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Revisita España 2018

Day 1 - UK to Trujillo

Arrived at the hotel late last night. Just time to have dinner and then get to bed.

Up at 0645, just like a work day, to have full English breakfast.

Once sorted we arrived at the parking. The road works that held us up the night before look to be overnight only and we sped through.

By 0915 we were checked in. They decided the aircraft was pretty full and our small cases have gone in the hold for free. Bugger. And here we are in Starbucks having a coffee waiting for the flight to appear and the gate number pop up.

Gate 11. The long walk starts... And then the flight....

Arrived Madrid Terminal 4 quite promptly.

Despite half term not starting until this evening there were loads of kids.

Amazing that parents ignore the seat belts sign. Standing in the aisles and letting small children stand on the seats whilst we have seatbelt lights on. Sadly typical middle-class English who know better!!

Once out. Another long walk. Got luggage and exited the airport. Car hire minibus easy to find.... We were the only customers on the bus. After some faffing we picked up a 1.0 litre Polo. The TomTom is fitted and we are off. Mental note. Never hire from here again. The pickup is a hotel and it might be alongside the airport but the traffic is horrific!

An hour later we finally work our way to the non toll A5. Traffic quite horrendous. A warning for next Friday's return trip.

By 5.30pm I was needing a walk. We stopped for a coffee. On the way we had been caught in a few torrential downpours.

The rain in Spain

The rain in Spain

Traffic at a standstill occasionally as the wipers couldn't cope.

We arrived at the Parador in Trujillo about 7.30pm and checked in. Nice room.

Trujillo

Trujillo

Parador de Trujillo

Parador de Trujillo

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Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Following check-in. Get wifi code. Then get to the bar and have un cerveza or dos.

By the time we checked in and had that first beer it was dinner time.

We decided to eat in. The €30 menu seemed a little extravagant but what the hell. You only live once. And it was superb.

As Extremadura is renowned for its pigs and pork products, the menu was laden with pork.

For the vegetarians among you, don't worry about it. There many options based on local produce too.

This was washed down with another beer.

Once we had finished we had a short walk to check on the car. It was fine where we had left it in the street outside.

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

A note for any motorcyclists. Don't! The streets have possibly the most uneven cobbled surface I have ever seen. Difficult to walk on they are so uneven.

Then it was bed time. Claire had a bath and I finished my book on kindle.

Day 2 - Trujillo

Up late. I set my alarm for 8am but in the night the phone turned itself off.

Quick rush round washing and dressing then off to breakfast.

The noisy group that woke us at 2.30am were there and just as noisy and irritating. What is it about the "Lexus Set" that pisses me off?

Breakfast was very nice. Massive buffet and really nice coffee. For breakfast I like a 50/50 coffee milk ratio.

Took some pix of where the nuns of old could chill.

Nun chill zone

Nun chill zone

Although they might have had different tables and chairs.

Off to pound the cobbles....

After three hours pounding those cobbles in very hot conditions later... We had seen the main square and climbed up to the castle and viewed the Conquistadors palaces. Extremadura lived up to being the frying pan of Spain. HOT.

The main conquistador from here was Francisco Pizarro. See link on right.

Parador Courtyard, Trujillo

Parador Courtyard, Trujillo

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

Trujillo

Trujillo

Francisco Pizarro on horseback

Francisco Pizarro on horseback

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Trujillo

Not forgetting this area has thousands of storks. Their massive nest on top of buildings. Here they like them and many buildings have a support to help them build their nests.

Trujillo

Trujillo

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

Trujillo

Trujillo

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

Storks. Many tall buildings have storks nesting on them.

After the walking we stopped for lunch in Plaza Mayor. A beer for me and Diet Coke for Claire.

Then back to the room for a siesta.

After siesta we set off for the Plaza Mayor again. A sit in the sun to see what we would do. The restaurants were setting up the TV sets for the Champions League Final.

We are about 140 miles from Madrid and most of the locals were supporting one team and it wasn't Liverpool.

Over dinner we watched the first half. At Meson Hostal de Cadena. Superb food and the local red was easy to drink.

I usually avoid red wine. I do like it but it seems to upset my stomach and so I don't usually have any.

Trujillo drinks

Trujillo drinks

BTW. Real Madrid won 3-1.

Tomorrow we head for Mèrida but have a few stops on the way.

Day 3 - Trujillo to Mèrida

It's Sunday.

Up a little later. Washed. Dressed. Breakfast. Packing. Check out.

Now heading for the Roman world in Mèrida.

The idea was to head to Mèrida slowly and check in early enough to have some lunch and maybe a walk.

Then Claire saw a place en-route has a huge tomato on a pole. So we set TomTom for that area.

I used the My Drive app to get there and we had a tour around the town before giving up. Then as we headed back to the A5 we saw it right alongside the junction. At least we had seen the town!

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From there I dialled in the hotel in Mèrida. One good thing is that in the booking.com app clicking on "hotel location" gives a choice of Google Maps or My Drive. My Drive sends to the TomTom.

Once back on the A5 we saw a sign to Medellin and a Roman theatre. As we were in no hurry we followed the signs. It was worth the detour. Only €3 each including the guided tour. It was in Spanish but the info boards were in English as well.

Above the theatre is a medieval castle. We didn't see any directions or details about it though.

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On the church where we parked were the usual stork nests.

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Once the tour of the theatre was over we went back to the car and with My Drive set TomTom to take us to the hotel. I chose to avoid the A5 and instead we went along an almost deserted EX307 road instead.

TomTom brought us right to the Hostel Abadias. We were too early to check-in and headed back to the centre to get a drink. Spotting a cafe right next to part of the remains of the aquaduct. A coffee and Coke Zero later and we had a short walk.

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And then to check-in. Parking is a little tight in the basement garage.

Siesta then out to find dinner? There is a statue of some Roman dude nearby and a mèson also a short walk away.

Thunder and lightning forecast.

In the end the walk to see Marco Agrippa didn't happen as the rumble of thunder had us choosing to take the car.

We followed the signs into the city centre and then we parked in Plaza de Roma and near to the Puente Romane.

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Alongside it is the Moorish Alcazaba. We headed to the Plaza Mayor to get a coffee and maybe some tapas. Coffee yes but no food.

It started to pour down and we sat it out before heading to the car.

In Plaza de Roma there is a statue of Romulus and Remus like in Rome. But bigger!!!

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I took another couple of the garden by the Alcazaba.

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Once back in the car we had a curious drive around the city and needed to reprogram TomTom to get us back to the hotel.

Then it was dinner. Some kind of bbq meat that was either cheek of cow or pig.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully dry.

Day 4 - Roman Merida

After breakfast first stop Puente Romane. Got halfway but 14 °C too cold for man in shorts.

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Back to hotel to don jeans!

Once the shorts were exchanged for jeans we set off again for the Amphitheatre and Theatre.

Following the tourist signs. After three passes alongside and a failed parking attempt by the Mérida football stadium we parked opposite outside a school. The entrance to the site was on the other side though. We had a nice walk through a park.

Once we had paid the €15 entry, this covers all sites in Mérida, we were free to wander .

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From the amphitheatre we head right next door to the theatre.....

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We left the site and had a coffee and a think about where to go next.

Lunch. For lunch we returned to the Plaza de España and decided from there to "do" the Temple of Diana and the Alcazaba.

First up Diana and then the Alcazaba. Not much to look at inside but they are working still.

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Then back to the hotel as it was siesta time.

Post siesta. The last two sites.

Firstly, the Circus.

The site is massive. It was built around AD20 and before the amphitheatre and theatre.

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And then to the Casa del Mitreo. A Roman villa complex with mosaic floors and painted walls.

Excavations continue around the site and they have another huge field next door to expand the site if need be.

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It's hard not to be wowed by the different sites.

The sheer amount of work that they (slaves?) Put into everything...2000 years ago.

We headed back to Roma and parked near the Lusitania bridge and had our last dinner in Mérida.

This time a different restaurant.

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It was about 9.30pm when we left the square and headed to bed.

Parking the Polo in the garage we were joined by some bikes.

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I was a little jealous!!!

Day 5 - Merida to Badajoz

%5BUNSET%5D%5BUNSET%5DSpoke too soon about last meal in Mérida. Claire ill in the night. Usually that's my job.

Luckily I was able to add a night here tonight and cancel the Badajoz hotel.

A visit to the pharmacy along the road to get some pills was easy enough with Google Translate's assistance.

Was after lunch when we got out with Claire feeling better we set off for Badajoz.

In hindsight we might not have needed to cancel the hotel. Better safe than sorry.

Parked near Alcazaba and went in the tourist information centre. It started to drizzle as we walked the Alcazaba walls.

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From up here you can see across the rooftops to the river and down into the Plaza Alta.

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A stop for an in-car picnic before heading back to Mérida the longer prettier way.

Evening in. Claire tired after illness and lack of sleep and food.

Tomorrow we head up the road to Cáceres.

Day - Merida to Cáceres

Up and away about 9.30am. Cáceres is only about 40 miles away.

The A66 route is pretty boring but it looks like ordinary roads have been replaced by the autovia everywhere.

A stop for coffee on the way gave me my first Donut of the trip. As light and sugary as usual.

Although very early My Drive and TomTom combined to take us to the hotel parking.

We had the code already. The hotel is about 150m away in a pedestrian area. Checked in.

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And now it is time for lunch before we set off around another historic city.

Once checked in to the Don Carlos hotel we wanted to head out before everywhere closes at 2pm. First stop at the car to get my sunglasses.

Then a walk through the market stalls in the Plaza de España. Varied things from food to jewellery.

And then lunch at the Méson de Jamón. The set menu is €9.50. Pretty good for three courses and a drink.

If you don't like meat, then scroll past now. As the name suggests pig is prominent on the menu.

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Once again I tried the 1/4 litre of local red wine (tinto). It was very smooth and easily quaffable.

After our walk and lunch Claire was feeling tired and so we returned to the hotel for siesta. Although feeling better after her illness in Merida, she is not quite 100%.

At 5.30pm or so we set off to explore towards the old city. The hotel Don Carlos is right on the edge outside the old walls.

Firstly into the Plaza Duran with a statue some might find menacing due to the outfit being taken by another group of people.

Penitents

Penitents

Then through Plaza San Juan to Plaza Mayor.

A stop in the tourist information centre for a larger scale map of the old town.

We managed a small corner taking in Santa Maria and Sant Jorge squares. Tomorrow is a full day pounding the UNESCO World Heritage streets.

Photos? See link to Flickr -------------------->

The photos are all mixed up. Those taken on my phone are okay. The clock on my Samsung camera was six hours behind actual time. It looks as though I forgot to change it when we came back from Florida last October!! Once reset to CET from EST some are in the right place!!!

Day 8/9 - Caceres to Madrid and home!

Up, packed and breakfast had before we set off at around 10am for the 332km drive back to the airport hotel where Centaur have their rental office.

Unfortunately, I had a dickhead moment getting the car out of the parking space and bumped the rear into a concrete post. The underground garages are a forest of posts and some of them quite large to hold the building above up off the ground! I was just rolling back and "bang".

There was a minimum of damage, just a little paint chipped off the bumper. More my pride was hurt. It is lucky I opted for the "smart" all inclusive insurance. I hope.

The 1.0L Polo seemed very economical to run. Admittedly it is a little underpowered on the autovia but cruised at 110 to 120km/h okay.

It was supposed to be full when we left last week but this might have been the gauge rather than the actual level of fuel.

I filled up in Badajoz and it took 8.78 gals to the "click" and we had done 313.5 miles. That comes out at 35.7 mpg.

Remember the "click"? On the way back today the trip meter had 129kms on it before the gauge dropped from full!! It's calibrated in 8 "bars" between empty and full.

Having to return the car "full" looks like a bit of a con. I stopped a few kms before the check-in and it only took 5.18 gals for 283.5 miles or 54.72 miles per gallon.

Driving conditions pretty much the same. But a lesson learned. Leave the ignition on and watch the gauge creep to Full and stop there in future. The difference is too startling to be driving differently.

Anyway. The car was checked in and we arrived at the airport way before the flight appeared on the board to say what check in desks we needed. We had a McCafe con leche and a couple of the little "magdalena" cakes from the hotel breakfast to fill the lack of lunch hole in the belly.

The info boards suggested a good choice of desks,few of which were actually open. After about 20 mins of queuing at Iberia we were told to go to British Airways check-in as we had bought the ticket through them, even though the flight is operated by Iberia..... . Another 20 minutes and we are told to go back to Iberia as it is their flight and BA only has the flights they actually fly on their computer.

In the end we managed to check- in with a different staff member at Iberia who seemed bemused when Claire told her the tale.

Security checks took a little longer as I set it off when going through the scanner. I had my belt on but so did all the other men. After a thorough pat-down search I was released air-side. Claire often gets stopped due to her metal and ceramic hip!

And so to the gates shown only as HJ. with the best part of an hour and a half to wait we settled down on some seating. It's always annoying when there is minimal seating that people stretch out and lay across the seats taking up two or three to themselves.

Waiting for a gate we decided to have something to eat and drink. As there is no (free) food on the flight so we had a Starbucks coffee and a Iberico Jamon baguette. Very nice it was too.

Iberico baguette

Iberico baguette

On the way back from the loo I checked the board and it was showing our flight at gate H8. It was easily a fifteen minute walk down there and Iberia operate a "group" system on the boarding card. A lot of airlines load up by row. We were Group 3, the last group. I had already booked seats before we came out and so wasn't in any hurry. Our two small suitcases had gone in the hold, which was good as the overhead luggage bins were already full with similar sized (and some dubiously larger) cases so that I had just enough room to squeeze my laptop bag in, but no room for Claire's little backpack. We wanted that out anyway, so it could go in front under the seat.

Despite warnings about switching off electronic gear and setting phones to "flight mode" people around us were tapping away sending texts and emails even as we taxied to the runway. WTF?

In the end the flight left about 10 minutes after the rescheduled 1840 timing. It has been moved from 1805 to 1835 before we left UK, and we hadn't been told it was changed again.

But Iberia Express claim to be the most punctual budget airline and we landed at London Gatwick a good ten minutes before scheduled arrival.... Pretty decent going.

After another long walk we retrieved our bags and headed through the green channel "nothing to declare" in the customs hall. Despite not carrying anything elicit I always feel guilty!

Outside the bus to the car-park had just pulled up and we got straight on. Some ten minutes later we were back at the car and getting ready to leave for home. The ANPR worked this time and we were soon heading home.

Despite the at times chaotic driving in Spain especially around Madrid and the number of cars with little dings and knocks the M25 seemed far more dangerous! A stop at an almost deserted Tesco and by 9.30pm I had the pizza we bought in the oven and we could unwind.

Tomorrow we'll go and get Reggie back from his holiday in the kennels.

Day 9

Reggie collected from the kennels. We arrived at 11.29am just as they were going to close the door as they close at 11.30am and not Noon as I had thought.

He was really excited to see us and jumped up into my arms and couldn't wait to get out. He even jumped into the car without being asked!

Another holiday over. Better start planning the next one.... Norway cruise in August....

Posted by InvictaMoto 13:13 Archived in Spain

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