Day trip to Segovia.....(an upscale quaint town) via Avante.
The entire town is an Unesco World Heritage Site consisting of 3 major sites;
The Roman Aqueduct, the Cathedral and the Alcazar. I am using this journal to document all the sights to keep it fresh in my memory. There are so many new things to see and facts to absorb, I could never remember them all!
The 2,000 year old Aqueduct was very impressive - 2,500 feet long, 100 feet high, has 118 arches and made from 20,000 granite blocks without any mortar and can still carry a stream if water.
It's amazing all these small cities have spectacular cathedrals and Segovia is no exception. Embellished to the hilt with pinnacles, gold and works of art. I never knew individual families owned their own chapels. We basically followed Rick Steve's self guided tour to see all the gems of the cathedral.
The Alcazar, a fortified palace was one of the favorite residences of the monarchs of Castile, a key place to control the region. After a stint as a palace, it was a prison for 200 years and then a Royal Artillery School. It burned in 1862 and since the fire it's basically been a museum. We both enjoyed the one-way route through 11 rooms, including a fabulous terrace view. We bought the entrance to the tower - and started up the stairs...all 152 steps (seems more like 1,052) up a tight spiral staircase (reminds me of the climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence). The reward was a 360 degree city view of the town.
For lunch we ordered a salad and empanadas - to our surprise it was fried! To end our day we stopped for an ice cream before heading back to the train. We met 2 college gals from SLU studying abroad for 3 months who told us about the night life. They took a pub crawl tour and had fun with the locals as they drank and danced their way to each one. The bars all offer woman free shots (we the gals are-the guys will follow).
We left Segovia agreeing it was a fabulous town that did not disappoint. If we returned we would stay overnight and enjoy the peace and tranquility for more than a day.
We ate dinner in the Callo Square - another busy area then walked along Gran Via, a Times Square type area! Another perfect 15 hour day.
1) Because we are smart travelers we are both wearing our valuables in a money belt tucked deep in our pants. The disadvantage of this is having to almost undress when it comes time to pay for something. (not a very attractive sight).
2) I continue to have everything I need with the exception of shower gel (I'm using Mirta's ) . I didn't even think of packing soap. Too use to hotels, I suppose. I now truly believe less is really more!
3) Suburbs are not suburbios as we found out. Mercedes asked us where we lived - Mirta said suburbios. She started to laugh and told us suburbios are where the homeless live in their cardboard boxes. Can you imagine Naperville being a suburbio?