During my first long road trip in Spain I noticed something which every Spaniard knows... there is almost nothing in between the cities. Whether it was Franco's attempt at rural control or just a willingness to build houses close to their neighbours, Spanish cities exist in the middle of nowhere, and this often extends out until the next populated area in the middle of nowhere. I live in a city just like this (Caceres) and until the next large populated place is a huge expanse of open rolling hills and olive groves, with no one in sight.
During the New Year weekend, which I spent in a tiny village outside Segovia, we visited the little but immensely charming Pedraza. It was only a '10 minute drive' from our rural house (which was really more like 45 minutes) but as we curled and twisted around the Spanish hillside I could tell we were going somewhere a little bit special. Travel tip - Motorways almost never lead to magical little places!
Pedraza is a fantastically preserved and protected little place, and the cobbled streets and wobbly buildings all attest to the fact that very little has changed here in hundreds of years (and probably more than 1000 years). Like almost anywhere in Spain, there is a Roman foundation to the town, but there is very little evidence of that now, and much of the history comes from the 15th Century and onward. I'm a huge history geek, and for me the measure of a place is if I can walk the streets and imagine what it was like there during the past. In Pedraza, this is laughably easy, as all you need to do is start walking, and your eyes do the rest. Nothing has changed since the 15th Century, and barely any of the buildings show signs of modernity beyond the occasional sign or newer door handle.
Stone arches support buildings as they have done for 600 years, and wooden beams look to have done the same job in places for just as long!
More than likely you will need to stay in Segovia or another nearby city to see this village, as with only 500 inhabitants, it's more of a half-day trip and not somewhere to spend the weekend.
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