One would imagine that Valencia is the place where a good paella valenciana can be found. I did and I was wrong. After having eaten a so-and-so paella on a terrace, late in the afternoon, by cousin asked: ‘So, how long will it take us to get to Cordoba?’ I thought about it for a while and came up with an answer: ‘About 250 kilometres. On the highway that’s piece a cake.’ I opened though, Google maps to confirm it.
Well now, there were 550 kilometres between the two beautiful cities. And we were due in Cordoba that night, as we had a hotel reservation. This doesn’t happen to me very often, to be caught left-handed, but somehow I didn’t have time to plan this trip. So my cousin and I looked at each other, laughed, ordered some coffee and eventually hit the road.
And that was – I may say – one of the coolest roads I’ve drive through: high-speed autovia (120 km/hours the limit), almost rectilineal, with beautiful pink flower bushes between the lanes. If I close my eyes, I can still see that highway, gently climbing the hills… A dream…
That sharply ended at midnight, when we finally arrived to hot Cordoba (40 degrees during the night is hot, right?). We had a reservation at the El Triunfo Hostel next to La Mezquita (Mosque–Cathedral) – at 50 meters.
We had some issues in finding the centre; like any old city, Cordoba’s centre consisted of very narrow streets, now filled with drinking and singing pedestrians, as the White Night of Flamenco ‘Camaron de la Isla’ was on (lucky us!).
After wandering around (an exaggeration, of course, as we were driving a relatively big car for those narrow streets) for about an hour, we finally arrived close to La Mezquita.
Having literary swum amidst the crowd, we stopped near a nice statue, got off the car and asked the kind guardian which way is our hotel. He pointed it out and off we went. It was 50 meters downhill. The reception itself proved that it was worth looking for it, just that the parking advertised on the reservation was – I quote – ‘unavailable, as there is a fashion defile on that street’. So we got back into the car, drove for about 4 km, took a cab back to the hotel and got up to our room.
That kind of boutique hotels I adore, with wrought iron decorations, white walls, Andalucían air and – on top of everything – clean sheets and fluffy towels. When opening the window, we found the walls surrounding La Mezquita at arm length, we sighed. Impressive!
We loved everything about it, the location – right in the middle of the good area –, the restaurants and the terraces nearby. And we also loved the White Night of Flamenco, reminding us of the great Camaron de la Isla. Which proved that a friend of mine was wrong: while in Andalucía, she asked the locals where to find flamenco that is not for tourists.