Spain Motorcycle Tour - Day 5 - Cordoba rest day
From: Cordoba Via: Medinat Al-Zahra To: Cordoba Distance: 8 miles Sunday, 30th August
A rest day today, with plenty of time to explore Cordoba and the surrounding area. As we're staying in a nice hotel we started the day with a classy breakfast, aka something other than ham and cheese.
As we are tourists for the day, we picked out a place from the guidebook only a few miles from Cordoba and headed out, two up on the Explorer.
Median Al-Zahra (Medina Azahara) is only four miles out of town, and is the ancient ruins of a city build by the Califfa from 963 to 941.
About 4 miles outside of Cordoba the entry to the complex is via a beautiful modern architecture museum.
After a walk around the museum and a 20 minute video to introduce the history of the place we left the sanctuary of the air-conditioned museum and headed up to the ruins via a short bus ride. We spent about 40 minutes walking around the ruins in the sweltering heat - skipping from shaded area to shaded area on the mostly exposed hillside.
At lunch time we headed back into town, stopping for a sneaky Mcdonald's on the way. After lunch we parked the bike at the hotel, cooled down and then walked into Cordoba to see one of the main tourist attractions, the Mezquita, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.
We walked through the orangery and entered the cathedral itself. The place is stunning with its arcaded hall with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. At the same time the buildings a slightly odd mix of Catholic gaudiness and excess, and the fairly plain but enormous mosque.
After the cultural experience, we walked the back streets, sat and relaxed over beers and headed to the restaurant with the best Google/TripAdvisor review. It was closed so we found a delightful little roof-top restaurant 'Casa Pepe' where we had a great meal and a view of the Mezquita Bell Tower.
It's back on the road tomorrow, as we continue the journey South.