Recently a co-worker (Marquis) and myself were asked by the Spanish Department of Tourism and the Andelusian Region for an International meeting for Inland Tourism. First off, let me say it was a working visit but we were shown an area of Spain that sadly is overlooked by many and it’s now my goal to change that. Let me tell you a bit about my trip.
We departed Houston on Wednesday. We were flying Delta so had a 1 hour layover in Atlanta. We actually had a very nice flight to Madrid. We spent some time reviewing our itenerary (busy), the area we were going to (neither of us knew a lot), and what we were planning on trying to learn or accomplish (a list a mile long). For the first time in my life I had an enjoyable meal aboard a flight. The attendants were funny, the seats I actually slept in, and wonders upon wonders did not feel like I had been drugged through the ringer when we landed. We were met by Juan at the airport and he drove us the 4 hours south to Jaén, a city in south-central Spain. Below is a You Tube video of the area and with photos of our trip. Take a peek. I think you will find it beautiful.
Video by Liza Drake
A bit about Jaén. It is literally surrounded by 65 million olive trees. If you love good olive oil, anything cooked in olive oil, or the taste of olives then Jaén is the city for you. The food was amazing, the city was and is warm, inviting, and full of people that were always eager and excited to show off where they live and the overall region. Jaén lies in the middle of the largest National Park in Europe outside of Russia. They offer some amazing trip options. Do you like good food? Some of the most amazing meals I have ever eaten I ate over the next 4 days in Jaén and in the surrounding area. Wild game, olives (obviously), pork, fish, plus desserts. You name it and it was available. The wine of the area, if you enjoy a glass of wine, PLEASE try. I am not a fan of red wine but I was impressed with even the “house wines” of so many of the restaurants we visited. Do you enjoy history? Imagine the last country in Europe to free itself from the Moors with castles, the Knights Templar, Damascus swords, artists and Freemasons—-history on top of history on top of history.
Do you enjoy nature or even big game hunting? Would you think of Spain? Probably not. However, not only is the opportunity there but this also has to be one of the most amazing areas in western Europe to fill that need. There are rugged mountains, there are open plains, river valleys, and miles and miles of forest. You have the urge to discover your ‘wild-man’ or ‘wild-woman’ persona? Mountain goats, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Spanish Red Deer and a HOST of other options if you want. On top of the hunting you have birding, rafting, hiking, and even more. I think I am making myself tired just thinking about the options.
I don’t want to bore you but I do hope that I have piqued your interest enough to give this part of Spain a visit or at the very least a long look. If myself, Marquis or another one of the amazing tour or cruise agents could be of assistance, give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you and introducing you to Spain! Isn’t it about time you treated yourself to something WONDERFUL?
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