Saturday, October 31, 2009
Looking to the main entrance of the Alcazar from the old town part of Segovia.
One view from the Alcazar.
The Roman aqueduct in Segovia. 20,000 large carved blocks and not a bit of mortar to hold it together.
Various views of the Alcazar from the path at the bottom of the hill that it is on.
Being the alert peregrino that I am, I picked up the waymarks for the camino from Madrid to Santiago, which passes through Segovia.
First, to finish last night, we did go to the concert, which was in a 12th century church, San Nicolas. The church seems to be converted to a concert hall. It had very good acoustics and an intimate setting. The young musicians were all from Segovia's conservatory of music, a flutist, guitarist, violist, and percussionist. Not bad for a free concert.
Today, we started our visit at the Alcazar. It started as a Moorish fortress, later used by the kings and queens of Spain as a retreat from Madrid. Quite different design and decoration from the Gothic and Renaissance churches. Lots of geometric designs and no statues or paintings, except for those added by the later Christian rulers. Over the top design with turrets, towers, moats, drawbridges, and all on a steep hill overlooking the entire countryside. This is the castle on which Walt Disney based his Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland.
Of course we had to see one last cathedral before we left. Segovia's cathedral was started in 1526 as a rebuild of the original cathedral which was destroyed. Not completed until 1768, it was the last Gothic style cathedral built in Spain.
After some yummy tortilla y pimiento bocadillos and wine in the Plaza Mayor, we saw some art exhibits, then back to our hostal for a little rest. One of the local specialties here is roast suckling pig (cochinilla).. The piece is about the size of a small half chicken and seems to about half of the little piglet. Anyway, I tried it for dinner. The meat was tender and tasty, but pretty fatty and salty. It was okay, just not a "must have again item". Sunday morning, we drive to Madrid and the long flight back home. I am not looking forward to the flight, but after seven weeks over here, it will be good to get back home again.
I promise to post a bunch of photos, but give me a few days to get caught up!