Madrid is a city that never sleeps so for the weekend on your get away from it all day trip, think Segovia.
Segovia is a province that is about 68 km from Madrid, and you can get to Segovia on the bus or a train in approximately an hour.
Segovia was a Celtic possession in the autonomous community of Castilla y Leon. Segovia is one of the 9 provinces of the autonomous region of Castilla y Leon. The altitude of the province ranges from 750 metres (2,461 feet) in the extreme northwest to a maximum of 2,430 meters (7,972 ft) at the Peñalara peak in the Sierra de Guadarrama.
There are so many historic sites to see in Segovia that a day trip might just be too short to take them all in.
Castillo de Alcazar
Let us start with the Castillo de Alcazar. The castle was originally built as a fortress, has been used as a royal palace, a state prison, a royal artillery college and has been in use as a military academy since then.
Aqueduct of Segovia
Next on our list of sites to see is the Aqueduct of Segovia also known as Acueducto de Segovia, a Roman aqueduct bridge. This aqueduct once transported water from the Rio Frio river situated in the mountains, about 17 kms from the city of La Acebeda.
Another place that you can visit in Segovia is the Segovia Cathedral, a cathedral that was built between 1525 – 1577 in the late Gothic style. This cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary back in the 16th century. The cathedral is in Plaza Mayor, a main square with the same name as the one in Madrid.
Granja de San Ildefonso
Segovia has even more sites to visit and this time we are heading to the Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso, also known as the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. It is an 18th century palace located in a small town called San Ildefonso in the hills near Segovia.
The palace was purchased by the monks back in 1719 under King Philip V who was the first Spanish king from the French Bourbon dynasty.
Around the palace garden, one will find the French Formal Gardens, also known as the Fame Fountain. Taking a stroll, enjoying the beautiful Greek deities in this garden makes for a relaxing trip Segovia.
Segovia is known to most for its Cinderella like palaces and its Roman aqueduct. To food lovers around the world, it is also the best place to try these 3 regional specialties.
Cochinillo is simple, effective and one of the most delicious dishes of Segovia you can ever try. It consists of a roast suckling pig, cooked in an oven specially made for this purpose. The piglets themselves should be small, weighing between four and five kilograms. Their diet should consist only of milk and they should never be more than three weeks old.
Along a similar vein to cochinillo is its famous counterpart, lechazo asado. Or more commonly known as leg of lamb. The leg itself is cooked in a wood-fired clay oven (most typically) for around three and a half hours. This ensures that the meat is extremely delicate, tender and that it slides off the bone. Again, to preserve the flavour, the lamb is usually served without condiments or side dishes.
Judias de la granja
These beans are famous throughout the Segovia region, hailing from a small town outside of the provincial capital, La Granja. They are large, white and are often served in “menus de degustación” (taster menus) throughout Segovia. The beans themselves are often incorporated into stews or vegetable dishes. The sauce which accompanies them is what is known as a “sofrito”, which is essentially tomatoes, onions, carrots and paprika fried together over a low heat.
Eating in Segovia is a hearty affair, complete with big portions of extremely filling food. However, like in anything else, you got to strike the balance. Did you enjoy Segovia? I hope you did because now that your batteries are re-charged, it is back to Madrid in preparation for our Monday’s TEFL job.