Our Home Away from Home: Córdoba

After enjoying so many sights in Toledo, it was hard to say goodbye to the historic city on Thursday morning.  But, we have a lot more to see! After the four-hour drive we arrived in Córdoba and finally met the families we will be staying with for the rest of our time here. It was so great to meet them! Each of us went home for lunch, and once there I met so many family members that I’m still working on getting the names right. They are all very welcoming, and I appreciated their patience as I became more used to their Andalusian accent.

After lunch, each family showed us the way to the Academia Hispanica from our houses. Each of us live fairly close to the center of town and soon we were all together again and ready for a little tour of Córdoba, led by Marisol-one of the Academy teachers who will be teaching us next week. She brought us to the main plaza, called la Plaza de las Tendillas, and one of the interesting things about it is that the plaza clock tower uses guitar strumming instead of bell chimes to mark each hour. The streets leading off of this plaza are lined with unique stores and they were filled with people meandering around. Our tour brought us all around this area, and over to the San Basilio neighborhood, which is famous for their traditional appearance and courtyard gardens. Even though it was late, we were able to step inside one of these courtyards and glimpse at the dedication the tenants put into their courtyards.

 After our exploration we returned to the center of town and had a delightful dinner at the Mercado Victoria. The market is made up of around twenty food options organized by type or country. If you ever have a chance to eat there, I definitely recommend the nachos, empanadas, and Arabic food, which are all amazing. After this we all went home to sleep and recharge for the day ahead.

Friday began with breakfast at home, and at my house my ‘mom’ spread out all sorts of breakfast options on the table since she wasn’t sure what we usually eat for breakfast in the US. After convincing her I couldn’t possibly eat any more, I walked over to the Academy to meet the others. Luckily, no one got lost on the way to the Academy! We soon began our walk to our next tour location—la Mezquita! This amazing landmark is the third largest mosque in the world, and the center of it contains a cathedral built once after the Christian conquest of the city. Construction began in 785, although many pillars and materials are older since pieces of an even older basilica were used for the construction. La Mezquita is the most visited destination in Spain, and for very good reason.

After our tour, we had the rest of the afternoon free until a tapas tour for dinner. I’m writing this blog during this afternoon, and I’m sure dinner will be wonderful. If these past few days have showed me anything, it’s that Córdoba has so many interesting places to discover. Little by little, I am familiarizing more with this lovely city, and over the next few weeks I am excited to see as much as I can of what it offers!

La Mezquita, or the Mosque, is the biggest mosque in Spain!
The Plaza de las Tendillas is the main plaza of Córdoba. The statue in the middle depicts Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, "El Gran Capitán," a military commander from the 15th century. 
Above is the Academia Hispanica of Córdoba where we will begin classes on Monday!