Pedraza is village so little it's barely a village. It's strategically located on a mountain (you know, to spot approaching marauders), and it's been inhabited since 400 BC, so apparently the first settlers chose well... It's also a lovely place to have lunch at after hiking around las Hoces del Duraton. The hike is mandatory - you'll need to work up an appetite, and after the meal, you won't be walking anywhere for a couple of hours at least.
Pedraza has it all: fresh air, a castle, a town square, cute shops, stunning views and great food. It's something of a secret - it's never empty, but it's never crowded or overly touristy feeling.
|in the town square|
The house menu consists of a choice of three starters (I like peas, Tall Guy likes the soup), a quarter of a roast suckling pig (go with friends, you'll get the whole pig on a platter), a salad, and a choice of homemade desserts (we both like the custard). Bread and wine are included, naturally, and I like to finish things off with a steaming little cup of coffee.
I like to finish the afternoon by wandering through the town. The Church of San Juan is peaceful and quiet and old (the age of things over here never ceases to amaze me - in Canada, anything 100 years or more is old), the square is quintessential, and the shops are just right for poking around in.
The timing is important - I like to drive home in the late afternoon sun, when everything is bathed in that soft golden tone. The stone buildings look almost pink, and the mountains soft and quiet. Just the right time of day to roll into Segovia and walk off some of the meal before going back to Madrid.