I had some health problems and needed rest, which is the main reason for my absence. I’m still catching up with reading and liking and writing, so bear with me!

Our first trip since the pandemic took us to the north of Spain, not far from Burgos, in a small place called Castrillo de Val.

Our Base during our explorations was hotel Camino de Santiago (found on booking.com), which we highly recommend. As you can see, The Viking quickly felt at home here:

Beautiful bar, great food, comfortable rooms.

If you are going to do visit Burgos and its surroundings, this is the perfect hotel.

Maybe you have seen the movie El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, then you have an idea who El Cid is. His real name was Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, a Castilian knight, who liberated Valencia from the Moors. Roughly translated, “el cid” means “the master”. Even nowadays, he is still considered to be a popular folk hero.

The first place we visited connected to El Cid was the monastery San Pedro de Cardeña. Nobody knows for sure when the monastery was founded, but in the 9th century it was destroyed by the Moors and its monks and abbot were all murdered in the Cloister. 2 centuries later, when El Cid becomes exiled, he leaves his wife and 2 daughters in the monastery. After his death, he is buried there, but nowadays, you will find his tomb in the cathedral of Burgos.

It is possible to visit the monastery. During the Spanish Civil War, it served as a concentration camp. Nowadays, it belongs to the Trappist order (our favorite kind of monks!).

There is a chapel devoted to El Cid and his family.

At a certain moment, the monk who was our guide discovered that Lars used to be an organ player, so Lars gave a very short concert.

There is also a small shop in the monastery, where they sell beer, but it was closed. We had hoped to taste the beer. in the meantime, we have discovered that since the beer is not produced in the monastery itself, it can not receive the label of “Trappist”!

We also visited Vivar del Cid, the village where El Cid was born, it’s located about 5 kilometers to the north of Burgos.

There is a monument devoted to the good man.

And these 2 fellows will make sure nobody destroys the monument.

Make sure you have time to visit the cathedral of Burgos, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list! Unfortunately, its is forbidden to photograph the interior and during our visit the weather was so bad that we couldn’t photograph the exterior either. Have a look here! Anyway, this is the place where both El Cid and his wife are buried.

Not a history fan? Don’t worry! Tomorrow we bring you something completely different!

Were you familiar with the name El Cid? Are you interested in the history of the country that you visit?

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