Medina Azahara. It’s such a beautiful name. Legend goes that Abderraman III who ordered the construction of this town named it after his favorite concubine, to whom his heart truly belonged. After being proclaimed Caliph, he decided to build a separate city from the ground up to demonstrate his power and glory. Typical.
It’s been raining for a week straight down here in the “sunny” Andalucia region of Spain. I was never a person whose mood was easily swayed by the weather but after six days straight of gray upon gray upon gray, and with no travel plans for the second weekend in a row, something had to change. How lucky I am that soon after the start of this year I have met someone that I have a great connection with and whose sense and need of adventure is akin to mine. So after mulling it over and poring over weather maps to see which way that bloody stormy front was headed, we decided to head back to Cordoba for the second time this past weekend to chase the sun.
After studying a monument or a work of art for semesters and semesters and only seeing what it looks like in pictures, to finally see it and experience it in person is flooring. You read and read about it and imagine what it will be like but when you actually see it to scale, it takes your breath away and leaves you in a state of wonder.
Walking into La Mezquita was like this. I have seen so many pictures of the beautiful architecture and the detailed artwork but to see it with my own eyes was an incredible experience. The tranquility and awe of the place was almost visceral.