My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Two days= 2 rural Monasteries! Guadalupe and San Francisco Palma Del Rio

Jan. 1-2, 2015

After ringing in the new year with friend in Madrid we took off for our southern route visits. First stop, Guadalupe Sanctuary and Monastery. The drive from Madrid was beautiful and quickly we found ourselves in farm land, fruit, chestnuts and olive trees! We had booked a room in the monastery and signs were trying to direct us there, however they sadly were not helpful. We parked in a community lot and went on foot to find it, finally getting to our room!

We toured the Monastery (5 euro pp) and enjoyed all we saw, but understood very little of what the tour guide said as it was all in Spanish! A fellow tourist helped us a few times translating a few thoughts to us. They explained that they have made a conscious effort to NOT offer tours in other languages because they don’t want it to become a huge “tourist destination” rather a place people want to come because they feel a connection to the place.

The sanctuary was built sometime near the end of the 1200’s. But in 1330 Alfonso XI, King of Castille and Leon thought it was too small and ordered another be built which occurred from 1336-38. The monks of Jeronimo used this location for the next 4 centuries. It became a National monument in 1879 and in 1907 Our Lady Of Guadalupe became its patron saint.

Beautiful small town with a charming central plaza. We had a delightful dinner of regional food: beans with chorizo, garlic soup, goat stew and fish with spinach sauce! Though Guadalupe is “off the beaten path” some pass on visiting here. We sure are glad we didn’t miss it.

The next day we awoke and headed to our second monastery, San Francisco Palma Del Rio. However we decided to stop in Portugal before heading there. We had lunch in Elvas, Portugal the took back roads to Palma Del Rio. Enjoyed the country side we saw along the way including cattle, sheep, pigs, etc. as well as storks, hawks, and blue herons. But most of all we saw orange trees, this is the area they obviously come from.

Arrived to our room easily tough had some issues with booking. Finally figured it out but must thank Anna at the front desk for all her hard work. I’d say we could have skipped Palma Del Rio as there is nothing exceptionally interesting here but the drive through farmlands were nice.








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