Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo 10/17/15

Passing through beautiful fields, pastures and finding exceptional Spanish Cuisine today

The days walk begins in the alley way behind our hotel and through a dreary underpass

Within 5 minutes we come upon a beautiful church , colorful roadside landscaping and home gardens

This church was a beauty and nestled in the local landscape

Mountains and fields quickly become our backdrop

Sprinkles came and we prepared on the trail for a rain day.....quickly passed over, we have had continuing great weather!

Our 1st rest & refreshment stop in Fuentes Nuevas. Loved this cute mini church in the middle of the road and across from the snack bar! 

Photographing through the window and this incredible restaurant designed around a courtyard. ( Only open for dinner or we would have better photos)

The exterior of this exceptional restaurant! Our creative design minds took off after seeing this! ( Photos don't do it justice)

Move aside, tractor coming down the residential street!

A pretty chapel open for view in Fuentes Nuevas .... loved the addition of wood beam ceilings that we haven't seen in similar structures

This is an example of the many fields we passed today , beautiful fall colors and various designs depending on the crops 

Our sign post into the unexpected forest

Beautiful diversion from hills and pastures, a walk in the forest

A surprise appearance of an amazing structure on the roadside and upon investigation we dined and had what we think to be some of the most exceptional Spanish food ..... Served in a cozy historic building , free standing fire pit with a savory smell wafting through... no end to architectural detail. What a surprise! You never know what a weary pilgrim might find on the side of the road! 
To add to our culinary joy ... fellow pilgrims arrived and shared in the experience! 

Same restaurant... Ever seen a macramed tree trunk? Pretty cool! Also love the glass top wagon wheel table.

Can't get enough of those roadside pastures!

Mariah has been so informative in her description of the tilled, planted and harvested fields....her expertise makes field after field most interesting!  

Finally after 8 hours of walking and dining we arrive on country backroads  to Villafranca del Bierzo...our home for the night.  This beautiful stone church in the distance is just the beginning of the amazing old structures beautifully intact in this town! We passed a stone fortress a city block in size!

Our hotel is a 400 year old structure, check out the walls and ceiling of our hotel room! 
This has been an exilirating and exhausting day on Camino!
Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring! 
Love to all!
Mary and Mariah
Grannies on Camino