Sunday, August 26, 2012

Small-pueblo Sunday

Ever since Gregorio bought new floor mats in Paris for his Mercedes, he's been itching to take it for a drive.  Today he took the car out of the garage and we drove north out of the city.

Buitrago del Lozoya

Our first stop was Buitrago del Lozoya, a little town 74 km north of Madrid.  According to wikipedia, Buitrago del Lozoya dates back to the first century BC.

The pueblo is surrounded by a Muslim wall that was built in the eleventh century.
Muralla, Buitrago del Lozoya

The little town also has a castle from the fifteenth century, but it was closed when we were there.  We climbed up some stairs and walked around the wall, looking down upon the river below.

There were some people kayaking down the river and others fishing on the shore.  There were definitely fish to catch, because we could see them from where we were up on the wall!

We grabbed a drink and something to eat from a nearby bar.  It was very small-town-esque.  Think Cheers; every time someone new entered, he said hi to everyone else inside and then immediately started up conversation with one of his buddies.  The prices were friendly, as my hamburger only cost 2.50 euros.
Bar in Buitrago del Lozoya

After lunch we made our way back to the car.  We left town, stopping for one last picture on the way out.
Buitrago del Lozoya


Our second and final stop of the day was Sepúlveda, a small town (population 1,300) in the Comunidad de Segovia.  According to  wikipedia again, Sepúlveda dates back to between the fifth and second centuries BC.


I got excited when we saw this sign for a cave, so I headed down the many many stairs to see it.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with the "cave".  This is it:
Cueva de la Virgen de la Peña

Gregorio didn't share in my disappointment because supposedly that statue of the virgin had been "hidden" in this "cave" for four centuries, but I still wasn't impressed.

And then I climbed back up the stairway, with the sun beating down on my panting, sweaty self.

Once back up out of the valley we took a trail out of town, with great views of the rocky valleys and drop-offs.

Sepúlveda, Segovia

While hiking we saw many buitre leonados (Griffon vultures) flying around near the cliffs.  Sepúlveda is known for being a home to this bird.
Buitre leonado (Griffon vulture)

Can you find Gregorio in this picture?
Gregorio in Sepúlveda


After hiking out in the hot sun for over an hour, it was time to go back home (Gregorio had to work tonight).  It was a little over an hour's drive back to Madrid; with only a couple brief traffic jams along the way.

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