by Laura Ellis on Friday, November 19, 2010
A combination of both Olivia's advice and a need to entertain my dad on his short trip to Spain this past weekend meant that I too visited Segovia this past weekend.
Arriving late afternoon from a whirlwind tour of Madrid, this much smaller town seemed worlds away from metropolitan Iberia and had much more of an authentic Spanish feel as quaint buildings lined the streets and the stunning Cathedral and Alcázar created a magical background. Although a small town, the two distinct parts of historical centre and the more modern shopping area meant that it seemed substantially bigger, and the walk inbetween showed the graduation from ancient constructions, such as the Aqueduct, to a very recently built tourist information office.
When visiting Segovia, there are really three monuments of interest: the Alcázar, the Cathedral and of course the Aqueduct. Starting off in Plaza Mayor on Sunday morning, it was of course obligatory to try churros and chocolate in a small café, in which I was carmly informed by the waiter that it was going to snow... So much for sunny Spain! However, despite this weather warning and a somewhat harsh breeze, we braved our way across to the Cathedral.
Very reminiscent of Salamanca's in both colour and style, the Cathedral was of course stunning, although a little smaller than I had been expecting. The chapels that lined the walls were each unique and the decoration in some was magnificant. However being a Sunday morning, our ability to explore was limited and with the knowledge that Mass was planned to start soon, we quickly moved on.
In the guide book that was clutched by my Dad, and continually refered to in an almost biblical sense, it described the Alcázar as like a fairy like castle, however this barely prepared us for the beautiful sight as we got closer. The intricate decoration on the outer walls, along with the turrents, made for an impressive view against the backdrop of the valley, whilst the exhibitions inside were both interesting and very informative - and the artillery exhbition certainly captured my father's imagination. Last but not least here was the opportunity to climb the tower, and for the girl with a little bit of vertigo, no mean feat. However the view at the top was spectacular and well worth the small trauma ...
Last but not least on the monument tour was the Aqueduct, and well nothing can quite prepare you for the scale! The small puente romano here in Salamanca was more of the scale that I was expecting, however this towered above us, more on a scale of mountains than anything else, and really showed off the great scale on which the Romans built, and well deserves its role as a symbol of Segovia.
So how to finish off the day, Cochinillo of course! Anxious to find a good place to try it, we wandered the streets until we chanced upon a restaurant tucked away, but once we got inside the chef gave a large show of chopping this small pig in front of those waiting to eat it, not a sight for the faint heart I assure you! But alls well that ends well, and a simple yum is the only was I can describe this exquisite dish!