So today will look a little bit different, as we’re splitting the day between two cities. We spent all morning in Cordoba, but we’re currently in the train station getting ready to head to Madrid, so there will be no Cordoba day 2 evening post. Instead, you’ll see Madrid day 1 evening with no morning post!
The first place we stopped was the Caliphate Baths. Back before people had showers in their houses, they went to public baths to clean up and socialize. These were important community centers and you could tell how powerful and wealthy a city was by how many baths it had. Cordoba actually used to be the biggest city in the world (back during the Islamic era in about 700-1200) and had hundreds of baths! This one belonged specifically to the Caliphate, the Muslim ruler of the city, so it was especially nice.
It was divided into 3 rooms depending on what temperature you wanted: a cold room, a warm room, and a hot room. This is a corner of the warm room – note the painting still left at the top of some of the columns and the star shaped skylights!
Ancient plumbing for the baths – you can still see some of the ceramic pipes they used!
Then it was off to the Catholic Kings era, which began in the 1200s. This is the palace they built when they took over the city! Some of the walls and towers are still in good enough shape to be visited.
The building itself is very small, but it has a beautiful collection of ancient Roman mosaics dating back to at least 100 BC. This one tells part of the story of Psyche and Eros.
The gardens, however, are huge! They were so beautiful too with all the flowers in bloom scenting the air and the fountains and pools trickling away happily.
Our last order of business was another carriage ride! Can’t be helped – if you could ride in a house drawn carriage through Europe, wouldn’t you?
And again we got to go past monuments that we didn’t even know existed this time, like the ruins of this ancient Roman temple!
We have about 25 minutes before the train gets here, and then we’ll be off to Madrid!