Ecija is known as the 'Frying pan of Spain' due to the extreme temperature it experiences in summer.  The day of our visit the temperature was pleasant and we enjoyed a relaxing stroll around the town to visit the many "Baroque towered" churches. These towers are ornately decorated with tiles. 

 The main square has a few old houses surrounding it, as well as the remains of an old Roman temple.

  One of the old mansions called Palacio de Penaflor is covered with beautiful frescoes and a wonderful wrought iron balcony.

Madinat al-Zahra

Back onto the scooter to drive a few miles west of Cordoba to Madinat al-Zarah.
This is the ruined complex of the tenth century palace built by the Caliph Abd al Rahman iii.  The palace was sacked by Berber invaders after only 80 years and the remains left are what can be seen today.  Unfortunately, the main hall was closed due to restoration work but the grandeur of the three tiered administrative centre for Andalusia was apparent.  The museum holds many of the artefacts found at the site and excavation is still in progress.


We took the scooter into Cordoba and found a brilliant parking spot right next to the Puente Romano.
Walking through the bridge gate
 We soon arrived at the Mezquita,
This mosque mostly dates from the 10th century. One of the most breathtaking parts of the mosque is the Mihrab ,which was a prayer niche that originally held a gilt copy of the Koran and it dates from this period. 
 As you enter your first sight is of a multitude of arches and pillars supposedly more than 850 columns.
  The Cathedral lies within the centre of the arches.  It has a superb dome and the choir stalls were very ornately decorated. 
 The first Christian chapel within the mosque was built in 1371, called the Capilla de Villaviciosa it has unusual complex arches.
From the mesquita we retraced our steps back to the bridge and then onto the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.  This palace was built in the 14th Century and has some wonderful water gardens.
After resting a while here we then took a walking route around the old Jewish quarter
This is a truly beautiful city and well worth a visit.


We are currently based at Camping La Campina, La Guijarrosa-Santaella it is  in the Caravan club directory, under Santaella. It is a very well run, family owned site, peaceful and beautifully kept with excellent facilities including 10 amp electricity and Wi Fi available on pitch.  It is delightfully situated amongst olive trees and overlooking rolling farmland with mountains in the distance.
We have based ourselves here for the last few days and are using our scooter to visit all the sites and towns in the area, including the last two blogs.
Next up was Carmona. Quite a long ride, sixty miles but on side roads in beautiful countryside. We arrived and went straight to the Necroplolis Romana.
This was what we originally wanted to see, on route south but in the Campervan it was not easy to park so we drove on by to return as we now have. The Necropolis is a Roman burial ground and has been excavated very sympathetically and is a credit to all those concerned. You get the feel of the place as it was all those years ago. Full marks to the Spanish for their efforts here.

We then toured the rest of the town starting with the Puerta de Seville Alcazar.  Lovely old ruins and good views of the town from the towers.

 All the streets were pretty and many of the buildings very beautiful.

We then headed for the Alcazar del Rey Pedro, (King Peters old residence) to translate.
This is now a Parador and is set on the highest point of the town. We stopped in an had a drink on the terrace overlooking the valley, just to see how the other half live. It is said to have one of the best restaurants in all of Spain's Paradors .

Palma del Rio

This town, on the Guadalquivir, still has the remains of it's twelfth century walls and a very ornate Baroque church. It is the home of Spain's most famous Matador, El Cordobes.