We spent two nights in Cordoba and this is while it was still really hot in Southern Spain. We were walking a lot and kept hoping things would cool off a bit.
We had no problem finding our hotel, the EXE Conquistador and if our GPS hadn't taken us the wrong way down a one way street it would have been perfect. My husband was a little confused when the police asked him to turn the car around. But he was just getting ready to enter the hotel parking so they told him to go ahead and back up and pull into the parking. They were very friendly.
The hotel is right next to the Mezquita and our small balcony faced it. It was fun to watch the processions from there and here is where we saw our first night procession. Nice location to watch what was happening above the crowds on the street.
We visited and spent quite a bit of time in the Mezquita and walked all over the historic part of Cordoba and Juderia. We visited the Calleja de Flores, which wasn't exactly spectacular. Cute street with geraniums in pots. Lots of tourists. I guess the street is well written up in Fodors or other travel books. Not a big deal except that in the beginning we had a hard time to find it.
We walked across the Roman Bridge and had a drink on the other side. It is a beautiful city but we could probably appreciated it more if it was a little cooler. We seemed to have more trouble keeping track of where we were but of course asking directions to the Mezquita, which was right next to our hotel made it a little easier to find our way home.
Our last night after watching an early evening night procession from our balcony around 8 pm we headed for dinner. My husband, who loves to eat on vacation, had seen one restaurant that he wanted to return to for dinner for seafood pasta. He had such a craving. He was sure he could find it. I must have been a little tired and so I left without my map. We finished dinner after 10 and with directions from the people at the restaurant headed for our hotel. Somehow we managed to get ourselves into the middle of a procession. There were no side streets to duck into and we were on a very very narrow street. Of course the night processions have lots of candles and incense, especially right in front of the float and that is where we were. We backed into the doorway of a closed shop to let the float by and suddenly got trapped behind about 4 layers of people making way. The float picked this spot to stop and allow the carriers under the float to take a break and have some water. It must have been unbearable under the float. It was really really hot and they were stopped for quite a while. I am really claustrophobic and had to get out from behind the crowd. I thought I was going to pass out....no exaggeration. We pushed our way out as gracefully as possible and tried to make an exit behind the float while the parade was stopped.
Following the float was a large band and I got trapped standing on the little 6 inch ledge on the side of the very very narrow street as the procession started to move. And then it stopped again and the band started playing right beside me. The cymbals player was right in front of me and we he clanged them together they almost touched me. The big drums were just in front and when they pounded my head almost blew off.
The procession finally moved and we got out and after cutting into a couple of side streets and asking directions to the Mezquita a few more times we finally got back to our hotel.
Make no mistake we understand we are in Spain and this is their Easter celebration and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We also tried very hard not to be rude and disrupt the procession but it was a pretty frightening feeling of closeness with the extreme heat and all the incense and was burning.
I think everyone should realize what a huge celebration Semana Santa is in Southern Spain and how it can really effect your travel plans. I am not 100% sure if we had it to do over that we would travel to Spain during that time. At the same time we are pretty pleased now that we got to experience it. After all that is what travel is about I think.
After that we agreed that if we saw any sign of a procession coming on the street we were on, we would turn around and go the other way.
We paid close attention when we were out to keep track of where the processions were going to be.
I gave my husband a pretty hard time at the end because we went through all that because he was in the mood for Seafood pasta.
I guess things like this make for the travel stories you never forget.