One of Robin Graham’s provocative lines in this story is: ‘about the silence before a place wakes up.’ A blessed time of day to really capture the spirit of place. If you are in Segovia, in the region of Castile, Pedraza is near and another slice of mysterious Spain. Robin is our expert living in windy Tarifa.
By Robin Graham
Up in the square the morning sun is just beginning to streak across the cobbles. The place is more or less deserted at this time – a single delivery van has brought beer for the bar and a woman shakes a carpet over the railings of her balcony, calling a greeting to a neighbour who is passing by below. Here in Castile – we are not far from Segovia – white is not the predominant colour in the villages. The walls and old pillars are instead an unpainted, honey colour, stony but warm.
As you might expect of a town as old as Pedraza, there isn’t a straight line in the place. This central square is lined with some of Spain’s most photographed and filmed village buildings but, although they say the weekends can be very busy with Segovians, during the week we found the town tranquil, even in August.
Each July the town council picks a couple of Saturday nights and switches the town’s power off. The streets are then decked in thousands of candles for the Noche de las Velas and an enchanted nightscape. In the castle just outside the village there’s a museum devoted to the artist Ignacio Zuloaga, who had a studio there.
Later we’ll visit the ancient prison for a guided tour. Like many of Spain’s old gaols it found a second (and grisly) lease of life during last century’s civil war. It’s remarkably well preserved with graffiti dating back centuries.
For now though I simply stroll, beneath the archway of the old butchering quadrangle, now given over to works of contemporary art. I walk past the church, up this street, down that. Sometimes it isn’t about attractions, it’s about the silence before a place wakes up.
Want a day trip, Madrid to Segovia? Here is The Scoop!
What is your experience with early morning meanderings?
Robin Graham writes about Andalusia, Spain and some other stuff. His stories can be found, with accompanying photography, at alotofwind
Photography at 500px.