Why Olmedo? College Roommate’s family name, so of course we had to check it out!
Our first full day in Madrid, we caught a train to Segovia, where we rented a car to go to Olmedo. This is where our travel travails begin.
Actually, they began in Cordoba, where we attempted to change our train tickets so we could leave earlier. If you buy your tickets in person—which my Loving Husband did—you can’t change them online. You can’t buy tickets online with a non-Spanish credit card. I had forgotten that part until after Elena had entered all of our passport/NIE information – twice!
Back to the car rental…
We had looked online and only found car rental agencies we didn’t know anything about. When we arrived at the train station, we asked at the information center. She gave us a map with the EuropCar office circled. Off we went in another taxi. Turns out, the car rental is just down the hill from the aqueduct on the main street. The Lovely Teenage Girl working the counter told us it was not posible to rent a car for a day; we’d have to return it Monday. This being Saturday, they were closing at 1:00 and would not be open on Monday. A one-day rental was no posible; we’d have to return the car Monday. Then the Grownup agent arrived. No problemo: we could park the car on the street and return the keys to the RepSol gas station up the street. Vale!
I had left my Texas driver’s license (finally arrived!) at home, so Kim had to rent the car. We had both been leery about driving in Madrid, and being of like mind, we had decided that renting in Segovia might be a better option—we could certainly avoid city traffic.
After struggling with the gears for a bit, then smelling that burning smell you never want to smell when driving, we realized we had not, after all, released the parking brake. Problem solved, we continued on our way.
Finally, I saw the plains in Spain where the rain mainly stays:
While driving through the small villages, we passed a wedding party, complete with horse-drawn carriage. (I wasn’t quick enough with the camera.) In another town, we drove through a fiesta – literally, drove THROUGH a fiesta – locals with drinks in hand directed us through the crowd in the narrow street as we passed through town.
At last we arrived at our goal: Olmedo. We visited with the girls behind the counter while we enjoyed our café con leche. We toured the Palacio Caballero de Olmedo – my knowledge of the literature of Lope de Vega is woefully inadequate.
Back to Segovia, where we enjoyed a celebratory sangría.
Then back to Madrid, where we took the obligatory city bus tour – both routes – before heading off to San Sebastian…