24 Hours In: Trujillo
Looking for the Inca-slayer? He lived at number 10... Get off to a peaceful start
Sunday 08 October 2006
06.30: Wake up in the Parador de Trujillo (00 34 927 32 13 50; parador.es), calle Santa Beatriz de Silva, a converted 16th-century convent. Rooms are a blend of monastic simplicity and old-school Spanish elegance. Doubles start at €120 (£86) room only.
Watch the city wake up
07.00: Stroll up the steep calle Victoria in time to see the sun rise from the Moorish fortress, the highest point in Trujillo. Check out the stone tablets laid out on the floor - there are inscriptions in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin.
Take breakfast outdoors
08.00: Breakfast in the NH Palacio Santa Marta Hotel (00 34 902 115 116; nh-hotels.com) outdoor summer café-bar, at Ballesteros 6. You can feast on fresh fruit, sweet pastries, hams, cheeses and juices.
In the mind of a conquistador
10.00: Pay a visit to the Casa-Museo de Pizarro (00 34 927 32 26 77), Plaza Mayor 10, to check out the family home of an Inca-slayer. You can also see the spices, fruit and vegetables brought back from the Americas and the ones the Spaniards took to plant in New World soil.
Go Gothic and step back in time
11.30: Take your pick from the churches, or see them all. The San Martin church houses the remains of Francisco de Orellana, the first Spaniard to explore the Amazon from its source in the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. Further up the hill, the Santa Maria Mayor is a Gothic pile which protects the tombs of the Pizarros and Diego Garcia de Paredes. The latter, known as the "Extemaduran Samson", singlehandedly fought an invading French army and founded Trujillo in Venezuela.
A dry sherry, then lunch
13.00: Lunch at the cosy, provincial Meson La Troya restaurant (00 34 927 32 13; elmesondetroya.com), Plaza Mayor 10. Kick off with a dry sherry before launching into one of the house casseroles; the lamb dishes are highly recommended.
Spot rare birds in the park
15.00: The Parque Natural Monfrague (00 34 927 40 47 60; monfrague.com) is a 20-minute drive from Trujillo. Here you will be plunged into a diverse landscape of craggy low mountains, dense scrub, plains, meadows, forests and the basin of the river Tagus. Protected since 1979, the park is popular with ornithologists and hikers. Walk off your lunch and try to spot such rarities as Spanish lynx, imperial eagle and black stork.
Local wines and a gentle stroll
17.30: Back to town for a stroll around Trujillo's main plaza, exploring the allegories on the Palacio de la Conquista, the Palacio de los Duques de San Carlos, and - up on calle Ballesteros - the storks' nests and coats of arms on the Torre del Alfiler. Follow that with a lazy drink at a bar around the edge of the plaza. Extremadura is an emerging red wine producing region known as the Ribera del Guadiana, and the Torremayor Tempranillo 2002 is excellent.
Taste the good life at dinner
21.00: Dine overlooking the main square at the Bizcocho Plaza. Rather than opting for a fixed dish, ask for a degustación or tasting menu: you'll get to try all the cured meats and cheeses, fish and seafood tapas, as well as lamb and pork dishes.
Turn off the lights before bed
22.00: Take a final look down on the town from the viewpoint just beyond the Plaza de Santa Maria and watch Extremadura turn off its lights.
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