Here you’ll find travel reports about Jaen. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day23

    Day 23: Sierra Nevada & Baeza

    March 10, 2017 in Spain

    Northwards! Our French host couple put on an enormous breakfast for us, absolutely ridiculous in size. Olive & bacon bread, French crepes, croissants, toast, bread rolls, fruit salad, orange juice, tea & coffee, four different types of jam - and all of it home-made by our host! Crazy. I especially loved the French crepes, the way they're so light and crispy but still feel solid - very difficult to get right.

    After our huge breakfast was a long drive today. Our final destination was the small town of Ubeda, up near the northern border of Andalusia, but we had a couple of stops to make along the way.

    Firstly we drove for a couple of hours towards Grenada, where we'd visited Alhambra earlier in the week. We'd seen the snow-capped mountains and known that you could drive up there, so we thought since we were going basically straight past, we might as well drive up and have a look. So we did! There was a large-ish ski town probably twice the size of Thredbo, plenty of snow on the slopes but thankfully none in the town or on the roads. It was sunny and reasonably warm, though cold in the shade.

    There was actually a world championships of something or other happening so it was busier than usual, but I guess it's still the end of the ski season as well and plenty of people were coming down the runs. Walked Schnitzel onto the snow to see what he thought, and he actually didn't mind it surprisingly! He was pretty confused I guess, but he didn't run away or whimper or anything which is nice! Had a coffee in the sun and a brief look around before deciding we'd seen enough and heading back down.

    We bypassed Grenada and kept driving northwards to the tiny hamlet of Baeza, just near our final destination for the day. The reason we're heading this way is that both Baeza and Ubeda are UNESCO World Heritage listed for their excellent examples of Spanish renaissance architecture.

    Baeza turned out to be a very sleepy little village, with mazy stone streets and old buildings. We parked up and wandered around for a few hours admiring things. At times it felt like we were the only ones there, and there were really some areas with little evidence of the modern world. Great to get lost in, and very few tourists about.

    Eventually we headed onwards to Ubeda and our home for the next two nights. Had some difficulty finding the accommodation since it's in the old part of town where the streets are extremely narrow. At one point Google told me to turn left around a corner I was never going to make as it was too tight, then later when I declined to "turn right" down a pedestrian plaza we ended up stuck in a maze of one-way streets. Finally managed to find it the old-fashioned way!

    Seems like a nice town here as well, though quite a bit larger and more tourists around. We had a quick look around in the evening but not too much. Ate at a very delicious restaurant a street over from our apartment - tried salmorejo for the first time which is a cold soup of tomato and potato, topped with jamon and cheese. Similar to gazpacho but definitely not the same thing! Quite tasty.
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  • Day24

    Day 24: Úbeda

    March 11, 2017 in Spain

    Time to explore the historic centre of Ubeda. We got out fairly early after a quick breakfast at a local cafe (some odd pastry that I thought was a croissant but was more like a profiterole) and headed down in the centre of town.

    There was a lovely square with some lovely Renaissance buildings - a town hall, obligatory cathedral, justice buildings, police hall, and several others made of the same rough-hewn sandstone. Part of the reason Ubeda and Baeza are considered important culturally is that they were fairly new towns in the Renaissance, when Spain was at its height culturally and exporting that culture across the world via their colonies. Many of the buildings we were looking at have counterparts in southern and central America, since they were just copying existing buildings over there.

    Although the environment was quite nice, there were several large tour groups around which rather spoiled the atmosphere somewhat. Without them it would've been just a handful of tourists, but locals with megaphones in groups of 50 isn't particularly enjoyable!

    By now it was lunch time, so we found a tiny little tavern and stood at the bar. Had a beer each and a bocadillo (basically a baguette) while being vaguely stared at by the locals since we very clearly weren't. Apparently Spain is one of the worst-performing countries in western Europe when it comes to English skills, and I can definitely believe it. My Spanish isn't really improving though!

    Back to the apartment for the afternoon where we did some work on videos and writing blog posts. Late in the afternoon a brass band started rehearsing in a building nearby - we could hear them through the wall very clearly but when I went for a wander around the block to find them I had no luck! Obviously high up and in the bowels of a building somewhere.

    Went out for another wander at the approach of evening to see the buildings in a different light. Quite atmospheric, and thankfully no tour groups with megaphones to disturb everyone!

    Although I'm not a fan of this, we went back to the same restaurant we'd been to for dinner the previous evening. Again the food was excellent, this time we had beef cheeks in red wine sauce with the salmorejo for starters. And a platter of grilled calamari rings as a free snack - everywhere just gives you something to munch on which your drinks. Sometimes it's a bit of bread with jamon, other times it's toast with Spanish omelette. This time we got lucky with marinated and grilled calamari! Good stuff. Off to bed for our last night Ubeda.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Jaén, Provincia de Jaen, Jaén, Jaen, Chaén, Xaén, Província de Jaén, ハエン

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