Where’s the sun? We’ve come to Spain and it’s flipping cold and wet. What’s going On? Our friends have gone on holiday to Yorkshire and they are posting better photographs with blue skies and sunshine, all we seem to be finding is snow and grey skies and it’s freezing…
We’ll head south, there’s got to be better weather south surely? Phil keep texting us with updates on weather (they are down in southern Spain) he is saying it’s getting better by the weekend. Ok weekend here I come.
We’ve left Palencia behind and travelled onto Aranjuez, unfortunately we had a few issues on the way and didn’t get to the site until about 4pm, then it started to rain. I can imagine that this is a lovely site in the summer sunshine but on a cold and wet October night all we wanted to do was hunker down.
They certainly take their Halloween seriously over here. The site was dressed ready for a big party on Wednesday night.
The town is famous for the Royal Palace and Gardens. It is the summer retreat for the Spanish royal family. I wish we could have had a little more time as the gardens looked amazing from the pictures we saw. But again you need a nice day to wander around.
Next morning we head for Cordoba, on the bus. It’s still quite cold and grey when we set off so hats and scarves are the order of the day.
Strategically located on the north bank of the Guadalquivir River, Cordoba was Spain’s capital during Roman and Moorish times. Today its old quarter and famous Mezquita (mosque) are one of Spain’s most beautiful remnants from the Moorish era.
We wandered through the labyrinthine of cobblestone streets around the Jewish Quarter and the old city walls. We stopped and had lunch in a local taverna before heading for the Alcazar Palace.
Built by Alfonso XI in 1328, the Alcazar is a Mudejar style palace with splendid gardens. The palace is really more of a fortress, bare bones and built for military usage but the museum is still interesting.
Notably, this is where the Catholic Monarchs (Isabella + Ferdinand) held court in the 15th century and launched their conquest of Granada. The most important sights are the Hall of the Mosaics (from what we saw and read the enormous mosaic on the wall was excavated from one of the piazzas, then reassembled in the Hall, ‘a-maze-zing’) and a Romans stone sarcophagus from the 2nd or 3rd century. However, We thought the gardens were the true highlight here!
The patios and gardens are planted with cypresses, orange trees, sweet smelling jasmine and myrtles. The sound of water resonated at every turn, there are pools which hold koi carp and others for decoration with dancing fountains surrounded by colourful marigolds at this time of year.
The sun had come out for us for most of the day and it had warmed up considerably, but as we left the palace and Gardens, dark clouds once again loomed overhead and we were just about lucky to get back to the bus station in time before once again the heavens opened.