One warm Spanish evening last week, MOTORBIKE EUROPE (Valle, Vagn, Carsten & Dave) rolled into the Parador De Benevente in Zamora, Spain, looking for a good night's sleep, after the 500km ride from Santiago De Compostela. The road from Ponferrada to León was a sheer rollercoaster of intertwining motorways and flyovers, byroads, viaducts and bridges, making it one of the most interesting routes we've tried recently. We were even thinking of turning the bikes, and taking it again from the other direction. Maybe on the way home :)
The Parador De Benevente is something special, the castle was built on the orders of King Ferdinand II of León and served as the venue for the legislative assembly of 1202. The Renaissance Caracol Tower (Tower of the Snail) has been preserved. It was part of the old walled area of the town and almost destroyed in 1808, during the Peninsular War period. The monumental Caracol Tower houses a function room with an impressive Mudejar coffered ceiling.
Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the castle's interior has classical decorative features such as tapestries, forged lamps, coffered ceilings, as well as Spanish bricks and woods. Its spectacular rooms are specially equipped to be an ideal location for social gatherings or excessive recuperation for tired bikers. The sleep-inducing bedrooms are cosy and accommodating, and the restaurant offers local cuisine: Bacalao a la tranca (cod with boiled egg), arroz a la zamorana (rice and pork dish), dos y pingada (fried egg and bacon on bread) and tocino de cielo (custard caramel).
A very biker-friendly hotel, we parked our motorbikes directly outside the main door, leaving about 25 meters to the rooms. No stairs or lifts necessary... It has never been easier to get the luggage from the bikes to the hotel rooms! See you next time!