The warm spring sunshine glints on the old city walls casting a dark shadow across the nearest houses. Above us, silhouetted against a faultless blue sky, vultures circle lazily surveying the landscape. Narrow cobbled streets meander lazily amongst the whitewashed houses. Almost all of these crowned with bright orange tiles. The walls darken as they climb up the mountainside amongst the yellow broom towards the statue of Christ, arms outstretched,
As though protecting all those who pass this way. We wander amongst the houses passing wizened old ladies in black dresses, who sit on tiny wooden seats examining us with knowing eyes. “Muy Buenas” they murmer as we pass them. Carefully avoiding the need to define the time of day with a “Buenas Dias” or “Buenas tardes” . Some of them choose to welcome us with a hearty “adios “ – literally meaning goodbye but which really means “hello, but I won’t be stopping to talk” Up ahead we hear a bubble of noise. Then the street opens up into a charming old town square where a handful of Spaniards make the sort of noise normally associated with a stadium full of football supporters. Only the Spanish know how to make so much noise with so few people. The partially wooden, partially stone structured houses encircling the square supported by dozens of stone pillars whose makers are long since gone from this life. Now a church steeple appears ahead of us as we pass an old Moorish style gate. Behind the church run the sparkling waters of the river Tinte where noisy ducks quack a loud protest at the sudden invasion of humans. A waterfall rushes down from the mountainside then spills on through the valley. Just a few hours ago we arrived at our charmingly rustic hotel to a warm smiling welcome, a homely meal, and generous helpings of red wine. Yet we already feel at one with the peace and beauty of the surrounding countryside. This is day one of a three day visit to the lovely Cuenca region. A region which is set between the cities of Valencia and Madrid. Today we are in Cañete. The ancient capital of the region which despite its village type atmosphere really does have magnificent medieval city walls which have guarded the town since Moorish times. Tomorrow we travel to exotic sounding places like –
“The window of the devil” – “the enchanted city” — “the source of the Rio Cuervo”. Our courier who has already impressed us with her knowledge of the castles and countryside we passed on the drive up and her in depth knowledge of Cañete promises us that tomorrow brings many surprises, magnificent gorges, impressive rivers, turquoise coloured reservoirs, pine clad mountains and fields of spring flowers. With promises too, of lunch beside the river Cuervo bringing a few unexpected surprises. We can hardly wait for this day to start. Then on the third day we look forward to a visit to a serious of multicoloured lakes followed by a time in the historic centre of the old city of Cuenca , and of course a chance to see the famous 16th century hanging houses located behind the cathedral and overhanging the stunningly scenic gorge which sweeps along the boundaries of this precious city.
Best of all is that our 3 days full board plus wine and water plus all excursions only cost 141€. This is such a lovely area to visit in early spring. David’s Coachtrips are offering two dates during the month of March for this great value excursion. 3 days March 10-12 or 20-22. To reserve your places simply call Davids Coachtrips on (0034) 96678910.
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