|Gina’s cousin, Kristi and her boyfriend, Matthew, came for a week to visit some of the best cities in Spain: Madrid, Cordoba, Granada and Sevilla.
Their original plan was to fly in to Madrid at 10am on the 12th so that the four of us could take a train down to Cordoba and spend the weekend together. Bad weather in Dallas diverted their flight out of Phoenix to LA, however, where they had to wait a few hours before flying to London and then to Madrid. They finally arrived at 8:30pm, so the four of us quickly bee-lined to the train station where we caught the 9:30pm train to Cordoba (a two hour ride). Once we finally arrived to our hotel, we all enjoyed a cocktail to officially welcome them to Spain. They were such troopers to run straight from the airport to the train station, seeing only a blur of Madrid from the taxi window. I’m sure it felt like an episode of the “Amazing Race” for them!
Saturday was spent sightseeing in the 108 degree weather!! We visited the Mezquita (Cordoba’s Mosque/Cathedral) and the Palacio Museo de Viana. Visiting just those two sights alone was enough time in the heat. We soon found a restaurant to have a traditional Spanish lunch complete with a jug of refreshing sangria to cool us all down. Once lunch was finished we headed back to our hotel to take advantage of the rooftop swimming pool and then to rest in the air-conditioned rooms!
That night we made arrangements to see a Flamenco show at 10:30. We did a little bar hopping before heading to the show. Once inside, we discovered the show was held in an outdoor theater. Even at 10:30 at night, it still felt like 110 degrees! But despite the hot conditions, the show was very good and worth seeing.
Our biggest surprise was when the show ended. Spain is known for its late nights so we planned to have our dinner after the show. But once the show ended at 12:30am, we quickly discovered that Cordoba is one of the very few towns in Spain that shuts down at midnight!! We walked throughout the quiet streets looking at one “cerrado (closed)” sign after another. Finally we jumped in a taxi, that drove us to one of the only places that stays open beyond midnight. We sat at an outdoor table (it was cooler at 1am!) where we splurged on many plates of tapas.
Sunday was spent mostly figuring out travel plans for Kristi and Matthew as they were heading to Granada later that day. Once we determined the schedule for the two hour bus ride to Granada, we had a quick lunch and then saw them off on their trip. They planned to visit Granada and Sevilla before returning to Madrid on Thursday.
Jason and I planned to stay a bit longer in Cordoba to visit more sites, but soon learned that most attractions are closed, except for the bullring museum that Jason was interested in seeing. Unfortunately, when we arrived it appeared to have been closed for a long time! The supposed museum had a chain link fence around a building that was deeply in need of repairs. Between the lack of open attractions and the HOT weather we opted to take an earlier train home.
Thursday, Kristi and Matthew rejoined us in Madrid after their fun week roaming around Spain. During the day they enjoyed the sites of Madrid and in the evening we all went out for a nice dinner. Later we met up with one of Kristi’s other cousins who is in Madrid for a Spanish program and living with a host family. We enjoyed a few rounds of cocktails…which always seems to go down easier in the warm weather!
The next day, Kristi and Matthew returned to the States without any issues on their way back to Phoenix. It was so nice to have them here with us. We were sad to have them leave!