Manzanares el Real Reboot

Since we were so impressed with Manzanares el Real on Thursday and since Josh and Noah missed out on all the fun... we went again :)  It was just as impressive, but a whole lot windier which made it a little chilly.  Since it was a Saturday we got to eat lunch before going up to the castle.  OK actually we went all the way up to find that they were closed for lunch from 1:30-3:30 so... why not.  We knew it'd be open at least!

Things started off a little rough.  The kids were misbehaving and very whiny, but once they chowed down on some fries and chorizo they were suddenly perfect angels.  Imagine that!  I had the salmon and it was outSTANDing.  Josh had a huge steak, which was also delicious.  

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We were done at just the right time to get our tickets.  Hooray!  Everyone was full and happy as we trekked up the hill to the castle.  Noah was excited and thoroughly enjoyed the Victorian music playing through the speakers (a treat reserved for the weekends I guess).  We got to spend a lot more time looking at the displays and reading about the history.  I discovered the only part of the original castle that is left is the base.  The city of Madrid painstakingly restored it to its original glory, using what few original pieces were left to form a historically accurate duplicate, and a national treasure.

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I took more pictures, of course.  Having seen how the other set turned out I was better able to frame them how I wanted.  The wind blew the flags for me, the lighting was better.  I love these!

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Brennan and Tristan were intent on showing Noah all the tips and tricks of the castle.  They hid in every doorway, sat on every bench, and climbed the rocks at the end for a picture.  They were so thrilled to show their big brother the castle.  All three of them happily danced to the music in the courtyard at the end of our tour.  Josh had a good time too.

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I was eager to show Josh the sweet road Mama C and I found, but since I had found it on accident I couldn't find it again.  We did make it to the medieval bridge this time though... or at least we think we did.  Spain is notorious for inadequate sign placement.  They will throw a couple signs up with arrows, and then you just have to drive down all the roads in that area until you get lucky and find what you were looking for, or give up and go home.  We couldn't drive to the bridge so we took a decent hike in the hills below the mountains.

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We did find a bridge... and it looked pretty old so, yeah sure why not!  It was right at the base of a hydroelectric power plant, part of the Santillana Reservoir.  All around us was farmland.  It reminded me a lot of the trails behind our housing area, but much closer to those amazing mountains!

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The temperature dropped more, the sun was setting, the winds were picking up, and the boys were tired.  Home again home again jiggitty jog.

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