Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spain with Kids - Part 4 - Cordoba - The Mezquite & Patio Constest

After our morning coffee (and a couple of ice cream cones for Victor) at Hotel EME, we were off to the train station for a day trip to Cordoba. No more AVE train, but the local train was also very clean, modern and on time. Trains to Cordoba leave approximately every hour and the ride is a little over an hour long so it’s perfect for a day trip.




The main attraction in Cordoba is the Mezquita – a huge Church/Mosque with amazing architecture and historic significance. It is built in an Islamic style, with a courtyard filled with orange trees, and the inside is vast and varied in purpose and style.

We did a tour of the inside during which time Victor was getting a bit bored and ended up falling asleep on Chris’s shoulder but we were actually able to see quite a lot.







After lunch, we set of to explore the area around the Mezquita and found out that the “Patio Contest” festival was taking place that week. During this time many houses open their inside courtyards for visitors and compete for the best-looking courtyard.







It is actually fascinating how Andalusia’s houses are so different from US-style houses where the yard is mostly visible from the street. In Andalusia, most of the time all you see from the street are giant wood doors below the fa├žade of the building. Building are shaped like a hollow square with a patio/yard in the middle. This is where the kids play, the adults chat, flowers are planted and really where social life happens. But these are also reserved only for the building residents so to have them open for viewing was great.



As we strolled through the tiny streets (quite full with locals and tourists) we admired the flowers and the azulejo signs and yes, we did manage to find a flavor of ice cream that we have not seen before so everyone had a good time.

Cordoba with Kids - Things to keep in mind

Cordoba is quite suitable for kids of all ages though be aware that the Mezquita is huge and somewhat crowded and may be boring for younger kids. The streets are also tiny and crowded but many of the streets in the historic part of town are closed to traffic so at least you don’t have to worry about that. If you are bringing a stroller, make sure it is small and sturdy and there are a lot of uneven surfaces, narrow sidewalks and doorways and lots of people. Another thing to note is that Cordoba is quite small and restaurants usually close between 2pm and 5 pm and on Sundays they close around 5 pm for the day.

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