Skooter reporting 05/31/12
Segovia: Best for Roman architecture
This is the second of the series of our excursions and as promised we will take a train that will depart from Atocha to Segovia nearly every hour. So there’s no problem then. There are two trains choices, the regional and the avant, or known as express train. The regional train costs fewer Euros, but you have to spend extra hour and twenty minutes commute both ways. In contrast to avant train will get you to Segovia in 27 minutes. Fast, yes?
From the magnificence of El Escorial’s massive monasteries to the perfectly preserved Segovian aqueducts, Madrid's surroundings are crammed with architectural wonders. It is located more than 90km northwest of the Spanish capital, the aqueducts in Segovia were built by Romans during the 1st and 2nd Centuries and remain some of the best-preserved structures in Spain. The conduit structure includes the circular, 15th-century town, whose center is dominated by the Cathedral of Santa María (Marqués del Arco; 921-462-205). The cathedral took more than 200 years to build and was finished in 1768 and is now the cultural central point of Segovia. Along the perimeter of the city lies the Alcazar, a stone fortification that has served as a castle, state prison and military academy. Young as we are, I’m pretty sure we could survive climbing the 152-step turret and the award is the spectacular panoramic views of the town, cathedral and the surrounding countryside.
After that breathless step climbing, we head back to the city center, stop at the former home-turned-museum of famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado (Desamparados 5; 921-460-377). Born in 1875, Machado was part of the Generation of 1898, a group of Spanish writers, philosophers and artists who were very active during the Spanish-American War.
Right after, we’re going to soak up the city’s noticeable energy in the Plaza Mayor, next to the cathedral, where local crowd hang around to hear the cathedral’s bells chiming or stay for a spontaneous concert in the plaza's central marquee. If your belly is grumbling for dinner, we could try a traditional Segovian dish of roasted pig (lechon) at José María, a popular hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the heart of the city.
Tomorrow will visit Aranjuez which is best for regal gardens. I’ll see you then. Vamos!