March 28, 2017. Day 12

Vilar Formosa to Ciudad Rodrigo – 28km

We’re in Spain! It was strange to see the empty customs booths and immigration buildings still there as we cycled across the border. Stopping to take a photo beside the EU Spain sign, Paul felt an old unease bringing out his camera at a border crossing. It did not help that there were sniffer dogs ahead!

Our ride was an easy one, flying along on an almost flat and quiet N620. It is still cool at this time of year, at 500 m elevation, but apart from a few clouds, we had blue sky, with little wind. What a change!

We arrived in Ciudad Rodrigo before lunch and made our way up into the old walled city to the Hospedería Audencia Real, a 16th C inn and now charming boutique hotel (Lonely Planet). Between lunch in the plaza outside the hotel and a later stop for a glass of sangria, we explored and walked the perfectly intact medieval wall, with views of the countryside in all directions.

In 1812, combined forces of England and Portugal stormed the city and, after a ten day seigle, pushed out the French army who had taken it in 1810.

Wildlife notes: Two active White Stork nests in the countryside and many many more in the city.

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