Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm back!

Well I am back from holiday anyway, though not really into the swing of things yet. We had a lovely week away visiting both Seville and Córdoba, two cities that we had heard of but never seen. We enjoyed them both but we preferred Córdoba.
Seville was rich in architecture, monuments etc. We did a very pleasant boat trip down the river, and a few rides on the open-top 'tourist' buses  which enabled us to see a lot of the city in a few days.
On Wednesday we drove to Córdoba mainly so that we could visit the Mezquita and see the flower decked patios, which is a fiesta that happens every May.

We drove back home on Sunday, and I uploaded 1,415 photos from my camera to the computer! I have spent the time since, organising them into folders, and I shall now do a blog post for each folder.

Tom had been staying at our house to look after the animals for us, which he did very well. Having a puppy to look after was a new experience for him, but they seem to have got along together just fine. But we did laugh at a facebook post he did while we 

were away. There was a photo of a very innocent looking Kim with the caption, "Taught the puppy how to play football today but he didn't take his crushing defeat very well and got his revenge by weeing on my flipflops..."

Tom had to return for work on Tuesday, but the day before that, Mikey, our grandson, arrived for ten days, so we haven't really had time to sort ourselves out yet. Mikey is 18 now so he doesn't need entertaining and just wants to relax, dip in and out of the pool, and spend some time with the son of our local bar-tenders, who he made friends with when he came out with the boys last October. He soon made himself at home and it is nice to have some young company around the house for a while.

So back to  today's photos. I decided to start with a
 little piece about the Mezquita in Córdoba. This was originally a Christian church, built in the old part of the town. The work began in the year 600. In 784 it was refashioned into a mosque by the current rulers of the city. From outside it almost resembles a castle, with high thick walls, some turreted, and of course, the minaret tower. There is a garden area planted with orange trees which makes a cool place to rest after your visit. This photo shows it at night, viewed from across the river. It is raised up and can be seen from all over the old part of the city.

Inside there is a huge prayer hall with 856 columns and arches. It is an awe-inspiring sight, and has become the recognised symbol of Córdoba. In 1236 it was returned to the catholic church and a small, very ornate cathedral was constructed right in the centre of the building, with a bell tower built around the minaret. It makes it quite an extraordinary place. The cathedral is in two sections and the back section houses two organs, and rows of carved, dark wood, choir stalls. Everywhere there were lovely stained glass windows that threw pools of coloured light onto the floor, and beautiful carved and decorated domed roof areas. I have put together some of my photos into a slide show that you can watch by clicking on this link.  (For those of you not used to viewing videos etc, when you have pressed the 'play' button, the pictures will appear about half-size, but below them there is a black bar and the last symbol, bottom right, is like the four corners of a rectangle. If you click on this the pictures will fill your screen. When it ends, press the 'escape' button on your computer to close it again). The music playing in the background is our son Ben on the piano, playing one of his own compositions. I hadn't realised that it wasn't quite long enough and I should have looped it, so it actually runs out about three frames before the end of the slideshow! As I said, I am only learning. I have been sending trial runs of this to Jean today and this one worked for her, so I hope you can all view it OK. Please let me know if you cannot open it. This is my first attempt at showing them in this way, so I need to know I have got it right.

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