Day Two -Lerma, Burgos, and Santo Domingo de la Calzada

May 4, 2002

 Madrid to Burgos, with a top in Lerma for lunch  

We left Madrid on the 4th at Noon. Traffic was nil compared to the day before when we were so desperately trying to find our hotel. Jet lag, I blame my ordeal of not being able to find the hotel on jet lag. Jet lag and the fact that I forgot the nice little map of the hotel along with the vouchers. We took a main street through Madrid and shot up North on the N-1. Around 2pm we stopped off in the small town of Lerma and drove up hill to the old church we saw from the road. As luck would have it we stumbled on to a neat little find the town and the restaurant.

 Lerma. We stopped in Lerma around 2pm for lunch. Just by chance stopped into a small place called Casa Anton which only serves lamb downstairs and apparently serves a full menu upstairs. We actually didn't know what we were ordering but did know this was a special place - as we had to wait nearly 30 minutes to get a seat, and there were magazine articles on the walls talking about the chef. The meal was one of the best we had in Spain. Paula was convinced she was eating chicken, the lamb was so succulent. We had a meal of Cordero asado (roasted lamb) with salad, and a light red wine.
 Entrance to Casa Anton for the yummy lamb Bells in Lerma from 1690
 The Region
Castilla y Leon is the largest region of Spain, as well the largest region of all the EU. It's an elevated plain that is limited by the the mountain ranges Sistema Iberico to the East, Cordillera Central to the South, Cordillera Cantabrica to the North and by Duero river towards Portugal. Castilla y Leon was formed in 1983, when the regions of Castilla la Vieja and Leon were united. Both have been central areas of Spanish medieval history, and the importance during that epoch is still evident in many cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortificated towns, many of which are preserved in perfect state. In addition, Castilla y Leon offers natural parks and kilometers open space with woods of oaks and cork-oaks. Gastronomy is distinguished by excellent meat, in particular of lamb, and vegetables like the famous creamy beans of Avila.
 Church doors in Burgos - sides doors I believe Square in older Lerma area after lunch
 Burgos was founded in 884 and is in the region of Castilla León, and 237km from Madrid. The gothic cathedral is all dominant, but there are many more monuments such as the Cartuja de Miraflores or the Monastery of Las Huelgas. The town is quiet and clean, and after your sightseeing-tour or a walk through one of the parks, or a walk along the river, you may want to try out Burgos' exquisite cuisine.
 building on the border of old town Burgos  Cathederal in Burgos under refurbishment
 Drive from Burgos to Santo Domingo de la Calzada  

We left Burgos at 6pm and headed out on a curvy rural highway (the N120) to the town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The Parador there is centered in the absolute middle of this old town in a former church used during the pilgrimages. We had to circle the town once to figure out where they hid this parador. There is a tiny street that leads you into the center of town where the Parador is located. This Parador has a beautiful interior sitting room.It was quaint and quiet, so we thought. We didn't really hear the local band that started playing at 11pm one square over. Its loud and well attended by locals, we listened for awhile but finally called it a night. But at about 3 or so in the morning a guy with a snare drum is walking about tapping out a march, being followed by a police car. Apparently he circled the entire old city, as I heard him come around a second time. I didn't sleep much that night. The next morning Paula goes nuts! Absolutely nuts over pottery. She went into a flower shop that carried pottery and bought a bunch of pieces, while I surfed the net from a web kiosk for 2 euros. Its Sunday - Mother's day.


Day Three - On to Hondarribia!

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