Sierra de Gata Villages   2017 May

 APRIL, 28TH-2017, AlgECIRAS-ACEBO

 

We left home at about 15:15, after picking up Marta from school; it rained cats and dogs in our way to Acebo, Cáceres. The rain was so hard that we got completely soaked after taking our luggage to the car, forcing us to switch the car heater in order not to get cold. We had lunch driving so as to make the most of our afternoon. The bad weather gave way to a pleasant yet cloudy day once we entered "La Ruta del Toro". We had the first delay when we entered Seville. We lost about an hour crossing the city through the "Puente del Centenario". It rained as much as in Algeciras between Seville and Badajoz. Once we bordered Cáceres we missed a diversion for which we delayed about twenty minutes. We reached Acebo at about 21:30. We were surprised with Acebo because the small village intended to be a place just to sleep had a lot of things to offer. We met Rosa, our landlady, at the central square of the village. She showed us our house in which we were staying for three days. Rosa's houses were called "Casas Rurales El Pilar", and ours was called "La Barquilla". It was very cozy and we soon felt very comfortable in it. Acebo was so small that even our mobile phones had no coverage. We went to bed really tired after a six hours trip by car, including some delays.

 Acebo Central Square

Name of the house we slept at the facade

APRIL, 29TH-2017, TREVEJO-ROBLEDILLO DE GATA-CORIA

 

The day started cloudy in Acebo; it had been raining all night along. Even in the morning the rain-drops could be heard through the dormer windows in the attic of our horse "La Barquilla". Acebo was totally quiet. From time to time the silence was broken by the sound of the church bells to announce the time. After a long while enjoying the silence, the sound of the rain and the bells, we had breakfast and we made to Trevejo, about 42 kilometres for from Acebo. Sheltered under our umbrellas we strolled this small village of only 24 inhabitants. At the summit of the place a ruined fortress could be found. This castle was started in the XII century, on the foundations of a moslem stronghold. During the French invasion the castle was partially destroyed to avoid the Spanish soldiers sheltering there. Nowadays it resists the pass of the years the best it is able to. Besides this castle, some anthopomorphic thombs caved in the granitic rock could be found near the "San Juan" church. Our stroll had a very special feline mate along all our way. We were done with Trevejo at 13:30. Then we headed to Robledillo de Gata, another small village with 119 inhabitants about 49 Kilometres far from Trevejo. It's an historical ensemble and a Cultural Interest wealth since 1994. A medieval ambient could be breathed in its streets that gave to this city a unique enchantment. The streets were steep, narrow and winding, creating some of them small tunnels producing an interesting shadow / light effect. The walls were made of adobe, giving a characteristic ochre colour to the outfit. We walked for a long time around the village streets and tunnels previously mentioned. A small cascade at the very center of the village grabbed specially our attention. The place was completely crowded with tourists as expected, mainly from Madrid. Lunchtime was approaching and we had to find a place to eat. Surfing the internet to plan this trip a hostel / restaurant called "Casa Manadero" kept in my retina. We entered there and we were accommodated in the second floor of the restaurant. It was a pleasant place, a bit dark in my opinion, but likeable all in all. Regarding to the quality of the food, I must admit that although they were not large portions, quality-wise they were quite good. Once our lunch was over, we made to our next village, Coria, about 52 kilometres far from Robledillo de Gata. We reached Coria at about 15:00, we parked our car and we strolled the city for two hours. We had the opportunity of visiting the gothic style "Santa Maria de la Asuncion" cathedral built between 1498 and 1748 and its museum, full wth relics, paintings, sculptures, and goldsmithing with special mention to the Main Retable made in the XVIII century.

After this city stroll we sat in a bistro to fill up our batteries, making to the "Virgen de Argeme" chapel then. Marta played in a small park after visiting the chapel and going down to a fountain near the chapel. We returned to Acebo at 21:15, having dinner on our way back in a restaurant called "Restaurante Asterio" in Perales del Puerto.

Trevejo Street

Cascade at the very center of Robledillo de Gata

 Santa María de la Asunción Cathedral, Coria

 APRIL, 30TH 2017, GARGANTA LA OLLA-GRANADILLA

 

It was raining in Acebo like the previous day. We had breakfast at our apartment and then we drove for an hour and a half to Garganta la Olla, another small village in the Vera region very close to the Yuste Monastery surrounded by natural canyons in a privileged natural environment. It's worth saying that its natural swimming-pools and "La Casa de las Muñecas" (The House of the Dolls), with its blue facade, are a must to visit. More than 1000 inhabitants live in this village nowadays. Its ancient architecture is also worth mentioning.

When we arrived the village was full with tourists. Making the most of the showiness of the place I had the chance of using my camera in depth. We tried to have lunch there but it was an impossible task: every single restaurant was completely crowded, so we made to "Jaraiz de La Vera" and we found the restaurant "El Fezur", where we could eat. The manners in this establishment were correct as well as the price: 8,50 € the menu for one person. The downside of this place was the quality of the food which, due to some details like the low temperature of the dishes and the lack of tenderness of the fried potatoes; these things made our experience in this restaurant mediocre. Anyway, our situation didn't allow us to choose for much longer, and we had lunch in this restaurant 6,5 Kms. far from Garganta la Olla.

When our lunch was over we made to Granadilla, a historical-artistical ensemble surrounded by a wall with a very peculiar recent history: an evacuated village that was emptied by Franco in the 50's due to the construction of a water reservoir which was supposed to cover up the village; this never happened not even with the reservoir 100% full. The most important part of this ensemble is the tower built between 1473 and 1478. From the top of this tower the village and the entire reservoir could be made out. We finished our visit to the place at about 19:30 and then we made to Acebo. We had lunch at our apartment. We were to rest as much as we could that night for several hundreds of kilometres by car were waiting for us the following day.

 

Garganta la Olla Central Square

Granadilla and its tower at the bottom

MAY, 1ST., 2017 ALCANTARA-ALGECIRAs

 

It was a sunny day in Acebo. It looked as if the weather was waiting these mini-holidays to finish to turn pleasant and with no rain. We left our apartment at about 10:10 AM. We handled the keys to Rosa in her farm, we saw them off and we drove to Alcantara. We reached this small town at about 12:00 PM. The Roman Bridge was a must visiting; built between the years 104 and 106, it crosses the Tajo. We visited the artificial 130 meters high reservoir, owned by Iberdrola as well. We parked our car close to the city centre and we started strolling the historical part of Alcantara. We entered the San Benito nunnery for free and with a guide included. Once this visit was over we made to the end of the city from where the Roman Bridge and the reservoir could be made out. Lunch time was approaching. We were recommended a restaurant by a couple with who we happened to meet at the nunnery; it was located at one exit of Alcantara and it was called "Kantara Al Saif". To be honest that was the only restaurant from which we left completely satisfied in those mini-holidays. The price was reasonable, the building and the ambient were pleasant and the menu quite tasty. We finished our meal and we started our way to Algeciras. More than five hours and a half driving were waiting for us, a whole afternoon-evening. We left Alcantara at 16:00 and reached Algeciras at 21:00 including one stop for Mariana to stand in for me driving an hour and a half.

Selfie with the Alcantara's Roman Bridge

Inside San Benito Nunnery