shday9: córdoba to zahara de los atunes.

Córdoba is "the hottest city in Europe." Today wasn't so bad, only 102°F, but after 15 minutes in direct sunlight you kind of wanted to be somewhere else.

Luckily we first started walking at 11:30 or something, when it was still pretty tolerable. We had until 14:00 to have lunch, at which point Nelson would have to perform another physically impossible driving feat by getting the car out of a parking space which was smaller than the car itself.

So, since we'd only seen the southern rim of the city the night before, we took a 10 minute walk north, outside the city walls, to a taberna that was supposed to serve "real Cordobese food".

Of course, by this point in our journey I don't have to tell you that it was closed for summer vacation. So to maintain peaceful blood sugar levels Nelson and I walked 10 minutes back to our original departure point and she had the standard breakfast tostada: toasted bread, crushed tomatoes, olive oil, and salt. And cafe con leche.

And then we went to lunch at Taberna Luque, which was mwah, "just ok". The place was cute, everything was tasty, carefully prepared (I had bacalao, Nelson didn't get anything she thought she was ordering), the service was a bit obsessive-compulsive in a borderline endearing way, but compared to Madrid and San Sebastian it was kind of an overpriced tourist lunch.

Then we started to leave. Córdoba also features some of the smallest streets in Europe, especially if you're driving an Opel station wagon. But that wasn't why we couldn't leave. We couldn't leave because we had to see the Mosquito.

Which we, mmm, kind of saw. The outside of. This is not a picture of it. It was really hot. And we were supposed to be at the beach. The clock was ticking.

So we eventually got on the road.

And soon saw this, to which photos do not do justice. The setting was a rare hazy, semi-overcast moment near Seville, just before a weird-ass storm in fact, when we noticed this unnaturally bright light on the horizon, like, brighter than anything you've ever seen on Earth. Which of course you don't expect to see anywhere, much less out in the middle of nowhere, but then as you get closer you realize the light is coming from what looks like a lighthouse, and you see that it's bright enough to be casting what looks like a glowing ring of light on the ground that you can see in the daytime.

OK, well, it really looked alien. Some pretty quick Googling revealed that the source of the light is indeed not of this earth.

And then we went through this five-minute storm that was totally scary. It was also a bit "Hollywood/alien phenomenon", in that: I was driving, the road ahead looked ominously gray, and so Nelson took a look at the weather online, which probably used up most of her 30mb roaming data limit, and the following conversation occurred:

"That's weird," she murmured half to herself in that preoccupied, kind-of-Hollywood way that is followed by a long enough pause to where the listening person has to first keep doing what they've been doing for two or three seconds, then silently look over at the person who spoke, wait one whole second and then say: "What?"

Nelson: "Well...(frowning)...it says....it says the temperature here right now is 100°F (she was speaking in Celsius though), and...an hour from now it's going to be...80°F. That doesn't make any sense."
Me: "Hmm. Verily, woman, that maketh no sense. Probably a computer problem."

And then, well, debris started blowing across the road. Not cows and tractors, but pretty big branches, and tumbleweeds, and big fat raindrops started splatting into the window, and suddenly we were in a Georgia or Florida style afternoon thunderstorm, complete with some impressive lightning. At some point when I wasn't squinting through the downpour, I looked down at the car's external temperature gauge and it said 65°F. Spooky.

Anyway, we survived, and eventually we saw this from our hotel room window in Zahara.

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