Quiet Streets in Spain

During my travels, I enjoy walking quiet streets, having a chat with the old folks lingering on porches or tossing a treat to the odd stray cat. While in Spain this was particularly interesting because of the contrast between the old buildings and the new. Some of them date to medieval times, some from a few years ago. The town of Jerte showed this juxtaposition very well as you’ll see in this next video. It’s not brilliant footage, just documentary images of what was and what is. Take a look.

There was that friendly elderly couple on the bench and a cat, too. These elements add great authenticity to any place, including a native perspective on visitors like myself who are just passing through. Enjoy the journey.

Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Túnel de Hada, Hotel and Spa

Previously, I posted about the restaurant at the Hotel and Spa known as Túnel de Hada. Now, let’s focus on the hotel. (Sadly, I did not avail myself of any spa treatments. An error I will have to correct some day.) Jerte is where this hotel is located, a small town in the middle of a green valley loaded with cherry orchards. There’s a small river running through it. More on that later. Here’s a view of the hotel from the rear. The front is on a very narrow street in town.

The building fits in the with the ancient town’s architecture. Here you see the entrance on the ground floor.

Through that glass door you go, into a reception area with a very competent desk staff. My reservation was ready and in a few moments I had the key to my room. At this point I inquired about laundry service and in another few moments, the clothing was on its way to being washed, dried, folded, and pressed, and delivered to me before the evening set in. That’s excellent, especially for a guy who needed some clean shirts. The rooms are slightly dark, but once you pull open the curtains things brighten up. Here’s the sleeping arrangement.

And opposite it was a comfortable area to sit, relax, read, or watch TV.

No, I wasn’t doing any TV watching. I was gallivanting about the town. Take a look at the view into the greenery from the room’s window.

The photo above doesn’t really do the view justice. It was a menagerie of green with the steady mumble of the river for a soundtrack. Lulls you right to sleep, especially as the cool air settles into the valley. Overall, Túnel de Hada was a comfortable and welcoming place to stay, one I would recommend to those looking for an upscale experience in both accommodations and food. Don’t forget to try the spa and let me know how it was!

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Restaurante Túnel de Hada, Spain

Restaurante Túnel de Hada is located in the hotel and spa of the same name, in Jerte, Spain. The Jerte Valley itself is famous for its cherry trees and you’ll find that influence in the food prepared for you at the restaurant. Seating is divided into several areas which offers a bit of privacy/romance, which was much appreciated during my stay. Here’s a view into the spot where our table was situated.

Those ancient walls lend ambiance and gravitas to the setting. The meal began with a sort of palette cleanser, a sorbet of sorts that I find very difficult to describe. It was tasty and functional and here’s a look at the presentation.

Note the flat and hollow-ware. Very tasteful, understated, and always set upon the table with grace and care. Staff here are top notch. Well, the next course was a single, large ravioli-type pocket of pasta which was served in a bowl and then the waitress poured over a warm, creamy garlic soup. A truly simple, yet striking combination of flavors. Here it is in the combined state.

Then came the main courses. One was duck with a dense cherry sauce seen here.

Very vibrant that dish! The other was pork with the thinest slices of potato layered in, as seen next.

Both of these dishes were superb. The cherries are the most local ingredient and were integrated nicely without being overbearing. This is something I like very much about Spain. Each region, even within a region, you find specific foods that are native and used creatively. Thus, while traveling along you experience a great many treats as opposed to one long, homogenized theme. Back to Túnel de Hada. It was time for dessert. We opted for the cherry sorbet and apple tort.

Again, check out that presentation. These people work hard at getting everything right, every detail, only to have me mow it down. Respectfully, of course. If you find yourself traversing the Jerte Valley, you would be well served to enjoy a meal here. (Please note, these photos were from a visit conducted during April 2010. I only recently realized I had not previously posted them. In other words, the menu may have changed.)

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jerte Valley, Spain

Driving from the west, we entered the Jerte valley without realizing how steep and winding it’s path was. However, exiting to the east, you must climb a road of multiple switchbacks that will require the use of all the gears. Here’s a look from the top of the eastern edge, looking to the west.

The valley is well known for its cherry trees and small towns. We stayed at a marvelous place with a fine restaurant. More on them both in future posts. In the mean time, enjoy the beauty of this place.

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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