Day 387 – Aranjuez – 24 Mar 11
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Well, we left Mazarron at crack of sparrows on Monday morning. The gates weren’t even open as we sat there at 8am. Hope we woke up those noisy French!
Great journey of about 6 hours and 253 miles – a record journey for us, beating even Luzern to Lake Garda. The weird thing was that there was literally no traffic on a 4 lane motorway. We could go 5 miles without seeing another car – either way. I overtook 3 lorries and one of them re-overtook me!
I didn’t realise that there were plains in Spain. We went for hours through the La Mancha wine region and it was like travelling in East Anglia. Flat as far as the eye could see. Just an abundance of vines, almond and olive trees. Quite picturesque in its way as we have been so used to having a constant backdrop of hills and mountains. No traffic and no steep climbs. Bliss. And the van held up really well. Touch wood.
We saw two more giant black Osborne bulls – that makes about 8 altogether of the original 500 – although we know that there are only 88 left. These giant silhouettes were originally placed on hilltops along roadways all over Spain as an advertising ploy in 1956 to promote Osborne brandy and through regulation disputes, theft and decay their numbers have somewhat dwindled and the ones that remain have now become a symbol of Spanish culture.
The road into the campsite at Aranjuez was severely cobbled. The wag rattled and rolled and shook loose God knows what. At least we go out a different way. Think we’ll go direct to Burgos on Thursday or Friday. Weather looks OK-ish. Met some ex-RAF people who said that it was OK to drive through Madrid and not to bother going round it!
Nice campsite by a river with decent facilities and grass pitches and cheap - €15 with free wi-fi.
Much to Bill’s dismay Aranjuez is a tourist heaven. It was once the summer home for the Spanish Royals and has a Palace, Royal Gardens, museums, summer pavilions, river trips and even a ‘noddy train’. So as you can guess it was off on the latter as it actually starts from the campsite into town with a visit around the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace at Aranjuez was quite a surprise – even for me. Shirl was delighted to go around a very large and luxurious palace – one of the best I’ve seen with loads of excellent rooms filled with furniture, art and fixtures. Excellent, especially the Porcelain and Arabic rooms. Even a mural by Velasquez.:Cool:
Then a walk round the town and through the Royal Gardens home. It's a bit like Bath or Windsor.
We were originally thinking of going by train to Toledo tomorrow which would have taken us about 3 hours in travelling time and via Madrid, so instead of pushing my luck I’ve given Bill the day off and we shall stay put and relax before the next leg of our journey. Bill is still jumping for joy just at the thought.:Rofl1:
Shirl left me in peace today and did a bit more touristing on her own. Weather isn’t great but OK. Not too cold. I wrote a few more lines for the book and found out it won’t be easy to get it published, even if it's good enough. It's a minefield. Never mind, it’ll give me something to do in the coming year. I still have 35000 words to write yet.
Off to Burgos in the morning via Madrid - eek!
This will definitely be the last blog until we get home.
See you soon
M and D
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