Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 20 in Spain

Monday 6-03

The hotel's location is fabulous. We have a pretty good night's sleep but with the windows open the traffic wakes us up in the morning. We head out to find a nice cafe for breakfast. A cafe con leche and toastadas is what we are looking for. 

Down the street we see this church tower though with several stork nests on top of it. We have to stop and watch for a while. This stork is performing a dance for me at the corner.
After we all had our cafes we are walking back to the hotel ...
 ... walking on the outside of the city wall.

James and I would like to do a little hike which Ute's knees don't like her to do. So while Ute is doing a little exploring by herself, we head towards the "Cuatro Postes".

We have to walk outside the wall and across the river.
When we come to the bridge there is nothing for pedestrians. We find a walkway to the right but it only leads us underneath the bridge to the base of which looks like the old bridge.
It is pretty though. But we have to go back and discover to the left is a way over the old bridge. 
And then up the hill on the other side of the river. When we come to the Cuatro Postes there is a big busload of Swiss people but they are just leaving.

From here we have a lovely view of the old city.

On the way back ... a pretty bed of poppies.
We go in the lower gate and wander through some narrow streets.
It is interesting to peek into the back yards. Here is a staircase way in the back from one house to another.
Then we find Ute again and we all take this little "train" for a ride around. It is quite interesting. The engine pulls three cars and we are told to go into the middle because explanations will be in German. We  sit with some of the Swiss people we saw earlier and have a very nice talk while waiting for it to start.
More walking in the afternoon. Here is the Plaza de Santa Teresa with the San Pedro church.

Since there was a service in progress we could not visit the church though. Here the view back from the church.
The cathedral is inside the walls.
James and Ute reading the opening times. A visit is a must. You have to pay entry fee though. It is very organized with a map which way to go through it, where to turn etc.
The Retrochoir was most impressive. A huge ornate limestone carving. Our pamphlet says that the masterpiece was crafted by Lucas Giraldo and Juan Rodriguez but it didn't say when.

In many places like all the side chapels were buttons you could push to turn the lights on.

The middle carving was most impressive ... the scene of the adoration of the magi.
But then there was the flight to Egypt.
 The killing of all the little boys.

Jesus' presentation in the temple meeting Simeon and Anna.
It truly is an incredible building, said to have started 1107.

 The back of the altar.

The way out leads through the museum. Ah, textiles (from 1800s)
Lunches in Spain start at 1 pm to about 3:30 pm and dinners start at 9 pm. So as always we opt for lunch as our main meal. James had seen this menu next to the front door of one nice looking place. He was very excited about it.
Lunes = Monday (which is today)
So this is where we went. James started out with a bean soup which he liked very much. Ute and I had nice ensaladas.

Wikipedia says it is sauteed or fried lamb or goat meat.
Well, lets say this was interesting but disappointing (too much bone and skin). We had a good laugh though.
Ute was the winner. We thought that Albondigas a la Jardinera would be veggies (jardin = garden) but it actually translates to "Gardeners Meatballs".
Postre (dessert) included. I got the last tiramisu. 
 Ute liked her ice cream.
James liked milk rice pudding ... since this was NOT cinnamon but cocoa powder.
The restaurant was upstairs. The stairs leaving were impressive too. Those tiles everywhere.
And on the way back to the hotel: Ute fell in love with the green man!

You got to see this video!

We also wanted to do the walk on the wall but ... it was Monday, the day a lot of things are closed. Sigh. We decide to do it in the morning ... at 10 am ... and forgo the visit to Toledo. Why hasten somewhere else to see something beautiful if you can see something beautiful here? One can't see everything. The decision is unanimous. 

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If you want to go to "Day 21" click here.


  1. Gorgeous cathedral. Of all the different places that we visited when we went to England and Paris, cathedrals and churches were the places that left us the most awestruck. I am so enjoying all of this splendor.

    1. James put it in perspective for me after his camino. Most of those churches and cathedrals were built in the 1100s along the pilgrims route. And the cities had just a few hundreds and sometimes a few thousands of citizens. How could they ever effort that?