This past weekend was spent in rural villages about an hour outside Madrid. Don’t get me wrong I love Madrid but all the people, the honking of the cars, and touristy hot spots can get a little too overwhelming sometimes so it’s nice to break away from the concrete jungle.
We drove about an hour and a half north of Madrid to visit a village called Sigüenza. It is located in the region of Castilla La Mancha and in the province of Guadalajara. This city fell under Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, and Catholic rule and you can see it all in the art and architecture.
Its main sight is the cathedral which was built in the early 1100’s. It’s of Romanesque and Gothic design and for a building that was built about 900 years ago it’s truly an amazing sight to see.
After the cathedral we hiked up hill to check out the old castle that has looked over the city of Sigüenza since the 8th century. It provided housing for the Celtics, Visigoths, and Moors until it was established as a Christian castle in the 1100’s.
Today the castle serves as a luxury hotel dubbed by the Ministry of Tourism in 1972 with an impressive dinner menu including roast young goat (straight from a neighboring farm), pork with a wine sauce, and scrumptious sweets. They serve rosado which is a rose wine produced in Avila, Spain not too far from Sigüenza.
When it’s time for your menu del día I recommend that you go to Lantigua. We stopped there before we went on our tour of the city to have a cafe con leche which was one of the best I’ve ever had in Spain. We came back around for lunch around 1:30 and I had the most amazing meal. Try to sit outside on their terrace for an picturesque view and the fresh countryside air.
Lunch in Spain is pretty serious especially on weekends and at restaurants. You basically pick two entrees from their list and they are brought out to you separately. My first course was migas it’s basically like stuffing on crack and it’s amazing. Be sure to have plenty of vino or water to wash it down! Next course was rabo de toro or bull’s tail. Now this dish might sound scary but I promise it’s much better than it sounds. The meat is fork tender and you don’t even need a knife to cut it. Follow up with arroz con leche, basically like rice pudding back in the states, and an espresso and that’s lunch! I’m not sure how we survived that day without a siesta but there was a lot more to explore that day.
That was it for this adorable little village. Let me know what your favorite small town is in Spain!