This Friday, I went to visit Segovia.

On the way 

The trip was through ACCENT - the company that UC Davis is partnered with here in Spain. I paid 25Euro and took the bus there with friends from the UC Davis program and students from another UC program ACCENT works with.

Countryside

This was my first time leaving Madrid since I've arrived  and it was beautiful being able to see the country side. I forget that Madrid is a major city and the rest of spain isn't as dense.

Segovia is an ancient city settled in a little hill in between two valleys.

We arrived and started our tour at the aqueducts. Our tour guide led us and explained the history of Segovia. The city was originally built by Romans and the main aqueduct that ran through the city, brought water down from the nearby mountains all the way to the castle (yes.. castle!) It was then distributed underground to the rest of the city. 

In front of the aqueduct

Looking up

leading to the city

We walked the narrow, windy cobblestone streets through the city. The city was enclosed by a tall city wall which was protected its residents. In the picture on the right, you can see some of the detail on the building on the building on the right. These designs were typical of architecture in that time and added beautiful decorations on every wall we passed. You can also see the back of the cathedral at the end of the walkway.

I loved this little corner building on the edge off the city wall

streets leading to the Cathedral

As we walked around the from of the cathedral i was blown away. It is absolutely gorgeous! It was the last cathedral built in Spain of that 'style.' The cathedral faced the town's Plaza Mayor that was sprinkled with pastlerias (pastry shops), cafes, restaurants and gift shops.

Probably my favorite Cathedral I've seen yet. The start of the Plaza can be seen on the right.

 We continued between the to right of the church past the entrance. To the right and the left of the city, you could see beautiful green hills with small houses peppered through the landscape. Half of my pictures are on my camera and I didn't bring the cord to get them off, so I just snapped a couple on my iphone to use for the blog. As I was trying to be artsy, I heard a little mew and ran into an adorable cat, leaning out from a terrace.

At the bottom of the hill, we arrived at a large iron gate and little garden that led up to the castle. This castle is the one that inspired Walt Disney and he modeled the princess castle after it. 

Amanda and Alex posing in front of the castle

The castle is situated right at the point of a hill- cliffs on both sides. The side you can enter from has a note (empty now) and a draw bridge over it. UNREAL!

This King and Queen's throne

There were three royal families that emerged from independent regions. As the Moors began to take over Spain, two of the families were united by the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand. In their rule, they worked to push out the Moors and unify Spain. This castle is where they lived :)

I was quickly swooned by a knight in shinning armor

He asked for my hand in marriage but I had to decline ;)

 Inside the castle were originally tapestries, furniture, knight's armor paintings all enclosed by beautiful, hand carved ceilings.

Wood ceilings hand carved and covered in gold.

Views of the landscape from inside the castle

The balcony the the front of the castle

 They describe segovia as a ship. The point of the ship starts from the front of the castle and extends from that point (in the far left of the picture above). Because the city sits on a hill and with the walls enclosed, you can see how it looks like a ship from the very top. We went to check it out from the tallest tower - that, by the way, had the longest spiral staircase to the top I've ever walked. Buns o' steel here I come!

The view from the top. The tallest building is the bell tower at the cathedral.

Straight out of the cartoons!

Wine/beer, bread and apps

After the castle, we all went to go get lunch. Natalie, Don and I decided to head toward the 'cheap food,' 1 street from Plaza Mayor.

The main courses

Often during the lunch hour, restaurants have 'specials of the day' that are a pretty good deal. I don't eat out very often and try to take advantage of the home cooked meals. I figured since I would splurge and try a restaurant. Moments like the lunch we had make me me jealous I can't eat out more often, but I know I'm saving a lot of money. Still, I'll have to let myself every one in a while because it was amazing! For 10Euros, you got a glass of wine, bread, an appetizer (I got the four cheese salad), an entree (I got a spaghetti in a cream sauce) and a dessert (I chose coffee to combat the food coma). Natalie and Don picked different options and we all nibbled on each others. My salad was phenomenal and they are few and far between in Spain. But Natalie's barbecue chicken bacon pizza!? I died and went to heaven haha So delicious and a great deal

I would definitely recommend going to Segovia for a visit. It had such a different feel from Madrid.

I found out that Madrid was bombed badly in the civil war and almost all of the city was rebuilt. Maybe that's why its so surreal living here - because I don't feel like I am in an country that is so much more ancient than the US. Well I definitely felt it in Segovia.

I nerd out a little bit on history stuff. Especially when you can see it in front of you. So I loved the trip!

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Tags: Abroad, Aggies, Castle, Davis, Madrid, Segovia, Spring, Study, UC, UCD

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