Leaving Bella Luna in the marina in Denia, we started our 4 day car tour of the higher elevations of NE Spain. Pablo in the marina office was VERY helpful giving Roland tips and places to see. He told Roland most people do not go inland because of the higher heat. People want to stay at the coastline where it is cooler. So we packed expecting warmer temperatures.
We set the navigator on “scenic route” and the first 2 hours was all coastal farm land with a occasional woman sitting by the side of the road mid day in the heat. One was dancing. Roland understood why they were there, but I had no idea until he told me. Sitting out in the sun midday with no hat on, by the side of the road, waiting for business??? As they say in Sweden, my mouth was like a open mailbox. The village where we stopped for lunch was in the heart of farming so parked on the street was a mixture of cars and tractors.
Tractor home for siesta
We arrived to Albarracin, the capital of the Sierra de Aibarracin Comarca, in the providence of Teruel. The town is named after a Moorish family that had once dominated the area during the period of Muslim domination in this area.
The town or village is set among stony cliffs. Walking around all you could hear were birds singing and a nearby waterfall. Unfortunately there were no english tours available during our short visit. A enchanting place to visit. Oh, and the temperature that evening was 9c or 48F.
Albarracin by Night
Empty streets in Albarracin
Back in Hotel after dinner
Our second day took us to a elevation of 1700 meters or 5.500 feet all through back roads and extremely small farming villages. We drove 2.5 hours without seeing another car. Absolutely stunning country and as I was raised on a farm in Eastern Washington I was surprised to see so much planted grain at these elevations. Obviously it does get very hot even at these elevations. High today 12c. Grass crops were being cut for hay which would correlate to all the MANY cow warning road signs we saw but did not see any cows, not one, the entire trip.
The colors of the crops set against the red rock cliffs and the reddish soil was stunning.
A stop at the Monastery De Piedra and a walk through the park offered gorgeous waterfalls, caves, rich flora, fauna and geological formations. We did not tour the Monastery.
Waterfalls in Monastery de Piedra
Our destination for the day was Calatayud which is one of many wine districts in Spain. Again, the vineyards in the reddish soil with the red cliffs and rolling hills is so special. We arrived to a winery 45 minutes before they closed so purchased some wine and the next day visited a second winery.
Plaza Espana Calatayoud
Calatayoud view from Hotel room
Wine fields outside Calatayoud
After another day of incredible scenery we arrived Barcelona where we had a nice dinner with our friend Miguel, who has sailed with us many times, and his friend Merces. Although our time was short, it was nice to spend the evening with them. Next morning we made the 5 hour trip back to the marina.