Thursday 25 October 2012
Highlights: Segovia Alcazar (Castle), Segovia Cathedral, Aqueduct of Segovia, Walled city of Avila
A day spent outside Madrid turned into an exceptional highlight. I was worried about rain when I walked to the tour company, this was only raised when the guide said it was definitely going to rain today and a lot. Despite this the universe was looking out for me today and it only rain when we were on the bus, cool 🙂
The first stop and were I spent the majority of the day was Segovia a good example of a medieval town, now city. The impressive aqueduct was built by the Romans in the 1st century and still works to this day. Amazingly well built to last so long.
Today was a public holiday in Segovia for their patron saint San Frutos so I was lucky to be here on this day. In the Cathedral the choir was practising for the service about to begin at 11 am. The orchestra and choir were amazing. The acoustics in the church are brilliant and I got to experience it!
The Alcazar (Royal Castle) was also impressive set atop the local city. The castle is currently used by Spanish Artillery Academy and is well maintained. There was a good display of 16th century armour used. After the include lunch, which I’m unsure exactly what I was eating, we had free time to roam. The city had a lot of activity and noise on this special day.
From here it was off the second medieval location the walled city of Avila. The walled city holds 20,000 residents and in the past was on the front line in the Muslim and Christian wars, for example the church was also an armoury and castle. A lot of the city is now built on promoting their local saint, St Theresa. There is even a finger of hers on display!
We just missed the rain as we left the city to return to Madrid. As per yesterday’s tour the guide spoke Spanish first and then repeated in English. On this tour of the 13 people only myself and one other Australian didn’t speak Spanish. On returning to Madrid I got to witness another protest against the government. Seems to be a theme in Europe at the moment.
This turned out to be a fantastic day, very glad I booked this tour about 7 months ago. The extra long walking was also good as well for my last full day in Europe.