When we left Montserrat we crossed Spain, travelling roughly west and northish, to a place called Tudela where we spent the night, followed the next day by continuing to a hotel near the Altamira Caves on the Cantabrian coast.
I relive last year’s fantastic holiday by bringing posts over from the trip blog. This doesn’t aim to be identical to the trip blog, but an improvement, with text edits and more / better photos. Find all these posts under the tag: Spain2015.
We had only a few specific destinations on our trip — Altamira Caves was one of them. One of the utter delights of the trip was doing an easy drive of a few hours each day and figuring out as we drove where we would stay the night. Booking.com and an Internet connection were our friends. Often we’d search for accommodation at rest stops and book just before we arrived.
Another delight was discovering the toll roads, which I write about separately soon.
04 September 2015: we’ve ended up in a quirky place called Tudela near Zaragoza. [Deb fell in love with Tudela, even mentioning perhaps going to live there.]
The hotel is a strange little place that used to be someone’s home. Just look at the staircase!
There are 3 guest bedrooms with a shared bathroom, shared toilet you reach by going outside, a small kitchen and a terrace. [We later realised there was also a toilet in the inside bathroom. ]
There’s also a small lounge.
It’s a charming little accommodation, right in the centre of this small town of 35,000, at the very edge of the ‘old town’. It’s a few minutes walk to the Cathedral, built apparently in the 12th century on the foundations of an earlier mosque.
It seems the town itself has been continuously inhabited since the Lower Paleolithic, a period that started some 3.3 million years ago and ended about 300,000 years ago.
We had a walk round this evening in search of dinner, though we had to wait till 8.30 before anyone started serving meals. I think tomorrow morning I’ll be looking more closely at the town while Deb visits the cathedral.
I want to write more about this place and our adventures but it’s time for a well-deserved sleep. There’s so much to do!
In retrospect: as I look through the many photos I took I find so much I didn’t mention in my post.
Our accommodation was really hard to find: the entrance door was almost invisible, down a small alley leading to a parking area. We walked past it several times without noticing it, before being helped by a passer-by on the street. There’s a photo of that street above.
Early the next morning when I went for a walk there was a city worker out on the street sweeping it with a broom.
Tudela had the most hilarious pedestrian crossing light I’ve ever seen. It was animated, but I was unable to get a video without risking being run over, so this still will have to do. The figure seemed almost to be ice skating.
While we were waiting in the square to be able to order dinner we saw a flock of large birds wheeling around above the rooftops. From time to time they would settle and I was able to use my long zoom lens to take some pictures. Later I was able to identify the birds as storks.
I had hoped to see numerous interesting birds in Spain, but as we travelled I was struck by how few birds there were anywhere. It wouldn’t be true to say these were the only birds we saw, but it seemed like it.
Another delight in Spain was how much dogs are accepted as part of normal society, rather than being excluded as they are in New Zealand. We spotted dogs all over the place, including in handbags in cafes, like this cutie who was sitting at the table next to us.
It was also in Tudela where I saw a fellow taking his cat for a walk on a lead!