Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oliva: Day 1 - Castillo de Alarcón

[This post is the third of my recounting of the trip I took to Oliva with Gregorio in early December 2011.  Part one, Uclés, can be read here and part two, Segóbriga, can be read here.]

With the Roman ruins of Segóbriga behind us, we were on the road again.  We pulled over maybe an hour later just outside of Alarcón.  Remember now, Gregorio and I were on our way to his parents' house in Oliva (near Valencia) from Madrid.  It should have only taken between 3-4 hours by car, but we were en route the entire day!

That's because Gregorio had many stops planned that I was never made aware of, but it was a fantastic day with gorgeous sights in this country I love so much.

So we parked the car near the entrance to Alarcón.

The car looks a little out of place, no?

We ate a picnic lunch outside of the car, with a gorgeous view of the town's 8th century medieval castle, el castillo de Alarcón.

Alarcón's castle

The blue-green body of water just outside of the castle's town made the enchanting sight ever so pleasant for the eyes. 

Picture thanks to wikipedia

While driving into the small town to get a closer look at the castle, Gregorio decided he wanted to be the driver and the photographer.  The picture I captured below was a common site throughout our drive.  Although this was taken on a quiet street, he did this on the busy highways leaving Madrid too!  (It's okay parents, I survived)

Multitasker?  I think not.

The castle was converted into a Parador hotel in 1963.  Parador builds hotels throughout Spain in buildings that have historic, artistic, or cultural significance.

Parador Alarcón Spain

Parador Alarcón Spain

We went inside the hotel for a coffee and tea, and then it was back to the road.  Next destination? I had no idea.