A Circular Route Around Spain
During May of 2014 I visited several Spanish cities, including: Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Carmona, Seville, Caceres, Trujillo, Salamanca, Leon, Burgos, Segovia, and Avila. In some instances it was a trip of first impression and for others the last visit was in the 1970's. As to the latter, the trip was undertaken in a small and seriously power challenged Seat (Spanish Fiat). The most immediate change from that long ago trip was that the narrow two lane road system has been replaced by a very modern and excellent highway system, consisting of 4, 6, and even 8 lanes at times, including remote and lightly populated areas.Mountain passes which had to be negotiated by a series of switchbacks have been replaced by well designed tunnels. Further, black smoke belching trucks have been replaced by clean burning diesel fuel. All to the good. On the other hand picturesque cart and oxen have given way to large modern farm equipment. Not withstanding the current state of the depressed Spanish economy, some cities appear to be prospering, while others, not on the main tourist routes, indicate decline. For example, the Plaza Mayors, the glory of Salamanca and central to Leon are obviously suffering.
As to photography, it will be noted that I almost totally avoided the usual tourist images of the famous cathedrals, squares, statutes, and the like. Instead I tried to concentrate on more intimate subjects. The major exceptions being the ever interesting Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba and the amazing 2,000 year old Aqueduct that crosses the heart of Segovia and is still in use today. These two admittedly touristic sights are capable of a myriad of points of view and "interpretations". In addition, I particularly enjoyed detouring from the excellent highways and exploring small villages and farms . As to the former, very often few if any inhabitants are in view, nesting storks out numbering the residents significantly. These villages have stood still in time and I personally found them charming and interesting. There has also been an attempt, although fleeting, to capture the "Tapas" culture, particularly in Madrid, Seville and Leon.
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