View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Monday, January 16, 2017

5 mile hike to a 9th century castle

Before we left Ubeda, there was one thing we wanted to do. And that was to visit the Sinagoga Del Agua. (Synagogue of the Water).

We like history and this one included some Jewish history, with quite a fascinating story. Back in 2007, a property developer had bought a series of buildings in the historic center of Ubeda, and was going to develop them into apartments, shops, and parking.

They began excavating one house but as they dug, they kept coming across pieces of an archaeological puzzle. They realized they had something quite special, and the developer changed his plans.

They had found a 13th century Jewish synagogue.

They spent three years restoring the synagogue, and it opened to the public in 2010.

We paid the €4.00 ($6.00 CAD, $4.35 USD) each for the 45 minute tour. Fortunately, they had explanation guidebooks in English because the guide spoke so fast we couldn't make out much of what she was saying.

Unfortunately, there are no photos you'll have to go see it for yourself! Or, look them up on google.

So it was after lunch by the time we left Ubeda, and headed down to the town of Doña Mencía (pop 5,000).

It was pretty much a four lane highway the entire trip. Hardly any vehicles on it though, which was nice.

More olive trees.

It's nice scenery, but it's all olive trees. As far as the eye can see.

We bypassed the city of Jaen, although we would have liked to go there. Perhaps next month on our way back.

The fuel situation was getting low, and so we stopped for diesel fuel. The station was totally self serve. Not a soul in sight. You had to go to a pay station, pay for how much fuel you wanted and at which pump, then go back to the pump and get your fuel. Interesting. Diesel was €1.17 per litre and gasoline was €1.25 per litre. That's about $1.80 per litre CAD, and about $5.25 per gallon USD.

As we got close to Doña Mencía, we saw a village on a hill with a castle. The castle looked really cool....we love castles! I pulled over and took a photo...

The village of Zuheros.

We pulled into the free RV parking area at Doña Mencía. It was quite busy, being a Sunday and this one even allows travel trailers. So there were a few families out enjoying the weekend. Also it's located right on an old railway line that has been turned into a very long cycling and walking path.

We learned that this path goes right by the village of Zuheros where the castle is located, and it's a 4 km (2.5 mile) walk one way. So off we went! We were due for some exercise!

Walking to the village of Zuheros.

Almost there!

Views of the olive plantations, you can also see the cycling path down there. 

The castle.

The castle was originally built by the Arabs in the 9th century! It was "renovated" in the 15th century. We tried to go inside, but it was too late in the day and it's not open Mondays. Shame, because we've decided to stay here another day. There's a beautiful looking hike in the hills in behind the town that we want to do. Then, we'll head down to the coast on Tuesday.

A castle with a view.

Back at the free RV parking area. GPS 37.546620, -4.351790

Yesterday's drive, 123 kms (76 miles).

Subscription to National Geographic is on sale...


  1. Many years ago as a young man I spent some time visiting Spain and now through your eyes I have been able to see much of what I's such a beautiful and historical country.Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    1. Yes, it is beautiful and very historical. We are loving our journey and so glad that we can show you some of what you haven't seen. I am sure that we could spend three months if not more just touring around Spain.

  2. Most attractions in Spain and Portugal are usually shut Mondays...a good day for resting or walking though

    1. We realize this and unfortunately it has affected a few of the attractions that we would like to have seen but then again I guess it has actually saved us a little money. There are still many more sights to see though. :-)

  3. Oh drat on the no images rule! Dear Kevin I know you can build anything so please build a jacket with hidden hook-ups for the GoPro so we can see what you have seen. Yes I am asking for hijacked images. Oh the shame...

    1. Lots of photos on web of Synagogue of Water...very interesting too.

    2. Trust us Diana we have thought of that but then we haven't liked the idea of it being confiscated if we too have been caught with it! Thankfully as Rita has seen, google shows lots of images of what it looked like inside.

  4. I love how the castle rises out of the rocks.

  5. Beautiful area! I have never been to that part of Spain--maybe soon:)

    1. Looks like you may have to return and seen some of what you have missed in previous visits.

  6. Glad you got some exercise in. Looks like you are having a wonderful exciting trip! Enjoy and stay safe!

    1. Yep, and we got even more exercise today! Wait until you see tomorrow's post. :-)

  7. Oh my, like you guys, I'd love to go inside that castle. Wow!

    1. We would have loved to go inside the castle as well, oh well there will be many more. :-)


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