El Castillo de los Reyes Christianos

             The ILT (AKA GPS) got us to Córdoba fine. It’s very good with its gross motor skills. However, once there, it took us down “streets” that made the roadways of Arriate look huge. The tires of our tiny Clio scrubbed the curbs of these two way streets.
            We found a parking spot—somehow with few problems once we got to the real roadways and set off to find the Mezquita. I asked—people told me to walk through the arcos, turn derecho or derecha—two distinctly different meanings and voilà. Or I should say hay usted.
            We wandered through arcos and little streets and asked once more.
            “Vaya por los arcos…”
Those words were spoken at the speed of light, so I understood only the hands. I have learned the language of hands well.
We walked through another arch, and before us spread what I thought was the Mesquita. It cost less to enter than guidebook said the Mezquita should and it certainly didn’t match the descriptions.
Had we seen the Castle after the grand cathedral of Córdoba, I would have thoroughly enjoyed every square inch and lingered throughout the afternoon—but anxiousness to see the former mosque took away the glory of this old castle.
A fortress, today almost a perfect square, had sat here since Roman times—and it grew to serve the purpose of various dynasties. Its final design settled in 1327 under the reign of Alfonso XI.  However, the gardens demonstrate the Arab influence. They reminded me of the Alhambra, only more impeccably maintained. Ponds and fountains, flowers and trees, all made this an exquisite experience—one not to miss.
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