Traveling through Spain I have realized a couple interesting facts about the country.
1. So far, no one outside of my program has correctly identified me as an Indian. I’ve gotten Mexican, Latin American and twice Gypsy. Perhaps this isn’t a reflection on the whole of Spain or even a few cities, but it’s still surprising.
2. Spain has dealt with many shifts in power, from the conquering Romans to the expanding Muslims and therefore reflects these changes in its architecture and environment.
Given that I have much less to say on the first topic, I’d like to focus on the latter.
Each cathedral, mosque and synagogue that we visit holds elements of a different religion. Most recently, we visited a mosque in Cordoba in which a functioning church was built after Muslim powers were driven out. Although the mosque was turned into a museum before they built the church, it impresses me that the people who visit this church must walk through part of the museum and pass old mosque relics and middle eastern architecture.
While meeting locals in the area, a lady originally from Alabama introduced herself to us after noticing our accents. It turns out, she got married at this mosque after moving here eight years ago. She saw beauty in both the building and the way both Christianity and Islam were present. Here are some pictures that I took while in Cordoba.
**As I have just learned from Rick Steves’ online, those that called me a Gypsy were almost accurate. A gypsy as the Spanish knew them, originated from India. Go figure.