Córdoba was my sixth stop in Spain and I was determined to see the Mesquita once I read about the splendours of the building and how it had retained its former structure, a myriad of red and white arches only to be surrounded by an external wall and converted into a Cathedral.
My travels in Spain were instinctive. No plan, no itinerary, no map, ignorant of each city’s history, icons, festivals, idiosyncrasies…
What was I thinking?
It was serendipity that took me on a wanderlust of Spain, and Córdoba was no exception.
Waiting in the Patio de Los Naranjos – the courtyard of the orange trees, the huge wooden door to the entrance of the Mesquita opened and I entered with a crowd of tourists and locals alike.
The experience was surreal…my eyes deceived me, I was plummeted into sheer darkness! This can’t be!
I had attended an early morning viewing, free of charge I might add, from between 08:30hrs until 09:30hrs, however, at the time I was unaware that this would be cut short for a service to be performed that morning.
Hurry, hurry, take a shot, take a shot…oh no! The back of my camera’s LCD screen is devoid of an image…It’s just black!
Ok, calm down and change the settings…what the hell, people milling all over the place, where do I start first? I’m literally spinning like a top as I don’t know where to direct my attention…then I see another photographer…ok, ok, just watch him a while and see what he’s doing. I start to shadow him, and he’s oblivious, thankfully.
Nobody, but nobody mentions that when you enter this unique building with the most stunning and fascinating architecture there’s no lighting apart from a little sunlight streaming in from the windows creating interesting effects. I was totally disorientated.
A few more test shots and I start to find a setting that my camera likes, no flash allowed don’t forget. Phew! Nearly getting there…a shot here, a shot there,
I am in awe. Dumbstruck. The hall of arched pillars before me is becoming overwhelming. Get a low perspective, check for symmetry, get near the sunlight for some shadow play…I want it all and I want it now!
I’ll post a photo gallery of the beauty of the Mesquita Cathedral later but for now here’s an image on my instagram page.