19th July 2021: The Lavender fields of Brihuega (Spain)

Brihuega is located towards the centre of Spain, in an area known as La Alcarria. The dates back to pre-Roman times, and although it claims to have a long and rich history, and it has been related to a few battles due to its strategic location. It received the denomination of historical site in 1973 due to the Medieval buildings that remain, among them the church of St. Philip. Today, that belligerent history is past, and Brihuega prides itself in being the the garden of La Alcarria, el Jardín de la Alcarria. The village and its related neighbourhoods are home to thousands of lavender flowers – the so called Campos de lavanda.

There are over one thousand hectares of lavender fields in the village. Lavender (genus Latifolia) does not need a high-quality soil to grow, so it adapts perfectly to the area. The flowers are widely used in cosmetics (distilled into an essential oil) , and also dried up for scent. Furthermore, the fields feed the bees in the area, also famous for its honey.

Lavender flowers in June – July and it’s harvested at the beginning of August, so it was a good moment to drop by and see the fields. The town hall advises not to visit the fields at the weekend, ad I thought it might be a nice place to see the sunset – how many people may there be around the fields on a random Monday evening?

Way more than I expected. Nevertheless, when I reached the parking lot I made the lucky decision to walk to the smaller fields and not the ones most visitors seemed to be heading for. They may have yielded to less impressive pictures, but it felt a bit safer – and far enough from other visitors so I could take off the my face mask and – literally – smell the flowers, while I tried hard not to disturb the bees at work.

I left just as the sun was about to set because I did not want to be caught in a jam as all the cars came out of the parking lot, and did enjoy catching a glimpse of the sun going down as I drove back. No pictures of that, obviously.