You know, it’s trips like this that make me wonder why I don’t just jack it all in and live in a Spanish city, instead of on the hectic coast. They’re wonderful. They all have the “old towns”, full of interesting bars and restaurants and museums and nooks and crannies; the hotels are almost always new, the transport system immaculate and the people nice.
For instance, the hotel I’m in now (Vincci) is clean and modern. A bus stops just outside, and I took a bus without anyone from the lower classes muttering to me, which has always stopped me from taking a bus before. In fact, last time I was on a bus was in 2003. The people here are lovely, and the weather (on the 16th August) is just right, about 22 – 25 C. Lovely. Taxi drivers are insane and agressive, but at least they are cheap.
Sure, the toilet sticks and the bloke in reception (Ruben, lovely fellow, very informative) forgot to put on the piped music in the rooms, but apart from that – very nice. Free internet, too.
Valladolid has some wonderful wines, all local, none of which I’ve heard of before. Going down very nicely. Cheap too. And strangely enough, everybody seems intrigued by the fact I’m English and not a student. They don’t get many of those around here. Ls’ Almerian accent is going down well, too.
We went to a restaurant in the old town called “Zamora” to eat. It has a very busy bar, called Ceyjo, with wonderful tapas, which is what enticed us in. Just behind the main square. Full of people ordering “Chupitos” of beer, which are about the same as an Almerian Cana. A Cana here is a tercio back home. Confusing.
Again, the food is good, if you know Spanish food. We had a salad to start, L had the roast leg of lamb, I had lamb chops. Ls was a whacking big leg of lamb, done in the oven, with no veg. €17.
Mine were a bunch of chops, with some very thin chips and a cherry tomato. €15.
Don’t expect veg with the meat, the Spanish don’t do it that way. I have to say though, the way they served the bread was unusual: it was just placed, a hunk of it, on the tablecloth. By a waiter wearing gloves and using tongs. “But that’s how it’s served!” he exclaimed when I asked if he had a side plate. In fact, he seemed annoyed.
If you’re ever in Valladolid, ignore the Archaeological museum. It was free, but I still felt ripped off. The only good stuff in it seemed to be from Jaen, heavens knows why. Go to the “Real Iglesia Parroquial de San Miguel y San Julian” instead. It’s in front, it’s free, and the frescoes, relics, and paintings are better then the museums and fascinating. Make sure you gain access to the back room. The elderly lasy guarding it was a font of information, although no photos allowed. Wandering around, I spotted a model of Jesus on the cross, under a glass coffin, with a box saying “Insert 20c here”. In a fit of madness, thinking I was in Mini Hollywood where you can get the models to start dancing around when you money in the box, I stuck 20c in. Got a huge spotlight on me, supposed to illuminate the fresco in front but all it did was attract attention. Never mind. I suppose the feeling came upon me because Valladolid is full of half restored buildings with just the front still up supported by a few metal bars, same as film stages.
Valladolid? Lovely place, I could easily spend 6 or 12 months here, but at the end of the day there just wasn’t a small voice inside of me saying “please….. just one day more!”. So, onwards we go.