October 14, 2022
During our time in Madrid, Kathy and I took a day trip to Segovia while the Krahn’s and Standly’s spent time in Madrid on a hop on-hop off tour. They also went to the oldest restaurant in Spain, “Sobrino de Botin.” They had seen it on “Somebody Feed Phil” which is a Net Flix serial. The restaurant specializes in suckling piglet. They raved about the experience.
Segovia was a very rich surprise. It is home to the 1900 year old double-tiered Roman aqueduct. Built with no filler (such as concrete), the stones were so expertly laid that the aqueduct has stood the test of time. It is a very impressive sight as you enter the city. The home to a multitude of Spanish monarchs, Segovia has a central street known as the Royal Street. It is a narrow cobblestoned lane that goes up to a crest on the hill and then down again. Over the years, Nobles and the rich, wanting to be near the Royals, built palaces along the street. Tiles on the buildings are in various styles indicating what was in vogue as the years went along. At the top of the hill is the impressive cathedral. The original cathedral was destroyed in a revolt to the rule of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Emperor Charles raised an army to defeat the rebels but, in so doing, the Segovia Cathedral lay in ruins. The people of the city were so distressed that they demanded a rebuilding, and in only 52 years, a record time, the new gothic edifice was consecrated. Further down the hill on a precipice overlooking a deep valley is the magnificent Alcazar. First, a nearly impregnable fortress built by the Moors, when the Spanish took over and under Bourbon influence, the citadel/palace was expanded and has a definite French appearance. It is beautiful. The mote around the palace has no water since the palace is built on a solid rock outcropping separated from the land with a very deep crevice. The interior is richly decorated and lavishly furnished. Encircling the ceiling, the Monarch’s Room has a statue of every monarch who served through the centuries. It was here that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella granted Columbus the money to set sail westward. Wonderful history amidst such beauty.
The trip to Segovia took us through various terrain. Dry flatland, then scrub brush, sheep and cattle areas with rich walls and finally, ascending the mountains, pine forested highlands and then down again to dry land areas with rivers coursing through the area. We ended the day in our wonderful apartment with our friends eating pizza and other goodies from the bakery next door and reminiscing about our day’s experiences.