Passing Time in Tordesillas
There are some sentences nobody ever expects to hear themselves say in this life. And, “Ah but it was hard work leaving Torquemada!” Is definitely one of them!
It was hard work leaving Torquemada though. The village, not the man. Not least because far too much alcohol had been consumed the night before and we were feeling a teensy, tiny, fraction on the delicate side. And all that lovely, warm, bright Spanish sunshine wasn’t helping matters either.
But…we were meeting up with an old friend we hadn’t seen in ages, so it was time we got our sorry bottoms firmly in the driver and navigation seats and said goodbye to Angel, the storks and this lovely, lovely corner of this wonderful planet we call home.
A bit of driving and a few lovely hours catch up later we bid our friend Adios and headed on to the handy town of Tordesillas to spend the night.
We’d decided not to bother trying to look for somewhere amazing as we were only going to have an hour or two to wander before bedtime. Tordesillas was close to where we’d met our friend, and in line for Salamanca where we wanted to go tomorrow. There was no Aire, but there was free parking with plenty space and right in the town centre. (41.503799 , –5.001650)
It wasn’t much to look at, but we were pretty tired and didn’t really care so long as it was safe, convenient, and not bothering anyone.
Murals of the Town’s History
First impressions weren’t great around the car park area. But Google had turned up some interesting information on the town’s history so we wanted to wander a bit further before dismissing the town entirely.
Besides, nice as it is to spend time in beautiful places, we travel to see what’s out there in the world. The beauty, the plain, the ugly, the mundane. The millions, billions, of different realities that humans across the globe live in. To step out of our bubbles a little, and see for ourselves what is beyond our current understanding.
The familiar, evocative, clattering of the Storks pulled us on as we headed down the hill towards what looked like the “interesting” part of town.
Already things are starting to look up.
Tordesillas was winter quiet, and winter grubby .The low evening, mountain sun couldn’t bring any warmth to the shadowed tunnel of old streets leading down towards the river. But there was still charm to be found sleeping behind these things.
Imagine a few months later in the year and the strong June sun turning these same shaded streets into pleasantly cool sanctuaries from the heat. The local residents gathering for the traditional, communal, socialising of sunset in the main plaza seeking the shady corners, rather than the sunny ones.
The stains of winter storms once more washed clean in the Spring coatings of brightly coloured paint that would soon see old walls sparkle. Hanging baskets of brilliant flowers splashing every wall, window sill and step. Courting busy bees and butterflies at every turn and hiding wall lizards in their shade.
All these things lie dormant now. Just waiting, waiting, dreaming of the Spring.
We finally made it to the till only to find the card machines don’t take credit cards. Fine says I! It’s not a credit card! The machine seemed confused by my Revolut card, so, as Jay had used the cash earlier in Haarlem he reluctantly got out plan desperation. Otherwise known as a normal UK debit card with exorbitant fees and rubbish exchange rates.
The ever so helpful, beautifully friendly and perfect speaker of English cashier pointed out the Visa sign on the card. “No, no! It’s not credit it’s bank card!” we stutter in barely intelligible pigeon English. The cashier doesn’t miss a beat. Understanding every word he beams and waves a hand encouragingly at the machine. It doesn’t work.
Following the evening strollers on through the Plaza and down the hill we are finally rewarded by a beautiful historical area. With wide open spaces and far reaching vistas across the river valley below.
The wonderful tradition of watching the sun go down.
It is getting late, and we are tired and increasingly cold as the sun sinks lower and lower in the February sky. But we push ourselves to wander a little more while there is still light.
We marvel at the huge bulk of the Church of St Antolin towering above us in bleak, unadorned splendour.
Delight in the many lovely pieces of street art dotted all around the town.
The enticing walkways, viewpoint and gardens lead us on, on, until we find ourselves at the Monastery de Santa Clara where the tragic Queen Joanna was imprisoned by her father.
And finally, finally, cold, footsore, and happy beyond measure we turn our weary selves back up the hill towards home.
It was worth the walk.