Day 24: ÚbedaMarch 11, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C
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.Read more