Hello again! We had such a full day on Saturday that it definitely needs to be talked about today. Plus, it provides a good ending to the fairy-tale of a weekend which we’ve had.
We started in Segovia, at the Roman aqueduct which has stayed standing for over 2000 years, through countless wars and civilizations, and without any cement or mortar, just good old-fashioned pressure (and physics!). It was absolutely incredible!
On our way up the hill of the city, we passed by many rich people’s homes, churches, and synagogues. The most interesting thing about Spain is that all of the cities have Jewish, Muslim, and Christian roots. We have learned about the Muslim and Christian backgrounds, but no one seems to want to tell us about the Jews except that they were expelled in 1492 (pretty big year for Spain) if they did not convert to Christianity because the king and queen wanted uniformity in everything, including religion. Sorry, that was kind of a mouth full, but it’s true. I’ll try to find some answers this week and get back to you on that.
We also stopped by the Cathedral after eating ponches (this strangely delicious treat) and seeing the place where Queen Isabel was crowned. It was the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain and it was huge! There was also a wedding going on while we were there, and we were all pretty excited to see the bride who we did manage to get a glimpse of, even if we weren’t sure that we would!
Our final stop was the castle, or Alcázar, that was found at the top of the hill. It had some pretty great views. There was a moat surrounding it which was never filled with water but it did have bears at one point. There were towers, secret passageways, armories, red and gold everywhere, and a wishing well. It was pretty incredible what they were able to do and what they have been able to preserve. Magical.
After Segovia, we went to Ávila which is most well known for the wall which circles the city. It was built in the 12th century, and is the best conserved wall in all of Spain (most of the other walls have been destroyed). One cool thing is that some of the rocks were recycled from Roman times so really the wall is just super old. Karisa and I were just amazed that between all of the wars that have gone on over here, it is incredible that things such as the walls of Ávila and the aqueduct of Segovia are still standing. It must be for something. We also went to the cathedral which was built in with the walls. It is super old and very interesting because they used two different kinds of rocks to build it. I’m sure you’re probably tired of reading about Catholic cathedrals but if you ever want to hear the stories of San Nicolas or of the 11,000 virgins, just let me know and I would love to tell you!
Before leaving Ávila, we tried the yemas of Santa Teresa. Those were very interesting. They are this treat with egg yolk and sugar…that still look like egg yolks. Yeah, I´ll let you guys think about that for a little bit.
We got back to Alcalá very tired but also very happy to be here in Spain, the land of royalty and religion. And we all lived happily ever after! The end.