In Plasencia - Vuelta a Iberia - CycleBlaze

October 14, 2019

In Plasencia

It was overcast and lightly misting this morning when we looked down on the dark streets below our hotel window.  A half hour later, sitting at breakfast beneath the plexiglass ceiling of the dining area, we listened as the rains began to hit against the ceiling, then grow steadily stronger and louder, quickly amplifying to such a volume that I was sorry I hadn’t brought the camera so I could capture the video of the sound.

Yes, a rest day sounds like the perfect plan for today.  It’s wonderful to be sitting here, listening to the rain hammer down above our heads, and enjoying a relaxed breakfast.  We’re in no hurry to go anywhere, and have no fixed plan for the day.

An hour later, and the sky has cleared completely.  With an unexpected four hour window of fair weather before us, Rachael prods me to get my lazy posterior in gear and make the most of the best of the day.  We quickly stare at the map of the city, come up with a rough plan, and step outside to explore a town we haven’t really given much thought to before now.

Plasencia, the most northernmost of Extremadura’s significant towns, doesn’t get as much attention as the stars that shine brightly fifty or so miles to the south: Caceres, Trujillo and Merida.  With all of this competition for attention, there’s not much left over for Plasencia, and the guidebooks just give it a few brief paragraphs. 

We’re not sure what to expect, and are very pleasantly surprised.  We like it very much, and in fact prefer it to the much more famous Salamanca.  Plasencia is a quiet town (perhaps uncharacteristically quiet, on this Monday after a holiday weekend), more of a commercial center than tourist destination.  Its streets are relaxed, animated mostly by folks who look like they actually live here and are just going about their lives.  No groups led by pennant-bearing guides clogging up its narrow lanes, no hoards posing for selfies, and no wall-to-wall souvenir shops and tourist restaurants.  

It could be a place like that though, because there is a lot to see.  Plasencia, an old fortified city, still shows many traces of its past - long stretches of intact fortified walls, thousand year old city gates, an ancient aqueduct, the usual prominent and elaborate cathedral towering above the skyline, all breaking through a more modern city that has just evolved around its past without erasing its heritage entirely.

It’s a great walking city, with a miles-long riverside trail along the Jerte River, and a terrific wildlife/Arboretum/refuge just minutes north of the core.  A wonderful place to lay over for the day and give the Bike Fridays a badly needed rest.

The view from our hotel room, dominated by the cathedral. It’s hard to believe that the rains were pouring down on the city just over an hour ago.
Heart 6 Comment 0
Remains of Plasencia’s old fortified walls
Heart 5 Comment 0
Image not found :(
The aquaduct
Heart 4 Comment 0
The aquaduct
Heart 4 Comment 0
I’d like to know more about this fountain by the aquaduct. It looks like it’s made of chunks of rose or amythest quartz.
Heart 4 Comment 0
A close up of the fountain.
Heart 3 Comment 1
Jen GrumbyWow! Would love to see that in person.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
In the peaceful Park of the Pines, just north of the Aquaduct. It’s a combination urban park, Arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. The place is teeming with peacocks - hundreds of them. You have to watch where you put your hands, because the fence railings are covered with peacock residue.
Heart 2 Comment 0
In the Park of the Pines
Heart 4 Comment 0
A dovecot, in the Park of the Pines
Heart 2 Comment 0
Incredible. This looks like a ballet pose. Is there a name for this position?
Heart 1 Comment 1
Jen GrumbyOr yoga .. downward facing peacock?

Great photo!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Rachael pointed out that we’ve already seen rose hips in this journal, but these were so huge and flamboyant they had to be included.
Heart 3 Comment 0
One of the commercial streets in the core, near the modest Plaza Mayor. Now I like a town that looks like this, where it isn’t overwhelmed by crowds.
Heart 6 Comment 0
In the Plaza Mayor
Heart 3 Comment 0
In the Plaza Mayor. I’ll bet this guy animates and rings the bell on the hour, but we weren’t waiting to find out.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The recently restored facade of the Monasterio de la Encarnacion.
Heart 1 Comment 0
An interesting composition near the aquaduct.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The Trujillo Gate, the southern entrance to the city.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A thin slice of the cathedral peeks through as we descend toward it from the Plaza Mayor.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The cathedral (actually, like Salamanca I think there are two conjoined cathedrals here) looks well worth a visit, but not today - it’s closed on Mondays, so we’ll just take a look from the outside.
Heart 5 Comment 5
Bruce LellmanI love your eye, Scott. Quite artistic. So many of your images could be enlarged to be quite large and would be beautiful hanging on walls.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanSigh. Remind me again that we don’t have a wall to hang them on any more!

Hey, what are you frittering your time away on this journal for? Don’t you have to start packing?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jen GrumbyMaybe we could hang a couple on our walls in Silverton?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI’d be honored. May I suggest the wall of your guest bedroom, so we can feel at home when we move in?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jen GrumbyThat's a great idea!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The Plasencia Cathedral
Heart 3 Comment 0
The Plasencia Cathedral
Heart 3 Comment 0
The Plasencia Cathedral
Heart 2 Comment 0
Beneath the cathedral is another intact section of the city walls. I think this building is the Obispadio Palace, but I’m not certain.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The Parque de la Isla, a park on a small island in the Jerte. Another beautiful haven just a few blocks from the city core.
Heart 4 Comment 0
A pedestrianized bridge over the Jerte.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The Jerte River. There’s a footpath on the left bank that follows the river all the way to Plasencia Dam, several miles north of town.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The Jerte River
Heart 1 Comment 0
The view from our hotel room again. It showered off and on today between the clearing periods. Perfect conditions for a rest day from the bikes.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 9
Comment on this entry Comment 0