October 15, 2014, morning.
CLUNIA, A ROMAN RUIN
We started our soggy day by heading to Clunia, a Roman ruin that had existed as a town for several hundred years (from pre-Roman times until about the 3rd century AD).Despite the rain the Roman town was fascinating.The amphitheatre was huge.This is where you had to stand when you said, “friends, Romans, countrymen…”, especially if you wanted everyone in the amphitheatre to hear you.
There were mosaic tile floors all over the site.
Because it was mid-October they were in the process of winterizing the tile floors to protect them from the colder temperatures expected in the Spanish winter. I was disappointed we couldn’t see all the mosaic floors but the process of winterizing them was interesting too, as the workers layered cloth, pea gravel, more cloth and then sand over the floors.This is what it was supposed to look like underneath all the protective coverings.A Roman mosaic floor that hadn’t been covered yet.
There was a series of Roman bathhouses, one hot, one tepid and one cold, just like a modern spa (but maybe without the jacuzzi jets).
It wasn’t all Roman; there was the ruins of an old church in amongst the Roman archeology site.Another sign that it was October – the hills were alive with mushroom pickers, and these little baskets filled with mushrooms showed up everywhere.
The map showing our route that day, from Quintana de la Sierra down to Penafiel and the Castillo de Curiel, the medieval castle we were staying in that evening.
More on our 2015 trip to Northern Spain.