Those Roman dudes got around and left their huge aqueduct in Segovia. Only one hour by train from Madrid, this town, known for its vistas and architecture, also wins an award for delicious suckling pigs. That is, if you are into pig.
By Lauren Linzer
Is it really possible to take a vacation from a vacation? Just as the overwhelming feeling of “I can’t believe I live in Madrid,” was starting to fade, I checked out a day trip to Segovia. Being smack dab in the middle of a culturally rich country certainly has its geographic perks.
Walled medieval cities and modest villages are easily accessible from Madrid. To the north, Segovia is in a time warp, leaving visitors with no more than a muttered, “wow…” as each turn through the cobblestone streets reveals another incredulous site or view. The city is surrounded by snow capped mountains, two large rivers, and overlooks lush tree tops.
Before entering the inner walls, I was greeted by one of Spain’s most puzzling architectural marvels, the Roman aqueduct. People told me of how impressive this mortar-free structure is, but I had not fully appreciated the structural scale until I lay eyes on the beast. Peaking at 100 ft and running for 18 kilometers, it once carried water from the river to town beginning in the the first century.
Granite walls run a three kilometer parameter around Segovia. Wandering visitors are sure to end up at the foot of the Alcazar of Segovia, a palace which towers over the city with an iconic shape that labels it as one of Spain’s most prominent castles. As I peered over the outer wall that stretched around the structure, the incredible views left me awestruck.
As I left, I stumbled upon the Gothic cathedral that lies in the central square, Plaza Mayor, which has an endless array of distinctive peaks. The central square makes for a good resting point as you absorb the experience and grab a bite to eat. A trip to Segovia is complete with a meal of cochinillo, roasted suckling pig, one of Spain‘s most famous dishes.
How to get there: Northern train station in Madrid, Chamartin. Just over an hour. See RENFE train times here.
Lauren Linzer, from Raleigh, North Carolina, gave up the day to day grind of corporate sales to embrace life in Spain as an English teacher and travel writer in Madrid and the Canary Islands. She is the author of Linzer’s Adventure, a travel blog sharing personal accounts of life on the road and living abroad. Read more about her experiences at: http://www.linzersadventure.com/