Tag Archives: Dragons

Trujillo and the heart of Spain

We’d originally planned to stay in Caceres for four nights but the presence of the film crew in the old city rather ruined it for us.  We still loved the age and character of the place, but being a little frustrated at not being able to ramble at will we decided to move after two and when Thursday morning dawned we headed the 40 or so miles east to Trujillo.

Trujillo is yet another place that we remember visiting in the course of our travels in 2003, but yet again when we arrived we struggled to remember anything about it.  Perhaps we were like American tourists (if there are any Americans who chance upon this blog I apologise for casting you all in the same dim light) and did all our sightseeing at high speed from a moving vehicle (“if this is Thursday we must be in Trujillo”) or more likely senility has now taken a firm hold.
View of TrujilloAnyway, arriving in this lovely and ancient town we looked forward to getting stuck into some serious rambling, only to find …………. yes, the place was also full of film crew, fully intent on recreating a mythical world for the entertainment of all those who believe that dragons are real and can’t be bothered to get off their arses to visit the real world.  Fortunately, the layout of Trujillo is such that despite some restrictions we could still get to see many of the beautiful buildings and take in some magnificent views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Film crew filling the main square at Trujillo – HBO making a takeover bid for Central Spain

Leaving Trujillo we continued heading east across more lovely scenery, rising at times to a couple of thousand feet before dropping down to vast and largely empty plains (except for several billion olive trees) interrupted by the occasional village or small town.  At one point we stopped to admire the view at a mountain pass to be told by a Dutch couple that they’d seen vultures and a ‘black ostrich’.  I thought of alerting the Spanish Zoological Society to this rare sighting before  rumbling that something might perhaps have been lost in translation – for ostrich read stork! 

We spent the night at a camperstop at Aldeanueva de Barbarroya – only two spaces but a nice bar in staggering distance.  Perfect.

Coria and Caceres

Leaving Rodrigo we headed south, once again sticking to the virtually empty ‘N roads’, through the Sierra de Gata to the small provincial town of Coria where we spent the night on a camperstop outside the local sports centre.  We had a quiet (we found out later that we’d arrived at the back end of public holiday) beer in a small square next to the obligatory cathedral (every town with a population of more than 10 seems to have one) and enjoyed the view out over the River Alagon.

Part of the walls of Coria
Part of the walls of Coria

Our drive to Caceres yesterday morning took us across the River Tajo which has been dammed to produce a large reservoir, the Embalse de Alcantara, which provided some more fine views but looked to be worryingly empty for so early in the year.  The campsite in Caceres is next to the local football stadium, a few miles outside the city, so this morning we took the bus and managed to find our way into the heart of the old city which as a UNESCO world heritage site has a reputation for being both beautiful and very original. 

In point of fact its so original that the producers of ‘House of the Dragon’ (a Game of Thrones spin-off) decided to film part of their second series there – so the place was packed to the ramparts with the film crew and their hundreds of hangers-on.  On the one hand it meant that access to some parts of the walled city was quite difficult, but on the other hand the film crew were going out of their way to make the place appear as it must have looked in the fifteenth century.

Moving the props around – part of the not so glamorous side of film making. Spoiler Alert – I think that someone must die in one of the episodes!
The horses look okay, but I don’t believe the Targaryens ever dressed like that…….