Europe Trip – Spain – Extremadura Highlights in 5 days


We crossed into Spain again to visit some interesting places in the province of Extremadura. Our first stop was Cáceres, where the Monumental City is a showcase of beautiful 15-th century buildings. In the old city are impressive churches, palaces and towers all in warm sandstone hues. The rest of the town however (population  90,000) is very grungy with graffiti infested suburbs where you can see deteriorating houses, closed shops and badly maintained streets.

Next we visited the inviting and captivating small town of Trujillo. The large churches, the lively and beautiful town square and the nicely preserved walls were a delight to visit in nice and sunny weather. The main attraction however was the Castle, with sweeping panoramic views over the surrounding valleys. While walking above on the castle walls, Kyle missed a step down and fell on the other side of his face. Not fully recovered from the fall in Marvão, the poor boy is full of battle wounds L

Driving further east through the ranges of Sierra de Villuercas, the green low hills were filled with mainly cork and olive trees. On top of one the hills, the little town of Guadalupe is one of Spain most important pilgrimage sites. The Real Monasterio de Santa Maria de Guadalupe was founded in 1340 and can be seen from far away. Inside of the church you can feel the devotion of the pilgrims and Kyra and Kyle both sensed it as they remained quiet while visiting the monastery. However despite the devotion, the small statue of the Virgin placed high on the alter wall is separated from the devotees with a tall intimating iron gate that keeps everything  including the birds away from the religious icon.

Heading Southwest back towards Portugal, our last stop was Mérida. Sprinkled around town, are the most impressive and extensive Roman ruins in all of Spain, all within walking distance from one another and appearing in the most unlikely corners. With a combination ticket costing a reasonable 12 euro per adult, you can visit almost all these sites.
We visited the Anfiteatro, seating 14,000 people which was used to host gladiator contests. The Teatro Romano, a beautifully preserved theatre and still used on plenty of occasions, is set in lovely gardens and has a dramatic and well-preserved two-floor backdrop.  On our second day, we visited the amazingly preserved mosaics in the Casa del Mitreo, a large Muslim fort (Alcazaba) housing a remarkable and unique cistern, the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge) which is 792 meters long and one of the longest Roman bridges, the huge entrance arch to the Roman city and the Temple of Diana, once standing in the municipal forum. During all this, the kids behaved very well and Kyra was interested in hearing about the history while taking photos herself. Of Course finding playgrounds here and there were always a plus to keeping them going!

After this short intermezzo in Spain, we headed back to Portugal to make our way further south through the country. Trujillo and Mérida are definitely recommendable.

As for differences we observed with crisis in Spain, we can see that the country is not hit as hard as Portugal: squares and restaurants are fuller, streets and highways have more cars, and people in general seem to be less worried than in Portugal. Life in Spain seems just a little bit easier at this moment.

As for us, we venture onwards and are heading back to Portugal.


4 Responses to “Europe Trip – Spain – Extremadura Highlights in 5 days”

  1. December 21, 2013 at 20:33

    Mérida sounds like a winner. Just put it on the itinearty for June

  2. 3 Stekke
    January 1, 2014 at 13:22

    Shadae, Dikkie en kids,

    ik ben niet altijd de snelste om te communiceren maar dat wil niet zeggen dat wij daarom minder aan jullie denken.
    Bij het begin van het nieuwe jaar kan ik er natuurlijk niet rond en dus wensen wij jullie het beste voor het nieuwe jaar met vooral de hoop dat jullie persoonlijke wensen allemaal gerealiseerd worden.

    In eerste instantie hoop ik dat de reis naar wens verloopt en dat jullie er met het hele gezin van kunnen genieten !!
    Wij hier in België zijn ondertussen het regenweer en de wind meer dan beu. Gelukkig is het niet te koud.
    Voor de rest stelt iedereen het goed, rapporten van de kinderen waren meer dan OK (gedrag Thibaut mag beter, maar is dan ook aan het puberen …), we nemen samen nog enkele dagen verlof om samen met de kinderen door te brengen … afin, we zetten het nieuwe jaar ook goed in
    Nu terug aan’t werk want binnen enkele uurtjes heel de familie over de vloer voor het lezen van de nieuwjaarsbrieven.

    Hou jullie goed en hopelijk tot snel,
    Wendy, Stef en de kinderen.

    • 4 shadimi
      January 14, 2014 at 00:00

      Stefke, merciekes voor de wensen, nu pas op de comments sectie van de blog geraakt nu we eindelijk eens online in de camper zijn. Alles loopt ok, hier en daar problemen zoals ne kapotte bumper en een nukkige chauffage, voor de rest is het lekker om van dag tot dag te leven, te kunnen relaxen en gewoon de kinderen hun ding kunnen te laten doen…
      Groetjes aan de ganse familie, tot later dit jaar.
      Nu zitten we trouwens op ilha de Faro, in de zuidelijke Algarve, te genieten van fantastische stranden en zoning weer van boven de 20 graden….


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