22nd-23rd Sept. Siguenza to Santamera and Retortillo de Soria

I took a rest day after a completely sleepless night and the beginning of a dribble nose. I remained with Karen and we did some grocery shopping, and later I called Kim for her birthday. It was lovely to talk with her and hear about her celebrations. I had a nap eventually after which I felt refreshed and as if I had managed to forestall my potential cold.

My last tourist visit was to the museum of Guitar and rug weaving. Sigüenza was a big producer of woven and knitted rugs from the 16th Century to the early 19th. Being on the Ruta de la Lana (Wool route) contributed to this development.

The guitar museum told the history of the guitar and its development in Spain . A very interesting exhibition with the accompanying strains of classical guitar music in the background.

Later Karen and I went out to pick up the men from Santamera. Andy had given us detailed instructions which led us to the town off Carabias, quaint with interesting church and tiny streets going in circles. At one point when the road went up and round steeply, with high stone walls and so steep we couldn’t see over the bonnet we decided to abandon the route and go back to the highway. It had been nerve wracking trying to negotiate the place.

The highway took us through Imon which has been a salt producing place since medieval times and still operates. The revenue from the salt funded much of the Cathedral in Siguenza.

Soon we easily found the men in Santamera at a cute bar. The place has the air of an arty enclave.

The next day I joined Andy for the walk from Santamera (Peter took a day off) to Atienza a hilly walk of 15 kms. It was a bit tough uphill but then levelled out into oak forests and heather in flower.

We saw deer leaping across the path on more than one occasion on the walk. We passed through a small village wher there were three large dogs who started towards us and were barking furiously. I scampered closer to Andy and we both picked up rocks to throw if necessary. The farmer whistled and two dogs halted and the third stopped barking but still followed us for a few minutes. We arrived in the next town but once again the bar was still closed at 10.00 am. We gave up waiting and moved on following our arrows. When we crested the hill and saw Atienza we felt eager to get there. It has an impressive castle and is a charming town.

Peter and Karen were waiting for us in the square. Sparkling water, coffee and tortilla revived us enough to walk up to explore the castle. It must have been huge and dominated the countryside. Climbing to the top of the last tower gave us 360 degree views over the surrounding area.

There are archaeological digs below the castle exploring the Muslim era. The area went back and forth between Christian and Moors over the last 100 years of the occupation of Spain by the Moors. We were somewhat disappointed that we will miss the Medieval festival they have here with jousting and other medieval pursuits. It would be quite a spectacle. While the remnants of the castle and the city walls dominate the area, the town of Atienza has a few museums and several restaurants to occupy you for a few days. It is one of Spain’s most beautiful villages.

From here we took the car to Retortillo our next base.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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