You may say that our voyage had already started when we boarded that LATAM flight – technically speaking that is true… however, the actual voyage – the road movie so to speak – started that Wednesday afternoon, after we had packed our baggage in the respective cars and started to make our way out of Madrid.
Just to remind you:
The next three days M. and B. will be travelling with us to three different “Paradores”:
On June 11th, there will be a 10 day stay at our favorite place – the “Hotel Playa de la Luz” at the Costa de la Luz in a cosy little town, called: Rota
On June 20st we will then return to Madrid, with a breakpoint in Guadaloupe.
Our itinerary will conclude on June 21st in “Room Mate Laura” in Madrid – having another dinner with our friend Luis.
Many years ago Manfred and I had discovered this way to travel through Spain, mostly to give consideration to our different travel styles – “travel and explore” and “travel and hang out on the beach”. A great and effective compromise.
I am not going to tell you all about the history of the Spanish “Paradores” you can read it all on their website.
Paradores are predominantly places with historic significance for the various world religions who had ever existed in Spain (Christians, Jews and Muslims), situated in beautiful places spread across the country:
- or “Alcazares”
Manfred and I have already been to 25 out of over 80 “Paradores”. The brand and the concept “Parador de Turismo” was invented in 1928 to make a virtue of necessity when as all those historic places threatend to either go rack and ruin or to cost the Spanish government an enormeous amount of money to maintain and to preserve the sites:
Turning the real estate into “special” guest locations made them pay for themselves – actually quite a success story.
Let me briefly summarize the “Why would I be interested” and “Why would I not be interested” in a Paradores Tour.
- a great way to put one’s head to rest in a medieval castle or sit in a patio of a former monastery,
- getting to know the geography, breath-taking sceneries, interesting cities and the scale of Spain from North to South and from East to West.
- as we never travel light – you live out of suitcases for the duration of the “Paradores leg” of the voyage which can become bothersome (that is why I recommend not to put more than 5 Paradores on an itinerary)
- Paradores are not really for the “young”. Their target market is affluent travellers 50+
- Poor to no Internet connectivity in the Paradores – although some places have improved as more and more of their target market (see above) travel with one or the other form of a “Smart” device.
Obviously the high-lights do weigh stronger than the low-lights for us and we are happy we could inspire M. and B. to go on this road trip with us.
Now, without much further ado, let the road movie begin.