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Somehow Riofrio manages to assume all the worst aspects of a tourist destination, regardless of the perfect, powder pink palace in a perfect landscape, parkland with deer roaming through the woods...

It is one of those places encumbered by too many rules and too little imagination, where you are not allowed to walk in the forest (what other purpose does it serve?), where the guards are for some unfathomable reason, quite obsessive in their efforts to prevent photography, even outside (never a good start for me!), the facilities are feeble (again despite the potential afforded by such an exquisite building in a perfect landscape) and they insist on guided tours only (in Spanish) so you cannot take your time to wander through the endless corridors and wonderful rooms, and generally ruin what could otherwise be an idyllic experience.

For some inexplicable reason, there is a plaque on the wall, indicating the height above sea level...1054.7 metres!  Why on earth would anyone mark such an absurdly "accurate" height rather than just placing the plaque 70 centimetres lower and stating the height as 1054 metres, or 30 centimetres higher and calling it 1055 metres exactly?!

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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2020