Once again Amparo and I are in Valladolid. We are drawn here by its rich history, medieval architecture, lack of international tourists and its walkable neighborhoods. The weekend tour groups we see in the old Plaza outside our apartment are made up of mainly Spaniards. The Spanish people are aware of the important role Valladolid played in its history. Yet most of the world has never heard of the city that was the epicenter of the Spanish Court in the 1400's, when it financed Christopher Colombus's first and subsequent voayages to the New World, a city where Christopher Colombus died, where Miguel Cervantes lived for a time and Juan Zorilla was born. We are glad we found it before it becomes spoiled with tourism.
Looking out from our third floor balcony, are the ruins of an earlier church that was partly torn down to make room for the new, now old, Cathedral in the 1500's.
Looking directly down at the street, we can watch the constant parade of one way traffic. Here is one of the all electric articulating city buses. It is fastinating to watch these extra long mechanical snakes navigate the tight turns and corners in the old section where we are.
Rain was the forecast for today, though mainly overcast, as we only felt a few drops.
Oh, I would remiss if I did not mention we are in the heart of a thriving Spanish wine growing area.
It's five o'clock somewhere... enjoy!
At one time, Valladlod was the royal and cultural center of the Iberian pensula. The intellectuals of Spanish literature thrived here under the patronage of the royal court.
Miguel D. Cervantes lived and wrote here for a few years.
Like Hemingway, Cervantes traveled a lot, living in many different Spanish cities.
We commented over dinner tonight that one does not hear any English spoken in the streets
or in the restaurants here.
Since Amparo and I speak English/Spanish at home, we often slip back and forth between the two, many times in the same sentence. That happened here when talking to a store clerk. Poor girl looked puzzled, then started looking for someone to translate our English. In most major European cities, the brand name store clerks are bi-lingual. Not here.
Here it's 100% Castilian with a lovely rhythm that resonates.
That wraps up our first days in Valladolid.
P.S. Yes, I am back to taking color photographs after having completed my twelve month commitment to only photograph in black & white. I learned a lot, enjoyed the challenge, can see where it is helping me create stronger images.