthed in the sand and located in front of the restaurant, like this one. The air was filled with the delicious smell)