I wasn’t lying when I said we spent most of our time in Madrid outside of Madrid. It made for an exhausting start to our trip, but now that I look back on the photos I’m glad that we made the effort to get out into the countryside.
Our second day trip was to Segovia – this time about an hour north of Madrid on the fast train. Segovia’s unique selling point is the massive Roman aqueduct from the 1st or 2nd Century, which was obviously like catnip for a water/engineering tragic. It totally dominates the city and is extremely imposing up close. They don’t build ’em like they used to, that’s for sure…
Like most Spanish cities we visited, Segovia also has both an impressive cathedral and an alcazar (castle/fortress).
Having well and truly maxed out our tolerance for cathedrals on our previous day in Toledo we headed for the Alcazar. This would become a real pattern of our trip – cathedral, alcazar, cathedral, alcazar… let’s just say, I hope you have a high tolerance for cathedrals and alcazars or this blog is going to get really arduous.
The Alcazar of Segovia dates from around the 11th Century, and apparently was a source of inspiration for Cinderella’s castle at Disneyland. There’s a highbrow cultural fact for you.
The view back towards the city from the castle was pretty spectacular – these Spanish towns are not short on dramatic skylines, especially when there is stil snow on the surrounding mountains.
Segovia is also famous for its suckling pig (cochinillo). We hit up Restaurante Don Jimeno for some juicy, crunchy piglet meat and Judiones de la Granja (white bean stew, with yet more pig products included), followed by another local treat in Ponche Segoviano – a sponge cake/cream/marzipan hybrid that was a bit on the sickly side (maybe we were just too full of pig at this point…). I should also note that all Ant’s carnivorous dreams came true when our cochinillo came complete with a crunchy little piglet tail on top… you’ll have to ask him what it tasted like.
We then ended our day in Segovia as we begun – by walking up and down the aqueduct. All in all I give Segovia five piglet tails out of five, and would definitely recommend going if you love epic feats of engineering.