Visit date: April 22, 2017, approximately 7:00 p.m., overnight
It’s only the first day of our trip and we’re already on our way to the fifth most beautiful village in Spain. There are many beautiful historic villages scattered in the Francia mountainous area in the western part of Spain, so the distance itself is not so long, except for the distance from the airport to this area. However, when you visit the fifth place, the day is getting dark, no matter how longitude of western Spain is west longitude.
The fifth village, Ciudad Rodrigo, which I’m going to introduce this time, I decided to stay in this village on the first day of this trip. I already booked the hotel in advance from Japan.
It is an old fortified city located in the province of Salamanca, about 80 km from the capital Salamanca. It is also only a few kilometres from the border with Portugal, so it flourishes as a traffic hub and has a history of being the scene of many conflicts.
Ciudad Rodrigo is a relatively large city in this area, eh? Is it a town? In fact, it seems to be the old town area surrounded by the wall you see that is chosen as the most beautiful village in Spain.
The hotel is in the old town. You can enter this old town by car, but unfortunately there was no big parking lot and we couldn’t park on the street, so we left the city wall again and parked in the space just outside the wall.
From there, I walked back inside the city walls with just the luggage I needed. The hotel was about a 10 second walk from the gate of the wall on the side where I parked.
The hotel spoke only a few words of English, but we checked in without any problem. This city seems to have existed as a fortress since Roman times. And when Spain was occupied by Muslims, this place was occupied and destroyed by Berbers.
However, in the century when the Reconquista was in full swing, the city was regained by Count Rodrigo, who was active during the reign of King Alfonso. The name of the city seems to have originated from this Count. The religious monuments were built in the 15th and 16th centuries. The present city probably originates from this period. The Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Plaza Mayor are the main attractions.
Other small churches are scattered around the city.
The cathedral was very magnificent for the size of the beautiful village. That’s how venerable the town has been since ancient times.
I couldn’t get inside. We have to wait until after 10:00 the next day, but we don’t want to wait that long. Spain, sightseeing of church is difficult. If it’s a country other than Spain, it’s often open early in the morning all year round.
The city walls surrounding the old town have probably been rebuilt and repaired many times, but they are still standing.
In any case, the city has managed to preserve its landscape through the Roman era, the Reconquista, the Napoleonic occupation and the Spanish War of Independence. That’s why in 1944 it was declared one of Spain’s most important cultural monuments, and only recently, in the 21st century, was it named one of Spain’s most beautiful villages.
After this, we took another break and went to a restaurant (*usually from 8:30pm in this area), but we ran out of energy because we had worked too hard from the first day of the trip. Fortunately, I had a hearty meal of Jamon Iberico in the third village, so I wasn’t so hungry and was able to have a blast. Oh, I took a shower before going to bed.
There seemed to be a variety of gastronomy (local specialties), but I was too tired on the first day of arrival to fully enjoy the meal.
Otherwise, it would have been interesting to just walk around the town normally, but we didn’t have much time for that. So, it became one of the villages I want to visit again.
Now, the next day. I was so tired that I slept well the day before, and I think the fact that I didn’t drink alcohol the night before also helped me to sleep well. I felt tiredness was removed at once.
It was not as cold in the morning as I thought it would be. Last year in Aragon it was cold with the lowest temperature dropping to about 3 degrees, but the area we are going to this year doesn’t seem to be that cold.
The next day we went to Portugal, but our accommodation was back in Spain, in a village just north of here, which of course is voted the most beautiful village in Spain. It was a local reservation. Next time I will introduce that village.