After taking pictures we stopped by the mini restaurant/bar to order coffee, hot chocolate, and some pastries while waiting for the others to use the bathroom. I ordered my usual – hot chocolate with churros!
When we reached Segovia the first thing we did was walk to the entrance of the Plaza. As Rosanna was explaining the history of the aqueduct to us, a group of men came up and started playing their musical instruments – drums included. After the impromptu performance, we started walking up the stairs to begin our tour.
Rosanna showed us clues and physical hints of the different periods of architecture that influenced Segovia, and as we reached the top of the stairs we were able to see the entire city. The aqueduct is amazing because no cement nor mortar was used in its construction – simply the weight of the stones themselves.
Rosanna also showed us around the Jewish Quarter, with its narrow roads in order to accommodate the large houses and spacious gardens. The roads led to more shops near the Plaza, such as a meat shop and a tourist attraction shop.
The next stop we made was to the Plaza Mayor of Segovia, where we saw several churches – one of which was the very church Queen Isabel of Spain was coronated! I think our favorite stop was definitely the chocolateria, and we had a difficult time choosing between the eclairs and the chocolate-covered caramel drops.
By the Plaza Mayor was the Cathedral of Avila, considered to be the first Gothic cathedral of Spain.
Before continuing with the tour, Rosanna brought us to the Restaurante Lazaro for lunch. We split up into two large groups, and had appetizers before ordering our main course (and dessert, of course). I had pasta for my appetizer, and croquettas with fries for my main course, with chocolate ice cream for dessert.
The last stop we made at Segovia was when we visited the Alcázar de Segovia, a stone fortress shaped like the bow of a ship. Aside from serving as a fortress, it has also been used as a royal palace for people such as Queen Isabela and King Carlos I, a state prison, a Royal Artillery college and a military academy. It is also famous for serving as inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle.
We were able to visit both the inside and the top of the castle. The castle itself contained many old artifacts of war, such as armor and weaponry (crossbows, spears, etc), and many paintings of historical events and people. The main bedchamber for the king and queen was actually a lot smaller than I thought it would be, and so was the bed itself – but then Rosanna reminded us that back in the day Spaniards were actually quite small, so I guess it makes sense. The throne room was definitely impressive, and the amount of detail in the ceilings were impressive as well.
My favorite view would definitely be at the top of the castle. Although the way up was definitely dizziness-inducing (and a bit claustrophobic for me as well due to the lack of windows), we were able to see a lot of the city from different vantage points, and I’m pretty sure a lot of our pictures are postcard-worthy.
After taking our body weight in pictures (I’m not even sure if that’s an exaggeration), we had to head back to the bus to go back to Salamanca. When using the bathroom in the nearby restaurant, we figured out that we had to pay 50 cents in order to open the door. At first some of us tried to cheat and hold the door open for the next person, but after a while we were caught and forced to buy things in order to receive change. The bus was definitely quiet on the way back, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who fell asleep the moment we left the city!