9 days and 771 miles on the road

Number of cloudless days 6

On Sunday we went off to Segovia, about an hour back north on the motorway. 

1a road to Segovia

It seems the theme for the roadside art is ‘giant’.

Giant Cross

Giant Cross

Giant Ball

Giant Ball

Giant Feet

Giant Feet

After we finally found somewhere to park we wandered all round the old city and we had to admit that it is as beautiful, well preserved and as interesting as they say.  The aqueduct was… well you can see for yourselves.

4 Aquqduct in Segovis

5 Segovian Aquaduct 2

The Cathedral took over 230 to complete and you probably can see why.

6 giant catheral

Much of the old town was obviously original, although I was a little perplexed by the ugly electrical cables in such an important historical site.

7 segovian wiring

A local dish seems to be, not rolled pork, but steam rollered suckling pig.

8 flat pig

We saw various wildlife

9 segovian cats

10 cow through the window

11 sad segovian bull

We had a lovely time, the castle looks so perfect that you could imagine knights battling there.  It was rebuilt in 1868 after a fire, and I suspect the same romanticism that did for Carcason took hold.  I kept looking for Micky Mouse and other Disney characters to appear.

12 castle walls segovia

13 segovian castle

Eventually we decided we had had enough and went to find the car.  It was one of those times when the question ‘shall we take the thunking great guide book with us’ should be answered by a resounding ‘yes’.  We did eventually track poor old Camel down after an hour of trudging up and down the streets near where we thought she was.  I was worried I might have to ask a policeman.  Oh yes.  ‘Um the street had trees and blue parking bays.  Please can you remove all the other cars so the one left will be ours.’  Not everything in Segovia was beautiful…

14 falling stairs

It was just nice to sit in the car and drink water and I was really looking forward to a meal in the lovely campsite bar.  Unfortunately my stomach works on English time, not Spanish.  You could tell the barman felt sorry for us as the tapas got better and better and by the time the chef came in to work we were full.  Just got to love Spanish generosity!

We met this witch’s cat (this is for you Josie!)

15 witch's cat

We met a nice Dutch couple who were staying just along from us.  They had been trying to go to Morocco, but some nice person broke their car window and stole their passports and tickets while they were shopping just before catching the ferry.  They had to come all the way back to Madrid to go to the Dutch embassy to get new ones.  (Looks like you are not the only ones jinxed by Morocco, Ralph and Belinda!).

On Monday we drove on to a lovely campsite a few km from Cordoba.  The road didn’t seem to have rest stops so we were looking for a cafe to buy some coffee.  We followed this sign,

16 dodgy signpost

which looked promising, but got fed up when the promised cafe seemed to be too far from the road.  We retraced our steps only to find you could not get back onto the main road that way.  We tried using the other side of the road, but you were only allowed to go back the other way.  (It was starting to seem like the start of a horror movie.  What happens to all the tourists that try to buy coffee?  Cue the creepy music.)  We realised that the only way back onto the road was to either go back to the previous village and do a u turn or to take quite a long detour.  Very weird, and most irritating.

We passed loads of very inviting restaurants and eventually decided to find one for lunch.  Of course, that meant that we didn’t see one for ages.  We eventually hit on the idea of trying a Carrefour hypermarket and very good it was too.  We managed to buy two huge great sandwiches and a large bottle of water for £2.50. 

The route from Madrid to Cordoba started well and just got better.  There is a lovely windy road that takes you over the mountains, which was really beautiful. 

17 road to Cordoba

18 road to Cordoba 2

We realised we were in La Mancha when we met these two characters everywhere.

19 In La Mancha

On Tuesday we did very little, apart from having a little cycle around the small town of Villefranca de Cordoba.  It seemed a little down at heel and the small bar we visited seemed to confirm this, as it is the first bar we have seen with absolutely no tapas or any kind of food on display.  It seems we have become a little spoilt with all the free food so far. 

22 Bar in Villfranche

I do like the campsite.  It is, as most have been up to now, very quiet, the only problem being that the cockerels have a very poor sense of time and started crowing at 6 am.  Chicken pie, anyone?

20 Campsite at Villefranche

21 Bromptons