I have neglected writing about my travels in Spain for a while! October was pretty busy for me… but I’m back! I hope you all have a Happy Halloween and All Saints Day/Día de los Muertos!
I went on an organized day trip with my program (Academic Programs International) to Córdoba the day after the Wig Party, and that day marked a significant moment for us: March 16, 2012 = the first time any of the Americans had seen RAIN since we had arrived in Spain! And when it rains, it POURS.
The day started out overcast, and we went to the ruins of a Moorish city called Medina Azahara just outside of Córdoba. The ruins were really cool! The Moors were a highly intelligent bunch; they even had a pretty advanced plumbing system (check out the 2nd picture: the “toilet” was a hole in the ground, but underneath was impressive plumbing). Also, there were these adorable hairy caterpillars EVERYWHERE. Not exaggerating. The guide said that if we had arrived a week prior, we would have seen the walls completely covered in caterpillars! We enjoyed exploring the ruins, but the sky soon parted and the drops started falling. We weren’t able to stay because there was nowhere to take shelter. Having been caught off guard by this completely foreign concept of water falling from the sky (What? It actually rains in Spain? Crazy!), no one had thought to bring an umbrella, so those who had scarves used them to protect their heads. I am so glad I had brought mine! We ran right back to the bus and headed off to Córdoba.
I think the rain put a damper on everyone’s spirits (we got over the excitement of actually seeing rain fairly quickly), because the general consensus was feeling unimpressed with Córdoba itself. This might have also been because we were comparing it to Sevilla, and both cities are extremely similar: mudejar-style architecture with intricate details, great tapas, charming mazes of cobblestone streets and narrow alleys, Andalusian cities sitting on the Guadalquivir River, a rich cultural history, etc. Córdoba even has a tower that looks almost exactly like La Giralda! All of these things are wonderful, of course, but for us it was like Córdoba was Sevilla’s twin, and we were meeting her for the first time when she was sick with a cold. However, it didn’t stop us from appreciating the minor differences! One of my favorite observations was that some of its street names were very creative and displayed that lovely Spanish humor.