Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Segovia, Spain


Up and at 'em one last time in España this morning. The goal for the day, the city of Segovia, 50 miles northwest from Madrid with an elevation of 3,000 feet.

How to get there? Well a train for sure but which one, the AVE high speed version or the less expensive local train?

For 19.50 Euros I could be in Segovia in 28 minutes on the AVE. I don't know how much the local would have saved me financially but time-wise it was a two hour ride to Segovia.

AVE here I come!

From the Segovia train station into town is a 15 minute bus ride that drops you off at the base of one of Segovia's three main attractions.

The 2,000 year old Roman Aqueduct

Emperor Trajan's engineers built a nine mile long aqueduct that was in use until the late 1800s!

What is left today is 2,500 feet long and 100 feet high with 118 arches. 20,000 granite blocks were used to build this span without the use of any mortar.

Impressive

A rare blog sighting of me

Note the cool, black Scottevest jacket the David Lassen inspired me to buy. It has six outside zippered pockets and 20 inside zippered pockets!

The Aqueduct from on high

They love their abuelos in España!

0.0º C. = 32º F.

In theory warmer than Madrid yesterday but it sure didn't feel that way.

Segovia's Cathedral

Done in the Flamboyant Gothic style, the Renaissance style Dome replaced Gothic spires after a fire.

Ornate Ceiling

The Tree of Life

Revelers, probably the people out on the street below my window at 3:30 a.m. last night, are going to Hell as soon as the devil takes a few more whacks at the tree.

Jesus is wringing a bell trying to warn them of their impending doom.

My guys did NOT here the bell and on a school night too . . .

Cool Ceiling Designs

A Cathedral Tower

The Renaissance Dome

The entrance to Segovia's Alcázar

Me again by the Alcázar

First it was a royal palace, then a fortress, later a prison, an artillery school and now a musem.

The view of Historic Segovia from
the Alcázar's Tower

You have to climb 152 steps to get to the top of the Tower in a narrow, cramped staircase.

Not as narrow and cramped as my hotel's elevator though.

The Alcázar Tower's Ramparts

Yes, I climbed the 152 steps

Now on to the Alcázar's museum rooms.

Sensible Shoes

The Throne Room

St. James Matamoros
The Patron Saint of Spain

A.K.A., Santiago as in The Camino de Santiago . . .

Matamoros means "Moor killer."

That was a big plus during the days of the Reconquista when Catholics were battling the Moors over control of what is now Spain.

The Crest of the Kingdom of Castile and León

A close-up of St. James' horse

His stallion's rear hooves
did a number as well

Another ornate ceiling to change the mood

A mural depicting the Coronation of
Queen Isabel the Catholic

This occured in 1474 in Segovia's Plaza Mayor and made her the ruler of Castile and León.

That spur should do the trick

The Hall of Monarchs

Here you will find replicas of all 52 rulers of Castile and León during the Reconquista. The line starts with King Pelayo in 711 and ends with Queen Juana VII in 1492.

You just have to have a tapestry

St. James at his thing again

Four times.

You have to love armor . . .

. . . and knights . . .

. . . and crossbows . . .

. . . and heraldry in general

More Moors about to be put to the sword

This is getting a bit much if you ask me!

Limón y Menta

I'm still tired from climbing the Alcázar's Tower, I need sustenance!

PERFECT!

Zumo de Naranja, a chocolate covered Floradita and a CCL.

Life is good.

Juan Bravo

A local who in 1521 defied Charles V, a Habsburg ruler who didn't even speak Spanish, Bravo is now a symbol of Castilian pride. He would lose his battle with Charles V and his head as well.

Juan Bravo wasn't a Moor.

The House of a Thousand Beaks

Time for dinner . . .

Segovia is famous for its roast suckling pig

Mesón de Cándido

Reputed to be the #1 spot in all of Segovia for their pig by none other than my beloved Aunt Katica, I promised her that I would dine here if I got to Segovia.

A promise is a promise.

Mesón de Cándido's eclectic interior

Roast Suckling Pig

The juicy, savory meat was well worth the price of admission.

Gracias Aunt Katica!!!

Monument bonding Rome and Segovia
because of the Aqueduct

It seems appropriate to me.

The AVE high speed train

Sleek looking don't you think? It got us back to Madrid in a record setting 25 minutes.

Yes, well worth the extra cost.

Tuesday morning I fly to Zurich, get picked up by Ueli Sutter from the Tigers and finally arrive in Thun to start five months of hard work with a new team.

Let the fun begin!

Adios España!!!

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