El Peregrinaje de Claudia de 2013 travel blog

Cattle just outside the train station in Segovia.

The Alcázar was supposedly the prototype for the Disney castle.

From the Alcázar looking down and across river to Iglesia de la...

built in early 13th century by Knights Templar, now under the Order...

The stairs leading up to the Inner Sanctum of la Vera Cruz.

The Mudejar style of stucco is ubiquitous in central Segovia.

Loved all the geometry in these facades.

Another beauty: The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Ascension.

The back of the organ was as splendid as the front.

And, in Segovia, you must go see the Acueducto.


Sunday morning I was up early to catch the 7:45 train to Segovia. The good thing about everyone staying out so late on Saturdays is that Sunday mornings are uniformly ultra-quiet and solitary for those of us who venture out before 11 a.m. This was the high-speed train to Madrid, so only stop was Segovia, at about 8:25. Caught the hourly shuttle into town (good thing because the train station is about 5 km from the city). Checked schedules at bus station, had breakfast and tried to leave my pack in the consigna (bag storage) but the attendant never showed up. So, I toured with my extra-heavy, souvenir-laden pack in one of the warmest places in Spain. Made my way across town to tourist office to get a map then back through heart of historic area, up the hill toward the Alcázar, the famous castle claimed as the model for the Disney castle. Down a series of steep steps and across the river to reach an unusual 12-sided church, la Iglesia de la Vera Cruz. It was built by Knights Templar in 13th century and they guarded a fragment of the Vera Cruz (True Cross of Jesus) there for many centuries.

Back up the ridge along a switch-backed road, past various churches and a home of Antonio Machado, the renowned 20th century poet. The cathedral was a cool respite from the hot sun where I enjoyed quietly singing along to a recording of Mozart's Requiem playing in the background.

Afterwards, I wandered down to the Acueducto, Segovia's main claim to fame. Some things never change, at least not Roman ruins! I had wanted to have a meal at the well-known restaurant beside the acueducto where Bart, me and the rest of our group had feasted on the local specialty, roast suckling pig. Bart always remembered the conversation we'd had there about international affairs, and thought I was the next Jeanne Kirkpatrick just because I'd predicted a not-too-distant dissolution of the USSR (remember, it was 1985). But, it was hot and tiring carrying that pack around and there wasn't enough time as my bus to Madrid was to depart in just over an hour. So, instead, I got some frozen yogurt and drifted back to the station where I got a cold drink and washed up a bit before catching the 1:30 bus to Madrid.



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