Daniela arrived Wednesday night and yesterday we took her to Córdoba, as she hadn't been there since she was a little girl. Córdoba, birthplace of the stoic philospher Seneca, the physician, Torah scholar and philospher Maimonides, and many, many great poets, including friend Pablo García Baena! But yesterday we focused our time on the famous Mosque-Cathedral, where we had a great visit. It is one of the world's truly extraordinary structures. It was built in the VIII century, then expanded in the IX and X centuries. Then the Christian temple was plopped down in the middle in the XVI century, but not finished until the latter part of the XVIII century. That's a millennium project! There's so much to see, including the spectacular Mihrab. (Asun and Daniela in front of the mihrab in the top photo; a mihrab is a niche in the wall of a mosque that points the faithful towards Mecca), but perhaps above all it's the size and the endless arches that most impress. Córdoba was a world center of wealth and power in the ninth and tenth centuries; today it's a pleasant provincial city, living mainly from tourism, services, and the wealth produced in the surrounding country side by olive oil. After lunch we visited the fortress-palace (Alcázar) created by Alfonso XI in the XIII century. It's not nearly as impressive as the Alcázar in Seville, for example, but it has much to recommend it, including its wonderful gardens, along with an extraordinary collection of Roman mosaics and sculptures. The mosaics were discovered right in Córdoba in 1958 and are the most impressive I have ever seen. They also have a marvelous III century Roman sarcophagus, discovered in another relatively recent excavation (see photo, above), of beautifully sculpted marble. Family size! The door in the center represents the entrance to Hades. On the right we see the family patriarch, who must have been an important local jurist, indicated by the scroll he holds, and in profile a sage is perhaps indicating to him the True Path. On the left is an image of the patriarch's wife. The sides of the sarcophagus have elegant reliefs of Pegassus. We ended our visit with a wonderful treat: the Arab baths! Fantastic hydrotherapy in a most pleasant setting. Massage included. Mens sana in corpore sano! In addition be being really quite relaxing, the occasion afforded an opportunity to discuss briefly with Daniela, while lounging in the warm water pool, the meaning of "civil", "civilized", etc. Civilization! (Workers, unemployed, retired, children, etc. of the world unite! You have much to lose, but get your societies organized to provide all its citizens with very high quality footwear and good hytrotherapy, and we'll all break free of some really stinking chains!)