Exploring Spanish Cities

img_2391One of the cities we visited in Spain was Ronda. Ronda is a mountaintop city in the province of Malaga, Andalusia. The town is set dramatically above a deep gorge. Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spans the gorge. Plaza de Toros, a legendary 18th-century bullring, is one of the touristy city’s landmarks.

Another hill side town we visited was Compéta. It is on the Costa del Sol and is eye blindig white. img_2529Up in the hills, along hairpins and winding roads, we drove. Along the way we had been told to keep out an eye for another village with a beautiful cemetery. Of course, passed it and then had to drive a few extra kilometers before we could make a U-turn. But it was worth it. I’ve never seen such a unique cemetery: it reminded me of a beehive. Apparently this is the only round cemetery in Spain. The origins or reasons are not known but new graves are stucco’ed on top of each other. img_2523

Another few kilometers uphill is Compéta. We parked the car as soon as we could and then walked through the steep, white village and on for a hike in the hills.

Then we made our way to Grenada to visit the Alhambra. As a small boy, Kees learned about the Alhambra and never forgot his visions of this mystical, mysterious place so it was high on our bucket list. The first lesson we learned here was: plan ahead. All the websites had told us to buy entrance tickets ahead of time, even though we would visit on a Tuesday in November. So we went to book online, about 3 or 4 days ahead of time and were told that all tickets were sold out. The websites also stated that a limited number of tickets would be available on the day of the visit but you would have to line up at 8 AM. We read several accounts of people who tried this, only to stand in line for a long time and then to be told there were no more tickets for that day. We hoped to avoid that.

img_2547It seemed to us that we would always be able to join a tour and obtain tickets that way. But when we tried to book a tour, they were full – even two days ahead of time! We were now starting to worry.

But when we arrived at our hotel (see the previous blog of our crazy race through Granada), they told us they would check online that night. And voila, tickets magically appear for sale again. We were happy not to have to join a tour group but to buy the (much cheaper) regular tickets. We rented audio tours at the entrance so that we still had all the pertinent information on the history of Alhambra. The only other confusing thing that was online, was about selecting a time. It sounds like your ticket is limited to a few hours each day, but this is not true. You just need to decide which time you’d like to tour one of the sites: a palace. They limited the number of people inside so you pick your own time, show up and get inside. The rest of the place is open to you all day, both before and after your palace tour.

img_2584We had pictured Alhambra as a Moorish mosque. However, it is an ancient walled city with remnants of houses and streets, restored palaces and gardens. You can easily walk around all day.

Click here for historical details and a virtual tour: https://www.alhambradegranada.org/en/info/historicalintroduction.asp

Our hotel was in Albaicin, a neighbourhood that is believed to predate the Alhambra, which has its origins in the 9th century. We found it reminiscent of Jerusalem.

The old palaces, reflected in pond, with fountains and incredible ceilings were the highlight of our visit.img_2597

If you visit Grenada, we do recommend the hotel at which we stayed (http://www.casabombo.com/espanol/) but be sure to contact them for directions! I’m told they can even meet you somewhere. If you go by car, I’d stay somewhere else! But the rooms and the views are great.

Right in the backyard of the hotel, but you have to walk around the ‘block’, is a treasure of a restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/trilloalbaicin/  It absolutely had the best food we had in all of Spain but was pricey (so we celebrated our last night in Spain – a day early…).

And then our month of exploring Spain came to an end. I learned many things. I didn’t know that Spain had so many mosquitoes…. I learned that most people here drink coffee in glasses rather than cups. I found more dog poop and people smoking here than I had expected, kind of like Holland ten years ago. I learned that basically all stores and offices close at 2 PM, then stores and restaurants all open again at 7 or 8 PM. The streets are deserted around 3 or 4 PM, but around 7 PM people start to reappear. They stream back into the streets, populate the squares. Kids, people with strollers – they all come out at night, especially on the Plaza Mayor of any town. It was neat to see such a social street life.img_2606

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Madre Mia! Driving in Granada

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Compéta

Don’t ever think that you’re a pretty suave traveler, because you’ll immediately get punished. I felt that we were doing pretty good – having driven all over Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, New York; all over Costa Rica, found our way in old Jerusalem, survived Bangkok and Shanghai.

But then we visited Granada.

Our previous AirBnB was in a tiny little village on the coast. The address had a name and a number so we felt confident. But once we found the highway exit to the village, we hit dirt roads and potholes. Each corner led to another narrow dirt road without a name. We tried them all and ended up in so many backyards. After three turns into the same driveway, a Spanish woman in an apron came to talk to us. She used her hands a lot and between that and her rapid Spanish, we figured out that she had NO idea where this ouse might be.

A German couple in the next house came outside. They spoke no English but between German, Spanish and gestures we understood that they, too, had NO idea where we had to go. After a long debate, the man pointed up one road and up, up, up. We left to give it another try. They called after us, in German, “If that doesn’t work, come back and we will have a room for you to stay!” Such kindness.

img_2472The road up, up and up was the right one. It was the same width as our car without any barriers between us and the valley floor below. There were several houses at the top but none with numbers. In despair, I emailed the AirBnB and with seconds, the door opened and it was our hostess!

After driving through many Spanish cities, we decided that we had enough of traffic, narrow streets and none-existing addresses. Seville was OK because we stayed on the outskirts with our car and walked into the old city. La Linea/Gibraltar was OK but a bit unnerving, especially since they don’t seem to have street addresses and we could not find our B&B for the life of us.

So when Granada was next, we decided NOT to try and drive into any old parts of the city. Muchas gracias. We would stay OUT of the old city. We’d be smart and stay away from AirBnB’s that mentioned the words ‘central’, ‘close to’, or ‘old’. In fact, we decided to book a modern looking hotel that offered free parking. That way we would just walk into the old city.

Great.

Good move.

We booked it online, entered the address (an actual street name and number!) into our GPS and left the coast for Grenada.

First we decided to swing by the cute town of Compéta. That turned out to be a twisting, winding 30 KMs from the coast up into steep coastal hills. The road hairpinned left and right, along steep slopes, with not much of a guard rail. But we made it and it was worth the drive. Gorgeous, quaint town – eyeblinding white buildings. Beautiful.

The way down was windy-ER, steepER, twisty-ER!

img_2536But then we drove a big highway and sailed, unsuspecting, into Granada.

Our GPS kicked in and we meekly followed its instructions, left here, right there. UNTIL… it sent us closer and closer into the city center.

“Can’t be right…” I thought fleetingly.

Kees was driving and started grinding his teeth as the streets got narrower.

“Is this right?” he asked as the GPS wanted to send us across a main road and up a very narrow looking one. “I think so….” I hesitated. In that instant we both decided that the wider road looked more attractive and, ignoring the GPS, Kees turned right instead of going straight.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

We found ourselves driving down a lovely wide street. The problem was that the lanes were only for “Taxi” or “Bus”.

We tried to look like a taxi or a bus but it didn’t seem to work. People looked at us funny.

We drove several blocks hoping the lanes would change their minds. They didn’t.

At some point, waiting for a light to change, a big guy on a motorbike knocked on our window. Kees rolled it down. “‘Ola!” the guy grinned, “I ‘elp you, yes?”

“OK, yes please…” We were ready for some help here because we were now right in the city center driving in wrong lanes and our GPS kept yelling at us to turn left, no right, no recalculating!

The guy said ‘follow me’ and we happily did but then realized that he didn’t know where we were supposed to go. He guided us up a street that ended in a plaza with no way out. We parked, I hopped out and showed him our iPad with the hotel’s address. He glanced at it and said, “OK, I take you there. Follow me!” (I think, because he did not speak English).

We managed to turn the car around and followed this big guy on his motorbike.

img_2560He zigged here, zagged there, left, right, left. The roads got narrower and narrower.

We went up steep hills, around crazy sharp corners.

“He doesn’t really know where we’re supposed to go, does he?” I asked Kees who was concentrating hard on not losing this one big motorbike rider in a city centre full of motorbikes.

We stopped again. I explained, in Spanish, the hotel name, the street name, the closest main street.

“Mia madre!” he exclaimed. “Si! I know. Follow me.”

And back he jumped on his bike, racing this way and that.

The streets became alleys. The hillside steeper.

A sign said ‘historic old city’…

At one point he jumped off his bike to help guide Kees between two walls with literally one centimeter on either side of the car. We had to fold in the side mirrors or we wouldn’t fit. I felt like we were driving into a trap that we’d never get out.

“What if he’s taking us some place totally different?” I asked Kees.

He nodded, gripping the steering wheel tighter, trying to think of alternatives.

“Let’s just forget about this,” I said after an hour, “We’ll cancel the hotel, skip Granada, go somewhere else.”

Kees nodded but kept following the motorbike rider who finally stopped again.

He made Kees park and follow him on foot, down some stairs. I stayed with the car with visions of Kees being lured somewhere… What if he never came back?

But eventually they both came back, shaking their heads. We drove on and started to recognizes corners, walls with which we had earlier close encounters…

The GPS was no longer yelling at us. In fact, a few times it said “Park your car and walk to the address.” Then she lapsed into silence all together.

We stopped again, after about an hour and a half of this, and discussed the situation, in Spanish, with some parked taxi drivers who all sadly shook their heads and mimed parking your car and walking down steep stairs…

“No way!” I said, “the hotel advertised with parking. It’s not in the city…”

They shook their heads more sadly and agreed that “parking must be elsewhere. This hotel you can only reach on foot….”

We found a parking spot, which seemed to be a sprayed-painted-over bus stop. “Ees OK,” our motorbike friend insisted as we left the car and now followed him on foot down staircase and through alleys where even Granada drivers don’t seem to venture.

After more wandering, more asking, more head shaking, we found it.img_2509

In an alley that reminds us of Jerusalem, we found one house door with one tiny tile above it ‘Casa Bombo’ – by god, the name of the hotel we booked!
We were shaking by now. Didn’t even know where we left our car so we dragged our motorbike friend inside and made him tell the hotel guy, who was very understanding. Obviously we were not the first shaken guests who had wandered for hours. He poured us water, made us do some deep breathing exercises and ignored our wish to cancel the reservation.
We said goodbye to our motorbike friend. We still weren’t sure why he helped us for two hours. Was he a Spaniard proud of his city? Did he want money? He never said so but we did give him some.

Then the hotel guy piled us into a tiny little van that was totally scraped and scratched, busted and dented, and drove us – like a bat out of hell – up stairs and around bends through alleys that no sane driver would ever drive. ‘Lo and behold he found our car.

We transferred our luggage and hope to find the car back in the same spot in 2 days but we have no idea where. He took us back, showed us a gorgeous room with breathtaking views of the Alhambra, fed us beer and sangria and said “Everything’s OK.”

I actually saw a car driving up stairs here! Next time, I’m NOT booking a hotel in an old city center.

I hope.img_2554

Rocking Gibraltar

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Salt Spring Island, where we live, is a small rocky island in the Pacific Ocean. It measures 74 square miles and has a population of 10,000.

Today we spent the entire day on the rock of Gibraltar, a small rocky outcrop in the Atlantic Ocean. It measures 2.5 square miles and has a population of 30,000.

I can’t image how people spend their entire lives living on this tiny rock, so crowded with houses, narrow roads and steep edges.

img_2409We researched Gibraltar a little bit before coming here but the online information on sites like the official tourism website, Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor, was confusing. I tried the website for the cable car – but nowhere could we find out the exact answers to our simple questions: how much is a one-way ticket? – can we buy a one way ticket that includes the nature reserve? – how long is the way back to walk and is it marked? So we hope to give you that information here, to help you plan your trip to Gibraltar.

It is an interesting place with a unique history. This rocky toe that Spain hesitantly sticks into the Atlantic Ocean, at the point where the ocean turns into the Mediterranean Sea, really ought to belong to Spain. History, however, claimed it for the British. Reminiscent of Hong Kong, this strategic harbour was claimed by the British in 1713 already. To our surprise, the local Spaniards we talked to felt that it was a good thing. “Without the British here, Gibraltar would just be another rock in the ocean,” they told us, “Now it is an attraction, an oddity that brings us jobs and a good economy.”

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Walking across the runway

We found an AirBnB literally a stone’s throw from the border. Just a small bedroom in a crowded apartment building, but it offered a safe parking place inside a garage. We managed to get inside (both us and the car) – very complicated because they don’t seem to have street addresses and all the bloques of apartments looked the same – and walked across the border. It is possible to drive across the border but at rush hour you face long line-ups. Plus, worse, once you get into Gibraltar, there is no place to park. You might as well walked all the way. The first thing you walk across is the almost none-existing border patrol. A bored official waved us across without looking at a passport. Then you walk across…. the airport’s runway! If a plane comes in, you’ll have to wait. But without planes, you just cross the runway under the air traffic control tower. A weird experience.

Once across the border, people speak perfect English, cars have GBZ on the license plates and prices are in pounds rather than euros. However, you can pay with either. One button on the cash register converts the price for you.

img_2421Rather than taking an organized tour, we hopped on a city bus and, for 1 euro, rode it across the entire length of the island to Europa Point, the southern most point of the rock. From here you can see the mountains of Morocco. It’s nice to see a Roman Catholic church right next to a mosque. Further on the island we noticed a synagogue next to a Hindu temple. A local assured us that all people, of all races and religions, get along just fine on this rock.

We walked back for about 8 KM to town, along narrow roads with not many sidewalks. Most noticeable was the lack of signage. No signs towards ‘downtown’. We often had to ask which road to take. We ended up in town by the cable car station.

The signs there still did not answer our questions about options and costs and I overheard several others in line commenting on the confusing prices. In the end, we had no option to buy a one-way ticket and dished out about 60 dollars (or 45 pounds) for 2 tickets to the top. The way back was included even though we wanted to walk. The ticket also included caves, tunnels and a nature reserve. If you want just one of these, you had to buy a ticket that included them all. You can buy a simple cable-car-only ticket but then you can’t visit any of the sites at the top. I find this price a bit “over the top” (no pun intended) for a 6 minute cable car ride. The views, of course, can’t be beat as you look out over southern Spain, the ocean and towards Africa. img_2429

Jumping monkeys aiming for backpacks were included in the price. The nature reserve wasn’t terrible well defined but I hope that a portion of our money helps to protect plants or birds, somehow. There were absolutely no signs at the top telling us which way to go. We asked a few times before finding the right path down.

img_2459It was a good hike until we came across caves. We hadn’t read much about the caves before but since we had paid for it, we decided to go in. And we were pleasantly surprised. The caves were well worth the visit. Huge cavernous spaces filled with stalactites and stalagmites, created over thousands of years. Ever changing lights turned the caves into quite a light show.

From there, a very precarious rocky trail led downwards, with broken railings and no signs.

We made it back to town, were we had a well deserved coffee and apple pie at the Trafalgar Pub. It seems a bit out of place, in this southern part of the continent, to hear the Queen’s English and see British pubs with fish and chips. We strolled back through Main Street, past tax free shops and Irish pubs, red mailboxes and English telephone booths. Back across the runaway and into Spain. A fun, interesting day full of contradictions that, somehow, get along. Just like the people that call the Rock of Gibraltar home. img_2475

Seville, Spain

img_2278After driving throughout Portugal and Spain, we decided to crash on a beach for awhile. Hoping to avoid crowded shores with highrises, we booked an AirBnB apartment in a small town called Matalascañas.

The flat was just perfect – a small kitchen, comfy couch, Ikea furniture, a separate bedroom and – best of all – a large window overlooking the beach and Atlantic ocean. We slept, made our own breakfasts and lunches. We worked, having good wifi available. And we walked on the beach. Kees hiked for miles while I sauntered along the waves.

There were plenty of little shops and cafe’s nearby. But funny enough, just as we were getting used to Spanish restaurants closing from 4 till 8 PM and eating very late, the restaurants in Matalascañas all closed by 7 PM and there was nothing to eat after that…

img_2315After a few lovely, restful days it was time to explore Seville. We had done our online homework and decided that we did not want to drive in downtown Seville, but we did need a place nearby with parking. We found a room in an apartment building that sounded good, including a parking spot. And the location was indeed perfect to walk into the old city center. Getting into and out of the apartment building felt a bit like serving time, with several locked gates and complicated lockimg_2323s….

We walked into the city through the ancient city gates in a huge stone wall. We enjoyed walking the labyrinth of alleys, crooked little streets, churches and shops. At one point, we were very ready for a cup of coffee. Several places had hard, wooden stools or didn’t look too inviting so we kept walking until we spotted the perfect place: a cozy, Spanish coffeeshop with wicker chairs, lots of plant pots and heat lamps on the sidewalk. We picked a table and made ourselves at home. However, the man who approached us did not come to take our order. “Would you mind terribly to move again?” he asked. “Why? We want coffee…” I said. “No,” he insisted, “we are filming a movie here… I’m sorry.” Turned out we had crashed the film site of Game of Thrones being filmed in Seville right now. We did find coffee around the corner, but not as nice a place…

We also found the famous Cathedral of Seville. Build on the 12th century site of a Moorish mosque, this is the 3rd laimg_2325rgest church in the world. Its construction took place from 1401 to 1506. Size and age alone were impressive enough. We walked its cavernous spaces, the ship of the church, admired the side rooms with art, paintings carvings….
I did get a kick out of seeing the tomb of Christopher Columbus, whose name really was Cristobal Colon. Somehow ‘colon’ just doesn’t have the same ring as ‘columbus’, does it? I would have been skeptical about this truly being his grave but apparently recent DNA tests have confirmed that his weary bones do indeed rest in this spot.

As we exited the church we were once again exposed to calls of “madame, a horse carriage ride?, a tour?” We ignored them all and walked along the winding streets, the Plaza de Toros, the treelined Avenida de Hercules, and the ancient Alcazar. We hopped on a city bus (any C bus) that drives around the perimeter of the old city city. The city bus is 1.20, a lot better than 18 euros for the Hop-on bus – although you also don’t get commentary with the city bus.

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Flamengo dancer in Seville

The best thing we did was splurge on tickets for a flamengo show. Seville and flamengo are synonymous so we felt it was a must to see a show here. We asked locals for their recommendations: Casa de la Memoria and Tablao Flamenco El Arenal. I’m sure there are many others that are good. We picked the lateral and bought tickets for their 7:30 PM show. Arriving early paid off since we got the best seats, although almost every table was good in the small room, around the small stage.

We bought the least expensive seats that only included one drink. You can also purchased tickets that include a full dinner. You can buy tickets online or in many souvenir shops on the same day.

The music and caliber of the show blew us away. A cast of 10 played guitar, sang and danced. Colours and sounds whirled together and left us exhausted – as if we had danced all night! A colourful end to memorable day in a colourful city.

Three Days Portugal

…  is not nearly enough! But we wanted a little taste, hoping to get a small impression of what Portugal was like.

img_2211We entered Portugal from the city of Badajoz, Spain. We had a rental car and drove the A6 highway, a toll highway, to get from the eastern boundary almost to the west coast of Portugal quickly. The road was deserted despite the fact that this was a holiday. At regular intervals along these toll roads, are rest areas with a gas station, store, restaurant and sometimes even a picnic site. We were able to buy a good Michelin map as soon as we drove into Portugal. The toll roads in Portugal had a ticket booth and a place to pay at the point of exit. Some toll roads only had photo sites so we expect to get the bill when we drop off our rental car. But the total toll to drive from east to west in Portugal was 13.50 euros.

img_2231Once we reached the western side of Portugal we got off the main road quickly and found bumpy back roads full of potholes. We followed the coast south as much as possible but did not really get to see the shore since the roads run more inland. We did spot the occasional, iconic Portuguese windmill!

We loved the small villages with white stucco houses. Each had a red tiled roof, often a blue band around the base and windows. Signs on houses and street names were almost exclusively made of painted tiles. img_2221

The Portuguese language looks quite similar to Spanish in writing, with some words even easier to decipher. But as soon as people started speaking, it sounded completely, different. First we thought that the waitress must be Romanian because of the harsher, more guttural sounds
. Then we figured the other people in the restaurant must be her family and speak the same, eastern European language. Until we finally figured out that everybody spoke that way and it must be Portuguese!

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Because the roads did not hug the coast, and because we wanted to see the Atlantic shore of Portugal, we decided to drive to the western most point on the southern coast: Sines. We hoped for a glorious coastline. And the natural coast line was, indeed, rugged with rocks and low shrubs. But Sines was a large city with oil refineries, its port clogged with oil tankers. All we did is walk along the path by the shore, get back in the car and circumnavigate south again.

We had high hopes for Faro, on the south coast.

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Cork tree

The most fascinating thing we saw, besides the white washed villages and friendly people along the way, was the huge number of cork trees.

Next time you pop that cork from your favorite bottle, think about where it came from! Portugal produces about half of the world’s commercial cork. Cork is the most important Portuguese export product. Cork comes from the bark of the cork tree.

Wikipedia says:

“Cork is extracted only from early May to late August, when the cork can be separated from the tree without causing permanent damage. When the tree reaches 25–30 years of age and about 24in (60 cm) in circumference, the cork can be removed for the first time. However, this first harvest almost always produces poor quality cork. Bark from initial harvests can be used to make flooring, shoes, insulation and other industrial products. Subsequent extractions usually occur at intervals of 9 years, though it can take up to 13 for the cork to reach an acceptable size.”

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Cork

We noticed huge orchards of cork trees, many with shiny dark red trunks of which the cork had recently been removed and piled for shipment to some of the 500 cork factories in Portugal, employing over 20,000 people.

We continued to follow small winding roads south until we reached the southern coast at the city of Lagos. From there we continued east hugging the shore as much as possible, avoiding big cities and highrises – until we reached Faro. Any hopes of a quaint Portuguese fishing villages were dashed when we saw the towering highrises. However, we had booked the perfect place to spend a few nights on the coast: a small AirBnB apartment on Praia de Faro: a long strip of beach full of low beach bungalows and apartments, surf shops and hippy cafe’s. We had a view of the Atlantic ocean and enjoyed walking the length of the island. We also enjoyed a Portuguese dinner of langostinos smothered in garlic butter.

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Faro Beach AirBnB

After leaving the Faro area, we again took the smaller roads we could find, staying close to the coast. In this way we discovered Praia do Barril and the tiny town of Predras del Rei with a lovely white bungalow park – a place we might just return to some day. Here we walked the long path through a nature reserve – spotting an exciting hoopoe bird, a kind of woodpecker. After another long walk on an endless white sand beach, we drove the last few kilometres in Portugal to, once again, reach Spain. Next time, we would like to explore all the rest of Portugal – including Lisbon!

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Praia do Barril

Extremadura – a string of ancient pearls

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Galisteo, Spain

Before we came to Spain, I decided that I wanted to see the Extremadura region. I read several articles about the area, specifically an article about one of the oldest, medieval pubs on the continent, which I wanted to see. Ironically, once we got here I could no longer find any information about the pub or its location…

Extremadura was described, in many travel articles, as a long-isolated region, a bit backward, not very popular with tourists. I was curious about its towns and history.

Extremadura turned out to be different from what I pictured: not a deep, green valley but a dry region of rolling hills. We found lovely towns with a rich history, and we enjoyed the lack of hordes of tourists. In fact, we often commented that we had entire roads to ourselves.

img_2148We started in Plasencia, driving south to Cáceres. We soon discovered that we were here during a local holiday and ended up having to book several nights in one place to ensure we had a place to stay. We stayed just outside the village of Casar de Cáceres, in a lovely B & B called La Encarnacion, our room was in a remodeled barn.

(http://www.hotelquintalaencarnacion.com). We were served a traditional Extremadura breakfast of warm bread, thick, soft cheese, paté and bread with tomato/pork salsa inside.

Many of the towns in this region boast medieval buildings: castles on a hillside, often a whole village still surrounded by thick stone city walls. Galisteo, just west of Plasencia, is an old village that is still completely surrounded by these walls, with only a few gates that offer entrance to the town. We had to park our car outside the city walls and walked to the town square with its ancient clock on city hall, chimig the hours as it had for centuries.

img_2157We spent one day in Trujillo, high on a hill side, the town is still partially surrounded by walls with a castle and ancient church guarding the corners. It is easy to stroll along the battlements and imagine enemy armies approaching across the plains… We walked up and down streets from the middle ages that weren’t much wider than 1.5 meter in some places, with purple and red bougainvilleas cascading down white stone walls.

Our final couple of days in the region were spent in Mérida, where the remains of some buildings were much older than the Middle Ages. Mérida boasts numerous Roman sites.

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Templo De Diana

We found a lovely AirBnB in the old downtown core, enabling us to walk to the different sites. We started at Puento Romano, the longest (in length) surviving Roman bridge. From there, we walked to the Templo de Diana, a facade and pillars left standing among stores, coffeeshops and narrow alleys. We then hiked across town to two large Roman aquaducts, the most imposing one of which is the Acueducto de Milagros: 25 meter tall arches spanning an area of about 800 meters, displaying impressive stone work that has lasted almost 2,000 years!

If this history is what makes Extremadura unique, combined with first class pastries, ham, cheese and chocolate, than the area deserves a lot more visitors!img_2200