Day Trippin’

One of the reasons we selected Sevilla as the location for a week long stay is because it is located near several other interesting sites or cities, and that makes it a perfect place to launch a day trip. Out the door in the morning, hop a train, see the sites, come back in time for dinner.

With Cordoba in Cordoba
The train trip to Cordoba was one of two surprises this day. It was a medium distance train, and if you’ve ever ridden the local trains they don’t move all that fast. I figured we’d be just putt putting along. Boy was I wrong. Even though it wasn’t an “AVE” fast train, it sped along at 160kph. The cost was about what a tank of gas would cost if we were in a car. Faster AND cheaper than car travel. I sure wish we had something similar at home.

To Arms Cordoba

Our main destination in Cordoba was the Mezquita, the mosque. It was the second and bigger surprise. Well, it wasn’t  just a surprise, it was a STUNNER! Liz shared what I could expect, but it didn’t prepare me.

The Mezquita is an amazing building that took my breath Mosqueaway. Built over several generations in 700s by the Moors, it could hold 40,000 people for prayer. I took a bunch of  photos, but they don’t come close to capturing the scale and sheer awesomeness of the structure. Rich colors, incredible pillars and tile work, and dozens and dozens and more dozens of gorgeous red and white arches holding the ceiling and roof up, and inside it several parts converted to Christianity. After the Christian drove out the Moors, they converted it to a cathedral. Now it has elements of both. According to my Spanish Expert Companion, in Cordoba, the Moors, Christians and Jews all lived in harmony. Maybe that’s why the Chrisitans didn’t tear it down when they re-conquered Iberia. That “living in harmony” thing is needed these days too.

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue…

The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were the ships that Cristobal Colon sailed on his voyage to the New World. We visited the port city of Huelva where in a little lagoon, moored up to docks, are three full size replicas of them. These were built from period appropriate plans and are constructed just like the originals. Huelva is the port from which Columbus sailed. Liz and I will both be teaching Spanish History- me about the explorers in fourth grade, and Liz high school Spanish about Spain. This day trip was a fun way to make this a little more real for us and later for our students. We were able to walk aboard the ships and nose around above and below decks, and of course, take some photos to share. My take away- these boats were small, cramped and crude, and the men who sailed them were truly courageous to tackle the largest oceans in the world on such flimsy little vessels.

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