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  • Day14

    From tiny monastery to big monastery

    February 23, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    This morning while one of us slept in a bit, the other climbed up to the castle, then had a café con leche right smack dab in the middle of Trujillo's beautiful square. Watching the sun come up and bathe the stone buildings in morning light was pretty awesome. It's hard to decide whether the early morning sun or the night illumination is prettier. We did get going a little later than usual, and had some problems with the GPS (though I am now pretty sure I can do most of the basic operations, we'll see tomorrow). So we decided that rather than a long-ish trip to Mérida and its Roman ruins, we'd hope for an earlier start tomorrow and take today to visit two relatively nearby monasteries.

    The first, Yuste, is the plain and simple place where Carlos V went to spend his last days after abdicating. Out in the middle of nowhere, very peaceful. I was sad to learn that his son, Felipe II, had violated his father's wishes to be buried here, and instead had him transported to the pompous, overbearing monastery in El Escorial.

    From Yuste, we headed to Guadalupe, the gothic monastery that is now famous because of its 12th century "Black Virgen." It's in the middle of a not too remarkable town, but the monastery itself is really nice. And the rooms of the monks' handiwork from the 14-17th centuries had some beautiful things -- the embroidery (who knew monks did embroidery?) and the hymnals were my favorites.

    We drove a circular route, which is always more fun than a direct out and back. Through some really beautiful olive grove territory, which I will soon be walking through with my own feet. Very few tourists, lovely things to see, this is a great little trip.

    Oh yes and did I mention crossing the Tajo/Tagus/Tejo River and coming upon five columns on the side of the river, the ruins of a small Roman temple?
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