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Into Siguenza

overcast 15 °C

One of the first things I noticed on getting in the car is that the new Peugeots do not have a steering wheel – oh, there it is on the passenger’s side. Takes a little while to get used to driving on the opposite side, and a side effect is that I now call left and right on the wrong sideas we are driving along.
Our first drive is pretty short, only up to Siguenza about 110 kms out of Madrid. It is easy to find our hotel, it is the castle at the top of the town. This is a Parador, one of a chain of state run hotels right across Spain which are often in old monasteries, castles, palaces etc. Thanks to Andrew & Annie for putting us onto this, they have great deals for fixed price rooms and no charge for children’s beds, an absolute pearler as everyone else whacks on 30 Euro a pop. The Siguenza Parador is in a restored 14th Century castle, and it is fantastic. It is in a honey coloured stone sitting over the old town of Siguenza, which is little changed over the years.
Our humble abode

Our humble abode


Sigüenza street

Sigüenza street


We head out to explore the town and end up in the Siguenza Cathedral, which is pockmarked with bullet holes up the towers. These are from the Civil War, when the Republicans held the Cathedral and Franco’s nationalists held the Castle. Have a look inside, where there are some very good alabaster tombs, including a couple unusually mounted on the walls. When we come out it is raining so we head across to a bar for hot chocolates. Not Aussie hot chocolates but proper Spanish hot thick gooey chocolate sludge which you can feel coating you tonsils on the way down, yummo.
Now that's a hot chocolate

Now that's a hot chocolate


The rain has eased up so we wander about for a bit. Siguenza has a great old city centre, but it is on a hill, and by now we were at the bottom, and we didn’t want to go back up. So we went to the Almeda bar opposite the tourism office, and slowly went up and down the tapas selection and red wine list. The tapas were fantastic flavours and combinations, just brilliant. The wines were damn good too.
Tapas!

Tapas!


But all good things must come to an end and G helped us back up the hill to the Parador.
The next morning we gradually got going and out of the Parador to do some shopping before we head off. Pick up some very nice jamon, sallsichion and cheese in a carneceria on Calle Villaviciosa. Also elsewhere for bread tomatoes and a cream doughnut. G also found some other vital shopping.
A few necessities...

A few necessities...


Made ourselves a great breakfast before departing to the next Parador at Olite.
Looking on the map, we have picked the route that Michelin recommend as scenic. We head up to Soria, skirt around there and head off sort of NE. We go through some very nice villages including Yanguas with its old church and stone bridge over Rio Cidacos, and Arnedo where there are dramatic cliffs over the village that the ancients have carved into.
Stone Bridge, still used

Stone Bridge, still used


Weird rocks

Weird rocks


This is pretty hilly country, and the Spaniards have managed to get wind farms on every available ridgeline. At one point we could see at least 100 windmills into the distance in every direction.
As we get to Rincon de Soto we see we mistimed our visit – a few days later and we would have seen the running of the bulls there.
Get close to Olite and as we come over the ridge, we see that they also get into solar power around here too.
Not only Wind Power, but Solar too

Not only Wind Power, but Solar too

Posted by lostagain 15:21 Archived in Spain Tagged health_and_medicine

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