My favourite place in the world is a small town, lost in the Guadalajaran hills, called Sigüenza. This Medieval town is the home of simple but generous people. Its stone streets welcome me, making the hot summer days days cooler, and the cold winter nights nicer.
As I enter the town, the first thing that catches my eye is the castle, imposing its importance at the top of the hill. A thousand thoughts pass through my head every time I see it, imagining stories of brave soldiers and fearsome kings, princesses trapped inside its gated windows, longing to escape. From the top of the hill, everything is visible, from the surrounding mountains to the town square.
As I walk down the main street, my favourite part of the town appears in sight: the colossal cathedral. Its towers threatening you, like a giant's leg, able to crush you in a mere second. It's a fascinating building, which impresses me every time I see it. Every hour, the cathedral bells make an appearance, guiding the people through the day. In Winter, there is a permanent smell of the chimney smoke. I don't know why but it always fills me with joy and warmth, like a cozy blanket on a freezing night.
The people of Sigüenza are peculiar. Most of its inhabitants have been born there, and will die there. For them, Sigüenza is all they know and the centre of their worlds. Everyday, I pass the same old men and women, taking their daily walks or going to see their friends and relatives. Surprisingly, I recently discovered that there are many young people in this friendly town. Except that their schedule works much different that what I'm used of. At night, they escape the safety of their homes and dance their night away, returning only to sleep through the whole day.
In the main street, next to a beautiful old church, is my house. What used to be an old nun's monastery, is now a beautiful house, straight out of a fairytale. As I enter, the thing that most sticks out is the garden, with grass as green as emeralds, glowing in the morning sun. No other place in the world will bring me as much comfort as this garden does, protecting me with its high walls and storing all of our memories in them. My attention immediately focuses on the tall cypresses, surpassing the stone wall. Sometimes, it reminds me of Italy, it's similar to a Tuscan landscape in some ways. Pink, orange and yellow flowers bring pops of colour to the garden, making it look even more vivid. On each side of the house there are two stone wells, which once had the important role of providing water for the nuns and is still used on the present day for the garden.
On the other side of the house two cedars are the protagonists, their long branches stretching out, almost wanting to reach the clouds. Next to them is the barbecue/Summer eating area, which brings all the family together day after day. The last, yet not less important part of the garden is the pool, the newest part of the whole house. Its freezing water wakes us all up every summer morning, and it takes all the courage inside of me to plunge myself in its water.
The house gives me a much different feeling that the garden. It's cold and extremely thick walls make chills run through my spine every time, but at the same time makes me feel protected, as if not even a bomb could break through them. On the top floor we have the living area, with a big fireplace that keeps us warm through the cold nights, kitchen where my grandmother spends countless hours, and two rooms. In contrast to normal houses, the stairs go down, to reveal the rest of the rooms. This floor is half buried into the ground and has a secret passage inside the walls. It has a mysterious feeling and at night I can imagine the nuns a century ago lighting up their rooms with candles and spending their whole lives between these walls. Late night talks with my cousins in this rooms has become a tradition.
I will forever love this place and all the memories I have made in it.
Manuela Z, Year 9