11.07.2013 - 17.07.2013
Onto the next journey, because we obviously haven't done or seen enough We traveled about 2 hours from Malaga to Cordoba. The mission was to see the legendary Great Mosque of Cordoba & my oh my, was it worth it! The architecture was breathtaking everywhere your eyes landed! From the marble floors to the intricate pillars that were made up of pieces of the previous Roman Temple, to the magnificent ceilings! You do not have to be a religious person to admire the sheer beauty of this place. We walked around finding more & more to look at. I really can't say more since words can not do it justice. The pictures will speak for themselves. When it was time to go, the streets were more than enough to keep us entertained. They were filled with people out looking for souvenirs, cafes or just walking. Saw a wedding procession, including a dapper gentleman on a horse. Its so interesting to see how similar but yet how different the villages or cities are from each other; they offer just enough variety to keep you satisfied. I am happy to have been able to have made this excursion. We played in this quaint water fountain square area, where the kids took off their shoes & walked from end to end. I sat on the edge & put my feet in. Such refreshing cool water; the floor bottom was all beautiful rocks & flowered bushes surrounded. We ate at a pretty little restaurant, where we dined on Spanish ham, cheese, fruit, nuts, pork tenderloin & salad- which I enjoy for its simplicity but its characteristic tuna topping. We watched a man make some pottery & be taken in by his skill. I wanted to buy everything in Cordoba & then I realized I have a 50lb weight limit on my checked bag... :p
My next Spanish bucket list item was the aquarium or so we thought. Traveled on the train to Benalmadena for this excursion-about 20 mins from Malaga. The train station happened to be in a central location of local shopping, eating & walking. I think its pretty cool to see how different cities, states, let alone countries differ in zoos/aquariums, especially since we all have different creatures. So the closest thing to an aquarium I found was the delfinarium or dolphinarium. So its basically like a zoo similar to Sea World. There were dolphins swimming in a pool before we had the joy of watching them perform tricks in the water & air. Also saw seal lions perform some cute & corny tricks. By the way the BEST part of the show by the sea lions or dolphins, was the FANTASTIC music playing during the show. It was either high energy dance music OR Celine Dion! Either way it made it more enjoyable We walked around & saw turtles, crocodile-like caimans, squirrel monkeys, piranhas & penguins. The squirrel monkeys were super small & cute in a "stop looking at me like I have the Ebola virus" way :-) I took pictures as some unruly boys tried to give them a water bottle & I was sure there would be footage of them biting I should capture...but no. I was easily amused entering the Reptile house since surprise! there are 3 bats that were hanging above us & nothing in between us. We watched the bird show which was very fun since the birds made their own entrances by flying over head of the audience in an outdoor area. They had a little obstacle course above us to climb & fly from. They did little tricks & talked about their place of origin or other interesting facts. In the midst of the parrots & cockatoos, a porcupine was introduced. That was awesome because they showed him load up his quills for shooting which was cool to hear & see!
There are MANY museums in Malaga & sometimes I end up running into a few of them randomly. Not all are interesting to me so I got a museum map & planned on checking a few out. Since I walked past it & had seen a few signs for the temporary collection taking place, decided to go to the Carmen Thyssen museum. The permanent art was traditional Spanish works of the people, land & traditions. The temporary collection was from Julio Romero de Torres who was from Cordoba & regarded as one of the most popular painters of Spanish history. I was alarmed to find a woman taking pictures in one of the galleries. Turns out you were allowed to take pictures without a flash. This was not the case in the Picasso museum...So now I can share with you these paintings. Also on this trek, I found El Teatro Romano- The Roman Theater. This ancient ruin lies at the foot of the Alcazaba fortress & was built in the first century BC. It was used until third century AD & left to ruin until the Moors settled in Andalucia. It was discovered in 1951 when excavation for a garden was taking place & since 2011 has been used for actual performances. Just goes to show you about the wonderful things we find when we're looking for something else :-) Interesting find!
And then in between cafes & restaurants, I found a black cat friend...