the windmills of consuegra

The last weekend of October we had a four day weekend and we were still on a road trip high from our trip in September when we explored Basque country (see more here if you missed it) and became convinced that the best way to see Spain (aside from the big cities) is by car.  So, Saturday morning we set off from Madrid with a car double the size of our last one (poor Danny - I think the 15 minutes we spent in Madrid on both sides of the trip we were both holding our breath and praying we - but mostly the car - would make it out alive) and headed south.  

Our first stop was Consuegra, a small town of about 11,000 that took us about an hour and twenty minutes to reach, that sorry to say, we weren't really all that interested in this go around.  We were stopping by for one reason...we wanted to see the windmills up on the Cerro Calderico Ridge on the outskirts of town.  They were made famous when Miguel Cervantes published Don Quixote in 1605, and were used to grind grain up until the start of the 1980's.  

I found out about the windmills from a picture on the back of a Spain guidebook my mom gave me before we moved to Madrid last September, and when I found out they were only about five minutes out of the way on our route for this trip, we decided the stop was definitely worth our while - or at least we hoped it would be!  It seems like others must have the same guidebook or else tours of Spain must include the windmills on their itineraries, because while we were there tourists poured out of buses, ate breakfast from thoughtfully prepared tables, took a look around, and moved on (and we thought for a moment...how do we sign up for that?!).  We certainly weren't alone as I might have imagined in my head.     

Now, get ready for an overload of windmill photos...

As we left Madrid, the weather got very foggy - to the point where we started wondering just what the rules of the road are in Spain in regards to fog, but were able to watch those around us and follow suit - and we almost skipped our stop in Consuegra because I thought that they would be best seen with a blue sky background.  However, as you can see, the weather got better and better the longer we were there!  

I think it's pretty difficult to reach the windmills of Consuegra from Madrid if you don't have a car, but if you do, I think they'd make a great day trip.  You'd even pass through Toledo on your way, depending on which route you take, which is never a bad idea.