After exploring Madrid, we decided to rent a car and travel with Judy to explore Andalucía. The first day, we drove all the way to Sevilla, stopping once along the way for a quick walk in Córdoba's historic center. Within minutes of stepping onto Córdoba's beautifully-paved streets, we were well aware that we entered an entirely different atmosphere than the one we'd come to know in Madrid. The houses were whitewashed, the streets lined with orange trees, and the Moorish influence on the culture could be felt everywhere. We gradually made our way to La Mezquita, upon Bethany's recommendation, along the way stopping to enjoy the varied architecture, including an old stable that was busily preparing for a show on Andalucian horses.
Within forty-five minutes, we had reached La Mezquita, famous for its red and white arches, and transitory history - starting out as pagan temple, which became a mosque, which became (and remains) a cathedral. The vast interior features over eight-hundred (of the original nine-hundred) arches, many of which had been brought from other regions in the Mediterranean and beyond. It was an incredible vision to behold.
Refreshed by our jaunt through Córdoba and with the sun falling from the horizon, we piled back into the rental car and readied ourselves for the short drive to Sevilla.