Dad opted for the beach again, and Mom, Bocci, Kenny and I went to Córdoba to see the Mezquita, an old Moorish-Christian temple/cathedral. The drive was the best yet: rolling hills of wheat and olives, little villages clinging to the crests of the hills, grapes, and acres and acres of sunflowers.
They were retarded sunflowers, though -- they insisted on facing away from the sun. That area may be the best of Spain.
Mom: “This is beautiful. It looks a lot like the area south of Sacramento.”
Bocci: “Oh yeah, like Lodi. Lodi is famous for its beauty.”
Córdoba was disappointing. The temple was interesting, but not worth a 2 1/2 hour drive. We were inside for about half an hour.
The Mezquita was a strange mixture of red and white plaster columns, tile floors, Arabic inscriptions, and garish Catholic altars. One room was particularly interesting, though. It was like a choir loft on either side, facing each other, and the back wall was like a pulpit and altar. The entire room, except for the floor, was intricately carved dark mahoghany. Each chair of the would-be choir lofts was like a throne, and every square inch except the seat itself was carved into bas relief pictures, each one different. Thousands and thousands of hours of work.
We walked through the old Jewish sector of Córdoba, which skirted the cathedral. It’s pretty much goofy tourist crap now.
We stopped at a helados shop and bought the Spanish equivalent of Gardiner’s Lemon Ice, then back to the car and home. The drive back was just as pretty, especially because the clouds were so varied and colorful.
We had a lot of food to use up, so we made spaghetti at home for dinner. Bocci and I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. watching a particularly dull Robert de Niro movie, “Once Upon a Time in America.” We got started watching it, and it was strange, but we both felt like we had invested so much time into it that it would be stupid to quit. (We didn’t know it was a 3-hour movie.)