Segovia-Pedraza-Mérida, Spain

Our first day on the road. What a freedom to have a car! No more carrying on backpacks or running after busses without doors or windows. Our months on the other side of the Atlantic was everything we wished for and a bit more (I will write a short reflection of this later on), but it would be a lie to not say that it is convenient to travel in this part of Europe. It is so European! Since it was Saturday morning the traffic out of Madrid was calm. Our first stop for the day was Segovia, 80km north of the Spanish capital. We drove through small villages all characterized by the terra-cotta coloured stone houses on a backdrop of mountains and fields. We rolled into Segovia just before noon and could enjoy a rather empty city for an hour or so before the “big masses” arrived. Segovia is known to be a popular day tour from Madrid and it was indeed a charming place with many small parks and squares. After lunch we continued to a small neighbouring village; Pedraza before we drove through a patch worked landscape of dull colours with occasional splashes of red poppies and the distant mountains still partly covered in snow.

We continued on small roads (I.e. non toll roads) through the rolling landscape. The closer we came to Salamanca the more open the landscape became. Dull yellow hills, light green cork oaks and black and light brown cattle grassing in the early evening sun. We decided to spend the night by a lake a few kilometres south of Salamanca. I slept bad and woke early and managed to catch the sunrise over the lake. The morning was fresh- the lake was located more than 1000 m.a.s.l and during the night the temperature had dropped down to 11*C. After picking up coffee at the closest gas station we put the GPS on Mérida- our end destination for today was Évora 1,5h drive across the Portuguese boarder.

On our way south we took a detour to Sierra de Bejár in order to check out the ski resort. Surprisingly many peaks were still partly covered in snow and after a short break we continued our journey. After a visit to the Gastronomic festival in Merida we continued over the boarder to Portugal on a small and empty road through the waving landscape. We had to arrive to Évora at latest 16.00 due to the game between Germany and Mexico, not my main priority when it is 40*C outside, but what do you not do for love?

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