Monday, 25 July 2011

Medina Sidonia

We were up early this morning for a drive to Medina Sidonia, a historic town about 90 minutes drive and approximately 81kms southwest of Olvera.
Arriving at about 8.30am, we headed upwards towards the Centro Urbano, passing through the Plaza de España, pictured above.

We parked in a free car park through the archway to the right of the 17th century building housing the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), pictured here, returning the short distance on foot to explore more. Enquiring of the location of the Tourist Office, we were given directions and advised that it didn't open until 10am.

The impessive entrance to the Ayuntamiento.

With a while to wait before the Tourist Office opened, we sat for coffee at one of the many bars around the plaza before heading upwards to the top of town.

The 16th century Iglesia Santiago el Mayor, unfortunately closed as were all the Churches we came across.

The Arco Belén (Gate of Bethlehem), one of the remaining entrances to the old moorish and medieval district.

The Plaza de la Iglesia Mayor.

Parts of the old castle and the views on a hazy day to the north.

Within the old town walls is the impressive Iglesia Santa Maria la Mayor la Coronada that dominates the town and dates from 1553.

My partners on this trek of exploration of discovery....Anne and Calcetines.

Time was getting on so we headed back down looking for the Tourist Office in the hope of obtaining a map of the town and the sites of interest.

After some difficulty, and with the help of a kindly policeman, we eventually found the Office, within the Archeological Museum of Medina Sidonia in Calle Ortega, but not a sign indicating "Oficina de Turismo" in sight. The only frustrating reference was a note on the door saying that it didn't open until 10.30am.

So we sat and waited, and waited, and waited, by this time joined by several other people, until at 10.55am we gave up hope of it ever opening and started the walk back uphill to the car.
Very frustrating.

The Iglesia de la Victoria.

We eventually did obtain a tourist map by asking another friendly policeman near to the Ayuntamiento, who retrieved one from his car.

We quite liked Medina Sidonia, a pleasant, clean and friendly town. Unfortunately, today was a little hazy and we weren't able to see the Atlantic coast but perhaps another time.

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