Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Wonderland

It is currently winter time in the Northern Hemisphere, so I was expecting it to be cold in Europe. Thank goodness I came prepared with my scarfs, beanies, and even my mittens because Madrid has been very cold these last couple of days. However, I was not expecting to experience snow in Spain. Yes, maybe in France or Switzerland, but Spain? I mean I know it snows in Spain, but I was not prepared for there to be snow so close to Madrid. When I say snow, I mean like actual snow fall and the trees, buildings, and roads covered. 

Segovia was a winter wonderland today. Segovia is about an hour north of Madrid and leads the way to Santiago de Compostela for the Catholic pilgrimage. I thought it would be cold like it was in Salamanca and Madrid, but I was definitely not expecting snow. In the end, I was happy it was snowing because it added to the beauty of the city and was incredibly picturesque. *Aka photo shoots around every corner* Segovia is famous for the Roman aqueduct, the Segovia Cathedral, and the Alcazar of Segovia. Alcazar translates to castle...royalty! Now we're talking. Just kidding, kinda. When I was looking up at the aqueduct, I could not wrap my head around the fact that it was a man made structure with limited resources compared to what we have now. Our tour guide told us that each block of granite was stacked on top of each other with no cement in between. I kid you not, my jaw dropped when I was staring at the aqueduct thinking about the precision it took to build it. Our tour guide also pointed out holes in each piece of granite that were created in order to lift each block. Just amazing. 

First glimpse of the snowy city

Aqueduct of Segovia

Our tour guide took us through the streets of Segovia, of course most places were closed because it was a Sunday afternoon, but there were a couple bakeries and stores open. We ended up in the Plaza Mayor, which as a great view of the Segovia Cathedral. It reminded me of the Cathedral Vieja de Santa Maria in Salamanca from a couple of days ago because of the structure. However, this church had its own unique beauty as well. There was a moment where the clock struck twelve and the pigeons that were perched on top of the cathedral, flew around in a flurry. From there, we walked over to the alcazar. This was my first castle that I have ever seen, it was on the smaller size, but the rooms inside were decorated like I have never seen before. Each room had uniquely decorated ceilings and a spectacular view of the river and mountains, which were covered up in fog today. I definitely felt like I was in a Disney movie. That reminds me! This castle, along with a couple of others, inspired Walt Disney's Cinderella's Castle. Where is my prince charming?... It is kind of crazy to think about royalty and their significance through history as well as their power. I definitely felt at home in this castle...Just kidding, it was way too cold in there. 

Segovia Cathedral

Alcazar de Segovia

Decorative ceiling

Another decorative ceiling

Everything today in Segovia was beautiful. The tree branches were powdered with snow, each rooftop, and my hood as well. I loved it. I may not be a fan of cold weather, but spending at least one day with snow fall all around was really special. 


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