When I asked Riki to get together pictures from our trip to Spain this summer, he gave me a thumb drive per usual with some selected photos. But since this thumb drive contained over 1300 photos from just the first week of our trip, it has taken me awhile to get this blog together. That, and I’ve been busy learning German. Our 17 day road trip around Spain with my parents began and ended in Madrid, and so will this blog. However, it will be in 3 parts due to the enormous amount of pictures.
This part will cover our first week, up until the wedding in Infiesto. The next will cover from Bilbao to Barcelona and the last will be the south; Granada, Cordoba and then back to Madrid, via Toledo. The photos are organized in mosaics for space reasons – just click on a picture to make it larger.
We met up with my parents at the Madrid airport, having flown from Zurich and they having flown from the US. From there, we took the train to Atocha Train Station and walked to our rented apartment, which turned out to be tiny and not air-conditioned, but very well located.
A master of all things free, I had researched the free hours of the Madrid art museums and we were able to visit the Reina Sophia, Thyssen Bornemisza and the Prado all for nothing. As the master of good views, Riki had researched the Belles Artes building and we were able to get great views of downtown Madrid from the top, though not for free.
Our trip coincided with Gay Pride week so the city was decorated with rainbows and we witnessed a festive parade in one of the squares. The rest of our two days in Madrid were spent enjoying the heat, wandering the lively streets, and eating.
Though we really enjoyed Madrid, I was anxious to get on the road and see the rest of the country. We picked up our rental car, packed it to the gills with our luggage and headed about an hour outside of Madrid to Segovia, a UNESCO site and home to a 2nd century Roman aqueduct. It also has an incredible Alcazar (fortress) that we climbed for nice views (another Riki find). It was here that we first witnessed the huge white storks, which nest on the tops of trees and buildings.
After lunch, we got back in the car and headed to Ávila, another UNESCO site, about an hour away. Ávila is known for its 12th c. walls and we walked over a kilometer of them and through the small city before getting back in the car.
From there, we drove about another hour to Salamanca, another UNESCO site, where we would spend two nights. Salamanca is a university town and full of small walking streets, and the mandatory Plaza Mayor. It is an incredibly beautiful city and we were lucky enough to have two charming friends here. We ate delicious food and even bought 2 kilos of jamón ibérico, the maximum allowed to export to Switzerland. If only we were allowed to take the whole leg.
Our next stop was León, which is known for its Gothic cathedral with incredible stained glass. Since Riki didn’t actually go in the cathedral, I don’t have pictures, but I have an abundance of street art and graffiti shots he took while my mom and I toured the church. We had lunch here and then continued onto our main destination, Infiesto, the wedding location.
So the whole point of this trip was to see my Spaniard get married in Infiesto, Asturias. But Riki doesn’t have a single photo on his camera from the town or the event. So I had to steal some from the phone. Infiesto is a tiny place, set in an amazing location. The wedding was great fun, with a great view, amazing food and definitely a worthy cause.