The thunderstorms last night were not an issue when trying to get to sleep but with one long shared pillow some diplomacy was called for. Fortunately a cheap pillow had been purchased in Clermont-Ferrand to cater for difficult situations. One positive to come out of the thunderstorm was a reasonably clean car in the morning. Light rain was falling and it was probably our coolest day on this part of our travels so warmer clothes were needed.
After a bedroom breakfast (we say these things in hushed tones) we said farewell to the owner, who only spoke Spanish and perhaps some French, and left for some sightseeing in the old part of town. Having taken the scenic route last night we knew exactly where to go and how to exit the city. The underground car park had plenty of spaces so we carefully parked where no one could cause any problems on our return. Parking spaces are a bare minimum in size and getting one by a pillar is a bonus.
First stop is Casa del Cordon, with a great statue of El Cid. We thought El Cid was a movie from the 60’s with (we think) Charlton Heston and Sophia
Loren, we beg to be corrected. How wrong we were. He was a great Spanish hero who was a local resident and is buried with his wife in the magnificent cathedral. After a quick walk along a topiary lined avenue we entered through the historic Arco de Santa Maria gate to the old town and on to the cathedral. The Burgos cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is truly magnificent, even in the rain. We were just in time to witness the arrival of a bride for a wedding in one of the larger chapels set aside for daily services. The array of hats and highest of heels, and men in smart suits, led us to believe it was an important wedding. The main observation we had in the cathedral was the amount of detail that went into creating the intricate altarpieces and sculptured biblical stories adorning the interior.
After some time sightseeing it was time for lunch. This time we tried tapas. The waitress seemed to understand what we wanted and we seem to understand what we were going to get. Fortunately everything worked out although the suckers still attached to the small pieces of octopus were
rather hard to take. Back at the car park we found a very badly parked 4WD next to us making our exit rather tricky. Pulling in the wing mirrors and with a bit of manoeuvring we managed to extricate ourselves. Fortunately we have plenty of practice doing this sort of thing getting the cars in and out of the garage back in New Zealand.
Our drive to Ubiarco (small village near Santillana del Mar) took us through large areas of arable countryside surrounded by mountains. Broom was in full flower and gorse not far behind, once again a little touch of New Zealand. Our hotel for tonight is on a hill within view of the Atlantic and the air and surroundings are reminiscent of Otago coastlines such as Warrington. However, the room with its whitewashed walls, shuttered window and tiled floor is all Spanish. A lovely place to stay with breakfast included, for a great budget price. Highly recommended.
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