Ciudad Rodrigo

Ciudad Rodrigo lies only about a hundred miles to the south and west of Salamanca.  We could have followed the excellent motorway that runs directly from one to the other but chose instead to stray slightly off the beaten track.  This part of central Spain is vast and largely empty, which is to say that towns are few and far between and the distances from one village to the next are much greater than in other parts of Europe we’ve visited.  I don’t know whether or not the land is fertile, but very few crops seem to be grown and where the land is put to use it seems largely for beef production.  Many of the ‘fields’ we saw were literally hundreds of acres with a few cattle finding shelter under isolated oak trees.

Our arrival in Rodrigo brought back vivid flashbacks of our Portugal experience.  I don’t know if we put the wrong numbers into the satnav, or perhaps the  coordinates given on the website were wrong, but as the directions took us further and further into the narrow lanes of the walled city we started to have one of those conversations that starts “this doesn’t look right ……..” and swiftly turns into “how the hell do we get out of here”.  Fortunately, being British we were able to ‘keep calm and carry on’ and I’m sure we’ll be fine once the nightmares stop!

The narrow streets of Ciudad Rodrigo Just look at those narrow lanes (shudder)!

The campsite, when we eventually found it, is just across the River Agueda from the city – a short walk, if you don’t mind skipping across a few stepping stones and a long pull up a fairly steep hill.  The city itself is lovely and, at this time of year at least, fairly tourist free.  Some of the buildings, especially the tower of the cathedral, show signs of the battering it took in January 1812 when Wellington’s army laid siege to the French garrison and gave the walls a ‘damn good thrashing’ before their succesful, but particulary bloody, assault. 
The River Agueda

The cathedral at Ciudad Rodrigo You can still see some of cannonball impacts on the cathedral tower

We enjoyed a coffee and some churros in the warm spring sunshine; all-in-all a very nice place to visit – but don’t take your motorhome into the city unless you want to be in therapy for quite some time!
Ciudad Rodrigo