Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cordoba mosque revisited

My second day in Cordoba was less dismal – the first day being so sad at the loss of so much history and beauty with the Cordoba mosque. Walking first across the bridge to the Tower I was able to listen to an English commentary of the historical displays relating the history and more importantly the philosophy involved in the development of Cordoba and some of its scholars. It was also fascinating to learn that Al Mesquita was itself built on an existing Visigothic church, as apparently Abdur Rahman I settled in Cordoba when it was controlled by the Visigoths who agreed to lease part of their church – including Roman ruins – to him.

Medinat Al Zahra

Today I visited Medinat al Zahra – the excavated city built in the tenth century and later buried only to be discovered in the early 1900’s. This was the most well organised and pleasant tour so far with a very friendly guide who alternated effectively between English and Spanish for his customers. A large air conditioned bus took us from Cordoba city to the large parking area at the base of the excavated city. Comprising over 100 hectares of which only one tenth has been excavated, the excavating team has constructed a museum some distance from the recovered site in order to allow for continued excavation over the years. An excellent video presents an animated explanation of the history of Medinat al Zahra, with interactive displays visually highlighting the existing topography alongside

Travelling to Spain

The trip to Madrid was quite long – definitely plane travel would have been quicker for some parts and less expensive. However it was certainly quite an experience. (Woah! Unbelievably my 3 dongle on this fast train is picking up a roaming network and allowing me to connect to the internet.) The trip from London to Paris was amazingly quick and brought me into the heart of Paris. Paris I have to say was quite a disappointment. The place looked tired, not just old but decaying, and uncared for. I had to catch the metro to another station across town – my fellow