04
Mar
14

Europe Trip – Spain – Inland to Castilla-La Mancha and Aragon

ARAGON AND CASTILLA PICASA PHOTO ALBUM (86 photos)

For a few days, we went inland to the provinces of Castilla – La Mancha (mainly known from the windmills of Don Quijote) and Aragon.  The temperatures from +20°C to -5°C in a few hours and the entire time we were very cold, as we had sleet, snow, hail, sever frost and even a snowstorm in the few days we were there.

We made a few stops, the first one was a cute little town called Alcalá del Jucar, with houses built into the rocks of the steep gorge that the river carved. The Roman ruins of Valeria, were a welcome break and showed us well preserved parts of an ancient town with views on cool ravines in all directions, and big vultures circling and riding the warm air.

Next was the fantastic, unique Unesco World Heritage Site of Cuenca, situated on a steep escarpment and surrounded by gorges. The amazing hanging houses, small cobblestone streets to the cathedral and castle, and colored houses in the old town, gave the whole place a very charming feel. Drinking the local coffee based liqueur called Resoli , having nice Manchego cheeses, and seeing the lit up town at night added to the experience.

The fantastical Enchanted City, one hour from Cuenca, was a magic adventure as we had to drive over a mountain pass and through a sudden snowstorm to get to. All the eroded rocks were surrounded by fresh melting snow and it enhanced the whole experience. The kids loved it!

Finally, on our way back to the coast of Valencia, we hit one of the nicest provincial towns in Spain, Teruel. Surrounded by red, ochre and white colored rocks, the city is a collection of old and new Mudejar (Islamic) style buildings like the main Cathedral and the two majestic guard towers.

Although it was super-cold and we didn’t have time to explore further, we enjoyed these less-visited corners of Spain as they gave us another view on the Spanish culture and its past.

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