Castilla-León, February 2016
Saturday February, 27th.
We left Algeciras at about 09:30. The weather was rough but it improved gradually as we got away from the Gibraltar straight. We reached Merida at 13:30 where we had lunch as we usually do in our favourite Gambrinus. Marta, Mariana and her parents decided to stroll along Merida while I rested for some minutes in the car since I feel uncomfortable and sleepy when I drive after lunch. Their stroll took from 14:30 to 16:40. We were bound back to our destination at about 17:00, Villanueva del Conde. We reached it at 19:40. We contacted our landlord, Ulises, by phone, and he drove us to our home at the village. This village has about 160 inhabitants and it's located in a privileged settlement because you are in direct contact with the nature. We unloaded our lugagge and, after a chat with Ulises to explain us what can be visited in the area, we lighted the chimney and we had dinner. The weather was quite acceptable except for the low temperatures which varied between 3 and 4 degrees Celsius.
Mariana at the Main Square of Villanueva del Conde
Our Apartment in the Village
Sunday February, 28th.
The sun rises in Villanueva del Conde and the weather is fine. Sunny but with low temperature, about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius this time. We made to Miranda del Castañar at about 11:00 A.M. This Castilian village has 460 inhabitants and it was about 15 minutes far by car from where we slept. We visited the Shop-Museum "La Muralla" from where we bought a bottle of local red wine which we drank that very night for dinner. When we visited this village we made to Mogarraz. We reached our new destination at about 12:20. It's a very peculiar village for in 1967 rose up an artistic initiative consisting in painting the facades of the houses with portraits of the people living inside. I stopped to speak with an elderly person who explained me how that initiative was; as part of his explanation he drove me to the door of his house and he showed me his portrait in his facade made a few decades ago when he was forty. We finished our visit to this village and we made to the next one, La Alberca, labeled as one of the most beautiful places of Spain. We arrived there at 13:45 so we looked directly for a place to have lunch. This place was called "La Cantina de Elias" from where we left satisfied and with power enough to continue with our visit. This village, not being too big, it was much bigger than the former ones. It had about 1200 inhabitants. A shop selling very eye-catching shoes, among other things, attracted our attention. Mariana bought a pair of them and Dimo bought a cap. At 16:30 we were done with this village; our next destination was the "France rock", a peak of about 1730 meters high easily accessible by car. This place was quite snowy for several snow storms fell the previous days. The weather was more and more unpleasant, so unpleasant that snowed in our way back. The snow was so abundant that we couldn't reach the top of the peak, we had to resign to be only 200 meters far from it.
The rain prevented us to sightsee our next village, San Martin del Castañar, so we returned directly to our apartment in Villanueva del Conde. After strolling this latter village, we stayed in at the heat of the chimney and a warm dinner.
Miranda del Castañar
Monday February, 29th.
We woke up at 09:30 in a sunny day, though the temperature continued being low. After breakfast we made to Salamanca, one hour and twenty minutes far by car. We arrived in this city at 12:00 in the morning. Once there, we entered the cathedral and when we were done, we searched for a place to have lunch. The chosen place was called "Don Quijote". Then we decided to go to the Salamanca University, a well-known place due to the prestige of being the best of Spain. Once the visit to the cathedral was over, we saw a touristic train ready to leave and we got on it to sight-see the city assisted by the comments of the guide and on wheels. This pleasure took us about half an hour, after which we decided to go to the " Plaza Mayor", a must-see place if you visit this city. At 18:00 we started our way back to our village. In our return we had the opportunity to watch an unusual scene: a group of thirty or forty deers grazing by the road. It was not a surprise for that zone is a private hunting area where these animals are brought up and fed up to be hunted subsequently.
Once in our appartement we fired the chimney and we had dinner with our mind set in our return home the following day.
Plaza Mayor, Salamanca
Tuesday March, 1st.
Our time to return home had come. We enjoyed three intense days with many kilometres by car. The villages and small cities we visited were picturesque and unique. Now we had to see Ulises off, a classy host. We started our return at about 11:00. Caceres was our first stop. We strolled the old city and then we searched for a place to have lunch. "Taperia los Ibericos" was our choice, a quite nice place where we ate very well with the famous tapas. We left Caceres at 16:00 bound to Algeciras, a non-stop trip. I must admit that I finished tired after so many kilometres, even though our car was wide and comfortable. We were back home at 20:30.
Cáceres, Plaza Mayor