Monday, March 21, 2011

Madinat al Zahra

Here are my pics of Madinat al Zahra

That didn't work

The pictures aren't there , but might be here

Pictures of Cordoba

There are pictures of Cordoba here

Lovely holiday in Cordoba

 This is the most famous thing in Cordoba.  It is the Mezquita - it was once the mosque until the Christians put a cathedral in the middle of it.  It is extraordinary.  The mosque could have 40,000 people worshipping at the same time - it is huge.  One of the guide books said that if you got there before 10am you could go in for free so we did that.  You have to be quiet because there was a mass   in progress in the cathedral which was actually really quite moving.   There was an old lady having confession - the confessional was in the middle of the building which was odd and quite open in some ways - and she must have been really sinful because she was there for ages!

 This is another bit of the Mezquita.
 Brian in the garden of the Alcazar which was lovely.  They are doing huge amounts of work everywhere you look in Cordoba because they are a nominated city for the City of Culture in 2016.  They were doing huge amounts of work in the gardens
 This is a city outside Cordoba called Madinat al Zahra.  It was built by the Caliph in the 10th century (I think) and was used for 80 years before it was left.  The museum for it was one of the best I have ever seen because the film showed you ruins, and then showed you an animated look at what it would have looked like and told you a lot about how the place worked.  They have only excavated 12% of it till now, and what they have done so far is fascinating.  We happily spent hours pottering round it.
 This is a very typical little alley which make up most of the old part of Cordoba.  There is a modern city as well, but that isn't so interesting.  These areas are very easy to get lost in and you can spend a lot of time wandering round trying to get to a specific place.  However it is a very felicitous place to wander round because all the alleys are different and have lovely little features, or flowers, or something interesting to see.
 We were lucky with the weather as it was sunny and pleasant all week and we were in short sleeves and sandals by the end of the week.  Three days is probably a bit too long for Cordoba in some ways, but it meant that we had a lovely pottering sort of time, not feeling at all rushed.  Though we didn't see everything by any manner of means.

This is us on Malaga beach.  The flight was 7pm so we had all afternoon to mooch on the beach which was only about 10 mins from the airport.  Brian managed to get a bit sunburnt. 

I will put more pictures onto Picassa and add a link when I have done that if people want to see them.

We went to see a Spanish riding school show on the Wednesday night which we both enjoyed.  Here is one of the horses doing a levade.  I filmed some of these, so need to work out how to edit them now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A week in March

Last week was my 53rd birthday and to celebrate the fact Trev and I went to Whipsnade Zoo. It was a really lovely day. Warm enough to have a picnic.
The animals seemed to be really appreciating the weather too and were all outside and active. Here is a ring tailed lemur sunning itself

And here is a peacock that was lurking around the cafe on the lookout for crumbs. It looks like it is having a cup of tea at this picnic bench.

Last weekend we went down to Southampton to go to a performance of Alice's orchestra at a tiny arts centre which is a converted barn. Linda came too. It was a lovely concert inspite of the annoying woman behind me who kept talking and fiddling around with her handbag right down my ear. The final piece was Hayden's Farewell Symphony. The tradition of this is at the end for the orchestra members to leave one by one. We didn't know this and Alice was the first member to leave. We looked at each other in concern incase she had been taken ill. However, Kieran was remarkably calm about it and as other members left we realised what was happening.
It was a lovely weekend of meals out and walks on the common and taking in the sights of Southampton. H

ere we all are outside Southampton Art Gallery which has a remarkably good collection.