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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sephardic Heritage Trip 2017/5777: Day 2

Today we woke up bright and early so we can start our day early with a meaningful round of prayer and a delicious breakfast. We packed up our belongings and from the hotel headed straight to the Madrid train station to ride on a high speed train to Córdoba. It might sound like the morning ran smoothly, but I didn't mention that we were running late, Gisele and Lauren missed the bus, and that we almost didn't make the train. But luckily, thanks to Sheila's encouragement and Moses' guidance we were able to make it. The train ride lasted 2 hours, yet it felt like 30 minutes, largely because everyone was sleeping or listening to music using their free Renefe earphones.
When we arrived in Córdoba we explored the ins and outs of the new and old cities. The medieval sites were amazing, especially The Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Rambam's Shul. After walking through and admiring the beauty of Córdoba and doing a little souvenir shopping, we traveled to the outskirts of the city to visit the excavated ruins of Medinat al-Zahra, the once prominent castle of Caliph Abd Ar-Rahman. It was truly breathtaking. He built it for his wife and was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, with diplomats from all over visiting the caliph. From there, we drove to a rest stop where we had a Syrian style dinner complete with lachmagine, fried chicken, and more. After our dinner we drove to Algeciras, which on the southern tip of Spain overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar. Tomorrow, Morocco! ~Morris Mamyie and Isaac Smouha, Class of 2017