The last vacation I spent it with my sister, traveling from Baiona to Vigo, Santiago, A Coruna, Valladolid and… more on that later.🙃 In fact, we spent Christmas Eve in Valladolid, surrounded by a beautiful and clean city, cold temperatures and no snow. Beautiful city, with hundreds of lights, colorful architecture all around and firecrackers to make the composition more interesting.
To get here, from Vigo, we took a fast train, that peaked 202km/h. It is the old 350 Talgo, and because I was next to the restaurant, I did not enjoy the smell all the trip. I found interesting how low it appears when the train is stopped on the platform, but once you step in, there is plenty of space. (I have 1,89m height)
Once in Valladolid, I had to make as many pictures as I could (before my sister becomes bored 😅) of all the trains on the platforms. Most rail materials were EMU type, some looking like there were missing the first cars. (more on that later)
Once stepped out of the Station the first impression was that, boy oh boy, Leon does look like Valladolid. But, and that is a big one: This city is clean and all buildings look freshly painted and constantly washed and taken care of.
It’s impeccable and no wonder in this article, the majority of my photos will be architecture and main sightseeings.
And that was the half of the good news! In fact, the cheap hotel I booked for 2 nights, happens to be at a 3-minute walk from km 0 of this ex-capital city. But, soon you will find out why. So right from the start, I was amazed at how the city presents itself (at least the central area) and how affordable can be.
Here is Plaza Mayor and the Casa Consistorial (Town Hall).
In this square, you will find all buildings sharing this dark brown-reddish paint, in combination with light grey stone. Just beautiful! Sadly I couldn’t do any better photos since the plaza was occupied by merchants and electrification wires and other Christmas-type objects. For that matter, I did not even bother changing to an ultra-wide angle lens.
My jaw dropped when I saw the buildings on the street just behind Casa Consistorial (the Town Hall).
Remember the article on A Coruna? Take a fast peak here so that you understand when I say, that I was thinking of only white windows looking good when they are so small! White with black. Guess I was wrong.😍
At the entrance to the Post Office, you will find this bronze lion head. What is cool about it that you put the envelopes through his opened mouth. 🤫
And as you turn your head to the right, there is this marvelous and huge building (still right in the central area). So cool right? Amongst colorful 3 stories high buildings, there is this sand color edifice.
Sant Benito church. (closed for Christmas…)
From here, since it was kinda cold inside the city “walls”, we followed the sunny sides and ended up next to the river. Here I found these interesting sights:
Every time I see a place (building, landscape) packed full of small details, I think to make the picture just so that in the future I will use it for a puzzle. So far I have two of them. The second one was shot in Madrid and can be seen here.
Puente Isabel la Catolica and the vertical axis wind turbines. Great place to sit and admire the ducks and also a great place to admire new versus old, in a somewhat beautiful harmony. Pitty the turbines weren’t in function.
Next morning we went to see the great Cathedral Nostra Senora de Asuncion. But it was closed so we started walking around it to kill some time. (Notice the mist in the morning? Remember it.)
We found this Commercial passage (like the ones in Italy) from the XIXth century -> Pasaje de Gutierrez.
Here, there is a train model shop that features many Spanish locomotives. One that I bought in Portugal for 200 euro, here it was at half price… So if you are into Model Railroad, please come here and get your Spanish souvenir, lot cheaper than in other places in Europe.😉
Next, I found this interesting of piece architecture. A sandstone wall and in the back a tower made out of orange bricks. It is the El Salvator church. Is interesting, because the wall I was saying is actually the facade, which if you see it from the right direction, it looks as if the whole building is as big.
And all around there was this quietness and like always, clean surroundings.
Back to the Cathedral only to find out that now they had a sign saying no tourists allowed at the moment. Great…
So going round again, and into this immaculate sand like church – Santa Maria de la Antigua.
So white outside, so dark inside…
Next one up is Palacio de Santa Cruz. I really wanted to come here (closed again…) since it is very very old and I liked his history. 1486 started the construction and it has been here since 1491. When I get to such old places, I like to touch them and feel the half of millennium at my fingertips. Of course, I know that it has been renovated many times since, nonetheless, what modern construction will stand so boldly for ages? The only one I am thinking is the Tesla Roadster, traveling in a 30-year orbit, through space for billions of years.
Have you noticed the nose?
Cute little cats, on the ruins area, next to the Cathedral. Yep, I got there once again, only to find out that this time is closed for good until the Christmas night ceremony.
Back to a more dense area.
Nuestra Senora de la Paz is a church that looks as if it is inside an apartment building. In real life is more interesting than any Cathedral I have ever seen, yet it is also the only kind I wish they will never build in my home country. More you look at the image more you think of the 70s, 80s. In fact, it was finished in the early 60s.
Here are some decorations that at times look better on daylight than on night time.
Valladolid has many churches. You can hardly find a place in the central area, without them…
Here is San Pablo.
And right next to it is the Palacio de Pimentel. This area is also very rich in history and it was also the only place with the most tourists. (local people were doing shopping probably)
Here is a detail with Santiago’s shell symbol.
Wherever you would lay your eyes, magnificent yet terrifying details were on display. When I look at what people could do back in the day, it makes me feel even more grateful that someone looks at my pictures and my words, and finds some pleasure. There is no brainier into taking photos. Even if you have to fly for 3 days to get to a location, then walk 2 weeks and then spend 1 week in search of the perfect shot, I still find culture in such detail to be more impressive than any photo made.
Yet on Instagram, a cute girl has more success than a no-name artist.
I and my sister were amazed by this place, even though we saw far too many churches in the past four days, but the next one is even more interesting.
It doesn’t even show it on my Maps.me application. And that is because this church is for SALE. Yep… exactly, for sale.
And there are many interesting places to go once you find yourself here. There are more churches and some palaces, most of them having an interesting detail, on the corners. (just remember to look up also, not just down the road or at eye level)
Like this Teatro Lope de Vega who looks like is from Portugal right? (check here to see why). The white facade plus the painted ceramic tiles, with lots of blue and yellow, take me to the many churches seen in Porto, Braga, and Sintra. But nothing from Spain, so far, made me go there. I say this since on Wikipedia I found nothing on this. Plus I was speaking about Palaces, that have interesting details, that also send to other cultures.
But what I did enjoy a lot, was the fact that I walked next to the river Pisuerga. Took many photos at night and daylight but, none of the bridges looked good on my pictures due to the fact that some were either pitch dark color or made out of that sandstone that has high contrast with the darkness that surrounds them.
Here I tried to get light traces from the cars, but the lights of the bridge were too bright.
Instead, what I really loved was this area of Moreras Beach, next to the river, where due to the mist, I obtained a somewhat spooky image.
From here, I got back to Cupola del Milenio, where was some ice skating going on. Have to admit that my pictures from sunset, don’t come anywhere near the nighttime version.
Also, a place to see while you are here.
Here is at sunset:
Sometimes the night is far more interesting than the day. Especially on Christmas season when all villages, cities, and megacities get these cute lights on most roads.
Cavalry academy 😍
What Christmas night is without going to church?!
Again we can see the shell.😒
Back at the Plaza Mayor, at the Town Hall. Here the red buildings surrounding the area had yellow LEDs around each window, much like houses on Coca-Cola commercials.
Here is a brigade of Santas, giving candies to children, but none to homeless ones. (there was one, just at my back as I made this picture)
Next morning, I took the luggage and headed fast to the rail station. (but did make a stop for this great monument). About now I had this deja-vu feeling on the mist, but it suited me to take this back and white image.
So before jumping on this Alstom train, here are my thoughts:
I liked the architecture, the old town, and the clean city itself. It did remind me of Leon (which I loved more to be honest: check it here) but there is much more to see. Just be careful that when you plan your trip, all museums are opened.
Would I come back? Well is more cheap to stay here in very good conditions than Madrid or Leon! And by train, I am at 1 hour of each…
But even so, I think for me these two days and two nights were enough.
Please tune in next week for my no. 1 spot from Spain (so far at least).