Once a capital of Islamic Spain and western Europe’s biggest, most cultured city, Cordoba is today a laid-back, charming Andalusian city that has lots of things to offer. While unraveling the new is always fun, Cordoba with kids taught me that sometimes it would be better to play it safe. Now that I think about it the visit taught me much more…
Plan more time to spend in Cordoba with kids
If I could go back in time and plan our trip again, this is the change I would make. I’d make us spend more time in this ancient city in the Spanish region of Andalucia.
Wherever we go, I always swear that we won’t rush. I suck at keeping promises.
As we walked down the cobbled streets of Cordoba and I took in the maze of whitewashed buildings decorated with bright flowers, I heard my flip flops make the sound that resembled that woman from GOT. I swear I heard them chant: ‘Shame. Shame…’ Shame that I thought a few measly hours will do in a city as enchanting as this.
See a Flamenco show
I thought about booking tickets for a Flamenco show. For exactly 5 seconds before discarding the idea of making my girls sit through something that must last awhile. The girls love dance, but they love plenty of things for 15 minutes before they inform me they are bored.
Thank you Cordoba, for showing me, I was wrong.
Heading to the most famous site in Cordoba, the reason why most tourists, us included flock to Cordoba – Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral, we heard music. It was the unmistakable sound of the Flamenco guitar.
‘Where’s it coming from,’ I wondered as I turned around trying to figure it out.
We abandoned peeking into the lavish patios of the houses that are open to the public because it was the courtyard festival (which takes place around May 1). The courtyards are amazing with little wells, flowers, fountains and lots of stone. They must provide a perfect hideaway in the hot Summer months.
Following the sound of music we found ourselves completely by chance at a large courtyard. There was a party going on with mostly locals, who were eating, drinking and watching groups of Flamenco dancers take stage and perform.
My kids were mesmerized. So were we, as we sat on the hot pavement. We enjoyed the dresses, the exquisite movements, the sadness of the songs, the unyielding voices and the silky sound of the guitar strings…
Note to self: Next time don’t relay on chances, book a show.
More to Cordoba than Mezquita Mosque Cathedral
The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is probably the most significant monument in the whole of the western Muslim World and one of the most amazing buildings in the world. It was once a Mosque now a Cathedral.
Either way the mixture of influences inside is just exceptional and a bit of a lesson how well we all function together when we deliver our very best.
The admission is 10 Euros for adults (so worth it) while kids under 10 are free. It’s open from 10 to 6 pm. Good to know: you can buy tickets at the machines where there’s usually less of a queue.
Words, at least mine, don’t do this place justice. I’ll be quiet and share a photo:
But I wish I had planned to see more in Cordoba besides this. Like:
- The Alcázar (castle) of Cordoba – we were too late, they already closed by the time we made it there.
- Walk around the Jewish Quarter.
- Visit more Patios – it never gets enough.
- Palacio de Viana, etc…
Don’t be like me – go to the official website of Cordoba and get more info on exploring Cordoba.
Maybe skip the soup
I love to try local food. Scratch that I love to try food. I love food. I love to eat. And when we travel, I convince myself I should have all the food that I want, since I am walking – hence burning calories and it’s part of exploring a new place. (the best part actually)
Sometimes though, as I’ve learned in Cordoba I should stick to what I know.
We were famished by the time we finished sightseeing. We cruised around the restaurants like hawks searching for an empty table. Finally, plopping down we tried to make sense of the menu.
My Spanish is fine for ordering coffee. Our entire trip I drank coffee with milk instead of my regular cappucino just because I enjoyed leaning towards the waiter and ordering: Un cafe con leche por favor. I felt as if I’ve recited the collected works of Neruda.
However my Spanish was of little help with serious food like meat and other veggies that are not potatoes.
On top of that confusion, I decided to try a local soup. Cold. Tomato. Soup. Not gazpacho – but something similar, called Salmorejo Cordobés. With hard-cooked eggs, serrano ham and crusty bread.
It was not savory – is how I would now describe this delicacy to you.
Then however, I was screaming (deep, deep inside, because the kids were watching): ‘Vomit inducing mush that will haunt me forever’. On the outside, I continued scooping it with the spoon, smile plastered on my face, telling my kids: ‘Yummy. This is delicious. Who wants to try some? Remember, how we talked about trying new things?’
Hey, maybe they’d like it. No such luck.
The moment I went past my gag reflex and counted how many spoons of this I have left, I was sorry for every time I told my kids those stupid things: ‘It’s good for you. You can’t just eat bread….’
Says who, in that moment I thought bread was the best thing ever.
Mentally slapping myself, I told myself to fake it, because: ‘If you teach your kids something, make sure you set the best example or you lose all the credibility. On everything. So eat the damn soup.’
Next time in Cordoba with kids don’t order it.