Having seen all of the sites of Seville, we decided to take a day trip to the nearby city of Cordoba that has a big mosque-turned-cathedral that I had learned about in my art history class in high school. On the train ride over, we were thinking that the countryside in southern Spain doesn't look all that different than California.
From the train station, we walked through a park that had some cool statues and an old Roman mausoleum.
Eventually, we came up to the old city walls and a big monument and fountain in front of the mosque.
After this initial exploring and a very difficult search to find a quick, easy breakfast (we have missed the bakeries that were cheap and on every corner in Portugal), we went into the mosque.
The mosque is huge and beautiful! It's most well known for the red-striped arches inside. But there was so much more to see in terms of architecture and artifacts than I was expecting. The combination of the Islamic architecture and Christian iconography was really interesting to me. (As you can see below, I took a lot of photos.)
Bonus points if you can find the hidden faces in the picture above. (I found it as I was staring at the ceiling.)
The mosque even had a section named after San Clemente!
At one point, the light coming in from the stained glass created rainbow lighting on a couple of the pillars. I saw this as yet another great photo op!
After seeing all of the inside, we remembered to take a photo of the outside too.
Just beyond the mosque was an old Roman bridge over a river. There was no shade, and it was close to a 100 degrees, so it wasn't the most pleasant to walk across. But we did it!
With plenty of time to kill before our train back to Seville, we decided to check out a craft brewery tap room that Dylan had found on the map. It was a cute little place, and we found that the lady pouring beers appreciated my Spanish-speaking efforts. We ended up trying all of their flagship beers (and getting free chips!) before heading out.
From the tap room, we ventured through a cute alley known for its flowers and saw some more Roman ruins before coming to the Plaza de las Correderas, which was pretty quiet and closed up. (We still find the 4-8pm siesta time where everything is closed up a little strange and difficult for touristing.)
But we ended up finding that a food hall (kind of like a small version of the Packing House or 4th Street Market back home) that we had seen on the way from the train station was open. We grabbed a bite to eat and did a little reading before catching the train back to Seville.