Salamanca to ValladolidSeptember 17 in Spain
On the way to Valladolid we made a couple of detours, the first to see another castle which we did not expect to be open - but it was. Castillo la Mota was originally built in the 12C by the Moors but remodelled in the 15C by Isabela. It has spectacular walls and tower and looks just like a castle should. The second detour was to a town called Tordesillas which was supposed to have a pretty old Plaza Mayor but it was disappointing and dilapidated. This is the place where the Spanish and Portuguese signed a treaty deciding the world between them, with the boundary being the middle of the Atlantic, but the Portuguese managed to push the "middle" of the Atlantic far enough over that they could take Brazil as theirs!
An unexpected bonus was another castle when we turned off the motorway to have our picnic lunch. Simancas castle was built in the 15C and became the state archive in the 16C and still is today.
So far on this trip the countryside has been brown, mainly used for growing wheat, all now harvested. There have been many fields of sunflowers, not like Tim's 10ft ones but close packed 3 ft tall, all drying in the sun - obviously more of a sunflower oil area than olives. Today for the first time we saw cows - only a few grazing in a field, there is not much grass here. Also today for the first time we saw vines and passed the town of Rueda which grows excellent white wines.
Once we arrived in Valladolid we did a bit of sightseeing. It is a pleasant town to wander around but does not have great 'sights'. They never bothered to finish the cathedral and it butts up against the old one in a jumble of stones. We wanted to eat early but had difficulty finding anywhere open before 8.30 but eventually found somewhere just round the corner from the hotel which was surprisingly good.Read more