Last week I was invited to work as a Teacher’s Assistant in a one-week, full immersion English course. Nothing new there (I’ve been working as an English teacher in Spain for a while) but what was interesting was the location: we were going to stay in Valdelavilla.

Valdelavilla is a village in the middle of nowhere – technically, in a valley close to Soria, in Castilla y Leon – that was abandoned by its inhabitants about 70 years ago. A short while later someone had a brilliant idea: why not make an exclusive hotel out of this tiny village? And so they did. For a while it served as the location for another English immersion program, but they recently backed out and a new organisation is trying to take root in this unappreciated site.

I spent a whole week in Valdelavilla. I arrived and I was hesitant; by Friday I was already asking if we could go back, and when! During my free time (which I have to admit was quite a lot) I explored (which is what I do best). The forest that surrounds the village is full of wildlife and the signs are all over the place: deer, roe deer, foxes, wild boar and, I discovered by talking to a staff member, genets. There are quite a few other sites with abandoned houses, and finding them while you walk in the wilderness…is somewhat magical. It was a great working holiday and I’d definitely consider going back: the hotel’s cook (who is also the manager) also helped with this conclusion!

They have a saying, which reminded me of a film I saw a while ago:

Llegas a Valdelavilla llorando y sales de Valdelavilla …llorando!

(literally: you arrive in Valedelavilla crying and you leave …crying!)


The entrance to Valdelavilla


The road leading to the forest




The main house at night




The little pond, frozen over




Hey, a nest box. Just what I needed to see!


The views were spectacular


Absolutely no light pollution at night


Beautiful, huh?


Walking around after the snow.



An abandoned house


A purple mushroom!!!


You can see why they say that under door frame is the safest place to be during an earthquake…


Mount Doom. (it has another name, but I can’t remember it for the life of me!)


Another abandoned village that I didn’t have time to walk to


About Full Of Daisies

I am permanently in love. Things I like: purple, pasta, silk, autumn, the smell of mould, candles, cachi, having friends, water, new things, rice, eggs (all eggs!), fresh grass, olive trees, shiny things, glitter, hanging objects, windcatchers, wind, couscous, wasabi, carnivores, presents, snow, leaves, orchids, feathers, cappelletti, meat, fruit (all fruit), more del gelso (Morus alba L.), pigs, candles, christmas, polenta fritta!, separating egg whites from yokes in my hands, cartoons, dragons, the ocean, nudibranchi, cows, mercury (the metal), cosmos (the flowers), thunderstorms, Mika, turtles, acquariums, green and blue (mixed), siccamores, spring, snails, 24, porc with a sweet sauce (apple, cranberry, tomatoes jam), looking at a swimming pool upsidedown and underwater, english accent, open-minded people, driving, blue skies, checkered tablecloths, butterflies, books and cartoons in rhyme, painting eggs, the star-shadows that football players have, silver, laughing, Vivaldi, bells and chimes, white and purple, creating. Complete Happiness: Early morning. Sun, with a breeze; a pond with water lilies. A house, with a garden, full of plants. A vegetable patch, lemon, orange and mandarin trees. Cosmos everywhere. Birds in the trees; a tortoise eating the salad from the vegetable patch; a mammal (I couldn’t decide which one would make me happier) close by. No houses for as far as the eye can see. Me, a man that loves me and that I love. Friends coming over for a lunch that I have to prepare, and have all the ingredients for all ready in the kitchen.

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  1. Pingback: Icy drops | Full Of Daisies

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