Úbeda to Jaén

This morning we visited the Chapel in Úbeda which was right outside the window of our room. According to Lonely Planet it is one of the purest examples of Renaissance architecture in Spain. That’s our Parador on the left below and the church on the right.


Then we went for a walk along the the wall of the town and got a great view of the olive groves which surround Úbeda.



We stopped in to see a small collection of miniatures all made by one man. The gentleman was there and was very proud to tell us all about them. He said he has been retired twenty years and working on them the whole time!



After wandering through and marveling at the narrow streets and squares we picked up our bags and headed to the bus station to catch a bus to Jaén. The bus drove through unending olive groves before dropping us at the bus station in Jaén. The picture below is of one of the many squares in Úbeda. The nice thing about being here in winter is that we almost had the town to ourselves.


From the bus station in Jaén we could see way way above us the Parador Castillo de Santa Catalina. The Castillo de Santa Catalino was originally an Islamic Fortress. Thank goodness we took our first taxi ride of the trip to get there. By taxi it was about 3.5 miles and up 2600 feet. This picture is taken from the taxi half way up..


Word can not express how magnificent is the setting of our room in the Parador tonight. Although I’ll give it a try. We have a balcony with a wonderful view of the mountains and the town of Jaén below. We walked along the ridge next to the castle out to the cross overlooking the town.



After we returned to the Parador we stopped and read for a while in one of the common spaces and then had another wonderful dinner in the restaurant.



I’m leaving out any food pictures in this post. I wouldn’t want you to think we are eating our way through Spain!!!

Córdoba to Úbeda

Last night we ate tapas in what Lonely Planet describes as on of Córdoba’s best Tabernas (taverns), Tabernacle San Miguel El Pisto. On our walk there you could tell it was Friday night. All the young people were out socializing. The old people were out too and the taberna was packed.


This morning we walked to the bus station and caught a the bus to Úbeda. We had reserved seats in the front row so we had a great view of the countryside which consisted of unending olive groves and cooperative presses.



According to what I read Spain has 2.5 million hectares of olive groves, one third of the world’s total, and 1.5 million are in Andalusia where we are now.

In Úbeda we are staying at our first Parador. Paradors are historic buildings that have been converted into a chain of unique hotels. We have reservations to stay in several. This building was originally a palace built in the sixteenth century. Our room is extraordinary with two levels, thick walls and a view of the cathedral.



We had a wonderful dinner tonight in the Parador’s restaurant.