Monday, November 2, 2015

Touring Avila and Segovia

I booked a tour to Avila and Segovia I had originally planned on doing on my own but the way things were going with my knee decided to take a tour. I wanted to go on Sunday but they said that was not a good day so I booked the tour for Monday despite possible rain. I was up early so I could grab a coffee and a quick bite at McDonald's. I had to be at the place the tour was leaving from by 8.45 am. I looked at the Metro and I could not find a way to take the Metro that went near where the tour left from  so I set out in the rain up hill walk of about 30 mins I got there just in time. It was a tough way to say the least. 

The tour first went to Avila which is known for its imposing Walls of Avila which started being built in 1090. The walls have 88 blocks or semicircular towers. It is the largest fully illuminated monument in the world. Unfortunately we only able to see a very small section as they did not stop where you could have a good view. 
Basilica San Vicente 

We first entered the Cathedral and looked around and then came out to regroup and head out to the birthplace of Saint Teresa of Avila also called Saint Teresa of Jesus. When I was young and in grade school I loved to read books about saints and it popped in my mind that she reformer of the Order of Carmelite nuns. Teresa was a theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. 
Convent of st Teresa
could not believe this soda machine holy pepsi
Teresa of Avila

Afterwards we boarded the bus and headed to Segovia I had to listen to this woman complain about having to go look in churches and Cathedrals and she said we better not have to go to one more stupid Catholic church and those Catholics are so stupid with Saints they do  not understand when you find Jesus you are a saint, I just ignored her she was very ignorant.   

We arrived in Segovia and took a quick walking tour and stopped for a few moments at the Aqueduct of Segovia before we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. I saw with a couple from Hawaii and it was a nice lunch although I was not fond of the roast pig that was part of the meal but I sure enjoyed the wine. They kept pouring some in my glass. It was almost time to meet with our guide at the Cathedral but I decided to get another view of the Aqueduct and walked with some people originally from Cuba we had a nice chat.
Aqueduct of Segovia
The Roman aqueduct of Segovia built c AD 50

This does not show just how impressive this was

I hurried along to the Cathedral but the stairs I had to climb on the way were killer for my leg. I got to the Cathedral a bit late and the guide had already gone inside but I took them at the admission desk I was catching up with my tour. 

16th century cathedral 

After that we headed to the Alcazar of Segovia and to he honest I had totally forgot one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Segovia. I was suffering from exhaustion by the time from my noisy hotel room. I was not disappointed by the Castle, it is one of the most distinctive castles in Spain because of its shape like the bow of a ship. It was originally built as a fortress starting as Arab fort, the Alcazar means Royal residence in Arabic but is believed to have been prehistoric Celtic culture.  The rooms were amazing and the ceilings wow.  We entered a room with huge windows and beautiful views, I kept snapping away as the clouds and light changed, it hardly looked real.   After the visit we headed back to Madrid on the bus they had two drop off places and I recognized the one place and I knew it was right by a metro stop so I got off there. Looked around and then took the metro back to the hotel, I was so thankful as I do not think I would have made that downhill walk. 
Alcazar of  Segovia

views from the window