Slow travel, photography and good veggie eats
The festival of Los Patios Córdoba was the main reason that I scheduled my trip to Granada for May. As I am sure many of you know, I adore flowers and gardens yet live in a city – this festival is the ultimate celebration of flower filled colour in an urban setting! Every year home owners in Córdoba compete for the best Patio – or indoor courtyard filled to the brim with flowers cascading down the walls in brightly coloured flowerpots. It is an exceptional sight and one I was really excited to experience.
I was hoping to get to Córdoba mid-week to avoid the throngs of the weekend but the weather had other plans with thunderous rain and storms prevailing for the entire week. On the Saturday the clouds cleared and the sun soaked up all memories of the storm so I booked a place on an Alsa bus and trundled along with the rest of Spain to Córdoba.
I really got this trip wrong – having met some lovely girls on the bus from Granada – we all made our way to the famous Mezquita first to experience its crazy, muddled religious spectacle. However, Córdoba is far more traditional than Granada and everything really does close for siesta in the middle of the day when the sun is at its most fierce – including Los Patios! The cooler morning air was the time to view the patios – while the crowds were still arriving – leaving the admiration of the cool inner sanctum of the Mezquita for siesta as it is one of the few museums that stays open during that time.
Food in Córdoba
I had my trusty Lonely Planet guide to Andalucia by my side and the one food experience I was dying to try was the famous tortilla from Casa Santos at the foot of the Mezquita. During my short time in the fast moving queue I saw two batches of the huge tortilla cakes delivered into the waiting display case. I ordered a tortilla and a cool beer and found a handy spot on the plinth that surrounds the Mezquita to perch while eating my lunch – delicious!
Later in the day we visited the cool arches of the Royal Stables which housed a traditional Andalucian food market. It was pure sensory overload – my stomach, eyes and pocket simply couldn’t come to a unanimous decision so in the end I went for a tasty and refreshing plump prawn salad while the girls indulged in the sinful pleasure of exceptionally chocolatey cronuts. We took our spoils to the sunny courtyard and relaxed under the shade of the heady scented orange trees. Thankfully we were not under the tree where a giant orange decided it was time to cut loose – narrowly missing a young girl enjoying lunch with her mother – those big, juicy oranges could do some serious damage on impact!
Los Patios Córdoba
Such were the crowds for los patios in the afternoon that I managed to catch a nasty bout of sunstroke while waiting in the queues – should have worn a hat!
We only managed to get to the top of one queue for a patio before they closed for the evening but the highlight was a little patio nearby that was serving refreshments and was less manicured and far more beautiful. That is the type of courtyard I would love – rustic, a little water feature, cobbled courtyard, old windows and an avery in the corner – it was simply blissful!
Córdoba is just stunning and I feel like my day trip thought me just the right amount for my next trip back for next years Los Patios:
- Visit the Mesquita during the hight of the summer sun and get the guide – it really enhances the experience.
- Do not drink beer in that type of sun – it is too dehydrating – drinking is for after the sun goes down!
- Wear a sun hat (seems obvious now!) and bring a big bottle of water.
- Visit Los Patios mid week and preferable in the morning before siesta – the opening times are very limited and the queues can be long so be prepared.
- You can get a lovely map of where all the patios are free of charge from the lovely helpful staff at the Tourist centre which is located behind the Mezquita just to the left of the bridge.
See you there next year – I’ll be the one in the huge hat!
Los Patios Córdoba Gallery
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