We have just had a round trip through Almeria, Andalucia and Murcia, staying at Mojacar the first night,on the way we called in at Mazarron, but were not very impressed, everywhere seemed uncared for and a bit down at heel, we took the mountainous coast road to Aguilas, with some fantastic views over the sea. Aguilas is a pleasant town with some nice buildings and a nice square with cafes for coffee, tapas or meals , then on on to Mojacar. Stayed at a very busy hotel with lots of Inmerso clients - government sponsored holidays for people over 60. Mojacar playa seems to be very Brit dominated,lots of brit owned cafes and sports bars. The next day into Almeria city, this is a ferry port to Melilla in North Africa and there was also a large cruise ship in the harbour. We had a look at the Cathedral and shopping area and then set off to Guadix, the other side of the Sierra Nevada. Guadix has some interesting architecture and historical buildings and is a busy city, but seems to have a shortage of bars and restaurants to get a meal. The weather turned cold, wet and very windy and from our hotel we had views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range with a capping of snow. Next morning after driving through rolling hills of Olive groves the City of Jaen was our next stopping point,it has an magnificent cathedral, we took a guided tour with a personal handset,which gave us information on all the points of interest and artifacts in the cathedral. After, we decided to go to the ancient Arab baths, We drove through Jaens narrow cobbled streets, mingling with Jaens maniac drivers for about an hour, because the sat nav was taking us round in circles, then parked the car Jaen style and walked, luckily the heavy rain had eased a little. Although the Palacio Villardompado was hard to find it was worth the visit, as there is an amazing art exhibition of mainly modern primitive works, The extensive 11th century Arab baths and also a folk museum. We had an overnight stop at Baeza, and on to Ubeda the next morning, Ubeda centre is a world heritage site with many buildings of renaissance architecture, considered to be Spains best example and it was like walking round an open air museum. Time for a change so a longish drive to Caravaca del la Cruz passing through Olive terraces, forests, and mountain gorges and continually changing scenery. We arrived at Caravaca in time to walk up to the castle and church which overlook the town and then wander through the narrow streets. The old part has some beautifull old buildings, lots of tourist orientated shops with lots of souvenir crosses, jewellery and trinkets, but there are modern shopping streets with clothes and shoe shops selling the latest fashions. After staying the night we headed back towards Guardamar and the warmer climate, It had not occurred to me how much colder it is in inland Spain this time of year, watching the television weather forecast there appears to be a 8-10 degree difference.
Thursday, November 11, 2010