Archive for December 27th, 2019

December 27, 2019

Serrania de Cuenca, the mountains!

And now I take you and me back into memory lane to our wonderful home for several years traveling in the area. I know I sound nostalgic and I am, always looking forward to be back. The family came here together and we love it! We rented house at 1400 meters in the mountains or Serrania de Cuenca. See my previous posts on the Cuenca province in my blog.

However, this post is about the little towns in the mountains of beautiful natural beauty that even us not trekkers feels is worth the visit. Hope you enjoy the post as we did the visit and take you there one day. We headed back to our base up in the mountain, but having done so early we took an extra ride up the Serrania de Cuenca to as much as 1900 meters ( about 6270 feet) seeking lovely villages of Toba and its Dam and Uña and the lagoon as well as Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted city).

The Embalse de Toba or water reservoir you can fish and swim as long as the waters are not full and with careful précautions. It is beautiful country that I hope the pictures will tell. It is part of the village of Uña a bit further downhill.  From the water organism in Spanish you have info on the embalses (dam) in the region of Castilla la Mancha and of course Toba. Tourist office province of Cuenca on Toba dam

Toba

Toba

This is a nice youtube video on the Toba embalse or dam:

The Laguna de Uña was created way back by king Alfonso XIII that was done as soon as the embalse de Toba was done early in the last century . Now it has a water current into and out by canalisation from the Salto de  Villalba de la Sierra, to generate electricity in the hydroelectric plant. Our visit was in dry season but its usually full ok. This site in Spanish for a rural house ad tells nicely about the laguna de Uña: Escapada Rural on the Laguna de Uña lagoon

Una

Una

A nice video from youtube show this natural beauty at its best, enjoy it as I do

Finally, one of the most popular tourist sites in the area for those who like mountaineering, walks:trekking, and nature in general. However, best to do this in better weather as the heat of the summer can be high into the 30’sC would make a trip like this not useful me think. Anyway ,Ciudad Encantada or enchanted city is wonderful; and recommended by all locals.  Here you see stone mountains turn into statues, objects, monuments to look at marvelously done by nature. It has guided tours to explain all for five euros admission, and check ahead as weather is important here. More in English here: Official Ciudad Encantada

Ciudad Encantada

And we just came down for a few minutes drive to our house in the mountains near here a wonderful experience high above the clouds and forest woods of old!!

One more webpage in Spanish on things to do in the Natural Park of the Serrania de Cuenca, any questions ask me ok: Castilla La Mancha protected areas on Serrania de Cuenca

And the tourist office of Castilla La Mancha autonomous region of Spain, in English: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on the Serrania de Cuenca

This is real country an area of Spain still untouched by tourism in mass, and a wonderful spot to enjoy with the family. I know it brings lots of wonderful souvenirs for ours .

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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December 27, 2019

Fortified Alarcon!

Driving our way thru Castilla La Mancha was awesome, we spent several summers here and always in our minds to come back. Memories flashing in my mind hard to come up with words but we still remember those gone from our lives but not our minds. Alarcon is one memorable town. Of course, I have written more in my blog.

It is about 87 km from Cuenca the province capital city.

And we move on to the fortified town of Alarcon with its towers and castle. We moved up from Belmonte to Alarcon on the road N420 and then the old N III. You come on a mountaineous area throught the gate of the bridge or Puerta del Puente.

alarcon

You see immediately the castle like a spiral on a hill as you come around by car up the hilly road into the main square of town. The town takes its name from king  Alarico,a visigoth that conquest the fortress from the Romans; today you can still the ramparts wall of this fortress. By  784AD it took refuge here the Moorish invaders and the siege on it took about nine months , that the Moors call the Spanish conqueror Fernán Martínez de Ceballos in 1184AD the year of Alarcon. The castle today is a small parador or tourist residence you can rent out!. More here in English:  Parador Castillo de Alarcon

Alarcon

Alarcon

The Church of Santa Maria sits here smallist fortified alike but very richly ornate on the tympan doors. Built between 1520 and 1565.  This church currently serves as a parish. It was erected at the beginning of the 16C in Plateresque style with tracery vault in the Gothic way. The cover is from the middle of that same century , the altarpiece with scenes from the life of the Virgin and the sacristy.  More on the Church: City of Alarcon on the Church Santa Maria

Alarcon

Alarcon

You,also, get to see the 13C Church of Santa Trinidad as you entered the town after the castle. It is a rectangular church with two naves, one from the 13C and one from the 16C, although the vault of the oldest nave is from the 15C. They emphasize in her the fajones arcs and pointed formeros, a triumphal arch of entrance to the presbytery, and a Renaissance altar. The cover is typically plateresque; It exhibits the shields of the Marquis de Villena, Diego López Pacheco, and of which he was bishop at the time, Diego Ramírez de Villaescusa. The tower stands on the so-called Arco de la Villa. The current apse is rectangular and replaces another circular Romanesque. More here in Spanish here: City of Alarcon on the Church Santa Trinidad

Alarcon

The center for contemporary Arts on mural paintings sits right in the main plaza or square on a former Church( St John the Baptist). The current construction dates from the 16C and replaced another of Romanesque style. It has a single nave covered with a barrel vault, a cover of Juan de Herrera (Herrera style) and a tower that has endured from the primitive church.The side walls are stiffened by buttresses that, contrary to the usual, are manifested by the interior delimiting spaces that pretend to be small chapels In 1994 the young Spanish painter Jesús Mateo initiated the project to cover the entire old building with a set of wall paintings.This contemporary work has been officially sponsored by UNESCO since 1997 for its high interest World Artistic It is considered one of the high peaks of contemporary world art. More in English : Site in English on the Contemporary Arts Center

alarcon

Alarcon

There is another interesting church that of Church of Santo Domingo in late Romane style from the 12C which we had no time to see on this trip.

The tourist office  in Spanish from the province of Cuenca on Alarcon is here: http://turismo.cuenca.es/portal/lang__es/rowid__126754,22329/dTabID__1/tabid__9384/Default.aspx

You have the tourist office of the region or autonomous region of Castilla La Mancha here in English: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on castle of Alarcon

It is one town to visit as it is conveniently in the direction of Valencia and the beaches from Madrid along the A3 expressway worthy of a stop. Enjoy the fortified town of Alarcon.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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