After the Spanish economy crashed around 2007/08, partly as a result of the housing bubble, the government took the decision to invest in the country’s roads network. So today Spain is crisscrossed with an excellent world-class transport infrastructure.
Spain’s State Road Network is over 26,000 kilometres long, making it the longest network of highways and motorways in Europe. It is estimated that the tasks of construction, maintenance and operation of this network provided jobs to over 40,000 people in Spain. John Maynard Keynes would have been impressed.
We passed Madrid without straining(!) heading for a lunch stop with a view at a small ski resort of Puerto de Navacerrada, in the mountain range of the Sierra de Guardarrama.
We arrived in Segovia with no pre-conceptions of the town. It was an useful stopping off point on our way north that had free motorhome parking with facilities. We were therefore delighted to find a picturesque old city with twisting alleyways, bordered by a medieval wall and two rivers. Plus the famous Oman Aqueduct.
In 1985, this sleepy Castillan town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It’s now a major tourist spot with obligatory Nikons and selfiesticks (ours is a pocket sized Cannon SX280 HS).
I bet the Roman plumbers when they were asked to build this, would have said something like – “Well mate it’s not going to be cheap”, accompanied by much sucking of breath.
We meandered though the winding streets of the Jewish quarter to the main square. But we weren’t allow access as they were shooting scenes for a forthcoming movie. The action started (much shooting and running) so we looked on with our best concerned faces in the background, hoping to get bit parts.
The people in the tourist office were lovely and had a bit of a debate amongst themselves about whether Alcázar was free….. I think it was, but only Tuesday’s, between 2 and 4pm, if you are an EU citizen. I think we still are until the 29th……maybe!
The Alcázar, is a royal palace built sometime around the 11th century. It is also where Queen Isabella had agreed to fund Christopher Columbus’ exploration of the New World.
We saw this statue of Agapito Marazuela and wondered if he had a spilt personality?
One more point about the roads – The main arteries of the Spain’s road network away from the big conurbations are pretty quiet, especially in the early afternoon during siesta time. The route though small towns and village have strict speed limits often enforced by vicious overweight sleeping policemen, who if not spotted in time have the habit of catapulting the contents of Charlie’s garage skywards. A bit like the bumps you get when on the receiving end of a playground seesaw!
Dave & Lesley