Sunday, May 30, 2010


(sorry I can't get any pics up...the internet is hating on Blogger's pic uploading thing. ASAP, I promise!)

Segovia was, to put it simply, AH-MAZING. Seriously, I doubt I have ever seen a prettier town. It was so old and historic, and it had all these old buildings and monuments that you look at and go “how they heck did they build that?”

Take the aqueduct, for example. It’s astoundingly long, incredibly tall, and completely unmortered. Seriously, there is nothing holding those stones together except gravity. And it’s been standing since the last 1st/early 2nd century! This just might be more confusing than the pyramids, let me just tell you.

Anyway, for our day trip to Segovia, we set out from our meeting point at 9:00. Normally, this would be the perfect way to start the day’s story. For Karin and I, however, our wonderful day started a lot earlier when we spent twenty minutes waiting for a bus that never came then had to rush to and through the metro stations to get to Retiro to meet the group. We got there at EXACTLY 9:00, no lie. And actually, I think we still beat someone else there. It was a flat-out run to get there, though. I do not want to do that again any time soon.

So then we finally got to leave with the group. It took about an hour and a half to get to Segovia by bus, but it was such a pretty drive that I didn’t mind at all (much better than an 8 hour plane ride, let me tell you). Most of us were snapping pics out the windows as we drove (and some were napping).

When we finally reached Segovia, we pulled into a dusty bus lot, then walked a ways to the bus station for a restroom break. Normally this would not make my blog, but I put this in to mention how utterly disgusting the bathrooms were. Worse than port-a-potties, I kid you not. And most of them were out of toilet paper.

After the horrendous bathroom break, we made our way to the aqueduct. Pictures of this thing do not do it any justice. It is absolutely awe-inspiring to see. It’s one of the oldest and most well-preserved Roman structures left on the Iberian peninsula. The arches get as tall as 90+ feet tall, and there are 167 arches total (I had to research it for a group project and talk about it in Segovia, so this is why I know all this). It’s also part of the Segovian coat of arms. Needless to say, it’s super-important to the people there. I think a majority of my pictures have the aqueduct in them, simply because you can take two steps in any direction and the view is different and breathtaking. It’s a photographer’s dream location.

We had two hours to walk around and explore Segovia (and discuss our other research topics with the group) before meeting at the Castle at 12:30. We took a ton of pictures of the absolutely gorgeous scenery and the little hidden side streets and the blossoming flowers on the balconies. We perused the small shops lining the street toward the Castle (Victoria bought these absolutely adorable itty-bitty owls for her collection…their big eyes were so cute!). When we passed a park with a fountain, we decided to sit and eat our lunch there. So relaxing, let me tell you. Segovia is so much more relaxed than Madrid, even though Madrid is already so incredibly relaxed compared to the U.S. big cities. We almost missed our entry time at the Castle because we were taking so many pictures in the park and on the street to the Castle.

This is the castle that inspired the castles at DisneyWorld and Disneyland. I got so excited about that. Anyway, I can’t tell you how many pictures I took of ceilings and tapestries in the Castle. Those people had a dang good interior decorator with a thing for ceilings. Those were the most intricate works of art in the entire castle. This was the Castle where the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella (yeah, the ones that sponsored Columbus and drove out the Moors and everything) lived there, and their thrones were still there (roped off, unfortch. Really, most of the things they had roped off I wouldn’t have wanted to sit on/touch anyway, but since they were roped off, I wanted to SO badly. Counter productive, my Spanish friends, counter productive). The views off the balcony were spectacular, but they had nothing on the view from the tower.

The tower took 152 steps in a claustrophobic, spiraling staircase to get to the top of, but it was well worth it (plus being our workout for the day). The views left me speechless when I first saw them. They were beyond description.

Professor Workman tried to scare us with a story of how an American student fell off the top of the tower a few years ago. It’s the reason there are bars between the tourist area and the edge of the tower. We were all very careful after that.

After we walked back down the precarious staircase (it’s really hard when people and coming up and down at the same time), we followed our guide from the Castle to the Cathedral, another of those structures you wonder how they built. The ceilings are so high and intricate, and it is so huge. We weren’t supposed to take pictures, so I didn’t take any (didn’t stop some members of our group, however…you know who you are). I’m just going to have to be satisfied with me memories.

After the cathedral, we wandered around Segovia a bit more (we got ice cream that was insanely delicious) before going to sit down at the base of the aqueduct to wait for the rest of our group.

This day is probably my favorite day in Spain so far, and Karin and I are very tempted to take the train from the Atocha station to Segovia one Sunday just to go back and see it again. It was that impressive and beautiful. Of course, who knows how Toledo will be next Saturday. I’m thinking jewelry shopping : )

Hasta luego!

Faith. Trust. Pixie Dust.