Casa de Pilar

Cordoba Travel Blog

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In Cordoba, I stayed in the house of a woman named Pilar. I´d accidentally made my hostel reservation for the wrong night, and they ended up not having any rooms when I arrived. Before reaching the hostel, I walked about an hour with my bags, as I took several wrong turns when I first got off the bus (while I´ve learned to ask directions in Spanish, it´s generally unhelpful as I don´t understand the answers I receive . . . most of the time hand gestures suffice, but in the old section of Cordoba where I stayed the streets are so small and twisted that hand gestures mostly succeed in getting me more lost).

I enquired for rooms at several hostels, but unfortunately none of them had openings - likely because I arrived on a Friday. At the last place, I asked if they had any other recommendations and the man said something-something about Pilar and a casa and cheap and drew me a map. After following his directions, I ended up in an alley off the main street with no sign of accomodations. At the address he´d written, I sort of peered into a house through a gate, and an old woman stirred from her seat in the back and approached the door. I didn´t know what else to say so I said ¨Pilar?¨ and she said ¨Si¨and creakily opened the gate to let  me in.

Pilar is a woman of about 70 years, taking care of her mom who herself is 90. I think her mom has a touch of dementia, because she tended to moan and yell a lot at the top of her lungs, all at random times of night. I felt a little bad because when I first got there, Pilar walked me up the stairs to show me where I was staying and it took like 10 minutes for her to navigate the steps. I wanted to tell her it was okay and I could figure things out myself but had no way to communicate it.

The place itself was a regular house; Pilar and her mom only stay in the living room now, where they´ve made up some beds and watch TV most of the time. I had the entire upstairs to myself with a bathroom and a couple beds and a dining area. Not a bad deal at all, though the place was a bit grimy in the way that older people´s houses can be. You could tell a lot of care was put into the upkeep, though - there were floral bedspreads on each of the beds and pretty lampshades on all the lights. Pilar is a funny woman, and quite solid.

Cordoba itself is super charming and, interestingly enough, the place I´ve found the greatest concentration of people blasting super loud music from their cars in Spain. You could tell the nightlife would be a lot of fun, but I was by myself and also thought it´d be rude to Pilar if I stayed out late. To get in the house, she told me I should just go to the gate and yell out her name heehee. I retired early with a collection of pastries I picked up at a nearby bakery and my new book.

La Mezquita, a monumental mosque built in AD 784, was enormous and quite impressive. I loved the billions and billions of columns. Why were Catholics so into building stuff in the middle of other people´s places?

While wandering around, I also encountered some random fair-like thing taking place in one of the main plazas. From what I could tell it was an environmental fair, with lots of kids and clowns and hemp products. I ate some olives and drank some cerveza. The weather was perfect.

I only spent one night in Cordoba, and the next morning I said goodbye to Pilar, departing by bus for Granada.

etran says:
Posted on: Jun 11, 2007
jeanbean says:
ahahaha, oh pilar. love it :)
Posted on: Mar 30, 2007
tpchen says:
Thank Heavenly Father to take care of you. Please pray all the time. Have more plan beforehand. When your friends will join you ? Take care, be safe.
Posted on: Mar 26, 2007
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photo by: Pearl510