One walled city in central Spain was just not enough for me so after Toledo I shot out from Madrid in a different direction and visited Avila. I was threatened with rain by the internet weather but in the event it was a beautiful day in Avila (and rained all day in Madrid) so kudos on my choices. I watched out the train window as we slowly but steadily climbed out of the scrubby tree farm land of the Madrid area up to the rocky heights around that area. There was granite everywhere in the landscape – piles of stones pulled out of the fields, dry stacked walls demarking them, in almost every rural building and in the original outcroppings. I even saw a few cows grazing somewhat desultorily.
When I got to Avila my map app was being recalcitrant so I fell back on my wits to find the old walled city. Its pretty easy to do in any city – to find the historic center, walk up hill. I took a few twists and turns down pretty by-ways but found the massive Norman era city wall without a hitch and then strolled around the inner city and out the other side. I found my way down to the low point with river (there’s always a river) and the old milling area outside the wall. Then I wandered back up along the inside of the wall and had a picnic lunch on a massive grass covered rock outcropping protruding from the inside of it. I passed on most of the museums because I was more in the mood for the outsides of buildings and rejoiced in my good luck that the predicted rain never showed up.
By 4:30 I was feeling pretty worn out and kind of regretting my impulsive 7:30 pm return ticket purchase of the morning. I decided to try my luck (and my Spanish on the train station ticket booth worker and had a resounding success. Not only was I able to switch the ticket to 5:30, I did it in semi-complete Spanish sentences and with only one instance of sign language (to confirm that tarjeta meant debit card).
I actually bothered to caption this batch of photos (pretty flippantly) so watch out for that as you go through them.
And these are just some of my walled-city-photos. I couldn’t get enough of them.
And here’s what I THOUGHT was my photo project for the day (before I got back home and saw all the stone wall pictures): doorways with windows over them. Its a standard entry arrangement with a million permutations. Don’t expect these to be last door-and-window photos you see! Click at your own risk!