Today we travel the capital: Soria on wheels! Using a simile we could say that, accessiblely, Soria is like a ripe fruit, fantastic in the center, but as soon as you move away to the outskirts …
Soria on wheels starts in Mariano Granados
We will start from the heart of the city, from the Plaza de Mariano Granados. Almost newly remodeled, since the reform that made it pedestrian does not offer any obstacle. In it we have the Tourist Office, relatively new too, it has no steps and we even find a counter lowered in height for users of wheelchairs and similar devices.
Alameda de Cervantes
From here we head towards La Dehesa, officially called Alameda de Cervantes, located in the same place. It is the garden of all Sorianos par excellence, with its friendly squirrels that you can feed, its native fauna, hundreds of plant species from very different parts of the world, the Tree of Music, the Rose Garden, a large meadow, fountains … Most of the soil in the walking parts is asphalted and except for some small sinkholes or irregularities caused by the roots of the trees does not offer us great problems either. It is true that not all doors are accessible, but a few meters above or a few meters below we will find one that serves our purpose.
Add that within the park we find the hermitage of La Soledad with small steps that hinder a possible visit. If what we want is to have a drink or eat, we will find in the center El Kiosko and in the upper part the Alto de la Dehesa restaurant to which we can enter greatly.
We return to Soria on wheels if we leave the south we have the church of San Francisco de Asís, survivor of a monastery today in ruins, whose plant is a single nave and its main altar houses an interesting altarpiece of the sixteenth century from the church of San Nicolás; Free way to enter, all its entrance is covered by a wide wooden ramp. Behind this building we find the Rincón de Bécquer, there is not a step and the firm is ideal.
Towards the northern part of the park we have the Paseo del Espolón, like Mariano Granados, since it is only pedestrian offers us good pavement and few obstacles.
It is in this area of the center where the Numantine Museum is located. It has a ramp on each side of the door and an elevator to go up to the upper floors. The door opens to the part of the steps leaving very little space for the chair next to the steps, otherwise the interior of the building is prepared so that we can all enjoy what it houses inside.
We leave the Espolón and enter the Collado, the main street and busiest for the locals. From its beginning it goes down to the Plaza Mayor and we can travel with total freedom.
It does not happen like this when we arrive at this where the Town Hall and the Palace of the Audience await us; We have to say that here the floor leaves much to be desired with an uneven and rough paving that can tip over a chair.
In addition, there are steps that have tried to be saved with overlapping wooden ramps very little useful and with too much inclination. Since we are here, we take a walk around this beautiful area; we have to say that the City Hall building informs us that you can enter from one side (we have not checked) we have been seeing the great staircase of the main façade, it does not happen the same with the Palacio de la Audiencia and the church of the Mayor, both constructions perfectly accessible by their main doors.
But if what we want to see is Romanesque of the good we go, of that in Soria abounds and does not disappoint the eye, we can not miss visiting San Juan de Rabanera, Santo Domingo and the ruins of San Nicolás. We are going to do the check of Soria on wheels on these monuments.
CHURCH OF SAN JUAN DE RABANERA
The first of them we can access from the Collado by the Plaza de San Esteban with a good pavement, there is a little slope but bearable. The entrance offers us a very small step, a horse will be necessary to save it, it is not very serious but the slope is there. Anyway, it is worth going to contemplate its beautiful portico from the church of San Nicolás and take a walk around it to enjoy its architectural elements.
We continue with our route and head in the opposite direction, we cross the Collado and the calvary begins to climb to Santo Domingo, reference par excellence of the Romanesque of the capital. Notice for sailors: we leave the pure center of Soria and the difficulties begin: badly paved, trap sewers, thick curbs, absence of recesses and a pronounced uphill challenge us, not to mention the unsupportive and shameful mania that has entered the Consistory to renew the firm of many places such as the Plaza del Vergel with infumable cobblestones that make us wonder if we are going forward with this accessibility or we are going like crabs…
Finally, with almost blood, a lot of sweat and tears, we arrived. This piece monument begins with a courtyard with two steps, but no problem, a ramp on one side saves us the ballot.
The grandiloquence of such a façade invites us to constantly look upwards but beware! The cobblestone brings us back to reality and more to reality they give us back that pair of steps that await us at the door.
RUINS OF SAN NICOLÁS
The last church of the three mentioned has easy access from the Collado by Calle Real (it is downhill), is in a state of ruin and is usually closed except when shows and other activities are carried out.
St. Peter's Co-Cathedral
Now we are heading towards the Douro and its charms not before passing through the Co-Cathedral of San Pedro. Already You know, we move even further away from the center with which the reductions in The sidewalks, among other things, are very expensive to see. At the door there are A small ramp but with uncomfortable shocks to what there is to Add that the wooden structure of the door forms a step. Don't worry, on the side of the building there is an entrance adapted, although the ground to get there is very bad with a paved with great songs. To be able to enter here you have to ask for it and you need to pay, but the beautiful Romanesque cloister that Welcoming us makes us pass the dislike. In the Interior of the construction there are ramps to save some Slopes.
Arches of San Juan de Duero
Finally it is time to get to the river and the environment that so inspired important characters such as Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer or Gerardo Diego and that long before attracted the attention of the Templar masters, the Order of the Hospitallers and even a famous hermit named Saturio. We start our tour of the Monastery and the original Arches of San Juan de Duero (place of payment). There is a ramp that takes us to the door and right where the ramp ends an incoherent step. With help we pass it and after another small ramp the spectacular cloister with its mixture of styles greets us; We can walk it through a soil of grass and fairly compact earth; Where we will not be able to penetrate is the Church.
Paseo de San Polo
We follow Soria on wheels, after this discovery we want to know the famous hermitage of San Saturio, patron saint of the capital. We cross the N-234 road and reach San Polo, a private estate today and which was a monastery of the Order of the Temple that kept the access to the city. We are struck by the walk of vegetation and the small passageway (open in the sixteenth century) that we will have to cross to continue our way. Until you reach the temple of the holy hermit there is a generous journey along the banks of the Douro, first of tiles and then of asphalt, but that gives us a relaxing walk with some ups and downs than another.
We follow our Soria on wheels, we reach our destination as our visit also begins since only to reach the bars of the entrance to the place you have to save a stretch of approximately a dozen steps and already inside and in the chapel the steps follow each other everywhere. It is inaccessible from any point and is that, back in the sixth century, San Saturio chose a cave to settle nestled in a place of unparalleled beauty, but steep rocks.
With the sadness that we still can not visit the place, but with the hope that a quick solution will be put to it, we return to travel back that pleasant journey and stop at the Soto Playa bar perfectly prepared for modern life.
Mirador de los Cuatro Vientos
Our trip through this city that saw Alfonso VIII born comes to an end and we do it from a place with spectacular views, the Mirador de Cuatro Vientos and the hermitage of El Mirón. The latter has a step, although it is usually closed to the public.
The environment is perfectly adapted and from the aforementioned viewpoint we will obtain a beautiful panoramic view of Soria from the heights.
From there you will get to see the Douro River, San Saturio, the remains of the wall and all the nature that surrounds this city that, not without difficulties, but is worth visiting and is that as the song says… "Soria how beautiful you are!" Here we finish our Soria on wheels.
Thanks to our friends from the Soriano newspaper El Día de Soria for the photos of our colleague.