Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Walled Towns - Baeza

Baeza is a fortified town and was originally surrounded by a thick, tall wall for protection in the ongoing wars betweens the Christians and the Moors. The wall is still a very visible presence in the town. You walk through the gates to move from one part of the town to another. Houses have been built adjacent to and incorporating the wall. And you can go for a walk around the outskirts of the town following the outlines of the wall.

A walled city is a foreign concept to North Americans where the cities are wide open and sprawl out into the surrounding countryside. I rather like the wall. It provides a sense of security and identity.

I was also delighted by the views over the olive groves below the hilltop town from the mirador. And surprised, but equally delighted to find that there was a flock of sheep and goats grazing right outside the town and within two blocks of the cathedral.

Olive groves as far as the eye can see. I am beginning to really enjoy olive oil; it adds a very distinctive flavour and richness to foods. And it is served on everything - from toast at breakfast to drizzled over slices of cheese. And you can get a saucer full of olives for free when you order a drink - wonderful olives that are always different - some are spicy, some are soft and ripe, some are unripe and crunchy. And I've even discovered dark chocolate made with olive oil - although I think that's a tourist gimmick.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Mmmmm...I love olives!