Monday, February 10, 2014

A road trip along the route of silver part 3: Cáceres

We travelled south past Salamanca and onwards to Cáceres. We'd read about the old town built on a hill and how wonderfully preserved it was and we were eager to visit. We managed to park up and stroll through the busy pedestrianised shopping area that borders the old town and check into our hotel. To cut a long story very short we checked in and checked out about 5 hours later after two room moves... We did however manage to find a very nice hotel and the very last available room belonging to the NH World chain just around the corner...phew.


Cáceres is a a large modern city built around the old town of Cáceres. The old town has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its cobbled streets, medieval houses and fortresses, and its many Renaissance palaces. Surrounded by thick walls built in the Moorish period,  Cáceres old town, with its ten towers, is like a film set. Take down the discreet perspex signs signalling government departments, restaurants, hotels and museums and it wouldn't take much to transport you back to 14th - 18th Century Spain and to imagine the silver traders, along with many others, idling a few days in town to buy and sell their wares.



The golden brown granite absorbs the setting sun and glows. Wandering through the many streets and alley ways you spot gems that are asking to be explored. There are many courtyards through half-open doorways, peaceful and cool with their large pots of Aspidistra plants, inviting you in to take a look, which we did.The main square which borders the old town was very quiet apart from half a dozen small cafe bars/restaurants vying for passing trade with offers of free Tapas and really good value menu del dia which was a three course lunch with wine and bread for 12€.


Cáceres out of season is very quiet but I suspect come the hot summer season, those tiny streets and open squares will be filled with chattering tourists and tired feet. We found some great Tapas restaurants and a excellent Italian restaurant and ate well.


Cáceres had a very different feel to Zamora and was very peaceful but we only stayed in and around the old town and there is a much larger city to explore maybe for another time. The highlights for us were the main museum, which once was a grand palace. An original and functional Aljibe still survives in the basement under the horseshoe shaped Moorish arches. Water draining from roofs and terraces was collected in the basement Aljibe, no light was allowed which kept the water fresh for home consumption; a basement reservoir in effect. Here is a link to the Museum brochure in English. There are many other things to see but spending such little time there we still have many things to return for.


We researched the Monfragüe National Park and planned a walk for the following day. Being in the city for four days on the trot is OK but we both miss the hum of the countryside and the fresh air. Bookmark for Part 4 Walking in Monfragüe National and watching the black vultures.

5 comments:

  1. Wow, what an awesome trip! There are so many places to go around Spain, not just tourist beaches. Lovely images!

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    1. Thanks Coco, yes I am constantly amazed at the hidden gems we find along the way. So much more to explore.

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  2. I'm really enjoying looking at these photos from your trip. I've not been to Spain since I was a child and so it's interesting seeing your urban and rural pics of an area I know very little about.

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    1. Thanks Veronica, Spain is such a diverse and culturally rich country with so many recent influences. I am in a constant state of discovery, fortunately Luis knows his history so that makes it all the more interesting.

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    2. And brilliant vultures on the next post!

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