by Jorge Sanchez - 8 months, 3 weeks ago
It is not easy to get to Siega Verde if you do not have a car. First I had to travel by bus to Salamanca, then by train to Ciudad Rodrigo, where I arrived in the evening. I had an appointment to visit Siega Verde the next day at 11AM. Booking and arranging the visit beforehand is compulsory. And the site is only open a few days a week (from Thursday to Sunday). There is no regular transport to the closest village: Castillejo de Martín Viejo, of about 300 inhabitants. A taxi asked me 40 euro, one way, to take me there from Ciudad Rodrigo, therefore I resolved to walk 15 kilometers. I started at 3.30AM and reached Castillejo de Martín Viejo at almost 7AM. There was full moon and I could see in the darkness. Some cars passed by at those hours of the night. I tried to hitchhike but nobody stopped to pick me up; the drivers were afraid. There was nothing open in Castillejo de Martín Viejo to drink a coffee, therefore I slept on a wooden bench in a square for a couple of hours, and then, at about 9AM, I walked until the site, 2 kilometers far, which took me about half an hour crossing a pretty stone bridge. There was nobody yet in the site, so I again slept for a while on a bench until 10.45, when a security man appeared. He told me that the guide would arrive at 11AM. Soon came a few cars with more tourists, all spaniards, and we all waited for the guide, a young man. We all paid the ticket, not expensive at all, just 6.50 euros. We were introduced to the history of the site by means of a film and shown a room where the authors of the animal figures were represented. All was very didactic. After that we went out, to the river banks (Río Águeda), to see the stones with the figures, mainly horses plus cows and a feline, on the rock slates (pizarra). We were advised not to touch the rock engravings. The guide stopped in five stones and explained us about the figures and the meaning of the figures. The excursion to the rocks took us about one hour time. I recognize that I am not an specialist in prehistory that is why I did not enjoy that UNESCO site the same way as I enjoyed the visit to the Monastery of El Escorial, for instance, or to the Alhambra of Granada, but anyway I was satisfied because that site was the last spanish one to visit. After Siega Verde I had already been in all the 44 Spanish UNESCO sites. I was lucky that in one of the cars of the tourists there was an empty seat and the driver took me until Ciudad Rodrigo, from where I could travel by bus to Madrid.