Subject: Re: Andalucia, special places
Graciela & other lovers of Andalucia:

Your post brought back some great memories of my visit to Andalucia about 7 years ago. Based on your itinerary, I think you'll have an excellent overview of the region. I've been to several of the places you mentioned, though not all.

In Ubeda, I stayed at the Parador, which is in the heart of everything. Dinner at the restaurant was excellent; I especially enjoyed the jamon (ham), though was a little surprised when the plate of ham that I ordered basically came out a a huge plate of prosciutto.

While walking around the central area, I found a pottery store where the proprietor was selling green and blue pottery that she had made. The pottery is very beautiful and the owner of the store took special care in wrapping the pottery in bubble wrap to make sure it traveled safely. Though I don't speak Spanish and she didn't speak English, her pride in her work and her friendliness was most apparent. The architecture of the old city is quite something to see.

In Cordoba, the main highlight is of course the Mezquita (give yourself plenty of time to see it as there's a lot to take in), but I also enjoyed walking around the Jewish Quarter.

Seville is definitely the big city in Andalucia, but with all of the narrow lanes and city squares, it felt much smaller than it is. It also has an interesting Jewish Quarter. Though I didn't attend a bullfight, most of which take place between April and June, I did tour the arena. Whatever you think of bullfighting, it is a part of the culture and knowing a little bit more about it was useful.

Most hotels are built around central courtyards (including Las Casas de la Juderia where I stayed), and in addition to visiting courtyards of other hotels, one thing I really enjoyed was peering through wrought iron gates of various homes and businesses all around Seville into the interior courtyards. I was there just after heavy rains, and most of the courtyards were brimming with flowers, plants, and trees that were bursting with color. I ate mostly at tapas bars while in Seville (partly because I was too hungry to wait for normal dining hours), so can't recommend any restaurants.

Have a great trip.

Greg Davis Arlington, VA