Sunday, May 12, 2013

There's a bridge that spans the Río Guadalquivir in Cordoba that they believe was built in the first or second century AD. Roman though repaired since. It's over 250 metres long and flanked on one side by the Torre de la Cahahorra, a medieval and fairly imposing tower that reportedly gives a fine panoramic view of the city. But I didn't fancy any more stairs.

On approaching the bridge, I heard a rowdy, insistent but tiny yowling coming from a fenced off dilapidated enclosure containing not very much from the looks of it. A car park and some hedgy stuff. And all of a sudden, a tiny very tiny kitten emerges from the hedgy stuff, demanding attention. It's way away in the enclosure so I peer over at it helplessly. A stocky couple waddle up to the bridge approach. "Awwwww" cries the woman. Australian. "Awwww!" "I wish I could take it home," I offer uselessly, "but I doubt I'd get it through customs". The woman looks at me, suddenly serious. "You can't rescue everything in the world, you know."

Then the bridge. It must be the Cordobian (?) equivalent of Las Ramblas for at 9:30 at night as the sun sinks over the city, it's jostling with life. Couples walking babies in pushchairs. Fathers with their miniature quarter of their age copies of themselves in hand in their matching Sunday best shirts. Girls peeled into luridly patterned close-fitting garments and vertiginous heels. (These, the Spanish ladies.) Tourist ladies with overly pink flesh, those whoever thought it was a good idea to turn them into a tourist garment three quarter length grey or brown pocketed 'combat' pants and flat, practical, often rubbery, shoes. Tourist men, hundreds of pounds of photographic equipment slung round their not yet read the instruction manual necks. Two teenage girls playing identical cellos. Two teenage boys, one on the seat and one on the handlebars of a bicycle careering through the seethe of people. A little lady in a wheelchair with two similarly aged friends in here's one I brought earlier fabric seats alongside the shrine to some unspecified saint bearing an aluminium halo that catches the dying sun. A saxophonist with pre-recorded backing music at a respectable distance from the cellists.

And this is Spain, land of civilisation in which the climate smiles on people spending time together after dusk in somewhere that isn't a pub and somewhere where children are smiled upon as much as pint-wielding adults.

Opposite the medieval tower, you'll find the Puerta del Puente (Door of the Bridge!), a pretend-old archway that admits you back into the city. There's a spindly girl, maybe twenty years old, old enough to have recorded a CD anyway, wearing a what I imagine a broderie anglaise white dress would look like - if I was certain about what broderie anglaise actually is - and little white sandals and playing a well-used violin.

She plays something I've never heard, something I have heard that sounds like a tea party and something I should be able to identify. The sun sinks gently over the assorted collection of architecture and people cluster and clap with that happy lack of reserve displayed by all but the British. And a tiny child, this one maybe seven or eight, approaches in a meringue of a white dress, hem skimming the ground, presumably freshly first communioned and listens with delight to the double her age violinist in white. Under the archway of the Puerta del Puente in Cordoba.


Blogger imw said...

All it needed for perfection was a clarinet.

11:10 am  
Blogger imw said...

All it needed for perfection was a clarinet.

11:11 am  

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