The Ayoluengo petrol field

The Ayoluengo oil field (campo petrolífero de Ayoluengo) is a small petroleum deposit in Burgos. It was discovered in 1963, and for a time many believed the area would become the Spanish Texas, though yields have been small with 17 million barrels produced since its opening in 1963. Some 80 barrels are currently produced on a good day with some 80-100 million barrels left, of difficult access.

Photo from here

Not the most picturesque of sites perhaps, but when you drive past, you have to remind yourself you’re in Spain. A number of the old pumps (known locally as `caballitos´- little horses ) stand to one side, a  cemetery of dinosaurs.
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Rioseco Abbey

Rioseco Abbey (Monasterio cisterciense de Santa María de Rioseco) is a former Cistercian abbey in Rioseco, Burgos. The monastery was dispossessed in the 1820s, during the first Spanish Civil War. Most of the community’s goods were sold, but the monastery itself however found no buyer, and was left abandoned. In the 1850s the surviving buildings were stripped and reduced to ruins. There is now a campaign to save what is left of the the abbey and convert the site into a Romantic (with a capital R) botanical garden. Sounds a lovely idea to me. Continue reading

Villarcayo de Merindad de Castilla la Vieja

Villarcayo de Merindad de Castilla la Vieja has the longest placename of anywhere in Spain, as far as I can work out. It looks like a pleasent enough place to have lunch.

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Franco yacht beached in Burgos

Franco’s yacht, El Azor (Literally, the Goshawk) was a symbol of his corrupt regime. Today it rusts away in quite corner of Burgos, as a way of attracting guests to the Azor Motel in the village of Cogollos (Burgos). The owner bought it in 1992 off the Spanish navy in a fit dubious nostalgia. Guests can visit the yacht on which, for 26 years, Franco would receive ministers and ambassadors. It was later used by the King of Spain, and somewhat polemically by Felipe Gonzalez for his holidays when he was president.

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