Day 7: Segovia

On Saturday, November 12th, we took a day-trip from Madrid to a beautiful little town called Segovia. This would require a walk to the nearest metro station, two metro rides to the train station, a high-speed train to Segovia, and a bus ride into town. Fortunately, with Rick Steve’s Spain guidebook providing the details, we pulled it off without a hitch. Bus #11 deposited us directly beneath the most impressive, ancient Roman aqueduct. Segovia served as a Roman Military base and needed water. Therefore, Trajan’s men built a nine-mile aqueduct, bringing water from the Rio Frío to the city. We admired the 100-foot high, 2,000 year-old exposed section with 118 arches and made from 20,000 granite blocks without any mortar. It was truly impressive.

On Bus #11 to the town of Segovia from the train station

On Bus #11 to the town of Segovia from the train station

The Amazing 2000 year-old Roman Aqueduct

The Amazing 2000 year-old Roman Aqueduct

Birthday girls beneath the aqueduct.

Birthday girls beneath the aqueduct.

Me and mi esposa at the aqueduct

Me and mi esposa at the aqueduct

A rare photo of our entire entourage. :)

A rare photo of our entire entourage. 🙂

From atop the aqueduct

From atop the aqueduct

We then walked up the quaint streets of the city to the Cathedral, which was built in Renaissance times (1525-1768). This was Spain’s last Gothic church and is characterized by an abundance of pinnacles rising into the air and flying buttresses for support. It is an excellent example of the over-the-top Flamboyant Gothic style. Its interior is spacious and simple, and the nave and apse are ringed with numerous 16th-century chapels.

The interior of a small Romanesque church I visited while walking through town.  Mass is underway.

The interior of a small Romanesque church I visited while walking through town. Mass is underway.

La Menina!

La Menina!

The Segovia Cathedral

The Segovia Cathedral

Christy and I in the square in front of the Cathedral

Christy and I in the square in front of the Cathedral

Stained glass display in the Cathedral

Stained glass display in the Cathedral

In the Choir of the Cathedral

In the Choir of the Cathedral

Love these vaults!

Love these vaults!

The altarpiece in one of the side chapels

The altarpiece in one of the side chapels

Interesting painting in a side chapel:  Earthly sinners living it up while ignoring God in the tree top.  Satan is about to strike the final blow to the tree causing all to crash to their destruction.  All the while, Jesus is ringing the bell attempting to get their attention.

Interesting painting in a side chapel: Earthly sinners living it up while ignoring God in the tree top. Satan is about to strike the final blow to the tree causing all to crash to their destruction. All the while, Jesus is ringing the bell attempting to get their attention.

Looking down one of the aisles

Looking down one of the aisles

Frilly pinnacles and gargolyes

Frilly pinnacles and gargolyes

The third main sight in Segovia is the Alcázar. In the middle ages, this fortified palace served as a key fortress for controlling the region by the monarchs of Castile. After it served as a palace, it functioned as a prison for 200 years, and then a Royal Artillery School. It served as one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

The Disney-esque Alcazar of Segovia

The Disney-esque Alcazar of Segovia

The throne room of the castle

The throne room of the castle

The Hall of the Monarchs, lined with the busts of 22 rulers of Castile and León who presided during the Reconquista

The Hall of the Monarchs, lined with the busts of 22 rulers of Castile and León who presided during the Reconquista

The castle chapel

The castle chapel

In the armory of the Alcazar

In the armory of the Alcazar

On one of the terraces of the Alcazar

On one of the terraces of the Alcazar

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A view from the Alcazar

A view from the Alcazar

Girls flirting with the tin man in the armory

Girls flirting with the tin man in the armory

I climbed the main tower all the way to the top which offered a grand view of the entire town of Segovia

I climbed the main tower all the way to the top which offered a grand view of the entire town of Segovia

The Cathedral from atop the tower of the Alcazar

The Cathedral from atop the tower of the Alcazar

Countryside surrounding Segovia

Countryside surrounding Segovia

On our way back to the bus stop, we stopped at the oldest eatery in Segovia, the Restaurant Duque, open since 1895. One of the signature dishes of this part of Spain is the roast suckling pig. The little fellow has 21 days of its mother’s milk, goes into the oven, and onto the plate. I, of course, had to try it. It was moist and succulent. It’s not something I would frequently want to eat, but it was quite good. After dinner, we walked back down to the aqueduct, reversed our travel experience to arrive back at the hotel before 9 p.m.

On the walk back through town.  I love these arched bridges over the roadway (Yes, this is a roadway.)

On the walk back through town. I love these arched bridges over the roadway (Yes, this is a roadway.)

Another view as we walk back.

Another view as we walk back.

Sitting in the Plaza Mayor

Sitting in the Plaza Mayor

An excellent street entertainer.

An excellent street entertainer.

The Restaurant Duque

The Restaurant Duque

Ready for Roast Suckling Pig

Ready for Roast Suckling Pig

My escorts in Spain

My escorts in Spain

Peering upward at a high arch of the aqueduct

Peering upward at a high arch of the aqueduct

The aqueduct at dusk

The aqueduct at dusk

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