After a string of big cities we decided to head a little more into the back country. Teruel is in the mountains west of Valencia and is famous for it’s Mudejar style towers. Mudejar architecture is a style developed by the Moslem residents of Spain in the 13th and 14th century.
We arrived at Teruel and found a place to park across from the Guardia Civil Barracks in a free parking place. The Guardia Civil are a national police force that are associated with the army. In addition to doing police work in the country, they often serve as the Spanish representation on UN peacekeeping operations. They also have one of the most distinctive hats of any military organization in the world, a patent leather tri-corner thing with an extension that comes off the back, completely impractical but cool. I think we are pretty safe for tonight.
After a quick shop in the Mercadado Grocery across the street to stock up our depleted supplies, we headed into town. The old town is quite nice, but it was a little dead as we arrived right at the beginning of the siesta from 2 to 5 pm. As a result we had the town pretty much to ourselves.
The town did have some very nice Mudejar towers, and a really unique staircase that led into one of the towers. The towers mark where the gates were when the town was fortified during the middle ages.
Teruel is also famous for a Romeo and Juliet type love story. Isabel and Diego were lovers who intended to marry after Diego returned from 5 years in the army. Isabel waited the 5 years but Diego did not return and was reported dead, so she became engaged with another fellow. On the day of her marriage Diego returned and asked for a kiss, but she refused. Diego died of a broken heart. Isabelle went to his funeral and gave him the kiss she refused when he was alive, and promptly died. They are now buried together in the Cathedral of Teruel.