Sunday, September 12, 2010

Segovia and the Weekend

On Friday, as I said in my last post, we went on a school excursion to Segovia. It was only about an hour bus ride there so most of us slept on the way there since we left at 8:45 from Madrid. The weather was pretty chilly which was nice since we were going to do a lot of walking. Allie and I decided to dress "American" because we knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking. We happily sported our t-shirts, nike shorts, and tennis shoes.
When we first arrived, we visited La Granja which was a palace for the king and queen of Spain. The gardens were really gorgeous and the palace was of course beautiful. La Granja is about 15 minutes outside of Segovia so we hopped back on the bus to continue our tour. Our first stop was to see the aqueducts. They were very impressive and I could not believe that they still work today. However, they aren't used because the city is too big and needs more water. They were built over 2,000 years ago by the Romans and are the last standing proof of the Romans in Spain. Next we all walked to Plaza Mayor of Segovia and broke off to have lunch. We have heard from our teachers that "la cuchinillo" is the specialty of Segovia. "La cuchinillo" is baby pig that they kill when it is about four months old and literally cook it whole after taking out the insides. When the plate arrived at our table, we could still see the eyeballs in the head. They then cut it with a plate and serve it to you. The meat was so tender and fresh it was definitely one of the best meals we have had here. Even though the concept was a little intimidating, it was so delicious, I would eat it again.
William, Allie, and I then went to get some helado (ice cream) and sat at an outside bar until we had to meet back up with the group. We ended up sitting there for awhile and soon enough, the group found us. It was a nice time for all of us to bond. I really like our group and we have all been having a really good time together.
We then walked across the city to see the Al Alcazar. It was a castle that actually burned down and they rebuilt it to look like Disney Land. I was not very impressed with this especially since not much of it was authentic. It was our fifth castle we have seen so they are all starting to blend together at this point. This one was neat because it had a lot of suits of amor and a tall tower that we walked to the top of. It had 155 steps going in a circle up this tiny staircase. The view from top was beautiful. By this time it was 5:30 and we were all pretty tired and ready to go home. I was happy that we didnt have to spend the night in Segovia because there wasn't really anything else to see. We had to walk back across town to get on our bus and everyone slept the whole way home. We got back to Madrid at 7pm, just in time to rest before dinner.
Our host mom, Loles is such a good cook, we always look forward to her meals. She made us thinly cooked chicken with half a potato with olive oil. YUM YUM YUM. We always have fruit for dessert which is nice and healthy! Since it was Friday night, we got ready to head out to the bars and to the discoteca. We got back around 5am and slept for the rest of the next day. We went back out Saturday night but I went in early because I was still so tired from Friday night. Allie ended up staying back out until 5 again, she is a champ.
Today, Sunday, I woke up early and went to El Rastro (the market) with three girls in my program while Allie slept. It is only open on Sundays from 11-3pm. I bought three scarves and a ring. We had to be careful because lots of people get pick-pocketed there. Everything was pretty cheap which was nice on our student budget. I brought Allie and I home lunch and we napped and watched Mad Men episodes. I love lazy Sundays, especially after a long weekend like we had.

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