Segovia is located about an hour-long bus trip to the northwest of Madrid. Our trip there, the last official program trip, left at 9:30 in the morning. This time, Ruben (the oldest son of the family I’m staying with) and Dylan (a student from Texas A&M’s program also staying in my house) also came along (there was extra space and my program director, Ray, said they could come, too).
Our first stop was a small church outside the city, the church of the Vera Cruz. It’s a small round church (apparently in the style of the Templars) that was built sometime in the. Outside, it also had a nice view of the city and its palace (the Alcazar).
We then headed into the city toward its aqueduct. Built by the Romans around the 1st century and used to supply the city with water until the mid-1950s, the aqueduct is just one of the signs that Segovia retains a Roman influence today. Many of the city’s churches survive in Roman style (as opposed to the Gothic style favored in other Spanish cities like Toledo and Sevilla).
We split off for lunch at the Plaza Mayor just as it began to rain. Ruben, Dylan, and I went to get drinks to go along with our bagged lunches (bocadillo, or sandwich, and fruit). We ate with some others from the program under a large gazebo in the middle of the Plaza.
Before rejoining with the program tour, we had time to look around Segovia’s Gothic-styled Catedral. It was very similar to the cathedral we had seen in Toledo. We also walked around the city for a little bit before meeting up with the group to tour the Alcazar.
Segovia’s Alcazar is not just a palace, but a true castle (turrets, moat, and all). It is situated on a high bluff at the edge of the city. Though a massive fire destroyed much of the original roof and framework in 1862, the building has been restored to its previous layout. I was particularly impressed with the room of the kings, named as such (again, very creatively) for the statues of all of the kinds of Spain that circle the wall just below the ceiling. Also of interest was the view of the countryside. Spectacular.
It was then time to head home and we then took the bus back to Madrid.
Also of note from Saturday: After we got back, I met the newest addition to the house, another study abroad student from Ohio. That brings the total number of study abroad kids to 6, plus the 3 brothers and two parents for a household total of 11.