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Day Trip to Segovia

While staying in Madrid we took a day trip to the mountain town of Segovia. The combined train and bus ride was under an hour and the full day gave us an opportunity to explore the three key features for which the ancient town is known.

The Roman Aqueduct.

Hop off the bus and you can’t miss the aqueduct which was erected in about the first or second century AD. 167 arches survive and it is nearly 100 feet tall. It doesn’t all date to Roman times—after the occupation by the Moors, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand did some reconstruction in the late 1400s. Frankly, it look like it could still carry water—or be a fun kayak ride. I understand it is quite leaky so no plans for either.

The Alcazar

This royal palace on the opposite end of town dates back nearly 1000 years. It is reportedly, along with Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, a model for the Disney Castle. It was a favorite palace for Isabella, who was crowned Queen of Castile in the main plaza of Segovia. Visiting the Alcazar required a ticket, but we were able to get them onsite with no wait. Just needed to dodge the school groups by changing the order of the audio tour a bit.

The Cathedral

The Segovia cathedral was the last Gothic Style Cathedral built in Spain. Originally located near the Alcazar, it was relocated because the original cathedral was used around 1520 by rebels as high ground to attack the Alcazar. After the rebellion the original cathedral was a ruin and over 50 years was reconstructed—away from the Alcazar. You can pay for a guided tour up in the bell tower of the cathedral which covers the history and provides unparalleled views of the ancient city. It is in Spanish but they provided an English audio guide.

Frankly, one day was not enough for Segovia. An overnight would have been nice to explore this charming town. But the day trip was a great way to “sample Segovia.” We did pass on a locally favorite dish: suckling pig. Tried it in Madrid years ago. Once was enough.

Coronation of Isabella of Castille

Although Madrid is a great city in itself, it is also a great base also for two day trips: This one to Segovia and one we took to Toledo several years ago.

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