Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Montefrio, olive oil and ancient tombs

Montefrio is right in the heart of olive groves and from these olives comes some of the best olive oil in Spain. In the town, an old olive press stands plaza at the bottom of the hill. Note the three huge stones that revolve to crush the olives - a technique that has been, on the whole, superseded by the modern method of using a centrifuge to extract the oil.

We stopped off at an olive oil mill and managed to get a peek inside one where about 10 of these machines were churning out the greeny-golden liquid. The smell was overwhelming but delightful.

Cesar casts his eagle eye over his purchase - you can see how cold it has been around here by the cloudiness of the oil in the container. It soon gains its proper colour when it's warmed up a little.

And this is the view of Montefrio from the bottom of the hill!

I had a happy time snapping at some of the wonderful sights.


Design of this wonderful XVII church is based on the Agrippe in Rome.
After wandering through the town, we headed out towards a neolithic village marked on the map. On the climb up yet another hill, we came across this ancient burial ground full of stone tombs. It is indicated that it is well over a thousand years old. We weren't sure if the people were very small in those days or whether many of the tombs were for children.

Remarkably well preserved and some helpful information in unusually good English that was most helpful to me.

We didn't make it to the ancient settlement because at the very top of the hill was a new farm - not indicated by our charming hand drawn map of 1995 - where there must have been about eight farm dogs who took great exception to our visit and chased the car - perhaps they weren't Volvo fans either - and made it clear that we would not be getting out to walk along any footpath nearby!

This was the point we retreated down the hill and found our lovely tapas bar mentioned earlier - so all in all, an interesting visit to Montefrio.

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