29 Aug, 2011 @ 09:05
1 min read

A warm welcome to Cordoba

warm welcome to cordoba

THERE was no time for homesickness, when Jane settled her suitcases down for a new life in the south of Spain…

Lola is your stereotypical Spanish lady. The kind you might see portrayed in a film, wearing a floral-patterned dress, and boasting a short stature, big curves and a strong personality. But Lola also radiates something that is at the very heart of the Spanish culture: warmth.

On my first encounter with this motherly Mediterranean figure, just over a year ago, she reached up, wrapped her chubby arm around my neck and pulled me down into a close embrace, where I was trapped for many minutes while she welcomed me to her hometown – Cordoba, in the south of Spain.

‘Like a warm blanket’ is how I heard one person describe the people of Cordoba, and without a doubt it’s this friendly disposition that makes the Andalucian city a favourite.

While London might have the Olympics, or Manhattan some of the tastiest bagels, Cordoba brags a rich history. Romans, Moors, Christians and Jews have all left their mark on this UNESCO World Heritage Site city.

The Moors took control of the city after the Romans, in 711 AD, making it the capital of a new province within the Arabic world, under the name of ‘Al Andalus’. Culture and engineering thrived under Moorish rule – the city was reconquered by the Christians in the 13th century.

During the latter half of the tenth century, during the heyday of Muslim presence in the area, Cordoba was said to be the most populated city in Europe, perhaps the world, with almost one million people living either side of its Guadalquivir River.

Today however, there’s certainly more elbow room, with just over 300,000 people – including me – now calling this ancient city home!


  1. A truly beautiful city, filled with warm-hearted Spaniards who welcome visitors and new residents from all nationalities. That warm, human orientation of the Spanish is a principle reason I LOVE SPAIN!

  2. Fred. Can’t you see that I wrote that comment deliberately to wind you up? And it worked, he-he!
    It happens to be true, however, IN MY OPINION (which I’m entitled to surely?)
    Which particularly beautiful place do you live in on the Costa del Sol, by the way?

  3. Oh, it was a ruse. That was so well executed. Not.

    Cordoba is, of course, much more beautiful and its history more significant. Have you got that new golf course, amusement park and hotel on the Tajo yet btw? Should help to get Ronda its UNESCO World Heritage Site status eh? lol

  4. None of those things are going to happen, Fred. At least not any time soon, especially if the Olive Press gets its act together. Come on, Jon! What’s happened to the campaigning spirit of the OP?

    Where did you say you lived, Fred, btw?

  5. Yeah Jon, wake up! We need more stories about giant catfish and the stress of fitting a pair of jeans on, and how bacon is as dangerous as nuclear fallout etc.

    I did you a nice mock-up Paul. It’s a vast improvement according to the Spanish planners:

    Ronda Tajo

  6. hi fred,

    good points… and not sure I agree with Paul´s optimism… the Tajo development WILL happen, as sadly WILL the Los Merinos golf course eventually. As for campaigning, we have done our bit the whole way through highlighting the crackpot schemes of the barmy political class of Ronda.

    btw Fred your artistic skills know no bounds… is that the view from your window in Fuengirola?


  7. Ah, so Fred lives in fantastic Fuengirola. Thanks, Jon!

    Despite the OP’s past campaigning against unwanted environmental vandalism in the Serranía de Ronda, I think the paper could continue to cover these stories and do as much as possible to continue to fight these outrages. The IU party is fighting them along with Los Verdes, Ecologistas en Acción and other groups. The Press can provide valuable coverage in highlighting these issues.

  8. Hmm, Fuengirola doesn’t have a gorge, does it? Don’t you like the new potential “view from the mountains”?
    Ronda could be the next inland Fuengirola.

    Ruining the Tajo tells you a lot about Spanish mentality. As a friend said to me just yesterday “the Spanish would picnic next to a nuclear power station and not bat an eyelid.”

    I live and work in multiple countries these days. Lets face it, living in 90-100 degrees of heat for around four months of the year is not very appealing, is it? The myth of the great Spanish climate exposed.

  9. I don’t think Ronda will ever end up like Fuengirola (which used to be nice back along before the tourist boom, I believe). So I’m glad you’re not forced to live there all the time.

    Do you spend a lot of time in France with your soulmate Stuart Crawford, then? Or, as I once alleged on another thread, are you one and the same person?

    It’s true that your average Spaniard has little understanding of environmental issues, so picnicking next to a nuclear power plant is a concept I can understand.

  10. Enjoying the heat, Paul?

    I seriously looked at France, but decided on Holland in the end, Amsterdam to be more precise (there’s more on other threads about this if you look, old news now). It’s just so cultured and a complete change from Andalucia. Being small, one doesn’t need a car. In essence, it’s a little microcosm of a properly run place.

    Andalucia is fine, just as long as you don’t have to live and work there. lol.

    And no, don’t worry, Stuart is a separate entity.

  11. It’s pouring with rain and the temperature is a very cool 18C (midday today, 2 September 2011). But I do enjoy the heat. It’s a much more pleasant dry heat up here in the mountains, unlike the humid Costa del Sol.

    I’m glad you’re happy in Amsterdam – depends whether you want an urban or rural existence, I guess.

    Don’t have time to search through other threads, I’m afraid. If you’d really like me to know the whys and wherefores of your decision to move from the drugs capital of the Costa del Sol to the drugs capital of northern Europe, please be more precise.

  12. Oh, and I knew you and Stuart C weren’t the same person really – you’re much more pleasant and reasonable than he is (never thought I’d use those two adjectives to describe you, Fred!)

  13. nice connection detected there Paul.

    Now is Fred a user or a bohemian pusher ?

    That is the question….

    or did he chose Amsterdam for the quality cheese on his Lubina Burger.
    (If it wouldn’t be for the Indonesian Connection, one couldn’t eat in that city – good window shopping mind)

  14. Paul what a condescending prat you are – I’m very reasonable with other reasonable people.

    As to your opinion of what will happen in Ronda the editor summed up it up very nicely, your completely off the mark like your opinion on Spanish beer – can’t see you liking Kelham Island/Pale rider or the hugely missed King&Barnes/Festive but then some poeple have missing taste buds.

    Fred – have you spent just one whole winter in the province of Holland, not that it’s any better in any other Dutch province – rain, rain and more rain and did I mention the wind. If your lucky you get snow and ice – a wonderful excuse to visit a cafe for strong Dutch coffee and large nip of ‘young’ Dutch gin.

    However you are right about the culture of open minds that exists there – just don’t expect that to be the same in other parts of the Netherlands.

    Used to be a very cheap country to live in but is one of the most expensive now.

    If you don’t speak Dutch, best way to learn – watch TV – nothing is dubbed, it’s all sub-titled, that’s why the Dutch get a lot of the best jobs in Europe – most young Dutch have 3 languages by the age of 10

  15. Connection? Actually, I think you’ll find that the UK is the drugs capital of Europe Paul. That is what a UN study showed recently anyway (and Scotland was also highly mentioned in one study). Going even further north, Oslo is the drug overdose capital of Europe I read.

    Drugs are everywhere of course. People want them, so we need to legalise asap, then we eradicate pushers overnight.

    I like Amsterdam, small is beautiful and all that. Urban or rural? Why not both? I’m still in Spain a bit more than half the year; I know you’d miss my posts if that were not the case Paul.

    Today’s an exceptionally cool day. Mercury rising all next week.

  16. Sharon – I’m glad you appreciate my humour! Thank you!

    Stuart – Sorry to have upset you, but you do tend to come across as a Don Sabelotodo (Know-all).
    You and Jon may be right about the environmental vandalism that’s planned around here. I just think it’s a shame not to put up a fight.
    Can’t follow your argument about beer, I’m afraid. Taste is in the buds of the drinker, isn’t it?
    Agree absolutely with your point about learning Dutch from the TV.

    Fred – I bow to your superior knowledge about drugs (I wasn’t actually making a serious point about Fuengirola and Amsterdam, btw). You’re right that they should legalise.
    As for missing your posts, I’m sure you can write from the Netherlands and keep us entertained …

  17. Stuart, I’ve yet to stay for a longer period in Holland. I was frequently there on contract work and it just appealed. It is also very well connected employment-wise. Needless to say I didn’t choose it for the weather lol. Andalucia will suffice for that; that’s really only what the region has going for it now unfortunately. Everyone I knew in Andalucia has just about moved away. It’s a dead end on so many fronts.

  18. Fred, it’s a real shame your experience of Andalucía was so negative, and so different from mine and that of a lot of foreigners I know who are very happy here. But then, if your idea of the region is Fuengirola and the C del S, what do you expect? You should have got out more and gone inland.

  19. Fuengirola? Er, no. As for my superior “knowledge about drugs” I just Googled the facts. You should try that too.

    My experiences of Andalucia are not all negative btw. As I have said on many occasions, Andalucia is a beautiful land, with gems such as Ronda, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga. I have made good friends here, mostly Spanish, and I have integrated well into local life (one Spanish wedding under my belt too.) My criticisms are in the main about the Spanish system, not of its land and people. I have also been very reassured to find that the vast majority of my Spanish friends agree with my own observations, so I know of their validity before I post.

    Btw, you don’t have to be sorry about leaving to attend a bullfight. I feel sorry for you that you find pleasure in watching such a spectacle, but each to their own eh?

    Anyway, I’m glad that you agree with me that the Spanish are environmental vandals. I wish you luck with the Tajo project.

  20. thought this post was about CORDOBA…????

    ps: the rticle states..” While London might have the Olympics, or Manhattan some of the tastiest bagels, Cordoba brags a rich history. …” you saying that London has no rich History..???

  21. “My experiences of Andalucia are not all negative btw. As I have said on many occasions, Andalucia is a beautiful land, with gems such as Ronda, Cordoba, Granada and Malaga.”

    Sorry, Fred, I must have missed these positive posts! I’m glad you think Ronda is a gem – shame you’re so disparaging about the place whenever I mention it.

    As regards the bullfight I attended – it was a novillada and very disappointing. Although I’m a sometime aficionado, after last Friday’s debacle I won’t be going again in a hurry.

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