A very late rise meant getting on the bus to Segovia very quickly. The ride was long and spent redoing the entire previous blog post due to issues with internet connectivity, but transitioning into a snowy region with sideways rain immediately raised rather neutral spirits. But what really jump-started the day was...
The Segovia aqueduct!! This structure is over 2000 years old and carries water from the mountains to the city. Legends about girls selling their soul to the devil and being saved by God at the last moment were exciting, and entering the inner city brought a plethora of thrilling sights to see.
The tour brought us through the city to see prisons for the poor, a gazebo at the main town square, and even a small park or two. The major sight to see was the Alcázar de Segovia, a fortress and palace.
The 75-foot moat was scary to look down upon, but maybe it was scarier for an invader. The entrance was just the beginning; the inner chambers of the fortress included armored statues, paintings, and incredible ceilings of golden tiles.
What was very exciting to see was the throne room, as well as a room used for dancing and meetings. This room actually had a secret exit in case of danger. We passed through the chapel toward the end of our tour, being relayed a story about one of the paintings on the wall. A fire had damaged the castle, which at the time of the incident was a school. Part of the entrance to the room had looked charred, as well. What was significant about this painting was that it had been deemed the most valuable item in the school and was saved. The painting was then restored when the building was repurposed as the King's Castle.
The choir ate lunch, and then I quickly visited the park El Paseo del Sálon de Isabelle II. This park is thin but long and is in a relatively central location, hence the name of "Hall" (Sálon). After a short time here, the choir boarded the bus to drive to Ávila. A quick detour allowed us to explore the area below the Alcázar. Our time spent in Ávila was not too long, but we got to explore within the city walls. A small portion of the city was safeguarded by an extensive granite wall that protected the wealthy and select groups of people.
The choir got to see the birthplace of Tomás Luis de Victoria, as well as briefly explore the interior of the Convento de Santa Teresa de Jesús. After being given some brief historical information, we went into another building at the Plaza de la Santa and saw the right ring finger of Saint Teresa encased in glass. No photos allowed of the finger, however, or some other artifacts such as two bones and the sole of a sandal.
Our final stop was to snap a photo of the castle walls from afar, as shown above, and then a long ride back to Madrid followed. With some friends we wandered off of the hotel's premises to have dinner. Grilled chicken with fried egg: not an experimental choice for me, just a really delicious one. Now it's time for bed, and tomorrow (Tuesday) we depart Madrid!
In love with experiencing all the world has to offer, a trip to Spain is a dream come true!