Monday, February 20, 2017

Cordoba to Torremolinos

Cordoba is often a study in contrasts: Moorish, Christian and Jews. A stroll through the old Juderia (Jewish Quarter) consists of a fascinating network of narrow lanes.
At the centre of the quarter is the Synagogue in Calle de los Judios. one of only three originals remaining in Spain. A Mudéjar construction dating from 1315 was converted to a church in the 16th century and rediscovered in the 19th Century. The interior includes a gallery for women and plaster work with inscriptions from Hebrew psalms and others with plant motifs on the upper part.
Its main beautifully restored wall has a semi-circular arch where a chest with the Holy Scrolls of Law used to be kept.

Maimonides, a Sephardic Jewish Philosopher and Astronomer, was born in Cordoba in 1135 or 1138. A statue of him stands in Plaza Maimonides near the Synagogue. Moshe ben Maimon (his name in Hebrew) became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars and physicians of the middle ages. I did not pass up the opportunity to rub his foot since it is supposedly considered good luck and gains some of his wisdom. 

The ride to Cordoba and to Torremolinos is picturesque with mountains and a hilly landscape packed with olive trees and some almond trees. This photo is an almond tree in bloom. 

Torremolinos is a municipality on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, immediately to the west of the city of Malaga. Once a poor fishing village before the growth in tourism began in the late 1950s, Today it is particularly popular with British, Irish and and Scandinavian tourists and there is also a large British expatriate population living here. A real plus for us English is spoken with menus in English. The weather was in the 60's and oh my, the waves were huge when I took this photo. Not a good boating day but I wondered where the surfers were with some waves maybe as high as 9 feet. The beach, Playa de Playamar, also known as El Retiro, is along the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun). The city beach has dark colored sand and is well visited.

I must say they have a really good handle on the garbage. Garbage goes in these metal containers and goes underground where it is picked up and then recycled into organic material. A morning side trip took us to a small beach town called Mijas Costa in Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It's a typical Spanish village with whitewashed buildings with blue flower pots in facades. The residential life of Mijas Costa is very much 21st century. Holiday rentals available range from small studio apartments for rent to major villa developments with Mediterranean sea and mountain views everywhere.

I loved meandering along the narrow winding streets, checking out the stores and  burro rides.

Exploring the Spanish culinary scene and Malaga.