Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spain Day 5 Part II - Toledo _ Puerto Lapice _ Cordoba

Buying handmade marzipans from the nuns at the convent. I didn't buy any cos I knew it'd be way too sweet for my liking.
It was raining & hence the pointy hood :p That's St. Martin's Bridge in the background.
The bridge dates back to 13th century & spans the Tagus River.
After our very brief visit in Toledo, we moved on to Puerto Lapice, La Mancha. Miguel de Cervantes gave international fame to this land and its windmills when he wrote his novel Don Quixote de La Mancha (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha). It is considered as perhaps the greatest--and certainly the most famous--novel ever written in Spanish. "Don Quixote" is the classic picaresque tale of a knight-errant living in a world which has no use for him. Written as a history, it gives an account of the life of Don Quixote of la Mancha, a deluded 17th-century Spaniard who believes himself to be a medieval knight and attempts to win renown through acts of chivalry that are invariably disastrous or absurd.
One of the famous scene was when Don Quixote fought the windmill (& was badly injured) because he thought that it was a monster.
The novel was published way back in 1605 & dubbed 'The Greatest Book of All Time' in 2002 by the Nobel Institute.
The townsfolk were quick thinking & turned Peurto Lapice into a tourist attraction. It is well visited by many die-hard fans of the book.
This restaurant serves food as per described in the novelHowever it wasn't really suited to our taste :p But I'm still happy to have tried though. I mean that's the spirit when you travel, right? I don't mind if it's not nice but I mind it very much if I didn't even get to try what the locals have to offer. If I had wanted comfort food, I'd have just stayed in Sinagpore.Remarkably clear bue sky!
The scene was just too beautiful for words - Pristine white houses against that stunning blue sky.
Parting shots of Puerto Lapice before we carry on with our journeyMost spectacular sceneries as we move along but such a pity that I can only take shots of it while in the coach.My favourite photo of the entire tripArrived in Cordoba. After Cordoba was captured by the muslims, it became their capital & was one of the most advanced cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political and economic centre.
Many buildings with strong Islamic influences
We were so late that we were almost not allowed into the Mezquita - Great Mosque of Cordoba.
It was initially a Roman Catholic Church but was converted to a mosque after the Muslim' s conquest. It was then greatly extended until it became the 2nd largest mosque in the world.
It is now returned to it's original use as a church
Noel was the photographer & I think he did a great job with this photo
Mezquita in the background
It was orange trees galore along the road
The streets were really narrow & it's amazing how they managed to drive through these streets. *2 thumbs up*The sky was lighted up in a most spectacular shade of blueNight in CordobaChinese dinner again :(It was really more starch than anything elseOur resting place for the night

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