Still stunned by the sight of the Valencian citadel of Morella we drove the winding road up to the walls of the old town, passed beneath a huge stone archway that once housed giant gates and drove up to the inner walls where we parked up.
After a quick reccy around the entry streets we separated and I headed off for some adventure with Sweep.
We climbed the hill behind an old ruined church which led us up to the base of the castle walls. From here we had fantastic views of the surrounding countryside where stones and rocky outcrops gave an appearance not dissimilar to the Great Wall of China heading off into the infinite.
Also nearby was the bull ring; a place that has seen far too much carnage in its years and none of it in favour of the poor bulls who have done nothing but provide a mascot for a country which seems to pride itself on its masculinity. I cannot think of another country whose emblem is so badly treated as Spain’s.
Realising that our climb in this particular spot had ended we followed the path along Morella’s outer walls which led us to a forested area. I was about to let Sweep off the lead when I saw the mass of hairy, toxic caterpillars which had been so abundant in Catalunya as well. These caterpillars found their way from Africa to the coastal regions of Spain and have been a blight ever since. The locals made their disgust evident by leaving the splattered remains of these hairy poison traps all over the path; great long trains of yellow and black, curled and dried by the heat sun.
We followed the track through the woods until we reached another arched entrance to the town. In centuries gone by I can only imagine access to this town for outsiders like us would have been something rather difficult to attain.
The courtyard that greeted us through the archway has long since been modernised with the addition of new looking housing, a giant sundial, and most impressive of all, a mirador (viewing platform) which offers a panoramic vista of the surrounding massifs.
Further investigation of Morella’s interior awaited but I was happy to drink in the view before continuing on my way.
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