Segovia - May 30, 2010
An hour bus ride from Madrid, Segovia is a historic little town with
great character, and a welcome relief from the bustle of the capital.
It's hard for me to write a quick blog about this place because I
loved everything about it. The historic part of town is located in
what was a walled castle village, so as you walk up from the bus
station and through the walls, it's like going back in time. Nearly
every building we passed was marked on the map as a historical
landmark, and the whole town is a UNESCO World Heritage site! To top
it off, it's in the running to be the 2016 ambassador of culture for
Europe (or something like that). Jessie and I both agreed we'd move
there if we were to live in Spain.
We were greeted by a brass band that happened to be playing in a plaza
outside a really old church, and marched up the cobblestone street to
see the remains of the town's Roman aqueduct. I hear they're not
uncommon here, but I was just blown away. Roman engineers were
geniuses! And so were the laborers! How did they build them?? Amazing.
Next, we wandered to the main plaza, Plaza Mayor, where there was more
music, dancing and kids playing soccer (which, by the way, is the only
state I've seen kids while in Spain). Just off the main plaza is a
15th century cathedral filled with art from an even older cathedral
there before it. Old churches are everywhere, but this one was
especially neat because though it's definitely a tourist spot, there
was hardly anyone else in there with us, so it was calm and at our own
We had lunch at an outdoor cafe. I had a chorizo omlette on baguette
(sandwhich) with a bottle of coke and Jessie had machego cheese
sandwhich and sangria. Very tasty.
Then, it was on to the best spot - the castle!!! The town was favored
by the Castile family in the Middle Ages, and Isabel and Ferdinand
made the castle their home during their reign. We saw their throne!
People like Columbus visited there! Backing up, the castle is situated
on the top of a hill, as all castles should be, and the view from it
is of lush valley fed by two rivers. The scenery kind of reminded me
of Northern California because there were a lot of the same trees. I
don't know how to describe the actual castle - the outside looked like
Sleeping Beauty's castle, and the internal layout, etc was really
interesting. The only of castles I've visited are in Japan, so it was
a neat comparison - there are a lot of similarities! We could take
pictures throughout, so those will tell the story better. Short
version: awesome! We got to climb a long spiral staircase to the top
of the tower. Jessie doesn't enjoy spriral staircases, we've
discovered, but the view was fantastic!
This was all within three hours, and we spent another five wandering
around the town, checking out the old Jewish Quarter, having ice cream
sundaes (Jessie's favorite part because our waitress was nice and some
girls from Texas spoke Spanish to us thinking we were locals!), and
just enjoying "real" Spain.
If you ever come to Spain, Segovia should be at the top of your list!