February 19, 2024

Coming Back for Córdoba's Courtyards

I always knew I wanted to return to Córdoba.

It was just a matter of time.

The first taste of this beautiful place was back in 2015, due to a canceled flight and a few extra bonus days in the south of Spain. As soon as I began walking around the gorgeously saturated palette, I knew one day was never going to be enough. 

But other trips and adventures took priority over the years, and we all felt the black hole of travel experiences during the pandemic.

Late summer 2022, I did a full week on my own in Granada, Spain (another extension of that aforementioned 2015 trip). That week could have gone to Córdoba, of course, but I wanted my Córdoba experience to be very specific.

I want Córdoba in May, during their unique-only-to-Córdoba festival.

So, here I am, nearly ten years later, planning my long-awaited reunion with one of the most colorful and historical cities in Spain.

Córdoba is not the easiest place to get to, but it is situated between several airport options. I elected to fly in and out of Madrid (despite the closer airports in Seville, Málaga, and Granada) to profit from a few extra days at the end of my trip to spend in Spain's capital city. I found great tickets on the Spanish Renfe train system between Madrid and Córdoba that work with my schedule, and I'm looking forward to watching the center of Southern Spain pass by my train windows.

Once I got my dates and transportation finalized, I referenced my go-to site for accommodation: Booking.com. Over the past decade-plus of traveling around Europe, I have found the site has evolved very well to offer the best array of options. It even includes the types of lodging that used to only be found on AirBnB, for example, and the discounts run deeper the more times you use the site. Additionally, there are tons of verified reviews from many more previous guests, and I have really felt like my experiences have matched what the site has stated.

This hotel in Córdoba will mark my 50th stay with Booking!!! For privacy purposes, I will just say I am super excited about the location being just a fifteen-minute walk to the beautiful Mosque-Cathedral. 

But the festival!

The whole reason I have waited for the right May to return to Córdoba.

The Courtyards Festival of Córdoba (Fiesta de los Patios de Córdoba) is essentially a garden patio contest that is open to the public. So. Many. Flores!!! The plants and flowers that can be grown in Córdoba's warm climate give it an incredibly rich vibrancy that contrasts with the classic whitewashed adobe structures. It will be like wandering an enormous city-size greenhouse, all against a typically clear sunny blue sky! 

In between enjoying the courtyards and imagining some sort of fun mystery novel in the setting, I am also looking forward to taking my time in and around the town. The Roman ruins, old churches, bright plazas, and bustling mercados will all be a wonderful part of every day.

Ultimately, I am aware of the fact that I am literally going to spend quite a bit of time in a city because of garden décor, and I am leaning into it! I think one of the greatest advantages of aging is understanding what one really wants to do with their opportunities, and being able to make it happen.