From Venice, we flew to Madrid, Spain, picked up a rental car and headed north to the wine country of central Spain. Destinations: Valladolid and Rueda.
Found a one bedroom Airbnb place on Calle Guzman in the old section of Valladolid.
It did not look like much at street level, as one only sees cobblestones and the old stucco walls.
But behind the gates are newer residential buildings.
Even had private parking underground. A tight turn to get the car in, but secure.
The Plaza Mayor in Valladolid has shops
and outdoor seating for a hundred or more diners.
I wander around when there are few people out this early.
There are many Spanish and Moorish designs influences seen here.
Sample of different architecture in Valladolid.
Nearby is the Iglesia San Pedro with its ornate carved stone facade.
There are many small cafés for your morning coffee or afternoon wine on every street.
We laugh when people here refer to me as "the German". Maybe because our rental car has plates from Germany and not from Spain, or my height (I am taller than everyone we have met so far),
or my blue eyes.
When we say we are from Texas, the immediate response is...
ah, Cowboys, and point their fingers like pistols!
One can find many small tree shaded niches for relaxing and reading.
The weather is pleasant for being outdoors.
The next day we drove through the many vineyards to reach the small village of Rueda,
where Amparo's family might have come from when migrating to Colombia.
Her family name is Rueda. Much like a valley named Napa in California, this Rueda valley is known for its desirable variety of white wine. No red wine is produced here.
The Rueda village church and nearby restaurant. Little by little we are re-tuning our ears to understand how the Spanish people pronounce their Castilian words and construct their sentences.
It is different from Colombia or Mexico.
We had a chicken dish lunch in Rueda with a local wine, of course.
Rueda's main business street
Wine production must be profitable, as the buildings here are new and solid.
As we were packing the suitcases for our last night in Valladolid, we heard flutes and drums outside. Stepping into the street, we encountered a procession on the narrow Calle Guzman.
A serendipitous surprise in our visit here...
A local catholic society was carrying a statue of a Saint or the Virgin Mary
through the neighborhood, stopping periodically for the musicians to play and to change
who was pulling the cart.
The congregation followed...
We could not decide if this statue was the Virgin Mary or a Saint, as she was not holding a baby. She was holding an open book in her right hand and a feather pen in the other.
We said our goodbyes to Calle Guzman,
we leave for the well-known city of Santiago de Compostela in the northwest corner of Spain.
The journey continues...