|The buildings assert the Guadia Civil's quasi military history - making recent events in Catalonia seem very sinister.|
Inevitably Ubeda's renowned Renaissance Palaces and Baroque Churches featured strongly:
|Magnificent, imposing but oppressive - the pleasant park with the palm tree is where the Inquisition burned heretics - the nobility used to watch, apparently from the safety of the first floor balconies....|
|The Lonely Planet guide mentions 'Plateresque' a lot - this is a good example apparently|
|A number of the Palaccios have been converted into swanky Parador hotels.|
|Whatever dark history the buildings conceal, they did look stately and beautiful in the evening sunlight.|
|More 'Plateresque' detail (word of the day) - derived from silversmithing - I can see that similarity in the detail....|
|The style is unique to Spain mixing Gothic, Renaissance and Mujedar elements.|
|I guess the blend of naturalism within a hieratic compositional frame derived from late Gothic reflects the eclectic mix.|
|We noted this in a religious gift shop window surrounded by statues of the Virgin Mary - reflecting Spain's two major religions|
|As Gill said, "It may be ghastly, but think of all the work...."|
|Sad Alley Cafe - pitched at the lonely hearted?|
It being late in the day on a Monday in mid-October, unsurprisingly there were relatively few tourists wandering about Ubeda. It is equally unsurprising that we kept bumping into each other due to either having been given the same biro marked map by the Tourist Information office, or possibly all carrying an identical edition of Lonely Planet Spain in our luggage. Of this happy band of wanderers we were undoubtedly the scruffiest. It was clear that most others were guests from the Paradors. The car parked outside the largest of these was a high end Mercedes convertible; Any of our fellow sightseers, apart from us, could have been the owner. There is a limit as to how inquisitive you can be armed with a camera, its probably rude to point full stop. So to maintain the illusion of good manners I am going to pretend that the couple below inadvertanty wandered into my shot, which is utterly untrue, as I had just tried and failed to capture an amusing little episode involving them both only moments before.
The world is not wholly pre-packaged and commodified, behind the veneer of branding real stuff still exists. Authenticity is not some notion out-moded by the Post-modern. You have choice, but you must seek out the authentic, it won't come to you like a facile Tweet.
I wonder sometimes why I, we, love to travel. It's certainly not to do with checking off cultural highlights, nor following some sort of must do bucket list. Maybe we are simply wanderers, people who enjoy not knowing what is around the corner and find an inexplicable solace in stumbling across all the beautiful mundane things that Lonely Planet fails to mention. We have a one litre bottle of Ubeda olive oil to use now, five litres stashed away for home.