December 28-31, 2020
December 30th was our third day in Córdoba and was dedicated to a day trip to a small town about an hour out called Fuenteovejuna. This is the site of a play written in the 1600s by Lope de Vega. This is a favorite play of Gabrielle’s and Leyre’s, and they told me more about it along the way.
Being such a small town, there was no public transportation out there. We had a rental car set up, and I was going to drive. I had my international driver’s license, but not my original. So, I was not allowed to rent it. Thankfully, Gabrielle had her original license, and the rental company said that because it was an American license, the international license was not required. This was quite the surprise, and Gabrielle quickly got into a mental space to drive us. We had a lot of laughs, stories, and jam sessions over the hour and a half drive to Fuenteovejuna.
After we arrived, we immediately noticed the small town feel. We tried to find a coffee shop and walked into a couple and were met with stares of old men drinking beer at 10 AM. Needless to say, we backed away slowly. At the center of the town, there is a painting that talks about the Fuenteovejuna play and a photo of Lope de Vega. We took some photos around here and then kept walking around. Being winter and COVID, most things were closed. We walked up and down a few streets, and then surprisingly found the tourism office was open. We were able to get some more town history and some pamphlets.
We did find a coffee shop (that was slightly less shady) and had some coffee and pastries and were on our way. We headed back to the car and decided to drive around some small towns in the area and see what we found.
We stopped for some lunch items at the grocery store, Dia, and then drove towards this castle we had seen along the way. This ended up being in the town of Belmiz. We spotted it and started driving that way. We weren’t able to drive up very close, but we drove along the base of it and found a beautiful view that overlooked a large field and houses and farms, and we began hearing the sound of what felt like hundreds of sheep! We parked here and pulled out our lunch and enjoyed the view of all that was around us. It was such a joyous moment and just felt genuine surreal. It was a very authentic Spanish experience, and we all named it the highlight of our day.
While trying to leaving Belmiz, we went down a one way and got stuck at the end. Being another small town, there was an elderly woman angrily staring on the sidewalk at our blunder. We had to back out about 100 feet very slowly, and she just stared us down the whole time. This was foreshadowing for the next driving blunder that was to come.
On our way back, we had some nice views and enjoyed our hour-ish trip back after stopping in Belmiz. When we re-routed after encountering some detours in the city of Córdoba, it turned out our directions were now in walking mode, which we didn’t know at the time. We were confused why it kept telling us to turn in places that a car clearly couldn’t turn. We drove down a road that slowly became more and more narrow. Finally, it reached a point. We had a shocking realization we could go no further, and we were boxed in. The only option was to go back in reverse… very carefully. Because we drove so far (Spanish roads are very narrow so it didn’t seem that odd at first), it was going to be an inch-by-inch process. Leyre and I got out of the car and helped guide. It was stressful mixed with laughs and a few tears. Thankfully, we got out of the mess with no scratches or damages and only a half hour later. This all happened fast and so there’s no good photos or records of it, but it exists in our memories 🙂
After we got back, we spent a few hours back at the hostal, and then headed out for a Spanish equestrian show. No photos were allowed, so I don’t have much to show. It was nice to see the routines put together, and I learned more about the Spanish esteemed view of horses and their treatment in the country.
After the show, which was about an hour, we walked around downtown a little, got some dinner, and then headed back to the hostal for the night to prepare for our last day in Córdoba.