Sunday, 8 March 2009

Just A Perfect Day

A couple of our friends in Madrid have a weekend home in a teeny-weeny village 2 hours to the north. They are having it renovated right now, and had to meet the builder today to sort a few things out. They very kindly invited us to go with them.

We love living in Madrid, but sometimes it can feel oppressive, and it is just great to get out of it for a bit. Spain is an enormous country, and outside of the cities it is very sparsely populated. We haven't explored a fraction of it yet, but the feeling you get when you leave the city behind is akin to being in the desert in Dubai. The silence, the enormous sky, the beautiful scenery. Awesome.

We stopped at two cute pueblos on the way. This is Torija...



A beautiful little town with a recently-restored fairy-tale castle in the middle of it.





A few kilometres down the road is Brihuega...



...which has an unusually plain, but handsome church.





In their village, Ocentejo, we enjoyed an outstandingly good lunch, cooked by the chef/owner of the village bar/restaurant. He's a complete nutter, but, boy, can he cook! We also met the mayor of the village, and a few of the residents. When I say 'village', it's more of a hamlet. The permanent population is only 22.



The picture above is of an ancient watchtower on the hill behind our friends' house. Most of the houses in the village are built of stone liberated from this structure.



The moon rose in the afternoon.



This 3m high pole in the village square has a ham-bone hanging from it. During the annual fiesta, the pole is greased, and the local loons try to climb it.

On the way back to Madrid, we stopped to have a look at a spectacular gorge, one or two kilometers out of the village.





The river is a tributary of the Tagus, which eventually finds its way to the sea in Lisbon.



The weather was beautiful, and once the renovation of the house is complete, we are looking forward to more weekends up there. We've promised to dig the garden, build a natural-filtered swimming pool, and any other grovelling that may need to be done.

Bliss.

7 comments:

nzm said...

Fabulous! Love the moonshot.

BTW - we're now neighbours of sorts as we just signed for a rental apartment in Barcelona!

Jen and I are looking forward to meeting up with you both again, very soon!

Keefieboy said...

NZM: woo hoo! When are you moving?

nzm said...

We fly back this Saturday out of Berlin.

Will email you with the details - most probably next week as this week we're flat out with goodbyes!

Seabee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seabee said...

I love that moonshot too. Brilliant.

M, you seem to be permanently on the move...

Jayne said...

Brilliant photos Keefie :-)

alexander... said...

You got me whistling Lou Reed now...