Monday, November 11, 2013


Okay, we'll see how long this blog takes me to write. I still have a lot to do today. Hopefully, I can make this a quick one, but I doubt it. I might just leave the really insignificant things out though. Anyway, on to the blog... yesterday, Stephanie, Karin, and I went to Segovia. Segovia is a little more than an hour northwest of Madrid. Just so you know some history about Segovia, I will now paraphrase some Wikipedia articles... Segovia started out as a Celtic region and then the Romans moved in, hence the Roman aqueducts (you'll see pictures soon), then Christians flooded into the town, then some Jews came, then Isabel became queen and at one point the Jews were kicked out of the city. So, there's the history of the city. The End. Oh, also, if you're interested, Segovia has two sister cities in the states: Marysville, Ohio and Tucson, Arizona. Also, Segovia is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that I can add to my "been to" list along with Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lima, Arequipa, Nazca in Peru and Toledo in Spain.

Anyway, we got on the bus to go to Segovia and I slept most of the day since I was up late the night before. Once we got to Segovia, I wished once again that I would have dressed warmer. The sun was not up so it was quite chilly. Actually, I think I would've felt better even if I just had gloves. My hands were freezing taking pictures. Our first stop in Segovia was to see the aqueducts. No one is for sure when they were built, but supposedly they were built in the 1st century. The aqueduct is about 94 feet tall at the highest point. The aqueduct has been restored a few times so it's in tip-top shape.
Main facade of the aqueduct with Virgen de la Fuencisla,
the patroness of Segovia, nested up there in the little niche. skies..It warmed up in the afternoon so
these are better pictures than the morning ones.
Karin, Stephanie, and I
After seeing the aqueduct and taking an excessive amount of pictures, we walked to the cathedral and took some pictures there. Mass was going on, so we couldn't go in, but it was okay, because we had a castle to visit! :) The castle was built as a fort first, but it was also a royal palace, a state prison apparently, and an artillery college. Also, this castle was one of many castles that inspired Cinderella's castle. It was pretty cool to see the inside; however, I must add that what we saw on the inside was fairly insignificant when you look at how big it is from the outside, but it was still worth the trip.
The throne room
Above it says "Tanto Monta" meaning "They amount to the same"
or "Equal opposites in balance" referring to the
prenuptial agreement of Ferdinand and Isabel.
Cool stained glass..Isabel's coat of arms as Princess of Asturias
In the King's room. There are golden kings
and queens lining the whole room.
View from the outskirts
After taking a stroll through the Alcázar, we ate our packed lunch and then walked to towards the outskirts of Segovia to get a good view of the castle. That's when it finally started warming up! The sun came out and there were blue skies! It was great! After chilling in the sun for a little bit, we started walking back and an elderly man stopped us to tell us to go see the Alcázar from outside the city, where we had just been. He also is the one who told us about how Walt Disney was inspired by the castle. He also told us that he heard people from Chicago are nicer than their counterparts in New York City or another big city in the U.S. :) We thanked him for the chat and then walked back to the cathedral to see if mass was over and it was, but we decided we didn't want to pay to go in. We still glanced in, but it was quick and definitely no time to snap pictures, but that's okay. You can see pictures online. For example, this one...
It was nice to see the Plaza Mayor area with people in it. When we first got to Segovia it was cold and like a ghost town, but it really livened up in the afternoon, which was pleasant. After this, we took a stroll through La Judería, the Jewish neighborhood and then strolled around to the many many churches that are in Segovia. We didn't go inside any because none of them were open and a few of them seemed to be completely abandoned, but seeing the outside of all of them was cool and it was nice just to walk around. Here are many of the churches that we saw...
Iglesia de San Millán
Iglesia de San Miguel, where Isabel became queen

Iglesia de San Andrés
Iglesia de la Vera Cruz
Iglesia de San Estaban
Convento de Corpus Cristi
Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
Iglesia de San Nicolás
See, lots of churches...we hit all of the hot spots. The aqueduct, the cathedral, the castle, and the area on the map where the guy at the tourist office simply circled it and said "churches." :) After walking around we made our way back to the aqueduct and got better pictures, then we had about about a half hour before the bus left so we had a quick tapa for one euro then walked to the bus station. Once at the bus station, we learned that we would have to wait an hour for the next bus. It wasn't a big deal though. Stephanie, Karin, and I chowed down on a bag of cookies and then the bus came. The bus ride home seemed pretty long and at one point a toddler was crying, but we made it back safely. It was a good day and for some reason, Stephanie, Karin, and I all agreed that we liked Segovia more than Toledo. I don't really know why, but we did. It seemed more open, even though some of the streets were still narrow and sometimes sidewalks were non-existent.

Once at home, I made dinner and started to blog from the day before and also began the daunting task of going through a ridiculous 367 pictures from one day. Haha. Lucia and I sat down and watched the EMAs (European Music Awards) together, which was pretty good. I got to see a "more tasteful" performance by Miley Cyrus than her performance at the VMAs. Anyway, that was my day and night. It was fun and I'm happy to be living in a city that makes traveling to other places easy. Anyway, now it's back to my Monday, as I said earlier. I have quite a bit to do today still and this blog took way to long to write, even though it doesn't seem like it. Have a good night. I don't know if I'll make it to today's blog. Wish me luck.

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