Saturday, February 16, 2008

Segovia and Pedraza

15 de febrero

This day trip was definitely full and tiring. We started in Segovia and as soon as we arrived headed straight to the Alcazar. This castle is pretty amazing. It’s said to be the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. And seeing how I am such a Disney fan, I was especially excited to see it.

The cathedral was stunning. It’s called the Lady of all Cathedrals because of it’s fair coloring. And it really is beautiful. It has 20 chapels inside and absolutely amazing acoustics. I was really tempted to sing in it (softly of course), but my stupid congested nose didn’t really allow it. I think it would have been ok in this cathedral. They had music going in the background. I haven’t seen (or heard) that before. Normally it’s deadly silent in there. They had a really pretty little courtyard in this cathedral as well. There was a well in the middle and we occupied ourselves for awhile pretending to be Snow White.

We had free time next, but it didn’t really matter because we all headed to the same place anyway—the Roman aqueducts. I was really excited to see these. These are the original Roman aqueducts, and they are the only surviving aqueducts in the world. And to top it all off, they still work! Plus, they are so massive it’s incredible. I still can’t imagine how you could make something this. . .big without modern technology.

We then all piled back on the bus and headed for Pedraza. It’s a little town that still maintains it’s Medieval atmosphere. All the buildings, roads, and food are similar to what it would have been hundreds of years ago. We found the castle and immediately started exploring all over it. It was closed, so this exploring was more climbing all around it. We climbed down into the moat—it was dry, but had an awesome lawn/weed patch—and played down there. Next I climbed around one side of the castle to lookout over the valley. It was incredibly fun. It was only a 25 foot drop to grass, and rather wide ledges, so I didn’t worry too much about it—plus it provided some fun pictures.

And I must say climbing was the highpoint of this town. We made this stop particularly to go to dinner. We had cuchinillo (roast suckling piglet) and cordero (roast lamb) which a specialty of the region. I took the lamb, and I must say I didn’t really like it. It wasn’t that they brought it out whole—practically half of an entire lamb was on your plate—I just didn’t like the taste. Actually, I felt sick the whole bus ride home. I’m really kinda sad I wasted euros on it. Oh well, it was a cultural experience and now I know, I don’t really like lamb. Plus other people had a great time with it. The pig came out as the whole leg, hoof and skin attached. People definitely had fun with the hooves, and there was even a fearfactor going on—some girls ate the lamb testicals—yech.

But overall, the trip was fun. I was definitely ready to get home though, and that didn’t happen until late. Next we’re going to El Escorial and I am super excited!

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