Almost three months ago, Brittany Ferries’ Cap Finistère had dropped us off in Bilbao harbour for the beginning of our escape from another desperate British Xmas and whatever the British winter might hold. If I said we’d had grey skies in Spain totalling about two weeks worth, I might be exaggerating. For the rest of the time we’ve enjoyed clear skies. Since our return ferry is an evening departure on Saturday, it would be possible to do it in one hit but it’s nice to take the opportunity to investigate a little more of Spain en route. So now it’s time to start our journey back.
Francine has always wanted to see Teruel and, what is more, it has a Parador and she’s owes me a couple of Paradores. For one reason and another we left booking late so we’re paying full whack. What’s more, we’ve pushed the boat out on a premium room, which should be fun.
We battened down the hatches in Casa Libélule and made a leisurely departure at about 09:00 designed to miss the worst of the Valencian traffic, then dove off piste to make our way across country towards Teruel.
Francine had spotted a couple of curiosities in Spanish tourism book. There are two oddly named villages which, I would think, give rise a good deal of confusion. Whether or not local rivalries are also created, I know not. The villages are:
- Rubieles de Mora;
- Mora de Rubieles.
If that ain’t confusing, I don’t know what is.
You may have noticed that the world is full of bridges associated with the Devil. Most of ours have been in France so were called Pont del Diable. On our way to Rubieles de Mora [I think] we came across a Spanish one, the Puente del Diabolo or Puente de Fonseca. Naturally, the devilish name holds more fascination. We spent some time stretching our legs here before continuing to our first village.
We found a good parking spot in Rubieles de Mora [I think] and began wandering around the old town on foot. As we were passing the church an old gentleman approached us and led off in complex Spanish of which we followed little. We gathered that he thought we spoke more Spanish than we did and that he wanted us to fork out 2€ each to visit the church and its tower of which he was justly proud. We did so and clambered up the very dark spiral staircase to the belfry for views across the rooftops of Rubieles de Mora [I think].
Somehow we got down the dark staircase safely and continued our walk without broken legs, eventually stumbling across a particularly rustic old village bull ring. I abhor the concept of Spanish bull fighting but this old village ring was a bit of a curiosity.
Our worms were now biting and, the Teruel area being known for its jamon, we found a sunny local bar to sit and partake of some, along with a helping of tortilla de patates, all washed down by a beer or two.
The second village, Mora de Rubieles [I think], proved to be quite dull after our first stop and, other than its name, didn’t seem particularly noteworthy. We had a quick peek but then decided it was time to go and find our Parador at Teruel.
I’m a fan of Paradores, not only because they are decent quality hotels but also because they have restaurants generally serving food with a local slant. We’ve stayed in a number of other Spanish hotels and found ourselves struggling to find somewhere to eat. This may have been in part due to the Spanish habit of eating late. Our ineptitude may also be a contributing factor. We found one restaurant once that didn’t even think about opening until 21:30. At least the Parador restaurant is on site, requiring no return walk, and opens at 20:30.
Our premium room proved to be more like a small suite with a separate sitting area. It was on the end of the hotel with three separate doors giving out onto a private balcony facing the westering late afternoon sun. It was just the place for a reviving drink or two to unwind before dinner.