Friday, July 13, 2012

In Cordoba

We are in Cordoba and still trying to decide about the boat. First the Hanse looked like the best option, then we didn't think it was going to work out, now it might. But we also might go to Italy and look at some more boats since that seems to be where all the deals on the good boats are. So everything is STILL up in the air.

We spent a couple of days in Seville, which is not a bad city, although a bit frustrating. The major practical thing that we needed to accomplish was laundry. How hard could it be? Very, apparently! We spent half an hour driving around looking for a laundromat, only to discover later on that the concept of the self-service laundromat has not hit Spain yet. Apparently if you don't have the required appliances at home you have it done professionally--for €40 (approximately $50)! However, when you are so far out of clothes that you have to hit the mall for underwear, you pay it. And it was almost three weeks' worth of clothes, but it still pains me. On the upside, though, we did not have them ironed and they were still so wrinkle-free that I could wear them to work, that is, if I had a job at the moment.

We just tried to go to the Mezquito Cathedral here in Cordoba but got there literally one minute after the ticket office closed and the guard was seized with a fit of very un-Spanish timeliness and refused to let us buy tickets. Then he kicked all of us tourists out of the courtyard at 6:40 in spite of the fact that the stated closing time was 7:00. We went to have a look at the old Roman bridge and now are drowning our sorrows in some very good Sangria.

Next day:  We did see the Mezquito Cathedral but did not have as much time as we would have liked, but that's the way it goes sometimes. However, thanks to my new camera's very large range of ISO, I was able to take some not-bad pictures without using flash. It is unbelievable how much work must have gone into this cathedral and the combination of Christian and Arabic art is fascinating. The Moors (because they were the ones who created most of the Arabic art we've seen) were able to create such intricate designs and inscriptions that it really does boggle the mind. I guess because they were not supposed to make images of human beings they put their energy into design. Contrast that with the Christian emphasis on figures and the combination is truly incredible.

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