Hola Jaén

19 Sep

On friday’s train ride from Sevilla to Jaén, I started to get a little nervous. We crossed the countryside, passing one olive grove after another and then – out of almost nothing – rose the mountains and the city of Jaén Capital.

Even though I have looked at many pictures of the city, I have to say I was blown away with how pretty the city actually is. It’s surrounded by the mountains on one side and the sweeping valleys of olive trees on the other. While about 116,000 residents makes it big enough to be the largest city in the region, it’s still small enough to be quaint and comforting.

The most surprising thing for me were the views. Every street corner that you turn seems to offer an amazing view –  whether it be of the Santa Catalina castle that perches high atop the mountain, or the olive groves that surround the city. And then there’s the beautiful old town with narrow cobblestone streets, monumental churches and welcoming plazas tucked away between the buildings.

One of the best parts is that I feel like everything is within walking distance. And even though people have criticized the nightlife, we still found plenty to do by just wandering around the old town and hopping from plaza to tapas bars. I still have a lot to explore around the city, but I think I’m really going to like it here!

My Lesson of the Day: While a picture may be worth a thousand words, nothing compares to actually being here.

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