Once upon a distant star, the bewitching town of Segovia was formed. Since, it has continued to enchant all who visit, first and foremost, me. Segovia was an absolute delight. From the moment I arrived and the taxi drove through the mountains and fields into the old town, spotting the Aqueduct for the first time, to the moment I had to step onto the train, marking my departure, I was completely and utterly transfixed by Segovia’s spell. While Segovia is known principally for the Aqueduct, it has SO much more to offer.
But. First to the most exciting stuff. I HAD A HOTEL ROOM. It was the first time in over five weeks that I slept completely alone. Fully equipped with a private bathroom AND BATH, a double bed and NO ONE ELSE IN MY ROOM, I was in heaven. Yes. I did shamelessly gloat in my family Whatsapp. So what. It was worth the jealousy-fuelled hate channelled across the technical stratosphere.
So. Where to first? I wandered through the town and got a good feel for the place. Filled with hills and winding streets, it was easy to get lost, but hard to stay lost for long, given the old town was really not very big. The quaint cobbled streets again had me considering what the proprioceptive and falls prevention effects that years and years of walking on cobblestones have. *Note to self. Investigate upon return to normal life and the Physio world.* Eventually, I stumbled upon the Aqueduct. And oh, my what a sight! They’re not entirely sure the exact date of completion of the Aqueduct, but they believe it to be around 50AD, with the purpose to supply the Roman Military Fort with fresh water. The parts of the Aqueduct that we can see are the most well-preserved Aqueduct features in the world and somewhat of an architectural feat, with no use of cement in the structure. The aqueduct runs for approximately 15km to find a small river in the Sierra de Guadarrama. And I don’t even know what to do when the hot water doesn’t work in the shower.
Next. The Castle of Segovia. Or, the Alcazar. This is the castle that inspired the castle in Snow White. Needless to say, as a die-hard Disney fan, I was super super excited. I was not disappointed in the slightest. The castle gives off the fairytale effect due to the slate tiles that cap the turrets, and its position makes it the perfect vantage point to view the sunset and the rest of the city below. It is believed that the foundations of the building site date back to Roman times, but to prove this, they would have to destroy the beauty that lies above it! When that castle as it stands today was first built, sometime in the 11th Century, it was separated from the main town of Segovia by a moat, which has long dried up, but with the cliff-face on the opposite side, it made for the perfect military fortress. It has had multiple different uses throughout its time; it was the Royal Court during the Trastamara Dynasty, then the Royal Palace and residence of Queen Isabella, later home to the Spanish Military Academy (including the chemistry lab for artillery, cleverly separated from the rest of the palace) and currently serves as a museum and the military archives. And! Another fun movie fact, the Orson Welles film, Chimes at Midnight, was filmed on the premises. What fun. (No I have not seen this film…). The palace was beautiful, exhibiting the traditional Segovian construction of using Iron slag to speckle the exterior walls, looking like little black pebbles in the stone and cement. The inside was impressive with a mixture of architecture and design as it expanded with different eras. Don’t forget to look up when you go to these buildings! The ceilings are potentially the most impressive part! While there was a fire in the Alcazar on the 16th of March, 1862, much of the structure has been restored with some roofs and other details taken from other buildings in the areas surrounding.
I also headed to the Cathedral which was beautiful and a great place to take a little bit of a timeout to be completely honest! No one disturbs a quiet moment of meditation and relaxed-controlled breathing when you happen to be inside a Godly establishment. Again, don’t forget to look up, or you’d miss the beautiful stained-glass windows and impressive ceiling details!
I was told that I simply HAD to try the region speciality (thanks Charlie and Alex); Suckling Pig. I followed the recommendation of the boys and successfully ordered, in Spanish, a serving for one, with a side of salad instead of fries. (Look mum, all those Spanish lessons are starting to pay off!). Look, it was absolutely 100% delicious. Did I feel a little awkward that I could see the cross-section of the pig’s spine and one of the trotters? Yes. But I tucked them aside when I could and continued on my merry way. I also didn’t feel as bad as seeing a whole roasted guinea pig on someone’s plate in Peru, so my conscience is only slightly speckled.
The 15th of June also marked an important date; Spain’s first game in the World Cup for the tournament, against Portugal. Apparently, this is akin to Australia vs. New Zealand. Grrrrrr. While I was feeling under the weather with the starts of a cold, I dragged my sorry little feet out of my comfy DOUBLE hotel bed (did I mention I treated myself to a hotel?) and down the street to find somewhere playing the game. While I tried to ask reception (again in Spanish) for suggestions on where to try, she was no sports fan… There were a few restaurants I walked past until I found a little happy bar with a big makeshift screen showing the match. It was awesome. The vibe was great, I got myself a red wine for 2 euros which came with a free empanada, and everyone was so welcoming and lovely that I didn’t even notice that I was solo! I was cheering along with the locals and hating on Christian Ronaldo just like every Spaniard that night. Despite being past 10:30pm, it still didn’t feel like bedtime as it was still relatively light. As such, it was off for a wander and attempt to capture the last light at the castle. Simply glorious.
Again, another city I’m sad to say goodbye to, but so happy to have had the pleasure of visiting!
And they all lived happily ever after. THE END.