Fighting Windmills in Castile-La Mancha

When my family came over to Spain to visit me during Semana Santa (Easter) in 2012 we immediately began planning where we would go to continue our exploration of Spain.  Heading south of Madrid to Granada to see the Alhambra came up top of the list.  We rented a car rather than taking a train for two reasons; we wanted to customize our route (we planned a stop in Jerez de Fontera, which was not easy by train) and save time and money.  After paying for train tickets and the time it would take, we just decided renting a car was easiest.  We headed out of Madrid and stopped in Consuegra, Castile-La Mancha to see the fabled windmills of Cervantes’s Don Quixote.  Translated as “mother-in-law” in Spanish, I had visited Consuegra before, and was interested in showing this quaint town to my family.  The views are truly spectacular.

Las Molinas in Consuegra

It’s a little hike up to the top of the hills but there are dozens of molinas (windmills) along the way, some still operating, some have been turned into alimentos (rest area) where you can get drinks, ice cream and little souvenirs.  My friends Tricia, Jenn and I had taken a road trip through La Mancha in 2011 and stopped in this very place, and what was so ironic was we met the uncle of the boyfriend of one of our good friends (figure that out!), Maria, who we worked with at the school in Mostoles.  We only later discovered that he was his uncle when showing them our pictures from the trip later on!  Que coincidencia!
His uncle actually let us go up in la molina and sample some wine!  He was super nice!

Up a top the molinas it is very windy but the view is hard to beat!  To drive through the streets of Consuegra they are very narrow and like taking a step back into the time of Cervantes and Don Quixote!

There are also more molinas nearby in Alcazar de San Juan.

You will need a car, in all honesty, to be able to reach the molinas of La Mancha but it is truly worth a day trip from Madrid if you can swing it!   I will leave you with the words of Don Quixote himself, from Man of La Mancha.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Buen viaje, gnomies!

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