Northern Spain: Segovia, Santiago, Cudillero, Valladolid & Avila

Pre and post the Raid Gallaecia race, we darted around to taste just a bit of what the region has to offer.

If you want history, I included Wikipedia links as I’m not going to pretend I remember all the history myself! Here below are some pictures and my thoughts/comments.

Segovia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segovia

We happened upon this ancient city when choosing a place to stay on the way to the race.
Find in this charming city a really well preserved 1st/2nd Century Roman aqueduct still at 1° slope surrounded by the walled town and well preserved fort.

Immaculately preserved stone aqueduct.

View from Hotel Segovia; a 10/10 place to stay; refurbished, centre of the action (inside the town walls), car parking, views across the hillside.

Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Palace_of_La_Granja_de_San_Ildefonso

In a town that looks like everyone has disappeared but cleaned up behind them, you will find a palace they call “Mini Versailles” a hunting palace of King Philip V. The gardens alone require at least an hours to get around if you’re into walking and fauna (it’s that impressive even a non-nature lover would be captivated).

This palace is of epic proportions. Rooms full of art; furniture, ceiling frescos, busts and sculptures.

If you have a vague imagination to be taken back to 17XX you will be more than impressed and glad you made the stop.

Santiago de Compostela

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_de_Compostela

The famous and possibly emotional town for many, marks the end of the road for many pilgrims who have finished the journey of a lifetime – this place is certainly humming with life and things to see/do.

Having seen a bit of some of the route (it would appear there are many routes- another story) it is perhaps less than ‘romantic’ as the mind suggests/once was, with some very ordinary highway kms between.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela/shrine of St James (famous ultra walker). Terrible rainy day and terribly covered up!

Cudillero

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cudillero

I called this place “Spain’s answer to Cinque Terre”. I’d seen some pictures in a regional brochure and thought it looked amazing. Lived up to every expectation.

Tucked into the hillside the town is behind a fishing port breakwall.

Anyone who’s cool also knew this was the place to be. Packed! And there’s restaurants to fit the fancy or frugal.

Valladolid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valladolid

Now here’s a living breathing town with life and a sense of something happening. People spill out onto the streets in cafes, bars and restaurants enjoying the outdoors. You really feel like you’re a part of a buzzing hub… It is a student town after all.

We happened upon a festival and music concert held at the base of the Cathedral Valladolid. It was to be the biggest Cathedral in Europe until midway they moved the capital to Madrid and pulled the funding. Various attacks at finishing/adding to it over the years have rendered it a mess, but that’s what makes it unique right?

Art Hotel El Coloquio de los Perros.. As close to 5 stars as 4 gets!

Avila

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ávila,_Spain

Looking for a detour to sneak another town before flying out, we headed just West of Madrid to the walled city of Ávila. If Spain is broke, it’s because they put 10/10 into making their country look amazing. This is another stunning town that is well preserved and beautiful.

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