My Spanish Road Trip

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While I am working at a summer camp for most of the summer before my final move from Bilbao to Valencia, I’ll be taking some time to write about past holidays or experiences that haven’t been written about here. Mientras estoy trabajando en un campus de inglés durante el verano antes de la mudanza final de Bilbao a Valencia, voy a escribir sobre vacaciones y experiencias de que no he escrito antes aquí.  

In 2013, when I moved from Madrid to Bilbao, I did something I hadn’t done before. I rented a car and drove from Madrid to Bilbao (as I will be driving from Bilbao to Valencia soon.) En 2013, cuando me trasladé desde Madrid a Bilbao, hice algo que nunca había hecho antes. Aquilé un coche y conducí desde Madrid a Bilbao (como voy a conducir desde Bilbao a Valencia pronto.)

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After fighting with the rental car agency all morning, I finally was given the car I reserved and packed it up, leaving three hours later than I had intended. I nearly died merging on the Madrid motorways, which is thankfully one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. Después de discutir con la compañía de coches toda la mañana, por fin me dieron el coche que tenía reservado y puse todas mis cosas dentro de ello. Me marché tres horas después que tenía pensando. Casí me morí intentando entrar la autovía de Madrid, una de las experiencias de más miedo que he tenido en la vida.

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The advantage to driving was I could make my own itinerary, which I did. My first stop was the lovely but small Pedraza in the province of Segovia. I was looking for a place to eat, but there was nothing open in my budget. I walked through the small town and had a relaxing café con leche in their plaza mayor. It was a great visit with great views, but it was short. Lo mejor de conducir es poder parar donde quisiera, que lo hice. Mi primera parada era el pueblo encantador pero pequeño Pedraza en la provincia de Segovia. Estaba buscando un sitio para comer, pero no había nada abierta en el presupuesto. Pasé por el pueblo al pie y me tomé un relaxing café con leche en su Plaza Mayor. Era una buena visita con buenas vistas, pero era una visita corta. 

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I got back in my car and continued driving to Sepúlveda, an even more beautiful village (to me at least). I had lunch here and walked through the quaint streets for a while. It was a late lunch but a good one, and the town was closed up for siesta. I saw what I could. Volví al coche y seguí conduciendo hasta Sepúlveda, un pueblo aún más bonito (para mi, al menos). Comí en el pueblo y pasé por las calles pintorescas. Comí tarde pero comí bien, y todo el pueblo estaba cerrado durante la siesta. Vi lo que pude. 

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My final stop along the way was the Burgos city of Aranda de Duero. It was a typical small city of Castilla y León, but it had the Duero. I didn’t stay here long as it was already around 17:30 and I wanted to get to Bilbao before dark. I was originally going to visit Haro in La Rioja too, but I postponed that for another trip that I did by bus. La última parada durante el camino era la ciudad de Burgos Aranda de Duero. Es una ciudad pequeña típica de Castilla y León, pero al menos tenía el Duero. No quedé durante mucho tiempo como ya era las 17.30 y quería llegar a Bilbao antes de anochecer. 

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After Burgos, wanting to avoid the toll roads between Burgos capital and Bilbao, capital of the world, I took the scenic back roads. And the scenic route was definitely that. It took forever, it seemed, and I stopped for another coffee around 19:30 in the north of Burgos. The waiter said I still had about 45 minutes to Bilbao. Después de Burgos, quería evitar pagar los peajes entre Burgos capital y Bilbao, capital del mundo, fui por las carreteras escénicas. La ruta escénica era bonito. Parecía durar mucho tiempo, y tenía que parar para otro café con leche sobre las 19.30 en el norte de Burgos. El camarero me informó que me quedaban 45 minutos hasta Bilbao. 

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I crossed the border between Burgos and Vizcaya, and everything seemed to change. Everything seemed greener. It wasn’t raining, and it was a rare 40º day for the north coast. Crucé la frontera entre Burgos y Vizcaya y todo cambió. Todo estaba más verde. No estaba lloviendo, y hizo 40º grados, algo super raro en el norte. 

There is something I love about a road trip, being behind the wheel and the open road ahead of me. I cannot wait to my next road trip from Bilbao to València! Coming soon! I’m hoping to hit up Nacimiento del Nervión, Frías, Laguardia and Tudela on this route, and maybe Sos del Rey Católico and Albarracín. Hay algo especial sobre un viaje de coches, conduciendo y la carretera abierta enfrente de mi. Tengo ganas para el próximo road trip, desde Bilbao hasta València! Próximamente. Espero poder visitar el Nacimiento del Nervión, Frías, Laguardia y Tudela…y si tengo suerte, Sos del Rey Católico y Albarracín.

Village facts:

Pedraza: Located 37 kilometres from Segovia, the village has 467 inhabitants according to 2011 figures. It has a walled city centre and has been a Conjunto Histórico since 1951. Está ubicado unos 37 kilometros de Segovia y cuenta con 467 habitantes, según las cifras de 2011. El centro es amurallado y fue declardo Cojunto Histórico desde 1951.

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Sepúlveda: 54 kilometres from Segovia, Sepúlveda is a bit bigger with 1193 residents as of 2014. It’s known for its gastronomy and mountain views. A 54 kilometros de Segovia, Sepúlveda es un poco más grande con 1193 habitantes (2014). Es conocido por su gastronomia y vistas del monte. 

Aranda de Duero. With its 33,000 residents, Aranda de Duero is the capital of the Ribera del Duero wine region. It’s located at the crossroads of a few important mortorways. Con sus 33.000 residentes, Arando de Duero es la capital del región de vino Ribera del Duero. Está situado en la cruce de unos autovías importantes. 

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11 thoughts on “My Spanish Road Trip

  1. You certainly have an adventurous life. I hope you keep up a hard copy of your blog, for a future book.

  2. “I nearly died merging on the Madrid motorways…” Having driven on the superhighways around Toronto and (most recently) Chicago, I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been. I hope that your recent road trip didn’t involve this kind of stress — or at least not to the same degree.

    Cheers,

    Bruce

  3. Driving a car is beautiful! You can go where you want and visit as many places as you want 😁 I also would like to drive around a Spain, there is a lot to see there 😄

    • Spain has a great network of public transport, but there are some places where the buses and trains don’t go or have strange timetables. I don’t miss a car most days, but there are times I wish I had one. 🙂

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