I am taking a break with our current regularly scheduled posts on my road trip through the lowcountry in December to talk about a wonderfully sleepy little town an 1 1/2 hours train ride from Madrid. The guidebooks will tell you that the only things worthy of seeing in the small city in the Castile y León region of Spain is the old city wall, the cathedral, and the Convent of Santa Teresa., but Avila is so much more than these three sites.
Spend hours walking the old wall and take in the views of the gorgeous red tile roofs, the imposing cathedral-fortress, the windy streets, the locals drinking in squares, the serene Spanish countryside, and the snow-capped mountains.
Try not to freak out when you realize that these are the stairs you will be taking to get to the top of the old wall.
Wander the streets of Avila. Make sure to notice all of the beautiful puertas (doors) and funky door-knockers.
Stop in at a local bakery and sample a traditional Avila treat - yema, a boiled yolk rolled in sugar.
Ponder the chain of events that must have occurred to allow a beautiful old home to turn into this:
Study the architecture of the many convents, chapels, monasteries, and churches around every corner.
Take lots of pictures of the cute little lions guarding the cathedral from evil.
Fall in love with the cobblestone and "pin" it into your mind for a detail that obviously must exist in your future dream home.
But most importantly, take a moment to breathe. Breathe in the fresh Spanish countryside air that simply doesn't exist in Madrid.
Madrid - Avila connection:
Renfe trains leave from from the Chamartin train station every hour to go to Avila.