Valdelavilla, Spain – On the way…Part 1

Black bull billboard is historic in Spain

Here we go. Part one starts with some photos from the bus…yes, through the window. I think I’m rather good at it!

The journey began with most Anglos (English speaking volunteers) paired with Spaniards. Some Spaniards drove direct to the village avoiding the bus entirely. Some pairs chatted a lot on the trip to Valdelavilla…others were extremely quiet and avoided all eye contact. 

Imagine being forced to speak a language you don’t speak every day…with a stranger…on a bus going to nowwhereville Spain…and thinking about being stuck with these people for almost a week…and worrying how good your English is…and what the heck did I get myself into…OMG!

I cannot imagine. The Spaniards were unbelievably brave!

Now to the scenery…I didn’t have a Spaniard, because so many drove direct…:(…so I watched the scenery…and tried to read…but I was a bit anxious about what we would be doing also…hmmm…what did I get myself…and my hubby Rick, into…? 

Outside the window the huge black bull billboards look really neat perched on prominent hills along the highway and have a story. They are very important in Spain and considered almost as a national symbol. The billboard was used as an advertisement for a type of sherry made by the Osborne Company. The boards used to hold written advertising, but a law in 1994 banned the advertising and the signs were supposed to be removed. Local protests saved the billboards and forced this compromise…black bull silhouettes with no advertising. I think it is cool…and bulls speak to me as a symbol of Spain…bull fights and such…!

Giant modern windmills everywhere...

Windmills seemed to be slowly but consistently turning in large groups…on hills…everywhere I looked. The Spanish are obviously serious about wind power.

The contrast of the older stone villages…then all of a sudden a group of these giant white windmills was a bit of a shock. Did not expect to see anything like this.

Interesting church along the way...We passed an interesting church along the way. To me it looked to be in the Moorish style, but what do I know? Yes, the photo is through the bus window…all three of these are…but I have no idea what the church or the town is named.

The landscape on the trip was surprising to me. I didn’t expect hills and quite a rocky countryside. It was also unbelievable how few towns and civilization we saw on this route heading Northeast out of Madrid for about four hours. We were in the middle of nowhere. Really. I had trouble finding it on a map! The expressways and highways were very good until about the last half hour or so…then they weren’t even what I would call a road snaking up a hillside…with no guard rails…!

Part 2 will be our stop at Medinaceli for lunch…and then to Valdelavilla…stay tuned for more…!

Have a Happy Halloween…and watch out for black cats! I hear Halloween is called the Night of the Dead or “Noche de los Muertos” in Spain. Watch out for the dead…or as the kid (Cole Sear) in the movie Sixth Sense said…”I see dead people.” I great scary movie!

Sandie Parrott

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