Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 18 and 19 in Spain

Saturday 6-01

June? Really? Well, you could not have guessed it in Northern Spain. Never would I have thought that we might have weather cold like this. It rained most of the day. It was comfy in the apartment but we could not really go out to do sight-seeing or go for a walk. The beach ... totally out of the question ... And there would have been so much more to investigate. Oh well.
We ventured out for lunch though. Partially to try to get some special local food (can't get enough of that) partially to get Internet at least for a short time to do some 'homework' as Ute calls it.
The "Pementos  De Padron" (peppers from the Padron area) were very nice.

James and Ute settled into reading, I played on my new Spanish pillow. I tried some of the stitches of the Hinojosa lace. That was fun and suddenly I didn't mind the weather quite as much. Ute and I were fascinated with the "kernel stitch".

The "rice stitch". I know the thread is not the most perfect for this.

And then I started a simple little edging I had found in a "Bolillos" magazine I had bought.

Sunday 6-02

Looking out of the window on Saturday it was clear ... we decided that we would return to the idea of our original departure day on Sunday. There was no reason to stay longer with this weather. We thought that it was going to be a two-day drive to Madrid anyway.

So, we packed our suitcases, packed the car, got the apartment back into order the best way we could manage, and went on our way.

For a long time we went back the way we came. We had the GPS and a map for Northern Spain. It was clear that we would pass the area where James got caught in the snow storm when he was walking the camino. He said that he had not been able to see anything then and would like to see it now. We took the short diversion to O Cebreiro. What wonderful country. I was very happy to see it too.

We drove over many, many of those bridges on our trip. We were amazed about the very good roads and bridges everywhere we had been in Spain.

The little town on top of the mountain was something special. Pieces of art everywhere too.

Church service was just over when we arrived. A lot of peregrinos all around.

 The baptism font from the 9th century in a little room to the side.

James tried to retrace his way to take pictures exactly the same as his snow picture. Kind of before and after.
This guy had snow on his head and shoulders in James' previous photo.  Can't wait to see James' blog about all this.

When we continued our drive Ute and I kept wondering where exactly we had seen those amazing purple hill sides. We saw them again but now they were brownish instead. We must have seen them at exactly the right time.

After a while we decided that we should have a lunch snack at Astorga which is a very nice town not far from the highway. Ute and I had stopped there too on our way coming. Parking was a bit of a problem because some streets seemed to be closed. When we walked the rest into the town center we knew why ... there must have been a big celebration. The Sunday after the day of Corpus Christi. There was still an altar on the big square in front of the city hall set up. 

We gound a cafe and sat down for some refreshments. It came with tapas.
I had a bocadillo with cecina (which I found on google translate means dried meat). Lots of different famous cured hams in Spain.

And as we were about to leave again ... the celebration was not over yet.
We followed the band back around the corner to the big square.
Look at James' feet!

Our original idea had been to drive to Toledo, but it was now getting late. I looked at my notes again with Lali's suggestions and we decided to go to Avila. That was an excellent decision. We liked Avila the minute we arrived. We parked the car, found a tourist info, got a suggestion about hotels ... inside the city walls.

James and I inquired right on the other side of the gate (one of the gates), liked this one and booked it for two nights.
After we had rolled the suitcases from the car to the hotel and settled a minute we walked through the narrow streets.
I really don't know why I took a picture of this shop window. We didn't have anything from this.

 I had to take a picture of this house.
The relief looked a lot like a picture of St Martin. I was wrong in a previous blog about that. May be I am right this time.

We had ventured a little outside the walls too, so now back into it, to the hotel and to bed.
Have to digest all the things we saw today.

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If you want to go to "Day 20" click here.