Posted by: travelrat | May 25, 2009

Spring at Gredos

Gredos: 8th March 2009.


We drove out of Madrid, and up into the mountains, which were still covered in snow. I’d checked the weather forecast for Avila, the nearest town, before we left, which promised cloud, followed by more snow. But, it couldn’t have been more wrong. We stopped at the service area at Cuatro Ventas, on the outskirts of Avila for our customary leg-stretch and coffee or zumo de naranja (I’m getting quite good at the pronunciation). I crossed the road to the mirador, to take the equally customary photograph of the walled city, and I didn’t need to put my jacket on.

But, I did need my jacket when we arrived about mid-day at a totally different Gredos to what I’ve experienced on my previous two visits. The surrounding Gredos hills were covered in snow. When I last saw them like that in 2007, the Spaniards said that there wasn’t as much snow as there usually was at this time of year, but nobody said anything like that this time.

The air was wonderfully cold and crisp, making for excellent photography and video. And, later in the week, the first butterflies and lizards made an appearance.

We had lunch; we unpacked and had a short siesta. At 5 o’clock, the work began in earnest with a briefing at which we all introduced ourselves, then I met Azu for our first ‘one to one’

And, I wondered … is this by coincidence, or is there some sort of conspiracy here? This is my seventh Vaughantown visit … and my first ‘one to one’ is almost invariably with an attractive lady!

I should think you’ve had it up to here with pictures of Madrid and Gredos by this … so here’s one of the pictures I took at Avila, which I think is one of my best of that particular city so far …


  1. It is absolutely stunning. WOW. No wonder you love visiting so much!

  2. I’d love to explore Avila further. It looked familiar, even the first time we stopped at the Cuatro Ventas service area. Didn’t they film some scenes from ‘El Cid’ there?

  3. I know they filmed some of it in Spain but what part of Spain it was I couldn’t tell you. I haven’t watched one of those ‘Sword and Sandal epics’ for ages. I’ll see if El Cid is coming up on Fox Classics sometime soon. Great movie!

  4. Not the final scenes; they were on the coast somewhere. But, wasn’t there something earlier on … a joust or a tournament or something?

    (It was on TV recently … I chose to watch ‘Exodus’ instead, though)

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