As we drew closer to the city center (which is on top of a rather steep mountain), we began to notice that the streets were becoming more and more narrow, which made us more and more conscious of the width of our hulking, gas-guzzling, wide-load, "Hi, we're Americans" SUV. When we saw this flying buttress tunnel-type thing looming before us (see picture below), we took a deep gulp, folded in our side mirrors, and prayed that we wouldn't have to try to ask the drivers of the twenty cars lined up behind us to kindly back down the mountain so we could get our ridiculous car out of there. Yeah... In Spanish.
Fortunately, thanks to folding mirrors and the helpful Spanish men who climbed up into door frames and window ledges to let our car pass through, we made it through the narrow gap and squeaked our way down the cobblestone streets out of the historic part of town. Then we circled back and - like sane people - found the first parking garage, parked the hulk, and began exploring Arcos on foot.... Duh.
Unfortunately, we hit town right around Siesta time (yep, they really do that here), so most of the shops and historic buildings were closed. We enjoyed the quaint streets and beautiful architecture anyway.
The Iglesia de Santa Maria
Next to the church sits the Parador Hotel, formerly a palace called the Casa del Corregidor, that has an amazing overlook...
Inside the hotel, we enjoyed some delicious tapas at the hotel restaurant, then explored the public rooms in the lobby... Josh says this was a "real Picasso." Maybe it was.
We'd like to go back and do a little more exploring (now that we know where to park), but overall, we had a wonderful time, and it was worth the drive simply for the amazing view!