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I've probably said before that Spain is divided into big administrative units called Communities. The Communities are then divided into smaller units called Provinces. Ciudad Rodrigo is in the Province of Salamanca and in the Community of Castilla y Leon. Our Provincial capital is Salamanca but the capital of Castilla y Leon is Valladolid. So yesterday, we went to have a look at Valladolid.

Valladolid's population is around 400,000 - a bit bigger than Bradford and a bit less than Bristol. It's the 2oth largest city in Spain. The Rough Guide isn't very kind about Valladolid - its old quarter is an oppressive labyrinth of dingy streets - but we thought it seemed like a lively town with quite a lot of interesting looking spots.

It is true that it lacked the huge and impressive buildings that abound in Salamanca or Barcelona or Toledo but then again it looked as though the local authorities had been working hard on tidying up some of the old houses in the centre. For instance we went to a museum based on a remodelled 14th Century Monastery and I thought it was rather splendid (though I wasn't so keen on the art they had chosen to display). The bars and cafes seemed to offer a wide range of styles and décor and there were plenty of small scale architectural delights as well as a pretty full cultural programme on offer.

One of the things that struck me most about Valladolid was the 220kms journey there from home. Ciudad Rodrigo is 621m above sea level and Valladolid is 691m. The journey is across a pretty featureless and flat landscape. We passed Salamanca within sight of the motorway, Zamora, another provincial capital was off to west otherwise we passed through a couple of small towns and that was it. Castilla y Leon is definitely not overcrowded.

Valladolid is pronounced a bit like "Buy a dole lid"


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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.