18 June 2008

The Mystery of Peniscola's Castle

We could have spent the trip climbing and exploring inland above Tarragona but we needed to see more of Spain. We drove South along the coast. The destination was Peñiscola which had a castle from the 14th century jutting above the old town.

First a little swimming was in order. We had learned that the spanish beaches are crazy busy with no parking so we scanned the map for road near the coast without a beach. We found a little cove where the waves wouldn't pulverize us against the rocks. Note the old town of Peñiscola in the background with the castle above it. Here's a close up satellite view of the castle. The castle was/is very defensible from the Mediterranean side as well as from land.

After swimming we found our way through the old town to the castle. It was a maze. It seemed like they wanted to keep people away from the castle. Even Papa Luna (Pope Benedict) seemed to be waving us away. As we entered the castle I wondered if an airborne virus had wiped out all the tourists. The place was eerily empty. There was no one but us. It was great but a little suspicious. We entered room after room and finally found the dungeons. Still no people but we found a human skeleton in an iron cage .. then we saw a knight templar (picture / wikipedia) hiding in the shadows. Did we walk thru a time warp? Yikes!

Once our eyes adjusted, we realized we were in a ... museum. And yes, the curator was at a desk in the next room and very much alive. Mystery solved. No airborne virus, no wayback machine to the 14th century. No need for me to break out my superhero costume ..

More Peñiscola shots here!

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