“Gosh! Only 5 more minutes left” screamed my heart so loud that I bet, my friend and my co-traveler could have heard it clear. I was so very late to catch my train to Cordoba. Sitting inside a bus in Seville, one of the most beautiful Andalusian city, I was observing the daily life happening in a different continent. Watching with curiosity how people stood in a queue to get into the bus, how they said good bye to each other, how they have to just swipe their tickets, how they need to press the button to get down in a stop, I did not realize how 4 minutes went by. It seemed very long and I could not help but to wonder how I explored this entire city just by walk the previous day. Suddenly I glanced at my watch and panic struck. Show time over baby, only one minute left. Just when I was thinking that I am going to miss the train, the bus halted at Santa Justa Train station. I jumped from the bus and ran to the station waving my arms and legs in the air as if the train driver in the underground can see me and can stop the train. I sprinted into the station and checked the platform number. Train is gonna leave in 5 seconds. Just before I can literally fly down the stairs and perform my most embarrassing fall ever in a different continent, I glanced at the clock. No, it can’t be! There is still 5 minutes left! How? Ah, yes, I never realized that I had set time in my wrist watch 5 minutes faster.Thanking the heavens for my incredible luck, I climbed down the stairs like a boss to smoothly enter inside the train. With a desire to explore Cordoba, with a reason to inspire outside world about Cordoba, thus began my dramatic trip to Cordoba.
Cordoba was not a small city like I imagined. Quite well developed city and neat infrastructure. There is no trouble to get around. To observe the city to the fullest, we had decided to walk. The busy morning time had just started and people were moving fast. The huge streets were not much different but as I walked by, a beautiful park began to spread on the other side of the road and I followed along. Walking in the street was a delight, enjoying the sun and breathing fresh air. The roads became calm,less vehicles when I started to get a glimpse of a fort like structure “Puerta del Almodova”. There were many open restaurants on the side. The posters of “Cruji Croques” were alluring. Driven by the beauty of the restaurant than the hunger , I picked a seat near a fountain and sat down thinking about the day ahead. Being a vegetarian, I never had any problem for food around Spain. Instead, it had proven to be a culinary heaven. In next few minutes, I had the best fettucini pasta in my entire life!! Thanking the waiter with a generous tip, we proceeded to explore the city. We took the path along the cairuan street only to discover, to my utter astonishment, what I had always dreamed of Europe. White washed walls, cobble stoned street and flowers hanging from the houses. It was such a visual treat to eyes and I never wanted to leave that place. Every turn and and every lane had the same set up and makes you think that you have entered in a different world.
Relishing in this beauty , we took a small detour in Synagogue and then visited Caballerizas Reales de Cordoba, the stable for Royal horses. We chanced upon a training session of horses and could not stop from getting impressed. The horses were so majestic and so shiny and we spent sometime watching them getting trained. There are few shows in the night with the horses, riders and flamenco dancers for 15 euros which is worth a visit and utterly mesmerizing.
Having visited the Alcazar in Seville, I could not wait to see the palace of Cordoba “Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos”. We were greeted by beautiful gardens and took a small trip around the palace. This place was so rich with history and you will be spell bound with its magnanimity. While I was rewinding the history in my mind, I stumbled upon a very handsome portrait of King Alfonso XIII and I could not stop blushing. Before my face becomes a twin of red tomato, I quickly entered, yes again, a garden. One of the most wonderful and vast garden that you can see yet very well maintained housing a huge variety. I was very fascinated by the Orange trees that was everywhere and the garden smelled of those big fat Orange fruits. I felt like being in Orchard heaven. Friendly gardeners were picking the fruits and offered some to the kids. Later, everytime I was sipping an orange juice in Spain, I only remembered this.The whole place looked like a beautiful painting and there was beauty at every inch. I took a stroll in the garden capturing everything in my camera and there it was! Magnificient statues of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle with Christopher Columbus.Ferdinand is today best known for his role in inaugurating the discovery of the New World, since he and Isabella sponsored the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. I felt goosebumps to realise where this history has led to us today.
Cordoba is so rich with history and it was reconfirmed from our visits to Mezquita and the roman bridge. Taking a stroll along the River Guadalquivir, I went in quest of Calles de Flores or the street of flowers. Since the time I saw the pictures of this little lane in internet, the romantic girl in me chose Cordoba over everything. Within few minutes of my quest, I found the treasure stretching in front of me, a beautiful narrow lane with clean white walls beautified by flowers hanging from blue coloured pots like a crown on a queen. Tourists lined up to take pictures of the lane, have their own pictures clicked, helping solo travelers to click their pictures, young couples waiting for the crowd to clear so that they can share a brief kiss under those flowers. The whole place radiated romance. Carefully avoiding being in the background of a perfect photo for fellow tourists, we walked outside that lane just to discover a small patio with flower vases hanging around a door. There is no end for the charm around this place. Still smitten by the charm of what I had just witnessed, I finally managed to get out from there.
It was late in the evening and we headed towards the train station to catch our train to Seville. All the way I was admiring how my floral shoes looked in contrast to the dried brown leaves on the cobble stoned streets like a cute-meet between Spring and Autumn. While we were engrossed in watching the city in evening, we conveniently lost our way to the station. Helpful as the people are in Spain, they guided us. They also apologized for nable to guide only in Spanish and not in English (they really don’t have to apologise!!) What impressed me even more was , we asked a girl for the direction who was walking towards us. Clearly she was headed in the direction opposite to us. When we asked for help, she not only guided the route but also came along with us all the way till the station building was visible and can be managed by ourselves. I cannot thank this stranger enough who walked to us to the station which is on the other side of where she had to go.
Once inside the station, I remembered my morning stunts and how eventful this trip was. With 1000 pictures in my camera, with 1000 memories in my heart, I bid good bye to Cordoba hoping to see it someday again in YOUR stories.