I think our first evening in Cordoba pretty much did it for us.
We had driven up from Granada, in our hired baby Mercedes, taking a road less travelled through miles upon miles of hills and olive groves, and dropped off the car, and found our hotel – a still oasis in the soporific heat – and wandered down towards dusk to the Puente Romano, the old stone bridge from Roman times spanning the Guadalquivir River.
The light was soft and warm, the heat had melted away, the air was an easy embrace, and at the foot of the bridge – with medieval columns as backdrop – a bride and groom were posing for photographs.
Gone were the crowds and bustle of Granada and Sevilla, and in their place, down by the Guadalquivir, there was amplitude and calm, a quietude, a touch of romance that was effortless, unhurried, a folding of ourselves into the world and this place that was subtle and unforgettable.
Cordoba was the last of the towns that we visited, in Andalucia, but I’d venture to say it was the town we loved most, and the first we would go back to.
Here we are, Rob and I – at dusk, by the Guadalquivir, with the Puente Romano behind us.