There are people who like to write. Then you have others who manage to publish one or more books. On a higher level are writers who manage to live - or survive - of their trade and talent. Finally, in the literary stratosphere, there are a few chosen: the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
It is here where the figure of Don Camilo José Cela, a Galician of “Histrionic attitude towards the general public, but a fun, friendly, close and thoughtful uncle when dealing with friends" I did not have the pleasure of meeting him, but that was how one of his personal friends, the painter and sculptor from Alcarreño, described it to me Jesus Campoamor.
It was this multifaceted artist who held out his hand at our first stop of the trip we made following the route that Don Camilo narrated in his mythical work, Trip to the Alcarria.
We wanted to deny the words that the Nobel Prize used to define this land: “a beautiful country that people don't want to go to”.
After a brief stop at the beautiful Infantado Palace in Guadalajara, we headed to Torija, a municipality that barely has 1,500 inhabitants. It was here that the Don Camilo route began in his Trip to the Alcarria.
It was about 10 in the morning and the temperature, welcoming the newly started autumn, made me have to wear a sweater in the shady areas. However, when we stopped in front of the imposing torija castle, a radiant sun, without clouds to dodge in battle, welcomed us. Well, the sun and the great Jesus Campoamor.
Since I looked over it, I knew that the explanations about Torija's castle and its secrets were going to be relegated in my brain to the background. The silver medal was a dubious honor at that early hours of the morning, when there was no more than a background in my bloated thinking organ.
Jesus appeared dressed in white Chinese, yellow shirt and a hat that gave him charisma. With his well-trimmed beard and glasses, a certain essence emanated from another era. Someone was telling us something about the people, but my mind was still fixed on the data that Jesus had sneaked us in his short first intervention: artist, personal friend of Cela and intimate of crack Manu Leguineche (one of the best Spanish reporters ever). What could be more interesting than that?
When I managed to shake slightly the fascination that Jesus had created me and I could focus on the medieval fortress that stood in front of me, I learned, through the words of the guide, that Torija Castle had begun as a simple defensive watchtower of the times of the Reconquest.
Over time, the watchtower expanded with other buildings and the town of Torija evolved along with its strength, strategically located at the bottom of the valley.
In the sixteenth century he was already a lord castle, thanks to the works done by the powerful family noble of the Mendoza.
Square plan, it consists of three cylindrical towers and a large tower of tribute, where nobles and other important personalities used to stay. It is said that the two most powerful kings that Spain, Carlos V and his son, Felipe II, ever spent the night here.
In this tower a small one has been created interpretation museum of the area - where you can learn about its fauna and flora - and the the world's first museum dedicated to a book: the museum of Trip to the Alcarria by Camilo José Cela
Museum of Travel to the Alcarria
The strength was of the Templars in their origins. This one gave a little bit of credit