Olive tress, as far as the eye could see, paved the landscape along our drive through Andalucia. We’d snagged an unbelievable deal of €4/day for a rental car and took off to get out of the city of La Linea and see what this region of Spain had to offer. We can thank our American travel buddies for setting us into motion; they’d invited us to join them at a house-sit which we enthusiastically accepted, adding Spain to our list of recurring land and/or sea ventures (including Netherlands, UK, and Norway). The house-sit at El Molino del Conde, was a homey farmhouse complete with chickens. We enjoyed several jaunts to charming nearby villages, and one precarious sunset hike.
The city of Cordoba hosts a plethora of World Heritage Sites, more than we could truly admire in just one day. The Mosque was closed during our visit, which was unfortunate. We were able to leisurely tour the Castle of Almodovar and our timing was perfect for a tour of the Royal Stables where one of King Philip II’s Andalucian horses gave us a bow. The narrow, meandering streets of the Jewish quarter were packed full of shops and cafes. Two shops showcased local artisans and we really enjoyed their creations; it’s always refreshing to see some talent and not just touristy tchotchkes.
Fun Fact: Cordoba’s Roman Bridge, with a bit of digital enhancement, was the scene for the Long Bridge of Volantis in Game of Thrones.
Grenada was next on the World Heritage Spanish tour. At Grenada, we visited Alhambra and spent hours admiring the craftsmanship of the Nazareis Palace. Downtown in Grenada we treated ourselves to tapas and gelato, admired the Christmas lights adorning the city, and had a fantastic evening view of Alhambra.
Back to nature for a fabulous ending to our first trip thru Andalusia, we hiked through Torcal de Antequera. Magnificent limestone formations lined a canyon trail. A few Ibex surprised us with a show of their expert climbing skills. This was a fun spot for a bit of drone action, whizzing through the canyon Brian got some great footage!