Trujillo almost didn’t make it onto our itinerary, but by the time we left, Dennis declared it could be his favorite destination yet. Not just on the Extremadura trip, but in Europe. We left Caceres first thing in the morning, driving the short 30 minutes to Trujillo for a morning of wandering. It was a Sunday, and there was virtually no one else in the town, save a couple of locals walking dogs or paying visits to the town cemetery that sat just under the town’s fortifications.
Similar to the larger city of Caceres, Trujillo is a well-preserved medieval town, made grand with the money of conquistadors sending home treasures from America. Approaching the city, we were able to see the castle and wall on the hill. So, after parking in an easily located (and vacant) parking garage, we followed the hill up until we passed through the gate. We had no pre-conceived plan for this day, so we wandered around the beautiful streets. We found a stone defensive wall that we walked along taking in amazing views. After, we tried to find a drink, but found nothing save a small souvenir shop where Charlotte and Henry purchased wooden bows that shoot cork-tipped arrows.
Given the empty streets, they practiced their archery skills as we wandered around the town. On the opposite end of the town, we found the Castillo de Trujillo, a Moorish castle, which we popped in for more great views of the city and the surrounding landscape. Also, within the castle is a small chapel added later by Christian conquerors. Trujillo’s patron, Our Lady of Victory, lives inside, positioned on a rotating disc so that she faces you within the chapel, but also from the ground below. Before I realized this, I was shocked upon opening my eyes to realize that our Blessed Mother had moved!
After time spent exploring and briefly in prayer, we headed down the stairs to the impressive Plaza Mayor, just in time for lunch and a few minutes of running around the square. Trujillo is one of the places that feels like a hidden gem. I’m sure that other more popular cities and towns across Europe once had that same magic, and still do on just the right days. But escape to Trujillo and you still get it, that sense of finding something, of seeing a place the way it was, not the way tourism has constructed.