19.3.12

Don Quixote... Where it all started

Just half an hour from the centre of Madrid, is the town of Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, foremost Spanish novelist and the author of "Don Quixote of La Mancha", considered as the first modern European novel. Cervantes narrates how Don Quixote came up with the strangest of ideas, in that he thought it convenient and necessary to become a knight and to go around the world with his weapons and horse seeking adventures and solving all manner of conflicts, for the greater glory of his "platonic" love Dulcinea del Toboso. In his adventures, he is accompanied by his faithful squire Sancho Panza.
It is said that Sigmund Freud, learnt Spanish in order to read "Don Quixote" and whilst a few phrases of the language will always come in handy, fluency is not compulsory in order to visit Alcalá.
The town also has a Parador housed in a former convent and I can recommend the restaurant.


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