Cordoba, Spain 2012

After spending two nights in Granada (read about it here), we took the train to Cordoba for two nights.  I had purchased my train tickets in advance on the RENFE website, not without some frustration I might add.  The train was an easy two hour and twenty minute ride to Cordoba. We arrived in Cordoba about 8:30pm and hailed a taxi for five euros to our hotel, Balcon de Cordoba, located literally around the corner from the Mezquita in La Juderia.

Balcon de Cordoba which was a beautiful small hotel.

It was my “splurge” hotel for the trip, and worth it!  Decorated in soothing whites & taupes with a beautiful courtyard when you enter, it was very peaceful.

Our room was very nice and beautifully decorated with a nice size bathroom and double sinks.  The only problem was  the only exterior window is in the bathroom – the others all open into the courtyard below.  If staying there again, I would request a room with an exterior window, but I suppose those maybe more expensive.

For dinner we went to Bodegas Campos.  It gets fabulous reviews but we thought it was only okay.  It did not help that they were out of a few things on the menu.  We had a salad with fried garlic, albondigas which was very good, and arroz con ribs – not what I actually wanted, but our first two choices they were out of.  I will say, my arroz con leche for dessert was excellent.

DAY 4

Breakfast at the hotel was a nice selection of the usual meat/cheese/pastries/cereals/fruit, but also included made to order eggs, Vienna sausage and bacon.  The price of breakfast is included.  The young woman helping at breakfast, who also ran the front desk during the day, was extremely helpful and spoke excellent English.

Our first stop was to the Mezquita.  We arrived around 10:15am and it still was not too crowded.  This is an amazing structure with a fascinating history of going from pagan temple to Christian church to Moorish mosque to Christian cathedral.

Next we headed to the Casa Andalusi and the synagogue.

Casa Andalusi is a typical old Andalucian house.  We found the architecture and interior interesting, and it is only 2,50 euro to enter.

The synagogue was a small and simple building dedicated to Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher who spent part of his life in Cordoba.  The synagogue was built in 1305 and is one of the oldest synagogues.

From here we just ambled around the Juderia walking through the narrow streets and going into some of the more interesting shops.  A lot of nice silver jewelry stores in the area (I am a sucker for that and bought a ring, Lauren bought earrings).  We walked up to the Plaza Tendillas which is outside of the Jewish Quarter and has more brand name shopping.  We did not spend much time here.

By this time it was time for lunch.  One of the reasons we had decided to spend two nights in Cordoba rather than just do as a daytrip from Seville, was because I had read the food here was amazing.  So, after breakfast I had asked the lady at the front desk what traditional Cordoban foods she recommended and where she thought we should go.  She suggested Tabernas Salinas.  It was a bit of a walk, but soooooo worth it.  We loved this lunch so much we almost considered coming back to Cordoba for a daytrip while we were in Seville just to eat lunch here again – if the cost of the train ride was not so expensive we would have definitely done it!!

We had several regional specialties – salmojero – a thick cold tomato soup with ham and hard boiled egg – so delicious, we licked the bowl clean.  Fried aubergines (eggplant) with honey – so lightly fried, not what we think of heavy fried food here in the states.  Marinated anchovies – I started out by saying I was not going to eat any because I am not a big fan of anchovies but everyone insisted I try. Boy these were good and I ate my fair share.  Lastly ham with melon – again, incredibly delicious melon.  Each one of these dishes was a fairly good size, enough for us all to enjoy, and only 6,90 euro each.  Then we enjoyed deserts of arroz con leche, chocolate cake, and oranges with cinnamon and sugar (a dessert we had enjoyed in Morocco where chocolate and pastries are scarce).

Walked back along the river and crossed the roman bridge with the great views looking back across at the city.

We went back to the hotel and rested up on the rooftop with relaxing sofas and chairs and the most incredible views of the Mezquita.

For dinner we went to Regadera down near the river.

This is a small restaurant with just one “hippie” waiter – and it was excellent.  We had beef carpaccio, tuna tartar and a delicious mussel risotto with octopus carpaccio on top, and lastly the most incredible pork dish I have every eaten.  So, tender and flavorful.   I generally do not like pork, but if it always tasted like this I would eat it all the time.

DAY 5

Woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, packed and then headed to the train station.  There are so many trains each day from Cordoba to Seville that I did not bother to buy train tickets in advance.  We went on the 11:44am train and arrived in Seville about 12:30pm.

Next up four nights in Seville

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2 responses to “Rome 2006”

  1. Melanie says:

    Great blog that I discovered today from your link on the Fodors forum! My husband and I are planning a 2 week trip with my girls who will be 7 and 9 at the time and have options between early April, anytime in July or early October. We are planning to fly into Venice and out of Rome, spending time in Lombardy and Abruzzo in between. Do you have a recommendation for the best time of year weather and crowd wise to travel to Italy given our available options above? Thank you!!

    • Judy Gambee replied: — February 11th, 2016 @ 1:45 am

      Melanie – glad you found the blog – the Fodors forum is an excellent source of information!! With respect to crowds and weather – I would skip July – it will be very hot and very crowded! We have been to Italy four times – twice in late March and twice in June. Our first trip in late March the weather was really great, the second time was pretty rainy – but that had been a rainy year (my daughter had been studying in Rome that semester and she said it rained a lot that year). Our first trip in June was unbearably hot – particularly in Rome. Our second trip in June was nice but then we also stayed in Northern Italy for that trip. I can only imagine that July would be very hot.

      According to historical weather info (I just looked at Rome) it appears that early Oct might be a little warmer than early April but the days are longer in April. I had always heard that Europe in early Oct was a great time to go so we did that for the first time this past Oct (Brussels, Berlin and Budapest) and I have to say it was unusually cold and rainy so I’m a little hesitant to recommend Oct (though apparently that was an anomaly). I think both early April and early Oct will be good for not super big crowds. I’m not sure if you are planning for 2016 or 2017 – just recommend you check when Easter is the year you are going if plan for April. Our first trip we specifically did not want to be there then but our other time in March we were actually in Sorrento on Easter and really enjoyed the festivities!!

      Sounds like you are planning a wonderful trip!!

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