February 1st, 2010 at 5:00pm
One of the cool things about living in Madrid is that there are a bunch of nearby history-filled cities that are only an hour or two away by bus/train, making for some awesome day trips. I haven’t been to most of these cities yet, but in October, I visited Segovia and Aranjuez. Aranjuez will be my next post.
Segovia is located in the comunidad autónoma (think of comunidades autónomas as the Spanish version of U.S. states) of Castilla y León, while Madrid is in the comunidad autónoma of Madrid (creative, I know), but the two are only about an hour apart. The city is very ancient, cute, and small, and it’s fun to walk around.
I went with three of my EAP friends, Connie, Jen, and Diana, and we took a morning bus from Madrid and then spent our morning and afternoon exploring Segovia. One of Segovia’s most important monuments is the Roman aqueduct, which was built in the first or second century AD and still stands (and is pretty cool-looking).
Me with the aqueduct.
From there, we climbed to the top of the aqueduct and explored the old city. We came to the realization in Segovia that many of our trips are really just extravagant Facebook photoshoots. Seriously, we all take a million pictures and are constantly saying things like, “Ooh! Get one of me standing here! That will look awesome!” So that was a big focus of our day. And there are definitely cool photo opportunities in Segovia!
We walked through the city center and saw the cathedral (but didn’t want to pay to go inside), which was really pretty from the outside, and then we went to the Alcázar, my primary reason for wanting to visit Segovia. See, Walt Disney based the design of the castle in Sleeping Beauty on Segovia’s Alcázar, and Disneyland’s castle is based on the Sleeping Beauty castle, so it was like taking a pilgrimage to the real life Disneyland! And since most of you know how huge of a Disneyland fan I am, that was pretty awesome.
To be honest, it doesn’t look quite the same (I think it looks more like it from the other side, which we didn’t go to), but it was still pretty cool and fairy-tale like.
Me in front of the Alcázar.
The more Disney-ish side. Not my photo, of course.
Connie and I paid the entrance fee to go inside, while Jen opted to pay for just the tower, and Diana hung out outside. In some ways, it looked like your typical Spanish fancy building (ornate ceilings, old paintings, armor), but it also was very stereotypically castle-y, which was fun.
Making a wish in the fairy tale-like wishing well.
Connie, Diana, Jen, and me exploring the city some more after visiting the Alcázar.
That was about all there is to see in the town, so after a bit more wandering, we had lunch at a bakery and relaxed there for a while before heading back on a bus back to Madrid.
As great as Madrid is, it’s always fun to get out of the city for a day, and Segovia was a really fun city to visit. Excellent day trip. For the rest of our Segovia “photoshoot,” check out the photos on Facebook.