“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” – John Hope Franklin
Week 2 in Madrid meant getting into a routine, going to class, stuffing myself with Carmen’s awesome dinners, and booking flights for my trips throughout the semester (you’ll have to keep looking back here to see where I go!). By the time the weekend rolled around, I was more than ready to keep exploring Spain and thankfully my school had a trip planned to a historical town outside of Madrid, Segovia.
When we got off the bus, we walked straight through the quaint town to see something that’s larger than life, a Roman Aqueduct. Talk about skillful planning; it was built without cement between the bricks and has held up for nearly 2000 years. It would bring water down from the mountains into a building where people in the town could go collect their water for the day.
We walked all around, stopping at plazas, statues, and buildings with an SU Madrid professor who was giving us a personal tour. Above is the Segovia Cathedral, which overlooks Segovia’s Plaza Mayor.
Although we didn’t get to go inside the cathedral, we did took a tour of this beautiful castle, known as the Alcázar of Segovia.
Queen Isabella I, ruler of Castilla and one of the two reasons Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue, once lived in the Alcázar.
The castle has a courtyard directly in the center.
The rooms are set up as a museum with artifacts and things of the sort. This room was filled with armor and we learned that starting at a very young age, boys would be required to wear armor for four hours a day while they were playing/eating/doing whatever in order to become accustomed to it and be fully prepared when they became knights.
As we walked through the building, the ceilings kept getting prettier and prettier…
The castle suffered smoke damage from a fire in the late 1800s and the only ceiling that survived is the one directly above. People said it was a miracle because it was the ceiling of the chapel room where mass was held.
The Alcázar is on top of a hill, so the view in itself is beautiful.
In case we didn’t see enough when we were on the castle’s main level, we climbed up around 150 steps in the narrowest spiral staircase I’ve ever seen. To make matters worse, as we were going up, people were going down, so there were definitely some traffic problems.
After a paella lunch and some lemon and mandarin sorbet for dessert, it was time to take a siesta on the bus on the way back to Madrid. Overall, it was a great day in a beautiful town and I feel like I now know more about this wonderful country of España.
P.s. Someone apparently knew I was coming or I was already here in my past life?