Sanlúcar de Barrameda & the Castillo de Santiago
"When it rains in Spain it falls mainly on the plain," or so the saying goes. This week though, it feels as if it rains mostly in southern Spain. In Rota. But, today, the clouds stayed zippered up and we took a short drive over to Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
The wonderful part of being so close to such interesting little towns is that we don't need to squeeze all of the attractions into one visit, which is tough with an almost three-year-old who just wants to push buttons, literally and figuratively. Our goal today was to get a feel for this neighboring city and visit the Castillo de Santiago.
The Castillo, or castle, was finished in the late 15th century by the Lord of of Sanlúcar. Today, it is in great shape, easy to climb, and quite an adventure for our kids with such grand imaginations. Charlotte informed us "I thought this was going to be like a Disney castle, but it's made out of brick. It's a real life castle!"
One of the highlights for her was learning that Queen Isabella the Catholic first saw the sea from atop the castle. As we looked beyond the castle walls, over the white roof tops, and to the sea that just stretched and stretched, we wondered what it must have been like to have been seeing it for the first time from right where we stood.
For us, products of an American education, it is also interesting to hear of the connections between this land and our home. For example, the Castillo de Santiago is where Christopher Columbus started his third journey to the New World, and also where Magellan prepared for his exploration.
A good castle exploration always leaves you hungry, so we headed back to the main square for tapas. First we stopped at a very busy self-serve cafeteria, where we discovered some very delicious small plates. Emphasis on small. We were still hungry, and the place was still packed, so we wandered a square over for round two. I over-corrected and ordered way too much food this time. Sanlúcar is famous for seafood, which was prevalent on the menus. Some we discovered and loved, others like seafood meatballs, were more of a miss in our book.
On our way out of town, we popped in to a bakery for some special cookies to celebrate a special Cora Louise on her first birthday. It is hard to think all of the way back to this time last year. Cora is such a presence in our lives. She is the perfect tiny thing to cuddle, but full of life and spunk. We all love having her along for the adventure.
Birthday girlie grabbed a handful of French fries covered in red sauce. Which she then dropped on us.