During our planning, we considered several day trips from Madrid: Salamanca, Cuenca, Toledo, Avila, and Segovia. We had seen Toledo and Segovia on earlier trips. Salamanca, our top pick, is a 2-hour train ride, too long for a comfortable day trip.
Toward the end of our week in Madrid, we had an open day. We decided to go to Segovia for its beauty. Segovia’s a one-hour ride from Madrid on a fast train. A bus met the train at the Segovia train station and took us to the town center, at the foot of the Roman aqueduct.
The Romans built this aqueduct around the 1st century to bring water to the Roman fort and town. 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in) tall at its highest point, the aqueduct is constructed with granite blocks and no mortar. The aqueduct was partially damaged by the Moors in 1072 and subsequently reconstructed in the 15th century. The photo below shows mountains with snow in early April.
We walked toward the Plaza Mayor looking for a restaurant serving cochinillo asado, roast suckling pig, a Segovia specialty and our planned Madrid splurge. We found cochinillo asado at El Sitio on their menu tipico Segoviano — appetizer, cochinillo entree, dessert, and drink for 22 euros.
The cochinillo skin was crisp, as it should be. The waiter didn’t cut the cochinillo with spoons in front of us, as Madrid’s Casa Botin had done years ago, but Botin’s cochinillo entree costs more than this meal. I ordered red wine as my drink, and we got a 75 cl bottle, which I couldn’t finish. 😦 The appetizers were sopa castiillana and judiones de la granja. The judiones of the granja region were delicious — very large white beans in a broth made from sausages and pork.
We walked to the alcazar after lunch. Originally a Roman fort, then a Moorish fort (hence its name), the castle was a favorite of Spanish kings and an inspiration for Disneyland’s Cinderella castle. The alcazar sits high above the junction of two rivers.
For an afternoon snack, we had a ponche Segoviano, a cake with cream filling, from Pasteleria Limon y Menta.
Back at the aqueduct, the sun finally came out, with a bit of blue sky. We relaxed and enjoyed the details of the aqueduct brought out by the sun.
On the photo below, do you see how the lines on the aqueduct converge in the distance? The top of the aqueduct, the top of the first set of arches, and the dark protrusions on the columns each have the same elevation and are parallel, and the lines through them converge in the distance at a point on the bottom right.
This edited photo shows the lines. The point where the lines converge is called the vanishing point. The lines converging on the vanishing point is part of perspective, a concept that helped Renaissance painters create more life-like pictures.
A nearby butcher shop displayed cochinillos in the window.
We enjoyed Segovia specialties and marveled at the aqueduct and alcazar — a good day in Segovia.