There are many beautiful places in Spain to visit and I suppose that it will take me a few visits to see it all 🙂 In this trip, after Madrid, I made my way to Cordoba and Valencia.
It was perfect timing for Cordoba as the first 2 weeks of May happened to coincide with the annual flower festival called Patios De Cordoba. The Patios are located in private homes that their owners open and allow free visitations. These homes feature colorful flowers decorated on the walls and planted in flower-beds and pots. To supplement the ornamentation, the owners include antique furniture, iron kitchen utensils, shafts and other archaeological remains. It was so pretty to witness this festival. In December 2012, The Festival of the Patios was globally recognized and included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity sites.
I stayed in the central area of Cordoba at Hospes Córdoba Palacio de Bailío, a beautiful 5 star hotel where I remained for a comfortable stay for 2 nights. It resembled some old historical building that was converted into a hotel. Not sure if that’s true but it certainly gave off a vibe of old architectural splendor.
The city has an impressive cultural and monumental patrimony. In fact, I learnt that UNESCO has recognized Cordoba’s historic legacy and extended the title of World Heritage Site not only to the Mosque-Cathedral, but also to all the streets and buildings around it. I spent half a day visiting Cordoba Mosque. Beautiful architecture and lots of history behind it. I was simply fascinated to see each and every part of it. It made for such great viewing that it would appeal even to those not interested in history. After the visit, I walked around the gorgeous narrow lanes around the area till I reached a lovely local restaurant called Casa Pepe. Casa Pepe is a perfect place to immerse yourself in Cordoba’s culinary delights, and is famed for its traditional look and menu. My friends from Spain joined me for lunch and it was indeed a scrumptious meal with some Cava. After lunch, we walked around River Guadalquivir and enjoyed performances from some live bands. We danced, laughed and generally had a lot of fun hanging out there.
For dinner, we decided to choose a Flamenco dance place. It was an amazing experience to see this energetic dance, I wondered where they got their astounding stamina and rhythm. It’s a must watch whenever you visit Cordoba. Overall had a really cute stay at Cordoba, a very easy going place.
My next (and unfortunately the last) stop of my trip was Valencia. I took a train from Cordoba to Madrid and from Madrid to Valencia. Valencia again, like everywhere in Spain, was very welcoming. I stayed at The Westin Valencia, such a lovely hotel . I love Westin properties in general and this was no exception. The rooms were huge and comfortable with all possible amenities. The Spa at Westin was brilliant too. I indulged myself with a facial treatment followed by a private Jacuzzi. The products were good and the therapists very nice. The restaurant at Westin serves delicious Spanish cuisine and features a perfect Al fresco setting in the beautiful garden. It’s also very central so going out and about is easy.
Valencia Old town is gorgeous. The centre of Valencia reflects its history and has retained its star-shaped mediaeval layout. Valencia has several historical sites from monuments to museums to gardens and parks. I visited the PLAZA DEL MERCADO and then The City of Arts and Sciences complex, which is a massive entertainment venue and includes five buildings: Hemisferic is an IMAX cinema, the Museo de las Ciencias is a science museum, Oceanographic is a giant marine park / aquarium, the Palau de les Arts is an Opera House and the Agora is a multi-functional space. It was amazing to see this and I clicked a lot of pictures here : ) For dinner and lunch you will find many choices in Old Valencia town. I visited a few local restaurants and it was all great fun. You will find lots of cool casual places in Valencia.
The most fun part of Valencia was the day at the beach and water sports centre near Marina Beach club. It was fun experiencing the water scooter and Flyboard at Malvarrosa Beach.. Flyboard was pretty hard for me and I admit that I couldn’t do it very well. Well, perhaps next time. For lunch, we made our way to the Marina Beach Club. It was a perfect place for a Brunch and the day continued by the DJ deck. I did not want to leave that place; my friends had to drag me out.
I loved both Cordoba and Valencia and I would definitely recommend it.
To end with, I can only say one thing. Can’t wait to go back. Hope my girlfriends are reading this:)