Portugal & Parador de Tordesillas, Valladolid 8th/9th June
As we set off from the parador de Santo Estevo , I was quite anxious about the journey back down the twisty narrow road, actually it was fine. We had decided to divert from our original route and go into Portugal, if only briefly. So we reset the satnav to Bragança, (Braganza) and set off along the motorway. At the Spanish/Portuguese border we turned off from a trunk road onto a country road following the contours of a very hilly area. We love these type of roads and eventually arrived at a village Parâmio, where we had a (very small) cup of coffee at a Taberna do Capelas. We then travelled on to Bragança, we found a supermarket (Intermarche) and bought fruit, cakes, drinks, wine and other things. We then reprogrammed the satnav and headed back into Spain and the parador. What did surprise us, was that on the country lanes and the motorways with wonderful viaducts over large valleys there was hardly another vehicle to be seen.
Mid afternoon, we had arrived at the parador de Tordesillas Valladolid. The location of this hotel was such a contrast to the last as it was situated in an industrial area on a busy road. The hotel was surrounded by pine trees, we found a place in the carpark near to the reception. The room was very attractive and overlooked an inner courtyard. This parador had an indoor heated pool, as well as a large open pool area, the toe test proved that the indoor pool was the correct option. We enjoyed a swim and luxuriating in jacuzzi. We had an evening meal in the restaurant of suckling pig and lamb overlooking the garden and pine trees. We spotted an azure winged magpie, flitting around.
The next morning Sunday, we walked along the road towards the town of Tordesillas, situated on the river Douro (Duero in Spanish). We had followed the river from Braganza in Portugal.
The birds here included, azure winged magpie, swifts, swallows, white stork, male and female linnets and a short toed eagle. We checked out of the hotel and set off along the Duero valley, with mile after mile of vines of the Ribera del Duero, one of our favourite wines. We stopped at a roadside restaurant and enjoyed a “menu del dia”, we bought three bottles of wine there too.
Parador de Lerma 9th/10th June
We arrived at Lerma later that Sunday afternoon, it was very busy with Spanish families enjoying the fiesta atmosphere, the Parador in the province of Burgos was a Ducal palace, an extraordinary building. We found a place to park and checked in, our room was on the side overlooking, what was the gardens, now a steep slope and trees with expansive vistas beyond. John threw open the window and the birdsong from below was amazing. We heard, but didn’t see nightingale call, perched close by was a melodious warbler, a black redstart landed nearby a real treat. As we had eaten earlier, we had a walk around the narrow streets, we stopped at a bar, filled inside with couples watching a bullfight on the TV, we sat outside enjoying a beer for John, ice cream for me. It was good to soak up the atmosphere of the sounds of Spanish life and culture. The Tapestry is on the wall of the parador, it’s a modern piece called “Emblems of love”.
We set off the next day, we only had a short drive to the next hotel, so we decided to leave the motorways and find a more interesting route. Find out in Part 4.