I am out in the wilds of Spain all alone.

I arrived in Spain the day before yesterday and spent two nights with the family in Madrid. As background, I flew over with my mother-in-law and she is going to spend three months with the Madrid family. I have the next month by myself before Jennifer joins me at the beginning of June. The last time I travelled alone for more than a day or two (and I mean travelled for fun, not work) was something like thirty years ago – so I am very excited about this adventure.

I set out from Madrid this morning on a bus to a regional train station. This was definitely the road less travelled and only chosen after consultation with my Madrid-born sister-in-law. I probably wouldn’t do it again as the train wasn’t comfortable and the station was an ugly building in the middle of nowhere. But it was all good because my adventure was beginning.

The trip from Madrid to Segovia was pretty, especially as we made our way into the mountains. The train stations all looked like they had had a far richer hey-day some time ago; and the towns, I am guessing, have never been well-loved by the locals as they have names like ‘Needle’, ‘Nettle’ and ‘Slab on the Cold River’.

Segovia, however, is lovely. The old town is smaller than I expected and, although the obvious tourist spots are pretty crowded, the minute you step away from the main streets the town is eerily deserted.

I started my exploration by taking a look at the Aqueduct over a beer. Two-thousand years old, built without mortar and still a functional thing of beauty. All those perfect arches stand largely because the Romans understood physics. But they’re also there because the Romans understood how to make things look good enough that people were willing to maintain them as a symbol of pride in their town.

Segovia is famous in Spain for two foods. One is suckling pig and I’m unlikely to be sampling that. The other is el ponche segoviano, which is an incredibly rich cake with a cream filling covered with marzipan. As marzipan is my favourite thing in the world I followed my beer up with a huge sugar hit sitting in the shade of the cathedral.

Feeling pretty good, I sorted out a local SIM card for my phone before walking around to the Alazar for a quick look at the view. A visit inside the Alcazar is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Finished the day off watching the sun set at the Aqueduct while swallows swooped through the arches.

1 thought on “Alone

  1. Great to see your splendid descriptions and photos return. It’s a wonderful way to enhance & extend my commute! Coincidentally I put a copy of Jan Morris’ Spain into my bag this morning – one of my last purchases from Book Depository before it shut down. I’ll look for intersections between your respective journeying. Enjoy your coffee, snacks and sights today.

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