Friday, July 8, 2016


VISITED ON: June 18, 2016
Segovia is a small town 60m/100km northwest of Madrid known for its well-preserved Roman aqueduct and a perfect day-trip location from the city. It is only an hour's drive away and an even shorter 30 minute train ride.

To get to Segovia from Madrid, you must depart from the Charmatín Station in Madrid. If you did not already purchase your ticket, you can buy it from the ticketing office there.  There are Intercity trains that take longer getting there. Make sure you buy the 30 minute AVANT tickets unless you want to take 2 hours getting there. The platform is announced about 10 minutes before departure so don't panic if your train platform doesn't come up until then.

Once you arrive at the Segovia station, you will see bus #11 and #12 waiting outside the exit. The buses are timed to the train arrivals so everything is easy peasy. Bus #11 will take you on a 10 minute drive along empty non-agricultural fields with a few random buildings before getting to the more populated area of town. It will drop you off at the foot the aqueduct at the edge of the historic part of town.
The train station at Segovia.
Bus #11 outside the train station.
Maps of Segovia will show that the old city is in the shape of an oval with a northwesterly and southeasterly orientation. Defining Segovia on the right-hand southeastern side is the aqueduct and on the left-hand northwestern side is the Alcazar (castle) built over a defensible valley all around it. The tourist information is on the other side of the aqueduct from where the bus drops you off. A main thoroughfare runs fairly straight through the city from the Aqueduct to the Alcazar with the Cathedral and Plaza Mayor situated approximately in the middle.

Roman Aqueduct- This is a very impressive three tiered aqueduct built by the Romans. I have seen a few aqueducts (Caesarea, Pont du Gard, Aspendos) before but the unobstructed height and width of this one was striking. You can walk up to either side to see the aqueduct from the height of the top tier.
The Aqueduct.
Along the main thoroughfare to the town square, it's happy wandering. Besides other churches and structures, there are innumerable windows lined with flower baskets, colorful old doors andframes, and other architectural details here and there. The walk to the cathedral or alcazar isn't long or hard, but you can definitely spend a lot of time admiring the town before getting there.
Casa de Los Picos, or the Diamond Top House
Steps in between the San Martin Church and the Royal Jailhouse.
Random storefront.
Random Door
The Segovia Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral and it is quite striking from the outside. It looks very big and bright, though sitting snugly in the corner of the main square. The flying buttresses are not very outstanding, but the many pinnacles made the cathedral look very fancy. It was only €3,00 to visit inside and definitely worth it. The inside did not feel as large as the exterior suggests. It was not gloomy or glamorous inside as some cathedrals can feel, but was light and pretty.
The exterior of the Cathedral seen from the center of the main town square.
The interior of the cathedral: looking towards the center crossing from the nave.
Capilla Mayor, or Main Chapel
Capilla de la Concepción, one of the chapels along the nave.
Another small chapel along the nave.
The Ambulatory 
The Alcazar is the castle and fortification on the edge of the city overlooking the valley. Two kinds of tickets are available: one for the towers and one for everything but the towers.  I got the tickets that did not include the towers for €5,50. The entry took us through rooms with elaborate doors and ceilings, many of which opened up to beautiful views of the valley below. Other rooms were filled with Medieval armors, weaponry and furniture.  
The alcazar as seen from the entrance.
The Monarch's Room inside the alcazar.
The view from one of the room windows.
More armors and this curious cutie.
Cochinillo Asado, or roasted suckling pig is the famous must-eat dish in the region, but especially in Segovia and especially at Meson de Cándido which is listed in every tour guide. This restaurant is right beside the aqueduct and a reservation is necessary to get a nice view from an inside second floor table. As it was only my mom and myself that day, we could not order a whole suckling pig to see the servers do the "chopping up the crispy pig with the rim of the dishes" thing. We settled for an order of suckling pig and an order of duck. The dishes were good and I am glad I had them, but they were too rich in its meaty flavors for my taste.
Meson de Cándido and the aqueduct on the left.
Mom waiting for our food to arrive.
An order of cochinillo asado, or roasted sucking pig.
I don't know what is good to buy here as I did not spend much time shopping. But I regret not buying a woven basket from a shop across from the cathedral when I had the chance. 

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