Alright, today I'm gonna write about my third day at Cordoba, Espana. After flipping the itinerary I found out that we didn't actually visit all of the places stated in there. Ermmm.. It's okay, as long as we visited the main attractions in Cordoba which were Cordoba Mosque and Madinah al-Zahrah.
Instead of going to Cordoba Mosque first, we shifted the plan to visit Madinah al-Zahrah first thing in the morning. After breakfast in hotel, we moved to Madinah al-Zahrah which is located about 30 minutes from our hotel. But before that, Wanji and I had a little walk outside the hotel entrance to mail our postcards in the yellow mailbox. Fuhhh, lega dah pos poskad.. Kalau tak, menggagau kat mana nak cari mailbox lagi.. Alhamdulillah jumpa dekat depan hotel. =)
We arrived at Madinah al-Zahrah museum a little bit earlier because it wasn't opened yet. It opened at 10 am and while waiting, we took photos with the olive trees around the museum. There are a few rows of olive trees inside the museum compound although there are a lot more outside the gates. These olives were black and according to Wanji, they taste bitter. Nasib baik aku tak try.. When the museum opened a few minutes later, we entered the white underground building and paid entrance fee (€1.50). Since both of us entered the museum a bit later than other, we roamed around the place first before entering the auditorium for a 15-minute video presentation. The video was about the history of Madinah al-Zahrah and the Caliph who first inspired the building of this fantastic place. Ermm, I'm not so good in telling history. So you can google it yourselves.. The museum exhibits a lot of the remains of Madinah al-Zahrah masterpiece. From the stones, coins, vases and a lot more.
Madinah al-Zahrah is located on the hill just behind the museum. We took the public bus to reach there. It cost €2.10 for a return ticket and the journey took just 5 minutes. It's very sunny today, but the coldness was still there. The sun shone very brightly today until I had to adjust my camera due to the lighting. The original relics of Madinah al-Zahrah is still visible at least with the stone walls and shapes. The arches still maintain their positions. Madinah al-Zahrah used to be a palace for the ruler, which was the Caliph during Islamic era. Other than that, it also accommodated several rows of rooms, four pools and also a mosque at the side.
By noon, we all gathered at the entrance to take the bus down to the parking area at the museum. Our next destination would be Cordoba Mezquita (Cordoba Mosque). It took half an hour to reach the city back. The mosque is located somewhere in the city. We walked across River Genil Bridge to the Cordoba Mosque area. There are a lot of souvenir shops and restaurants surrounding the place. Plus, there are two or three halal restaurants nearby. Our konco2 decided not to follow En. Fuad but instead we asked his permission to eat at other restaurant in order to prevent overcrowded at one place. Moreover, we still had to find place for prayer. En Fuad brought the others to Restaurant El Sultan while 9 of us headed to Restaurante Teteria Hammam.
Restaurante Teteria Hammam is located besides a few souvenir shops and it was quite easy to find. It serves Moroccan food. Although the food was kinda pricey with the price more than €10 for each meal, we still continued to dine in here because we had no other place to go. I believe the other restaurant also sell at the same price. I bought the most expensive food among my other friends which was Roasted Lamb with Honey. Ahh, lantaklah! Janji sedap & berbaloi! Indeed it was! Other meals that we ordered were Halal Chicken Tajine, Pastella Bastilla Fish and and Fish Brick. We spent almost €20 for food. Cuk cuk cuk... At night, there was supposed to be a belly dance performance here. But luckily we didn't come at night. Rosak mata tau nanti. By the way, the waiter was so kind, he allocated us a room upstairs for us to pray. Gracias!
Wanji called En. Fuad to ask where to meet but he didn't answer. When we were busy shopping for souvenir, luckily En. Fuad called him back. He asked us to meet at Cordoba Mosque compound to distribute the tickets. We were the last group (again) to enter the mosque. As soon as we entered the mosque (now church), my heart felt sad. This place used to be a mosque of a great Islamic kingdom, but now the Muslims aren't allowed to pray here anymore. The government had did some modification to the mosque turning it into a church. However, the original Arabic calligraphy inside the mosque was still maintained and preserved.
After finishing our tour inside the mosque, we continued to hop into several souvenir shops very quickly. Grab here, grab there and then paid. The time was not enough as usual. Then we returned to the bus across the bridge to continue our journey to Granada tonight.
The bus journey took more than two hours to reach Granada. Along the way, we had stopped once at the service area for coffee and toilet break. I bought a couple of chocolates and a bottle drink.
Our accommodation for tonight was quite luxurious. The hotel was very modern and beautiful. The hotel name is Macia Real de La Alhambra Hotel which is located at the foot of Alhambra hill. Plus, we got to access free wifi without restriction. Alhamdulillah... *wink wink*
After having dinner with the food we brought from Glasgow which were basically buns and tuna we had a little tour around the hotel to take some photos. A few minutes later, tetttttt my camera died. Cis!
Okay, that's all for the third day. Even though we only visited two places today, but the historical impact was very deep.