Monday 23rd November
Last night we went to bed while it was still raining but it wasn’t too cold. When we woke up though it was rather cooler, the clouds had moved on and despite being given a lovely sunrise we were rather chilled to say the least. There was frost on the ground and I saw another snow plough moving around.
In fact it was so cold Lucy was up and dressed 45 minutes before when she thinks the morning starts! I started Frankie’s engine and put all the heating on and we gradually warmed up enough to stop shivering.
In fact we were ready to go exploring at 9am after having breakfast and coffee. I still got told off, there are lots of shops in El Burgo but very few of them open until 10am.
The cathedral was closed, the castle was closed and we were shivering so we clambered into Frankie and set off.
This is the last place that I have circled and made a point of visiting. I had seen it in one of the blogs, I thought it was Jay and Julie’s but they say they’ve never been here so it must have been The World is Our Lobster or Europe by Camper. The aire is next to the bull ring and when we got out I took a photo of Frankie but a passing Spaniard insisted in taking a photo of me with Frankie. It turns out he is a fellow autocaravana and wanted to know where we had been and where we were going.
So why are we here. This is the first reason, it’s a Roman aqueduct built in the first century to bring water from the mountains to the town – impressive huh!
We walked further along and the aqueduct is getting higher,,,
…and higher, in the distance it is taking a turn to the right.
And higher still it gets.
Now that is what I call an aqueduct. You’re going to get a few photos of it now, I couldn’t decide on the best angle.
How about a panorama. The aqueduct was still being used until very recently and has hardly changed over the years. Only in 1972 when Segovia was attacked by the moslem Al-Mamum of Toledo and 36 arches were destroyed did it cease working for 300 years.
In total there are 167 stone arches before the aqueduct moves underground to continue it’s journey.
Walking through the streets of the higher city you soon come across the San Fruitos Cathedral, started in 1525 and consecrated in 1768
It is very impressive but it’s not the second reason we came to Segovia.
Many of the buildings are covered in decorated plasterwork, lots of different patterns and very pretty.
This is the second reason we came to Segovia, the Alcazar. Fairly recently I saw a photo of this building taken from the far side when it was covered in snow and it looked fantastic, I thought that the photographer had been really lucky in capturing a once in a life time event. Looking at the snow on the mountains in the distance I think it could be a regular occurrence.
The Alcazar was originally built in the 11th century and is decorated in a variety of styles. It is the home of the royal court of the Trastamera dynasty, site of the wedding of Phillip II , residence of Isobella the Catholic and home of the Spanish Artillery Academy. Did you ever see the Oscar Wilde film, “Chimes at Midnight?”, all filmed here.
We had a fascinating tour, we really should have coughed up for an audio guide each though. Many of the rooms are richly decorated and the ceilings are amazing. In this room effigies of all the Kings of Spain are arranged along the top of the walls with notes about their major achievements.
We did take the tour up to the King Juan Towers right up the top. The stairs were very narrow, spiral stone steps and again, we are so fortunate to be here when there are very few other tourists, it was hard enough climbing the stairs without having to get past others coming down.
Looking the other way, we are right on top of a rock cliff giving the Alcazar an almost unassailable position. By the way, the name, Alcazar is the only moslem part about the castle!
I’m hoping we can take the road round the far side and get some more impressive photos.
More piccies of the aqueduct.
I’ve been carrying my laptop around with me all day hoping to find a wifi signal to upload the three blogs already written. Other than very touristy cafes and restaurants there was little, even the tourist office had no wifi so we ended up in McDonalds. No need for a code, just log in and go (or not). We spent ages in there trying to get things moving, I could get my emails but couldn’t even send the first photo we had. One day you will get these blogs, might be 10 in one go but you will eventually get them.
Back at Frankie the clear skies have given the batteries a boost, however the clear skies means that it will get cold tonight. I think the second duvet will be making an appearance as well as long johns, socks, hat and gloves.