When you think of Andalucía, Jaén is not much of a top-of-mind destination. Sevilla’s lavish Plaza de España, Granada’s ornate La Alhambra or Córdoba’s unique Mezquita-Catedral are surely right up there. I’ve always imagined Jaén as one vast field of olives and a whole lot of nothing going on. That was until I actually went to see it for myself.
The boyfriend’s father is the president of the neighborhood association and he organizes one-day excursions every once in a while. For the last Sunday of May, they decided to take the titas of Santa Paula, Málaga to the two small cities of Úbeda and Baeza. They asked us if we wanted to come with, so we did our research and apparently, both are Unesco World Heritage sites. Since it was an all-expense-paid trip anyway, we delightedly joined the senior citizens’ wanderlust club.
I was barely awake when we hopped on the bus at 7 am in the morning. Málaga to Baeza takes some 3 hours of travel including a quick breakfast midway.
An old fountain as centerpiece in the Plaza del Populo, the main square in the tourist area of Baeza
Casa del Populo, which now serves as the Office of Tourism
A lovely garden nearby
Some titas blocking my shot of the Fuente de Santa María
Palacio de Jabalquinto – worth your 10 minutes
As luck would have it, it was the feast of Corpus Christi. Here are some elegantly clad guardia civils.
Altar de la Cofradía de la Vera Cruz
While waiting for the procession…
Some Spanish boys killing the sailor chic look
Corpus Christi, puberty version
Palacio Vázquez De Molina, a renaissance palace
Sacra Capilla del Salvador, a church in the Plaza Vázquez de Molina
Some impressive frescoes inside
A much-needed break from an entire day of walking. These Méjica art installations came in handy.
Strolling around the center of Úbeda
Aromatic leaves scattered about the streets
I spy some quaint balconies
Creepily watching some people eat
See? I was right. Jaén is one vast field of olives.
These two neighboring cities in the heart of the Jaén province are worth a day trip if ever you’re visiting in Andalucía, most especially if you’re an “off-the-beaten-path” kind of traveller. You can explore these historical towns, bask in their Renaissance treasures and dig into their free tapas.