Hint: I was distracted by the absolute charm of Córdoba that I forgot that my hair was an absolute mess.
My first week in Spain, I discovered the water here was doing all kinds of crazy things with my hair. Plus it is just so damn dry. I’m used to 90% humidity every day. But overwhelmingly, I didn’t really care. I was so busy taking pictures of the sites that I embraced my hippie hair with new vigor.
When first applying to this auxiliar program, I had to choose my top three regions in Spain that I would like to be placed. In the end, I chose two regions in north and Andalusia. Andalusia is so Spanish. And besides maybe Madrid, I think it’s the heart of Spain. Because without the cities, Spain is mostly vast country sides full of farms. When thinking of traditional Spanish culture, it’s definitely Andalusia: olive trees, ham, and flamenco.
When I got my placement and found out it was Córdoba, I was ecstatic. I immediately looked up the city on google and searched for images. I researched about Córdoba for months and got more excited to travel (I was hard core ignoring the fact that I had to work too). I just needed to see.
When I got my school’s address I thought I was in central city Córdoba (rookie mistake). Just kidding dingus, I’m actually an hour outside the city. It took me google mapping the main mosque of Córdoba to my school to realize that I’m not actually in the city, like at all. Córdoba is just the region I’m in…
So with my mom that first weekend in Spain, we did all the touristy things. If I didn’t I would be in my small town anxious, thinking about it. I’m a little bit of a hypocrite because I literally love to do all the touristy things but I hate tourists. All the people that travel in obnoxiously large packs, plugged into headphones, herded like cattle in lines. Just give me a map and let’s wander. But some of the touristy stuff is so special. It’s rich in history and culture, puzzle pieces that tell the narrative of the city.
Plus now that I have seen the more tourist trap stuff I can get to know the real Córdoba. I can get to know the city like a person that lives in a small town an hour outside the city can– mostly on the weekend.
Mezquita de Córdoba
Mosque of Cordoba
Andalusia has such an intense history and the pride of Spain is found in it’s architecture. There isn’t a city in Spain without a grand cathedral. And every has a certain mix of Moorish influence. What’s special about Córdoba is that their main cathedral is also an enormous mosque. After the reconquista, they didn’t destroy the significant building, they (as is the new Catholic Spanish rulers) put a cathedral in center of the mosque. While the alcoves on the edge of the mosque contain altars, it’s the iconic red and white arches that steal the show.
Under Brilliant Blue Skies
Cheers to unwashed, frizzy hair and cheesin with happiness.
Since that first weekend I have just discovered more and more. Not everything is documented either. Photographs can’t capture the taste of freshly baked tostada con tomate. Photographs can’t capture the smell of the Guadalquivir river as roasted chestnuts waft out of woks from street vendors.
So come visit me in Córdoba. You still have five months! Fly half way around the world and spend the money you don’t have. I am a firm believer in travel and what better time than the present?
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