Morella Spain : September 2017
Chris:From Albarracín we decided to head toward another of Spain’s ‘Most beautiful towns’. Our trip needed to include a pit stop in the relatively large sized town of Teruel, the capital of Aragón Province and the smallest provincial capital in Spain.
As we were getting fairly close, on a straight flat dusty highway Rose suddenly piped up and said “Look at all those planes, is there an airport here?”, I thought lack of food or sleep, heat or maybe a line or two too many had caused her to hallucinate; turns out she was right, this is the second largest commercial airline storage facility in the world, where anything from Boeing 737 to Jumbos are sent to either be dismantled for parts or stored until they are needed again. Up to 300 planes can be parked on the tarmac here awaiting their fate, the hot dry conditions being ideal for ensuring no rusting etc occurs.
Rose:After that bit of excitement we needed to get our next fix, Supermarket Shopping! Seriously,every time we find a decent supermarket we are like kids in a candy store, running up and down the aisles like we had won the Trolley Dash. As well as the usual foodstuff we needed to find some boring items; dish clothes, corkscrew, decent sharp knife, another pillow and washing powder items…interesting to note that although we got a lot of food, kitchen utensils are apparently only available in a kitchen utensil store. I haven’t told you but the corkscrew is broken and that’s a really serious issue in our camper (for Rose it is ). So we bought a lot but not a corkscrew or any of the hardware needed. Entire shop including meat , wine and fresh produce came to €41. This is much cheaper than previous trip. ( good for the boodget) But we are not satisfied so we looked up another supermarket and found an Aldi to try. Back in ScootR and off we go around the town and into what looked like a brand new Aldi. It was quiet with very few people but very nice and now I can see Chris is sad that we did not find this first. We walked around the entire shop and bought some extra, totally necessary ( or un..) , goodies to add to the stash. The best part about Aldi are those middle bins which sell everything from dressing gowns to brooms , or beer to panties! One can spend hours there looking at buying things one had never realized were a life necessity until that moment. Chris:Solar powered flashing clothes pegs for anyone?
Ok enough about shopping we trundled on and followed our friend Annabelle on the Tomtom as she directed us through the countryside to our destination. Again we chose to go on the back roads and this meant a long and very hairpin bendy road up the mountains and down into the valleys. We stopped at one of the villages to stretch our legs. It was called Fortanete and it was so quaint and well kept. A church of course and a lovely little village plaza. It was siesta time so totally deserted.
Chris:Rose had asked me a few times to let her try and drive ScootR, she hadn’t tried on our last trip, but due to the fact that I had been pretty much man down for a few days, I think she thought it a good idea to at least know what to do. The roads were really quiet and really good, maybe a little narrow, so I suggested she give it a go. We moved the seat as close to the steering wheel and foot controls as possible and we were off. Both thought she did pretty well and got the hang of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and finding the gear stick with the other hand very quickly. The part that seemed to put her off a touch was when the big 24 wheel trucks came tearing toward one, first reaction is to drive over the edge.
Rose:Let me tell you a little about Morella and why we chose it. It’s one of those random things that happen when you motorhome. As Chris always says you end up visiting places you would probably never go to. I had read about it in a blog called ‘Our Bumbles’ and they highly recommended it. They also mentioned the free Aire (Campervan stop) outside the town and we fancied trying it.
It was a lovely place to spend the night. It’s situated across the road/ valley from Morella which is up on a hill dominated by an enormous castle. The Aire has picnic benches, dirt bins and olive trees and everyone just finds a spot to park. There were already 2 other vans when we got there but we positioned ourselves with a beautiful view of the town as well as the Roman aqueducts in the distance. The general rule we have learnt is that you don’t set up camp in these free aires. You can put out table and chairs but everything Is packed away at night. So we sat outside enjoying our aperitivos and watching the most glorious sunset.
We met a lovely English couple and had a chat whilst taking photo after photo. After making dinner we watched a tv show on the iPad ( first in many weeks) and jumped into bed. It’s so quiet with no electricity and with our devices fading fast we slept like logs.
The next morning we packed up and headed for the car park next to the castle. Chris was frowning as he had just realized how far up the hill the castle was. The town is quaint, and it’s got a lovely cobbled Main Street with pretty shops. But again I love the colonnaded shopping and the buildings with small balconies perched everywhere. It’s a little touristy as every second shop sells the local ‘artisanal ‘ cheese, honey, woolen blankets and truffle and you can’t help feeling it’s all a little on show.
We walked around the town and up to the castle. The entrance fee was reasonable so in we went. It was very interesting and I won’t bore you with the details as we are going to get castled out, but you can read more here if you like.
After the long walk back from the castle , we walked thru a beautiful space which was originally the monastery below. Such a lovely atmosphere and currently being used for an exhibition of crosses from around the area with detailed explanations of what the symbols mean. Pity it was in Spanish but still it looked interesting.
Our next stop was the church. Again I think Chris was being nice as he has now walked into a million and one churches. Not that I don’t think he enjoys them but you can get a little ‘churched out’ in Spain. Each one more beautiful than the next. This one was the Santa Maria Basilica and it also had an art museum attached filled with artwork of religious significance but really lovely. It set us thinking about religion and our backgrounds and how we come from 2 different sides, ok being facetious, but Roman Catholic vs Anglican and how history has been shaped by religious differences. It’s so apparent in Spain the different religious and cultural influences of Christian and Muslim as well as Jewish and how it reflects in the architecture and naming of towns etc.
I loved the town of Morella and I would recommend it even though it’s touristy I think there is a lot to see and learn.
We ended our afternoon with a drink and some delicious patatas bravas and boucherones in the most unassuming restaurant and it was delicious.
Where to next…maybe some French influence ?