We have all been to one or the other theme park – the “Old Town” of Cáceres is like a history-themed park – just: it is REAL.
People, this is the second time I visit Cáceres and it hit me just like the first time. This place is without a doubt rightfully listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is awe-inspiring, like walking in a cathedral all day long only daring to whisper not to disturb the prayers.
The Parador is an integral part of all of this – somehow “backed-in”, which is somewhat of a curse as it cannot develop its own “personality” it has no profile on its own.
Unlike the Parador in Oropesa, which felt light and bright – its brother/sister in Cáceres has a darker more sinister feel to it. No patios to invite the travellers to sit and relax – just an outside terrace, used by the restaurant, no swimming pool.
Hallways are window-less, the room we had this time had only a narrow window to a very narrow street – so narrow you could touch the wall of the opposite building.
Parking your car at the Parador is a challenge, the “Old Town” is an area with restricted access for cars. We were in luck to find two places on the back side of the Parador, plates of the cars needed to be registered at the front desk – not being towed away by the police.
To counter act the architectural idiosyncrasies, the interior designers of the Paradores de Turismo had tried their best to add some light and bright elements and a component of “modern times” into the building.
The front desk area is stylish and so is the bar area translucently covered to protect the guests from rain – the only place that permits light to enter from the outside.
It was around 3:00pm when we met in the bar – even though it was sweltering outside we decided to start exploring the city of Cáceres as there was not too much to be done in the Parador (other to take a nap).
In addition there was the pressing question of where to get food that night (actually I raised the question as you all may have imagined). Neither of us felt like having dinner in the Parador. After a quick online research we had found a restaurant close to the Plaza Mayor of Cáceres, good reviews in Spanish and by locals: “Restaurante Casa Mijhaeli”.
We applied the same tactic as the day before – reconnoite the place, then decide.
It is not surprising at all that the streets were empty when we left the cool of the Parador to immerse ourselves in the beauty and historic spendor of the “casco historico” of Cáceres.
Leaving the historic part of the city we entered “Plaza Mayor” a vast place with arcades with bar, tapas restaurants and little shops. At the head of the place the City Hall – the “Ayuntamiento de Cáceres” had been built – obviously proud of the impressive and historic neighborhood.
We found the Restaurante Casa Mijhaeli – we entered, were greeted by the owner, who apparently also was the chef de cuisine and were pleasantly surprised. The place looked trendy but in a very likeable down-to-earth fashion. As Manfred and M. were hungry we went for a test-run and both of them took an item from their “starters section” of their menue: Greek Salad and Green fried Asparagus. B. and I decided to watch our figure and to only have mineral water.
Casa Mijhael got a thumbs up for dinner. We asked the waitress to reserve a table for four for 9:00 pm.
Time for a siesta! We returned to the Parador slowly, planned to leave the Parador at 8:00pm to take another stroll through the “Old Town” – hopefully cooled down and to take an Aperitif in one of the bars on “Plaza Mayor”.
At 8:00pm we left the Parador – it was still very warm but the afternoon heat had been broken. All was now bathed in a much warmer, softer light which made the buildings around us appear even more “monumental”.
Approaching the “Plaza Mayor” we noticed that the Torre de Bujaco open for visitors. EUR 2.50 per adult – money well spent as the tower offers another great view over the Cáceres.
The apertifs to follow were mediocre – the olives that were served, however, were excellent. But the drinks were not relevant – more relevant was to sit at the “Plaza Mayor” and watch the place start to fill with people – quite the opposite to what we had seen only 4 hours ago.
At 9:00pm sharp (we are Germans after all and have a reputation to defend) we enter “Casa Mijhaeli”. We were the first guests (again) – on the upside we had the free choice of tables. Surprise – they had a lovely garden, so we decided to sit outside.
We had two starters:
- Camembert Frito
- Rulo Cabra (Goat Cheese)
- Lubina Rellena
- Solomillo Iberico con dos Salsas
- Entrecot de Tenera con dos Salsas
- Suprema de Pintarde
- Mineral Water
- Red Wine from the region (great stuff by the way)
We all passed on the desert.
Check for the night: EUR 102
- Food – 3.5 of 5 stars
- Beverages – 5 of 5 stars
- Location – 4 of 5 stars
- Service – 4 of 5 stars
The food was good but not extraordinary – though I suppose better than in most of the other restaurants in Cáceres.
Unlike in Oropesa we could not finish the day sitting on a balcony drinking a night cup – we decided to have a last drink in the garden of the Parador restaurant, which was OK.