We arrived in Cordoba the night of the 20th, with enough time to go exploring. Our hotel was located on the other side of the river, which gave us a killer view of the city!
Córdoba, also called Cordova, is the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was conquered by invading Muslim armies in the eighth century, and then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula. The new Moorish commanders established themselves within the city and in 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus; in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭubah). It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers.
Reinhardt Dozy wrote:
The fame of Córdoba penetrated even distant Germany: the Saxon nun Hroswitha, famous in the last half of the 10th century for her Latin poems and dramas, called it the Ornament of the World.— Reinhardt Dozy
The city is on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, and its easy access to the mining resources of the Sierra Morena (coal, lead, zinc) satisfies the population’s needs. Córdoba has the warmest summer high temperatures in Spain and Europe with average high temperatures around 37 °C (99 °F) in July and similar heat in August. Córdoba is one of the few cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city – Hamilton, New Zealand.
And with our free time we speedly went towards our favourite past time: helado! We could never eat enough helado. There was never enough time to eat helado. Hunger in hand, we went to La Plaza de las Tendillas to acquire our ice cream and socialize with a few of the locals. It was our first time actually speaking Spanish with the natives and boy were we behind. Not because of the speed alone, but also because of the way they talked. We were accustomed to our teachers pronouncing every syllable for us, but in reality most Spaniards cut down their words. It was an interesting -learning on the spot- experience, to say the least.