Our tour of Portugal and Spain included a good deal of windshield time and today we were settled in for the 417 Kilometer (260 mile) drive from Granada to Madrid along the A-4 / E-5 Autovia del Sur.  The long hours of cross-country travel across La Mancha featured views of tens of thousands of olive trees and a sprinkling of vineyards – I loved the vast countryside of La Mancha, but nevertheless, I was asleep before too long.   Between naps, I did manage to capture some pictures through the bus window.

I have a GPS mounted on my camera and Adobe Lightroom builds a handy “zoomable” reference map to show exactly where I took my pictures so I could do some location research later.


According to Wikipedia, the European route E 05 is part of the United Nations international E-road network. It is the westernmost north-south “reference road”, running from GreenockScotland south through England and France to AlgecirasSpain.[1] The route is 1,900 miles (3,100 km) long. The E-5 seemed to be as fine a road as our US Interstate Highways.  I did notice that their right-shoulder breakdown lanes are a bit narrower than our Interstates and the merge ramps are a bit more dangerous. (In my opinion of course.)  From what I can tell the “E” roads have a corresponding national “A” number which is different in each country. 


I took so many pictures of olive groves, it was hard to settle on which one to post, so I just grabbed one from the stack.   All I could think of was “Who does all this harvesting?”

When I was not asleep, I enjoyed spying out two Spanish roadside advertising icons, namely, the Osborne Bull and Tío Pepe.   Spain does well with banning advertising along National Highways, but I understand these two images are so embedded in the culture that they are permitted without text.   Both symbols represent alcoholic beverage producers. The Osborne Bull, with roots in the province of Andalusia,  has become the very symbol of Spanish culture. See the link below for the full story. 


Here is Tío Pepe.  

Speaking of iconic images,  no trip through La Mancha would be complete without a view of some Don Quixote style windmills.   We spotted these on a hillside near Puerto Lápice, which is just south of Toledo. 

I shot this through the side bus window as we zoomed along the highway – I am glad it turned out as good as it did. 

On the way to Madrid, we stopped in Toledo –   I will have an entire post about that city a bit later on …

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