Alas, the rain fell shortly after we arrived in Segovia by train from Madrid's Atocha station. We had just walked from the train station to the aqueduct (a 15-minute walk) when the rain drops were released from the heavens like an answer to my husband's prayers. Just yesterday we had bemoaned the 100-plus heat in Madrid. It was a perfect day for a stroll in the rain amidst the backdrop of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Segovia.
The rain turned to hail and then stopped long enough for us to snap pictures by the impressive aqueduct. No mortar was used in this testament to 1st century AD construction and engineering. Did I really see hail here in Segovia in the middle of June??! We bypassed the Meson de Candido beneath the aqueduct and opted to dine instead at Casa Duque (Calle de Cervantes), ducking in just as the rain began to pour again. We ordered six set menus (28€ per meal) for seven of us, and they brought out an entire roasted suckling pig for us to admire and photograph before carving it up and serving it to our stomachs. It was the best pig I’ve EVER had (and there are plenty of food connoisseurs/snobs amongst us), even better than at Botin’s in Madrid! The portions were HUGE and the service was excellent, jolly and witty. When asked about the pig, our waiter gave us an entire biography of Antonio, the 20-day-old piglet. We roared with laughter, tipsy from the wine and liquor-soaked desserts. No one seemed to mind that we were just hanging out inside the restaurant for the rain to stop. I’d definitely come back for the food again.
When the rain again relented, we made our way through the cobblestone paths and stopped to admire the cathedral long enough for our cameras to do their work. Our ultimate target was the Alcazar, the said inspiration of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. The views from in front of the Alcazar were breathtaking. You can see the countryside with a little church, monastery, quarries, lush greens, and different reddish earthtones layered in the land. What texture! I felt ridiculous snapping away at our cameras before such a breathtaking scene, so I indulged in a few moments to let the history of the place unfold and peel away the landscape before me. Images from Gladiator, Excalibur, Cinderella, and other period epics kept flashing across my mind. Sure enough, upon entry into the alcazar, the knights in shining armor appeared to greet us. Again, I’m distracted from my reveries by the flashing of our digital cameras. I can’t resist snapping away, in case I never have the chance to set my eyes on this place again.
We played and laughed from room to room in the Alcazar, letting our imaginations loose in the weapons room and enjoying more landscape views from the top of the castle. Too bad they don’t open up more towers and turrets. Segovia is a little gem of a visit.