Peñaranda de Duero, Spain – December 6, 2010
Today is Monday. I am off today through Wednesday. Today and Wednesday are Spanish holidays. I am taking Tuesday off as a comp day. The Spaniards refer to that as a “puente” (bridge) since I connected two holidays with a day off.
So, today, Leslie, Tyler and I are going to drive north. We are going to try to see the castle in the town of Peñaranda de Duero. I am looking forward to it because it is not one of the usual destinations. Normally we go to larger, more touristy cities like Toledo or Valencia. From what I see on the maps, the town of Peñaranda de Duero is definitely not a city. In fact, it looks more like a village. In addition, it is on one of the small back-roads. It should be fun.
As it turned out, our trip to the castle at Peñaranda de Duero was a bust. First of all, the castle was not open for tours. It was just a ruin. So we walked through the ruin and took a few photos. We drove back to the village of Peñaranda de Duero, population 587! I took a few more photographs and then we tried to decide what to do on our way back home. We thought it would be nice to go to the city of Valladolid, population 530,499!
It had taken us a little more than two hours to get to the castle. We had another two hours to get from Peñaranda de Duero to Valladolid. On the way, we drove through the Rio Duero valley. It was loaded with wineries. The valley was hemmed in by several mesas. It really reminded us of the Grand Junction, Colorado area. We think we will go back up that way when the wineries are open. We thought that would be fun.
Continuing on, we drove through the town of Peñafiel, population 5,571! It was a much larger town than Peñaranda de Duero. There was a much larger castle in Peñafiel. It appeared tours of the castle were available. We decided to catch that on our next trip too.
We finally made it to Valladolid. I had the GPS dialed into the city center. When we got into the area I found a parking spot. I thought we would get something to eat and wander through town. After 20 minutes or so we found a restaurant on Plaza Mayor. There was one table left outside so we sat down. As we took turns using the restroom, we noticed the inside of the restaurant was packed. As I was waiting for Leslie and Tyler to come out it began to rain. Boy did it come down.
We made our way back to the car without getting too wet. We got in and headed back home; another two hours. So, we drove for a little over six hours and had nothing to “show” for it. With that amount of time, I could have driven us to Barcelona, or Rota, or Lisbon. With two fewer hours, I could have driven us to Santander on the north coast. Oh well, live and learn!