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10 days in Andalusia in Feb 2014 - best home base

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We are planning a trip that will last about 10 days to take place in February 2014. It will be a celebration of my husband's 80th birthday, my 62nd and our 4th anniversary.

We will probably rent a car. We would like to make a home base somewhere and travel from there to wherever. Here is the question: if our main destinations are Seville, Cordoba and Granada, is it best to stay somewhere in the middle or settle in one of those cities?

We are looking for a self-catering place, something cozy, no pool needed (!). We like to cook and love going to local markets. And we strongly prefer a place that doesn't involve stairs. (This is a pattern we have followed in UK, France and Venice.) Options in the countryside seem limited--places are mostly too large and too focused on the beach and youthful pleasures.

If we stay in a city, though, parking is a problem. Does anyone know of convenient public parking, perhaps on the outskirts, that might suffice?

Seville looks good. I was wondering about simply taking trains from there to Grenada and Cordoba. What is your experience with the Spanish trains? Are they reasonably dependable and punctual? If we want to have an excursion in the countryside, maybe we should just do a one-day auto rental?

So that's it. Haven't booked a flight or gotten much farther in our thinking. And, of course, we welcome all suggestions, especially "must sees" and "must avoid at all costs!"

Thanks so much for all your help.

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