the hidden corners (of cordoba)


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❤️ ………..the last time I came to Cordoba was when I was very small. The proof of this lies in some dusty black and white photographs of me, my mother, and my aunt Merce, sitting in a horse drawn carriage. It is also winter time, and my mother is smiling, wearing giant 70’s sunglasses. Even though it is a black and white photo that lies almost forgotten at the bottom of a pile of albums at the back of one of my mothers cupboards in Australia, I remember with great clarity the jacket that I wore that day. Red leather with a faux-fur hood. Now, probably more than 40 years later, dressed in my pilgrim “going out” clothes and ever so slightly grotty walking shoes, I wander past the horse drawn carriages, past this memory and on towards the mezquita. While some of the towns that I pass through on this walk did nothing more than inspire me to rest, Cordoba inspires me to get out and wander aimlessly like this. I like watching the shifts between the tourist area around the mezquita and the more mundane part of the city. Pedestrian shopping streets, a Christmas market, parks, fountains, supermarkets, El Corte Ingles, people moving about, all of us immersed in routine, and then back again to the old part, to the surprises found in hidden corners, to the sounds of white and grey pigeons cooing up on the rooftops and in belltowers, to flower pots and pitch black wrought iron, to white walls with cracks in the paint revealing ancient stone beneath. Layers of Christian on a Moorish foundation. Churches, churches, churches, one on every corner. Mysterious doorways, slightly ajar, revealing colourful patios beyond. Then back to the daily Spanish world again with its sounds of fountains, cars, christmas carols and people moving. And back and forth, the past and the present woven together into something deep and elegant. Very pleasant for the solitary rambler. Now, there is flamenco music coming out of some speakers at the christmas markets, punching through the ambient noises and other sensations, momentarily embellishing this perception of being in Andalucia…………❤️

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