Day 23: Sierra Nevada & BaezaMarch 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.Read more