Zamora is a beautiful town that deserved a longer visit than we gave it. Although it has somehow avoided UNESCO designation, Zamora has 24 Romanesque churches, the largest number of any city in Europe. There is also a dramatically situated castle with an impressive moat. Like many cities that preserve a particular architectural period, Zamora was important for a period of time (the 12th and 13th centuries, during the Reconquista) and then became a backwater.
Ruth and I are particularly fond of Romanesque churches, so we walked around Zamora like kids in a candy store. The old city within the defensive walls is not that large, but the churches were everywhere. I’m guessing that if you were an able-bodied male in Zamora in the 13th century you could get a job building churches.
We have had a few warm days, but the weather has returned to the cool, windy and intermittently wet conditions that have prevailed in Spain this Spring. Today we spent the day walking or cycling (slowly) into the teeth of a 30 km/h north wind. Although it was sunny, it took all the clothing we are carrying to remain comfortable. When we book accommodation we are careful to confirm that there is heating, as these stone buildings at 5 degrees suck the warmth out of you. Most pilgrims on the Via de la Plata have to contend with uncomfortably hot conditions, but that has certainly not been our experience. We recently passed through a region known as the “frying pan of Spain” but the stove was off. Still having fun, but we’re glad we threw in the extra clothes we never thought we would need.