Monday, December 24, 2007


Get ready for take off! We're about to go on a castle tour!!!

I read somewhere that at one time there were more than 10,000 castles in Spain! That number now stands at about 2,500. We rented a VW Golf during which time we drove over 1,000 miles from Madrid to San Sebastian, stopping to see some of those castles along the way. The castles we saw were in various states of condition; some had been restored, others left in ruins.

Me with our rental car in front of Coca Castle. Built around 1400 and still standing!

More pics of Coca Castle:
Castle wall

Osma Castle: Osma castle is located in the province of Soria. It was a medieval castle built on a hill around 912. It's pretty much all ruins now. Photo credit: Tim Cannon.

Olite Castle:

Photo credit: Tim Cannon

Photo credit: Tim Cannon

This castle has been restored with a lot of free interpretation; it had the most "fairy tale" look and feel out of all the ones we saw.

Here are some pics I took at Olite:

Olite castle was home to the king of Navarre until the 13th century, when Spain was united into one kingdom. Whereas Coca castle is Moorish in architecture and Osma is medieval, Olite is gothic.

PeƱaranda Castle:
Dating from the 14th century, this castle on the hill had the most amazing views!

We took a walk into this tiny town and it was just charming!

Entering the town hall courtyard.

This is a well in the town hall courtyard.

Along the castle tour we drove by so many open fields with the most vibrant wild flowers!

This is PeƱafiel Castle, located in the Valladolid region. The fortress is shaped like a ship, and I believe dates from the 13th century.

Javier Castle:
This castle is located in the Basque region of Spain. During the 10th century, it served as an Arab fortress. This castle is most famous, however, because it is the birthplace of St. Francis Xavier. Today the grounds are still maintained by Jesuits.

More of a palace than a castle, this was the home of the Duke of Alburquerque. Cuellar is located in between Segovia and Valladolid.

And now, my favorite castle:

Located in Soria, this is supposedly the largest and oldest castle (built around 756 A.D.) in Western Europe. It originally served as a Muslim fortress. Like Coca Castle, Mudejar architecture is prominent. The place is all ruins now, but nonetheless breath taking. It's a fun place to explore and brought out the kid and adventurer in me!

Gormaz castle walls.

Pretty steep and windy! (Also could be read: pretty, steep, and windy LOL!)

Inside the walls, I took time to reflect.

A view of the fields below.


We spent many hours here.

Gormaz at sunset.

Tim in deep thought.

I miss Spain this much!

Next stop: Pamplona

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