Day 2: Saturday - September the 4th

I awoke at my usual time on this, my first morning in Segovia. I was hoping to get some much needed sleep after the a nearly sleepless night flight and a very busy first day. But, my clock was still set on Eastern Standard.

Today was going to be another full day with a road trip north to Valladolid for some shopping, sight seeing and a much anticipated food festival.

So, about mid-morning we all piled into the car and headed north on Highway A – 601. The distance between Valladolid and Segovia is 56 miles or 90.1 Kilometers and the drive would be about an hour and half to arrive at our destination.

General Map of Spain

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: Jeff provided me with much of the specific info for the captions below for which I am very grateful. My note taking was spotty at best and there was just too much for my pea sized brain to remember. Thanks Jeff!!
And, as always, thanks to Betsy, my ever lovin' wife, for her proof reading.

My comments are formatted like this to make it easier to know who is saying what.

Click on the photos below for a larger image.

  Click for larger image

This is a small chapel for travellers beside a service station on the A – 601 highway that connects Segovia with Valladolid.

  Click for larger image

Interior shot of the Chapel. I wonder if this might be the "Chapel of our Lady of Petrolia".

  Click for larger image

The landscape of Castille, perfect for growing grains.

Most of Spain's great interior is occupied by a high and arid plateau, the Meseta, compartmentalized by mountain ranges and river valleys. Only moderately densely populated, Spain is primarily an agricultural country greatly dependent upon irrigation.

Source: © 2007-2010 HikeNow.net

  Click for larger image

La Venta Tabanera”, a sausage factory outside Segovia (with direct sales to the public).

Chorizo - La Venta Tabanera

Photo: La Venta Tabanera

I bought some of the chorizo to take home at the market in Segovia. Although I am fond of the chorizo made in the southwestern areas of the U.S., I preferred the Spanish style chorizo. It was dryer and not quite so "sharp" as chorizo I have eaten in California and Arizona.

Chorizo is a term encompassing several types of pork sausage originating from the Iberian Peninsula.

Chorizo can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked before eating. In Europe it is more frequently a fermented cured smoked sausage, in which case it is usually sliced and eaten without cooking. Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers (pimentón/pimentão or colorau). Due to culinary tradition, and the expense of imported Spanish smoked paprika, Mexican chorizo (and chorizo throughout Latin America) is usually made with chili peppers, which are used abundantly in Mexican cuisine.

In Latin America, vinegar also tends to be used instead of the white wine usually used in Spain. In Spain and Portugal the sausages are usually encased in intestines, in a traditional method that has been used since Roman times. In Latin America, however, they are usually encased in artificial casings, have a smooth commercial appearance, and artificial colorings are often used.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

The A – 601 (which was completed about 2 years ago).

Note the conifers flanking the roadway. These are Stone Pines (Pinus pinea) and, together with the Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) cover vasts areas of the interior high plains.
I don't know much Spanish but surely the village of Pinarejos must have been named for the pine forests which surround it.

  Click for larger image

Ani enjoying the ride to Valladolid.

  Click for larger image

A beautiful Stone pine in the middle of the highway.

This group of pines - "Pinyon Pines" are global in distribution and many tons of pine nuts are harvested each year. I first heard about pine nuts as an ingredient in Italian cooking - pignolias.

The pine family is one of the most familiar groups of evergreen trees in North America since it furnishes most of our traditional Christmas trees, provides a strong, excellent softwood timber and is an important source of turpentine and rosin. Less known perhaps is the fact that some members of the pine family also bear edible seeds, commonly referred to as nuts. Worldwide, approximately 100 species of true pines are recognized; of these about a dozen in the Northern Hemisphere produce nuts of sufficiently high quality and desirable flavor to make them worth gathering.

Pine Nuts

Photo source: WikiPedia

"Pine nut" denotes any of these edible nuts. Other distinctions should be made, however, depending upon the geographical are involved. The most common designation for nuts in Europe is "pignolia", a term which refers to pine nuts of the Italian stone pine, grown for the most part in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and North Africa. Nuts of a different species called "pinion", a name derived from the Spanish word for pine nut, are produced in the western United States. These pinon nuts come mainly from the Colorado pinon tree, a two-needled pine which grows wild in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Different varieties of pine nuts are also grown in Russia, Korea, China and Japan. In these other countries the pine nut is an important food locally, but is not commercially important. China is one of the leading exporters of pine nuts. In the United States nut trade, "pine nuts" may refer to the European pignolia, the North American pinon or the Chinese pine nut.

During harvest, the cones of the tree are shaken to remove the kernel. Once removed, they are dried further before being processed in a milling station to remove the kernel from its hard outer shell. The kernels and shells are separated by sifting; the testa, or thin skin which still covers the kernel, is then removed. Thereafter, the kernels are graded and sized. Superior, unblemished, shelled kernels, both large and small, are reserved for the export market; the remaining kernels are sold locally or utilized in prepared foods.

Although pignolia nuts may be eaten out of hand, raw or roasted, they have the distinction of being the only nuts used predominantly as ingredients for cooking. For many centuries in European cookery, they have been blended with meats, fish and poultry, and have been used in many different sauces.

Source: ©1999 – 2010 NutsOnline

  Click for larger image

With its proximity to the power line I wonder if this solar array was piped directly to the grid.

  Click for larger image

I was glad Jeff was driving. I cannot image trying to navigate without being able to read Spanish. I saw lots of motorcycles and scooters in Spain. I am not sure why this guy was driving on the berm.

  Click for larger image

A grab shot past Jeff and through the window. The Spanish women seem to always be dressed up, no matter what they are doing.
The building in background was one of many apartment buildings we passed while driving through the outskirts of Valladolid.

  Click for larger image

This is Paseo de José Zorrilla which enters Valladolid from the south. On the right is Campo Grande Park which we strolled through later in the day.
I saw beautiful, tree-lined boulevards like this in Madrid as well.

Valladolid City Center Google Earth Image

Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera bel Duero, Rueda and Cigales. It is the capital of the province of Valladolid and of the autonomous community of Castile and Leon (de facto).

Despite the damage to the old city by the 1960s economic boom, it still boasts a few architectural manifestations of its former glory. Some monuments include the unfinished cathedral, the Plaza Mayor (Main Square), which was the template for that of Madrid, and of other main squares throughout the former Spanish empire, the National Sculpture Museum, next to the church of Saint Paul, which includes Spain's greatest collections of polychrome wood sculptures, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolid, whose façade is one of the few surviving works by Narciso Tomei, the same artist who did the transparente in Toledo Cathedral. The Science Museum is next to Pisuerga river. The only surviving house of Miguel de Cervantes is also located in Valladolid. Although unfinished, Cathedral of Valladolid was designed by Juan de Herrera, architect of El Escorial.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

The Academia de Caballería (Cavalry Academy) which is on Paseo de José Zorrilla.

The Cavalry Academy of Valladolid was installed in 1852 in the building a few years before had tried to use as a prison. The present building, built in the year 1920 , is of great value, a legacy of monumental historicist architecture of the early decades of the twentieth century . Is located opposite the Parque del Campo Grande , in the present Plaza Zorrilla and around the Parish of San Ildefonso de Valladolid.

Source: WikiPedia via Google Translate

In short order we had reached the city center and the Plaza Mayor under which there was a parking garage. We were early for the Food Festival so we had no problem finding a place to park

  Click for larger image

The Casa Consistorial (City Hall) in the Plaza Mayor.

  Click for larger image

This the "new" town hall. The first one was built in 1577. But, but by 1879 in was run down and considered unsafe. It was demolished and some of the ruins used in the city park (Campo Grande: ) for a waterfall and pond.

The Plaza Mayor is a central plaza in the city of Valladolid. It is located only a few blocks away from another famous plaza, the Plaza Zorrilla.

This was the area where we spent most of the day.

  Click for larger image

Calendar of concerts during the “Feria” (fair).

There was a big band stand set up at the Plaza so there was going to be more than just tapas munching and beer drinking during the fair.
Just around the corner was the store where Ana needed to go, so we headed over to Baby Land.

  Click for larger image

You can find everything you need for your child in “ Bayón” (a regional chain of stores, including baby/child items (here), kitchen appliances, bath fixtures, etc.)

  Click for larger image

I had never been in a baby boutique before. This store is not for your average blue collar worker. I know this how? The stroller pictured above was 800 €. That's over a thousand bucks, American. And they say Spain is having economic troubles...

  Click for larger image

I guess maybe I need to get out more. I always thought baby stuff was supposed to be just average and durable - not designer made.

  Click for larger image

The variety was endless.

  Click for larger image

Yep, a little rock-a-bye-baby thingy for $135.

  Click for larger image

$105 will get your youngin' one of these colorful run abouts.

Hot Mom

From the Bayón web site. The perfect customers - well dressed, stylish and moneyed.

  Click for larger image

I forgot to mention - $1000 will get you the base model without all the accessories.



The store was pretty busy. This is not one of them grab and run places. Every customer is served individually by one of the staff. That means you wait. So, Ana got a number and after waiting with her for a bit, Jeff, Ani and I headed across the street where we had important matters to attend to.

  Click for larger image

Getting ready for the mid-morning snack at the “Granja Terra”

All that shopping makes a fella hungry and a bit thirsty. Ani too!

  Click for larger image

The snacks for Mike and Jeff…Ani doesn’t get beer.

  Click for larger image

The "aperitivo" is the same tasty treat Jeff and Ana made for dinner the night before. It is a spread of garlic, shrimp and surimi ("krab" meat).

  Click for larger image

Looking out from under the arches of Granja Terra; note the “mirador” (enclosed balcony) across the street.

  Click for larger image

Ani is a happy camper.

  Click for larger image

Such a cutie-pie!

  Click for larger image

Some of the offerings at the “Granja Terra”.

  Click for larger image

The shopping was not over yet and into another fancy kiddie shop we did go.

  Click for larger image

And to think I had to settle for hand me downs. For shame - not!

 

 

With the shopping out of the way we could now concentrate on the Main Event - eating! And eat we did. Rest of the day was spent wandering from vendor to vendor and sampling all manner of goodies.

  Click for larger image

Mike in front of a door to the Iglesia de Santiago and information about the church (dates from the 16th century)

  Click for larger image

The church was built on a small hermitage at the beginning of the twelfth century to around 1400 would be elevated to a parish church. Following the development of the downtown area of Valladolid, motivated by the commercial activity of the nearby Plaza Mayor , the late fifteenth century the church had become too small to accommodate the growing congregation. In addition, the head had a ruinous state. The wealthy merchant and banker Luis de la Serna became the patron of the church, agreeing to pay his full ecclesiastical authority in exchange for rebuilding the Chapel permitted use as a family vault.

Source: WikiPedia via Google Translate

  Click for larger image

Obviously bored and waiting for customers, these balloon vendors would be more than busy by mid-afternoon.

  Click for larger image

Sardines anyone? (We visited during the gastronomic fair during which the bars and restaurants offer a sampling of their specialties).

The Feria de Día is held during the festival of the patron saint of Valladolid, La Virgen de San Lorenzo (Our Lady of St. Laurence).

  Click for larger image

Last summer on a trip to Spain, I had a culinary epiphany. It happened late at night at a nondescript seafood shack along the Guadalquivir River in Sevilla.

Those are not my words but those of Brett, a professional cook who has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 15 years and writes "In Praise of Sardines". Read more...

  Click for larger image

I really regret not trying these fire roasted silver beauties!!

  Click for larger image

One of many stops along the fair-way.

  Click for larger image

A mushroom-filled crepe and slice of empanada.

An empanada is a Spanish and Portuguese stuffed bread or pastry. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing. The stuffing can consist of many things such as meat or vegetables

.

In Spain, empanadas are usually large and circular in shape and are cut into smaller portions for consumption, whereas in Portugal and South America empanadas are normally small and semi-circular (this type of empanada is commonly known as empanadilla in Spain). Empanadas are also known by a wide variety of regional names (see the entries for the individual countries below).

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

Croquetas…yum!

I must confess Croquetas are not one of my favorites. I find the " creamily semi-liquid inside" a bit repugnant and it had nothing to do with taste.

  Click for larger image

The specialties at another stand: Iberian ham, Iberian brochette, Squid Brochette “ali-oli”, lamb sweetbreads, crepes filled with Cabrales cheese and shrimp, garbanzos with shrimp, the daily stew.

Jeff's translation of the menu sign above left one thing out: "Pincho con bibida: 2,50€". Which, with the aid if my trusty Oxford Spanish Dictionary I translated to "Pincho with drink 2.50 Euros" - or about 3.50 USD.
But, what is a "pincho"? As usual, WikiPedia comes to the rescue.

A pincho (Spanish; literally, thorn or spike) or pintxo (Basque) is the name of certain snacks typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country.

They're called pinchos because many of them have a pincho (Spanish for spike), typically a toothpick —or a skewer for the larger varieties— through them. They should not be confused with brochettes, which in Latin America are called pinchos too; in brochettes, the skewer or toothpick is needed in order to cook the food or keep it together.

Source: WikiPedia

Ok. Now WikiPedia has introduced us to brochettes which just happened to be next on the menu.

  Click for larger image

“La Balconada” is popular and was serving up lots of brochettes.

  Click for larger image

In cooking, en brochette refers to food cooked, and sometimes served, on brochettes, or skewers. The French term generally applies to French cuisine, while other terms like shish kebab, satay, or souvlaki describe the same technique in other cuisines. Food served en brochette is generally grilled.

The skewer itself, the brochette can also be used to dip pieces of food in a fondue. In those cases it normally takes a slightly different form and is sold as a brochette de fondue or as a set along with the fondue pot.

Typically, meats and vegetables are put on a brochette, but small pieces of bread can also be skewered along with the other ingredients as well.

In Spain, barbecued meat pinchos previously marinated in a spicy garlic and red pepper mixture are known as Pinchos morunos (Moorish skewers). They are identical to Middle Eastern Kebabs.[1] When they are small they are also known as pinchitos.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image

Seared and charred meat - what's not to love!!?

  Click for larger image

While Ana and I munched on our brochettes, Jeff enjoyed a plate of sweetbreads.

Sweetbreads or ris are culinary names for the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) or the pancreas (heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread) especially of the calf (ris de veau) and lamb (ris d'agneau) (although beef and pork sweetbreads are also eaten). Various other glands used as food have also been called 'sweetbreads', including the parotid gland ("cheek" or "ear" sweetbread), the sublingual glands ("tongue" sweetbreads or "throat bread"), and testicles (cf. Rocky Mountain oyster). The "heart" sweetbreads are more spherical in shape, and surrounded symmetrically by the "throat" sweetbreads, which are more cylindrical in shape.

Source: WikiPedia

We made our way down the now busy street and soon heard some raucous goings-on and occasional flashes of bright orange garments.

  Click for larger image

The source of all the noisy revelry was the members of this local “Peña” (social club) enjoying the fair.
I found bits and pieces of information about “Peñas” and as best I can make out, they usually involve making music, attending bull fights and festivals and, of course, drinking. See the links below for more info.

traditional clubs or groups of local partiers that meet throughout the year for festivities. The peña clubs or friendly societies first appeared in the bullring in 1852, when the El Trueno club showed up noisily in the sol section displaying a large placard. ...
A Flamenco club.
More...

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image

As soon as these guys saw my camera pointed their direction, they were posing and hoopin' and hollerin'.
The older gentleman in the middle came up to me after the photo op and began talking to me in Spanish and I replied "No habla español." He then asked "What language?" in English. I replied and he asked where I was from. I told him and he asked me how I was enjoying the fair. I answered with an enthusiastic reply to which he responded "Enjoy, enjoy!" with a pat on the back and then he rejoined his buddies and down the street they went. We saw/heard them several more times that day. Party on Dude!!

  Click for larger image

By now, mid-afternoon, the streets were packed.
I found this review of the fair while dong my web research. The reviewer gave it a "hands up" which I can only guess to mean "thumbs down". One of his chief complaints was the increase in prices for food from 2 to 2.50€ - without the promised increase in quality.
The review is a bit whiney, but I think it is worth reading even though it gets a bit mangled from being piped though Google Translate.

  Click for larger image

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman's smile - even if they are getting paid for it. Such was the case with this young lady and her identically dressed partner. This "Coca Cola girl" was working the fair and giving away free hats to anyone who wanted them.
Ana, Jeff and I all took her up on her offer. But, as we were to find out after wearing them, they did little to keep us cool. In fact the reverse was true. I eventually left mine by the wayside and Ana and Jeff brought theirs back home.

  Click for larger image

Tosta with Cabrales cheese.

With hundreds of booths and stalls, there was no end to the variety or quantity of food. What fun it would be to get a hotel room near the Plaza Mayor and spend several days here.

  Click for larger image

I have always loved the decorative wrought iron railing, window bars, grills and grates. I saw lots of this type of architectural detail when in Havana. Now, here I am, at the source.

  Click for larger image

Fresh buns!

  Click for larger image

There was lots to feast upon.

  Click for larger image

Huevos rotos (“Broken eggs”): scrambled eggs with fried potatoes and (typically) with pieces of ham, sausage, etc. It’s a very filling dish!

Jeff is not kidding. You eat a plate of this stuff and you will feel like you have lead in your belly! But, if you are heading out into the fields for a day of manual labor, this is just the kind of food you need to sustain you. And, chances are, it would have all come from the farm you were working.

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image

Like a lot of the plated food I ate, these ingredients were swimming in olive oil.

  Click for larger image

Photo of a trash can (or is it of the blonde?)

  Click for larger image

At some point we got away from the crowds and saw this place. Jeff read the menu and informed me they served a version of the hot dog.
Here are some of the offerings:

  • Fried rice with raisins, lamb gizzards and ham, on Thursday.
  • Risotto con langostinos y chipirones, el viernes. "Risotto with prawns and squid on Friday.
  • Arroz con verduritas braseadas, el sábado. Rice with vegetables, braised, on Saturday.
  • Paella valenciana, el domingo. "Paella Valencia on Sunday.
  • Arroz hortelano (con pollo y verduras), el lunes. GardenerRice (with chicken and vegetables) on Monday.
  • Arroz con costra (con jijas, morcilla y costra de huevo al horno), el martes. Ricecrust (with jijas, sausage and baked egg crust) on Tuesday.
  • Arroz marinero (con pescado y frutos del mar), el miércoles. Sailorrice (with fish and seafood), on Wednesday.

  • El restaurante cuenta con un MENÚ SEMANAL a elegir entre gran variedad de platos, destacando: The restaurant features a weekly menu to choose from a variety of dishes, including:
  • Rape empiñonado. "Rape empiñonado.
  • Taco de bacalao con tomate casero. Taco cod with homemade tomato.
  • Solomillo de añojo relleno de jamón ibérico oa la pimienta. Muttonstuffed filet of ham or pepper.
  • Chuletón de buey a la parrilla (medio o un kilo). Tbone steak on the grill (medium or a kilo).

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

This bar La Plazuela de Poniente had the ubiquitous ham ready for slicing. This shot was taken from the street looking into the bar.

  Click for larger image

How I would like to try everything on the menu!

  Click for larger image

My "hot dog".

 

At some point we bumped into Rocío and Jose, friends of Jeff and Anna. And, since the day was still young and there was still much to feast upon, we stopped at yet another booth and had something I never thought I would eat.

  Click for larger image

Tosta with morcilla (blood sausage).

This shot may not make this spreadable blood sausage look very appetizing, but it was delicious!

Black pudding or blood pudding is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. It is also called blood sausage (first attested in 1868, perhaps influenced by German Blutwurst). While the phrase "blood sausage" in English is understood in Britain, it is never used unless in the context of depicting foreign usage (e.g., in the story "The Name-Day" by Saki), or when describing similar blood-based sausages elsewhere in the world.

Pig or cattle blood is most often used; sheep and goat blood are used to a lesser extent. Blood from poultry, horses and other animals are used more rarely. Typical fillers include meat, fat, suet, bread, sweet potato, onion, chestnuts, barley, and oatmeal.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

Here, Rocío enjoys her morcilla.

  Click for larger image

With the number of people attending the “feria” and amount of food being consumed, constant replenishment of supplies is needed.

  Click for larger image

The Lorenzito: white wine and Sprite.

I emailed Jeff as to why this wine spritzer was referred to as "Lorenzito" in the poster. He replied with this clarification:

It's the diminutive of "Lorenzo" (Laurence); so think of Lorenzito as "Larry".
The Feria de Día is held during the festival of the patron saint of Valladolid, La Virgen de San Lorenzo (Our Lady of St. Laurence), to which the name of the drink refers. As far as I know, the "Lorenzito" is pretty much limited to Valladolid.

So, that means there is an alcoholic drink named after the patron saint of Valladolid. Interesting...

  Click for larger image

Ani posing with friend José.

This lovely photo made me realize I did not have one picture taken with Ani. Bummer!

  Click for larger image

This is how to reform a building from the inside out!

  Click for larger image

This fountain, which is next to the post office, is named "The Colossus" by Jaén Pedro Monje is in the Plaza de la Rinconada. The building pictured above is in the background.
There is a much better picture of the Plaza at Antonio Torres Ochoa's site.

  Click for larger image

Guess what these are?

  Click for larger image

Old-style mail drops at the Correos building (post office)…they don’t make ‘em like they used to! This one is for foreign ( extranjero) mail.

  Click for larger image

I am not sure, but this one might be for mail within the city.

  Click for larger image

And this one may be for only mail to be delivered in Spain. Beautiful!

  Click for larger image

When wandering here and there, one sees all kinds of doors.

  Click for larger image

Detail of the door above.

  Click for larger image

Lovely!

  Click for larger image

This place was doing a brisk business selling hot chocolate which included a souvenir cup.

  Click for larger image

The balloon vendor was still out and about hawking his wares.

  Click for larger image

Not the kind of street sweeper I am used to seeing.

  Click for larger image

This is the kind of photo one gets when backing up too far to get a shot and taking a tumble down a set of steps leading to a subterranean bar. Close call.

  Click for larger image

This is the shot I was backing up for, more “miradores” both old and new.

  Click for larger image

Now we have come full circle and are back to the City hall in Plaza Mayor. But the snacking is not over yet. We ( Jeff, Jose and I) sat ourselves down at some outdoor seating and indulged again. My memory is foggy on this, but I think I had a Coke and that was it.
I picked up a card which had been left at the table.

  Click for larger image

Advertising for 2 cafes with the calendar of bull fights during the “feria”.

On the left is the word "Mahou". This is a very tasty cerveza made in Spain by a very old brewery.

Mahou is a Spanish company, founded in Madrid in 1890 as Children of Casimiro Mahou, ice maker and beer, which after the acquisition of San Miguel in late 2000, became the group Mahou-San Miguel , the largest brewer Spanish .

Source: WikiPedia via Google Translate

  Click for larger image

Had I expressed interest, I am sure Jeff would have arranged for me see a bullfight. But, honestly, after watching one on TV for about 20 minutes, I lost interest in that. Why? Not because it was bloody and brutal, it was boring! Of course I would express the same sentiment about golf, football or soccer.
However, I have been known to watch a few sets of women's one-on-one volley ball.

  Click for larger image

La Fuente Dorada (Golden Fountain) which presents the traditional trades associated with Valladolid. The artist, Fernando González Poncio, was a Spanish architect from Valladolid.

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image   Click for larger image

Oh, my. More goodies! I spotted these in a window and had to investigate.

  Click for larger image

They are “Tejas” (tiles), a pastry made with almonds

  Click for larger image

I purchased several which we shared. They were toasted almonds and crunchy delicious. Wow!

  Click for larger image

Yet another big door (at the Cathedral of Valladolid).

  Click for larger image

The cathedral of Valladolid, officially known as the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Valladolid (Spanish: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption), is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Valladolid, Spain. It was designed by Juan de Herrera.

The project as initiated would have resulted in one of the biggest cathedrals in Spain. When the construction was started, Valladolid was the de facto capital of Spain, housing king Philip II and his court. However, due to strategic and geopolitical reasons, by the 1560s the capital was moved to Madrid and funds for architectural projects were largely cut. Thus the cathedral was not finished according to Herrera's design; it was further modified during the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the addition to the top of the main façade, a work by Churriguera.

Today it contains a rich musical archive housing 6000 works, and a 16th century altarpiece by Juan de Juni taken from the church of Santa María La Antigua, also in Valladolid, while the altarpiece by El Greco originally in the cathedral, has been moved elsewhere.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

I thought this was really a weird spot to see one these inflatable play grounds. Especially one topped with a rat!

  Click for larger image

The Cathedral is unfinished (and I think it’s a rather ugly structure.)

  Click for larger image

This is the backside of the cathedral and it could certainly be considered "butt ugly".

  Click for larger image

Speaking of butts, this advertisement for an anti-cellulite treatment promises to help you get the cheeks you have always wanted. "Eliminates cellulite and reduces volume".

  Click for larger image

This photo and the ones which follow are of the gorgeous San Pablo Church.

  Click for larger image

Talk about highly decorated!

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image   Click for larger image   Click for larger image

San Pablo is a Isabelline Gothic-Plateresque church in Valladolid, in western Spain, built by Cardinal Juan de Torquemada between 1445 and 1468. Kings Philip II and Philip IV of Spain were baptized in the church.

The church construction was commissioned by Cardinal Torquemada to replace a previous church, which had a timber ceiling and was annexed to a Dominican convent, founded in 1270. After Torquemada's death, bishop Alonso de Burgos funded the building of the cloister, refectory, and lower façade, as well as of the adjacent Colegio de San Gregorio with its funerary chapel. Artists who worked to the church in this period include the Spanish-Flemish Juan Guas and Simón de Colonia. Around 1550, Cardinal Juan Garcia Loaysa, confessor of Charles V, built the sacristy, covered with a dome decorated by stars, coat of arms of the order and figures of Dominican saints. The nave features rib vaults, supported by corbels in Renaissance style, added around 1540.

After the capital of the Kingdom of Spain was moved from Valladolid to Madrid, the church was under the patronage of the Duke of Lerma, who had its façade renovated and added numerous artworks in the interior. In 1613-1616 Juan de Nates, following a design by Francisco de Mora, executed the patronal tribune, and the Doric gate of the sacristy.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

The Museo Nacional de Escultura (national sculpture museum) of San Gregorio.

  Click for larger image

Yet another highly decorated structure. Nothing like an unending supply of tax revenue, spoils, and cheap labor to get the job done.

  Click for larger image

Professor Bruner, my indefatigable tour guide and tapas-eating buddy.

  Click for larger image

One of these day I am going to learn how to hold my camera straight!!

The National Museum Association of San Gregorio is one of the oldest museums in Spanish, was founded in October 1842 Museum of Fine Arts. His collection was formed with works of art from the convents, abolished in 1836 by the liberal regime, as happened in neighboring European countries, which were installed in the College of Santa Cruz de Valladolid, their first home.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

Another door!

  Click for larger image

The Façade of the Universidad de Valladolid and the Patio de los Leones (Lions’ Patio).

It was chartered by Clement VI in 1346 but claims continuity with the University of Palencia, founded in 1212.

The first building of the University that is notable for its architecture is the one constructed at the end of the fifteenth century, after the move of the institution from the Colegiata and until its new location. It consists of a four sided cloister, which opens up the hallways, and a late Gothic chapel of a certain magnitude.

In 1909, and with great controversy, it was decided to destroy the old building, including the entrance hall from the fifteenth century that opened to Bookshop St., in order to construct a new building following an eclectic design by the architect Teodosio Torres. They would save only the Baroque facade though it appears that they also contemplated its destruction.

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

Embellished beyond belief! Click on the image for a more detailed look.

 

We continued on our stroll to Camp Grande and went down Calle bel Rastro where we saw a very famous casa.

  Click for larger image

Cervantes’s house in Valladolid (yes, THAT Cervantes).

In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville.

In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Exemplary Novels (Novelas ejemplares) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, "Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written."

Source: WikiPedia

  Click for larger image

We have now arrived at Plaza Zorilla and the main entrance to Campo Grande Park. The fountain is the focal point of the entrance.

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image

There were lots of people out for a relaxing, shady stroll.

  Click for larger image

Both the seat and back railing of this graceful curving bench are made of concrete.

  Click for larger image   Click for larger image   Click for larger image

Tucked away in the south east corner of the park is a small fountain with a ramada. Here we sat awhile, taking a rest and sipping on refreshing cool beverages. It had been a long full day and soon we would be going back down the road to Segovia.

  Click for larger image

It was nice to see so many people out enjoying this beautiful spot.

  Click for larger image

It turns out I am not the only shutter bug in the park.

In one of the roads adjacent to the Paseo del Príncipe is the statue known as The Photographer of Campo Grande. The sculpture was commissioned by the council of Valladolid in 1994 and was executed by the artist Valladolid Eduardo Cuadrado. The project included the creation of a sculpture of a photographer in size in the act of taking photographs.

Source: WikiPedia

We made our way back to the Plaza Mayor parking garage where after some confusion we finally found the correct level. Then, Jeff got us back safe and sound while Ana, Ani and I snoozed for some of the trip home.

 

When we got back to Segovia, Jeff and I headed up the street to the grocery store for some dinner items.

  Click for larger image

Some breakfast products at the supermarket: palmeras, sobaos (very buttery…yum!) and “pan tostado”

  Click for larger image

Before leaving the store I selected a few goodies to have with my morning coffee.

  Click for larger image

When we got back, Jeff and Ana started supper and then it was time to put a very worn out Ani to bed.

  Click for larger image

I stepped out onto the balcony and was delighted to see this night view of the Segovia cathedral.

  Click for larger image

Down below there were still lots of people out and about enjoying the food, drink and each other's company. A very pleasant scene.
By now, Jeff was in the throws of making dinner.

  Click for larger image

Making supper; tonight, pimientos de Piquillo (Piquillo peppers) and pan tumaca con jamón Serrano (toasted bread with olive oil, crushed tomato and Serrano ham)

  Click for larger image

Seeing these cooking up in the skillet all covered with course salt and olive oil made my mouth water.

  Click for larger image

Here Jeff flips the little goodies making sure they are nicely cooked on all sides.

  Click for larger image

There is something about blistered and lightly charred peppers that is just irresistible. And the local olive oil give them a beautiful sheen.

  Click for larger image

The tosta, made from a fresh, crusty loaf, is ready to get dressed.

  Click for larger image

Here Jeff rubs the tosta with fresh tomato forcing the pulp into the pores of the bread.

  Click for larger image

Now comes the gilding of the lily.

  Click for larger image

The tosta is topped of with razor thin slices of jamón.

  Click for larger image

Oh, my...

  Click for larger image

“A cenar” (let’s eat!)

And eat we did for about the 10th time that day. And, I have to say, this humble, but delicious meal was the one I enjoyed the most. Welcome to Spain, Miquel.

 

« Day 1

Day 2: Back to TOP