Andalucía


(AS SEEN IN EPISODE 108, ¬ďA Sultan¬ís View of Andaluc√≠a¬Ē)


It’s not surprising that the Moors chose Andalucía, Spain’s southern most region, to settle in.  This autonomia is bound by three coasts (the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz, and Costa de Almería), boasts the massive Sierra Nevada mountains, is perforated by the Guadalquivir River, and is nearly bursting with olive and orange trees.  Historically, Andalucía’s held economic power since its proximity to North Africa situates it as a prime trading location.  Additionally, this proximity informs the architecture—the Alhambra, for example, is a stunning, intricate, Moorish masterpiece.  And, in the spirit of a foodie road-trip, the combination of Spanish and Moroccan ingredients and techniques favors (and flavors!) a cuisine distinguished by warm spices, exotic fruit, and the patience for slow cooking.  Gwyneth, Mark and Claudia ate their way through Andalucía, happily wiping pomegranate juice from their chins and leaving tejeringo crumbs in their tracks.



RESTAURANTS

Sociedad de Plateros
With good food and a nice atmosphere, this is the neighborhood restaurant you wish you had in your own neighborhood. Claudia and Mark enjoyed a great lunch here and especially liked the salmorejo (sort-of like thick gazpacho) and fried berrenjena (eggplant).
Practical Information: Calle María Auxiliadora, 25, Córdoba, +34.957470304, www.sociedadplateros.com

Rincón de la Aurora
The wonderful Spanish-Arabic food reminds you of Granada’s proximity to Morocco. It’s a little hard to find, but worth navigating the windy streets. Mark and Claudia were especially fond of the beet and walnut puree.
Practical Information: Plaza San Miguel Bajo, 7, Granada, +34.952324916


Mirador de Morayma
Gwyneth, Mark and Claudia ate at this restaurant and enjoyed both great fideos and amazing views of the Alhambra.
Practical Information: Calle Pianista García Carrillo, 2, Granada, +34.958228290


La Última Ola
Before heading home for Halloween, Gwyneth joined Mark and Claudia at this restaurant for a spectacular seafood feast on the Costa Tropical.
Practical Information: Paseo Puerta del Mar, 17, 18690, Almuñecar, +34.958630018



HOTELS

Parador La Arruzafa
TTalk about a historical location…this Parador, located on the ruins of Abd-ar-Rahman I’s summer palace, is said to have stunning panoramic views of the city.
Practical Information: Avenida de la Arruzafa, s/n, Córdoba, +34.957275900, www.parador.es


Parador de San Francisco
If you can't tear yourself away from the magnificent Alhambra, book a room in this parador located inside the palace.
Practical Information: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, Granada, +34.958221440, www.parador.es



ATTRACTIONS

La Alhambra, the beautiful Moorish palace Gwyneth and Mark visited in Granada. It’s one of Spain's most visited locations.
Practical Information: www.alhambra.org/eng/index.asp?secc=/inicio&popup=1


La Mezquita, the historic mosque that Mark and Claudia passed on their drive in Córdoba. It¬ís one of the most incredible examples of Muslim architecture in southern Spain.
Practical Information: www.mezquitacatedral.es/index.php


Medina Azahara, where Mark and Claudia got a huge dose of history walking through ancient ruins.
Practical Information: www.medinazahara.net