Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Garum 2.1 Bistronomic Tapas Bar ♥ ♥

 I had only one meal in Cordoba so I researched heavily before my trip to make sure that one
 lunch would be special. Garum 2.1, with its many awards, seemed to be the perfect choice.

The small restaurant felt old yet modern. It felt so... Cordoba!

A glass of Piedra Luenga Oloroso while waiting for my date
who I met serendipitously just the night before

Garum 2.1 serves bold and creative tapas, four of which won awards at gastronomic events in Spain. Of course, we had to order them all. 

Tapas with medals

Salmorejo Amontillado. First Prize Best Tapa, Cordoba Gastronomica 2010. 
This was excellent, indeed. Light and creamy and full of umami.
One of the, if not the very best I had this trip. 

Crispy Pork Trotter. Second Prize Best Tapa, Eutopia 2011.

Pork trotter innards

Oxtail Churro with Chocolate. Finalist Innovation Tapa, Cordoba Gastronomica 2011.

Honestly, this was just alright. Sounded exciting but didn't really do anything for me.

Cream of Goat's Cheese with Spanish Heavenly Custard. 
First Prize Best Dessert, Porsche Gourmet 2014.

We ordered a few other dishes, too, and they were just okay. I know because, if not for these photos, I have almost no recollection of them.

Prawns wrapped in potato shreds with saffron aioli

Small cuttlefish grilled on a bed of onion and its own ink

Low temperature cod with vegetables

Except for our favorite dish of Iberico pork loin in soy and honey reduction served over couscous. 
Tasted like pork humba so it reminded us of home.

With my lovely date Tessa. Garum 2.1 will always be memorable to me because of 
the wonderful company.

Garum 2.1: Calle San Fernando, 122, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
Tel: +34 957 48 76 73

Friday, February 19, 2016

Around Cordoba and Locker Cordoba

Cordoba is a great day trip when in the south of Spain. This Andalusian city is charming, colorful, vibrant, and its walls are decked with flowers.

Calleja de las Flores. See post here.

It is also massive, raw, rich in culture, boasting the second largest old town in Europe and the largest urban area to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Mezquita. See post here.

Sharing with you the sights and sounds as I crossed a 
Roman bridge on my way to the Tower of Calahorra

So beautiful, right? I highly recommend spending a full day exploring this city like I did.

I took the early train to Cordoba out of Seville

Left my bags at Locker Cordoba in a building next to the train station

After you exit the station, it will be on your right. You have to walk down the ramp and
cross the street.

Zooming in for you

There you go

This kind gentleman helped me store my luggage into the locker

And also gave me a map and some tips on how best to go around the city. 
Cordoba is perfect for exploring on foot. I walked to all the attractions, to lunch, to wander
some more before going back to pick up my luggage and head to the train station.

Only a few euros for storage and you can tour the city hassle-free!

And I'm off to Granada. But first, some jamon iberico y bellota sandwich snack!

Locker Cordoba Facebook Page

Mezquita, The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Mezquita or the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the, if not the most fascinating place I experienced during my one month trip around Spain. It is a solid tie between this and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

It is a basilica within a mosque within a cathedral, like when you stuff an Oreo inside a chocolate chip cookie stuffed inside a double fudge brownie. A most outrageous inception involving massive structures for worship instead of little sweet treats you pull out of the oven.

A short walk through the orange tree-lined Patio de los Naranjos brought me to the entrance
of the Mosque-Cathedral

Nothing could have prepared me for what appeared before my eyes

Over 856 of jasper, onyx, marble and granite pillars

Supporting a sea of red and white arches made of brick and stone

And so, I did what everyone else would have done. I took a selfie for posterity!

The glass floor gave me a nice view of the original grounds

The site where Mezquita stands was originally the Basilica of Saint Vincent before the Muslims conquered Spain in the 8th century and built a grand mosque over the Catholic place of worship. The construction lasted over two centuries, expanding the building and adding a courtyard, making it the most magnificent mosque out of thousands in Cordoba upon its completion in 987.

Exquisite mihrab

In 1236, Cordoba returned to the Christian rule after being reconquered by King Ferdinand III. Since then, the Villaviciosa Chapel and Royal Chapel among many other chapels and prayer rooms have been constructed within the mosque.

The tour guide wouldn't budge. Lol.

What joy to meet a priest who gave me blessings for safe travels

The most majestic addition to the mosque was the Renaissance cathedral nave built at the center of the massive structure, under the permission of King Charles V.

It was so immaculate and pristine.

This is my favorite of the one million photos I took inside the Mezquita. 
How beautiful to see two different religions, two different architectural styles, 
two different cultures, two different peoples co-existing in peace and true harmony.

As it should be outside of the Mezquita, outside of Cordoba, outside of Spain, in the whole world.

Muhammad Iqbal, a philosopher and the national poet of Pakistan, after visiting the
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba in 1931, described it in his poem:
Sacred for lovers of art, you are the glory of faith,
You have made Andalusia pure as a holy land!

Do not miss this architectural and cultural wonder when in south of Spain!

Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba: Calle del Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain

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