44° and Witch Defense Brew

After a further odyssey in Madrid the next day to get change my reserved seat to Cordoba, I arrive finally at five in the afternoon. I get out of the train and am almost knocked out by the shimmering heat, the thermostat is showing 44°. As I walk in slow motion with my backpack through town I pass a pretty park with an orange tree, the fruits are ripe, lying on the floor. What a waste! With a watery mouth I walk up to the tree and pick a particular big, ripe fruit of the floor peel it and take a huge bite. Brrrrrrrr pha phew!!!!! I spit it out, these are bitter oranges that is why nobody wants to eat them. With a red head and dripping of sweat I arrive at the hostel and feel so lucky as I spot the air condition. There is only one other girl in the dormitory and it seems she is the only one altogether in the hostel. The cheerful Senegalese receptionist explains me that everybody in the right mind is at the beach at the moment. Makes sense.

After a cold shower and some refreshing AC time I walk the beautiful street of Cordoba marveling at the beautiful small streets gazing into the careful tendered patios inside oriental doors. Cordoba was under Muslim rule from 723 until 1236 a.D. The appearance of the city is dominated by this period, giving me a taste of what is yet to come on this trip.





After a delicious dinner of different tapas, I feel like it is not time to sleep quite yet, so I sit down  at the traditional bodega next to my hostel and follow over a glass of wine my favourite passion, people watching. The owner of the bar, Archimedes,  is a man in his sixties. He offers me some jamon and starts to chat with me for a bit, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to practice Spanish and get to know more about life in Cordoba.

After I wake up very well rested I head to the main landmark of Cordoba, the Mezquita. On the ground where the monumental building was built used to stand a basilic, the mosque was built on top of it. The work on the mosque started in 784, when Cordoba was reconcured by the christian rulers in 1236, it became a church again:

After a long day of sightseeing, I choose the bar of Archimedes for my dinner. He introduces me to his friends and I find myself in a discussion about life and life in Spain and life in genereal.

As I want to leave, Archimedes says I have to stay some more for a special drink from Alicia. Everybody agrees that I, by no chance could miss out on this, this drink, so they explain me, was used to ward off witches and other evil. With a theatrical gesture Archimedes lights a big pot of the liquor on fire and as he starts to mumble a verse, he pours the blue burning liquid from the ladle to the pot and back. The room heats even more up and everybody is following mesmerized the procedure. What a great closure to my stay in Cordoba, I am once more grateful to have met such kink people. I found a English translation of the verse online, and hope to be protected on my further trip not only from witches but also from evil dschinns.

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