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July 13th
Of course we woke up late today. After the shower and breakfast we had a 'small' birthday party of one of the guests, who also stayed at the camping. Today we had a nice and relaxed day in San Sebastian; went to see the Plaza Mayor, walked around in the old city, set on a terrace, had lots of pinchos (fresh tapas) and examined the street theatre. We met everybody of the wedding again, ate some more pinchos and drank some more beer before heading back to the campsite.

July 14th
After having said goodbye to everyone we left San Sebastian to go to Segovia. We encountered terrible weather on the way. We saw four crashes on the way caused by heavy rain, hail, thunder and lighting. We arrived in Segovia without a problem and got ourselves a cramped camping spot there.

July 15th
Segovia has a really impressive and well preserved roman aquaduct. We walked up to the old city via the church of San Millan. We walked along the old city walls to the cathedral, which is extremely beautifully decorated. Then, of course, the Alcázar; very impressive and totally different compared to things we've seen so-far. When exiting it turns out to be raining really hard, so we hide under some trees together with a couple of Spaniards. During a dryspell we fled to a restaurant; delicious lunch, and at four when we exit the restaurant it has stopped raining. We walk through the old town (small narrow streets), went to the Jewish cemetery, the Iglesia San Martin and an exposition of Gaya in the Torreón the Lozoya. We also visited a church of the Order of the Knights Templar; a 12-angular shaped church, with a weird interior with four gates and two floors, where the Knights asked for the blessing of their weapons they used on their crusades.


July 16th
We left at eleven o'clock via a beautiful route, through forests and over passes, to the Monasterio San Lorenzo de el Escorial. The monasterio is massive and impressive. The Panteón is terrible impressive, while the Royal Palace is a little bit disappointing (concerning our taste too many paintings). The worked wooden doors of the Galería de Paseo are beautiful. There were also funny paintings concerning the siege of the Low Countries. The Basilica was very strict, high, cold and dark. Again a beautiful staircase portal at the Cloister. At around four we continued our drive to Ávila, where we went shopping at the supermarket to find out at the entrance of the camping that it no longer existed. Back to the tourist-info to get a confirmation and also that there are no other campsites nearby. We kept on driving to Salamanca, which is about 100 kilometres further on to reach the camping there at about 20.30.

July 17th
At 12.30 we get to the city of Salamanca and walk around while entering several churches. After having paid a visit to the courtyard of the philology faculty, we enter the new cathedral. The new cathedral is built over / next to the old cathedral; the entrance to the old cathedral is inside the new one (the old cathedral is in a nave of the new one). We had a delicious lunch at Café el Ave. We, of course, had to go to the Patio de las Escuelas Menores to spot the frog on the façade of the Universidad Civil, as well as later the astronaut on the north wing of the new cathedral and the ceiling of Escuelas Menores. The Plaza Mayor is another beautiful attraction of the city. We went to several museums, of which one was the Museo de la Universidad Civil (there was even a class going at the time). Then we had to race to the Convento de San Esteban before closing time; nice convento, too bad for the ongoing restorations. Again we had to race to be on time at Convento de las Dueñas, which is still run by (very old) nuns. One of the conclusions one can make about Salamanca is that it is one of the most beautiful and enthralling cities of Spain.

July 18th
We wanted to see Ávila and to drive back there. First we went to the Basilica de San Vicente, from which you already have a splendid view of the beautiful town walls. First we visited some smaller churches on the outside of Ávila; of which one was the Iglesia de San Andrés (the oldest Romanesque church in Ávila). After having had lunch in Los Leales we went to the cathedral, which has very odd colouring and a weird ceiling (sort of red nature stone). We took another peek of the astounding town walls to then retrace the footsteps of Santa Teresa de Ávila (the founder of many Conventos de Carmelitas Descalzas) by visiting Iglesia de San Pedro (only from the outside and at a distance), then Iglesia de San Juan, and last the Convento de Santa Teresa (where her room used to be). On the way back to Salamanca we stopped at los Cuatro Postes: a view point over Ávila and the spot where Santa Teresa with her brothers were seized by their uncle to be caught as martyrs by the Moore).

July 19th
We took of for Léon with a stopover in Zamora. We arrived around siesta time thus had to hurry to pay visits to the things to see. We ended up going to an exhibition of Eduardo Chillida. We walked around in the town a little bit, but everything is closed for siesta. There are nice churches and nice cathedral, in practically all of them weddings were taking place, thus we were not able to examine the churches from the inside. Decided to continue to Léon.

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