June 2, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Travels in Spain

Well, first of all, it’s still raining here!!! I am very optimistic that this week the weather will take a turn for the better though….it has to! My week was filled with many more adventures involving me getting lost in the rain trying to get to my English classes. Now that I am at home and dry I can laugh about it :).

This week’s main excursion included a small Sunday trip to Patones de Arriba. It is a very tiny town about 45 minutes north of Madrid. The village is nestled in a valley in the mountainside and all of the small buildings and streets are composed completely out of slate. What is so fascinating is that it appears about 75% of the town exists as ruins on the hillside – you can see the walls of what seem to be many, many ancient homes, all made out of slate. We were able to hike up onto the hillside and walk among the many old homes – it was quite the historical playground. There were also beautiful views of the valley below. With all of the rain lately everything was so green and lush (it reminded me of home a bit, tear!).

As is tradition, we opted to have a meal in Patones. The small towns here in Spain are known for their amazing cuisine because they usually have speciality dishes that they have made for centuries. As a result, we love to try the food in each of the places we visit as it is very much a part of each city’s history and culture. I realize my salad probably wasn’t a cultural favorite of the locals hundreds of years ago :), but I definitely enjoyed bites of Jacob’s dish!

After our visit to Patones de Arriba we took a short drive up to the Presa de Atazar (the Dam of Atazar). I don’t think I have ever seen a lake in Spain, so this was quite a beautiful site. I posted a small album from the entire trip to Patones de Arriba in the “albums” section of this site if you are interested!

More to come next week!