Living in Madrid meant I was not only in the capital of Spain, but also a very central region of the country. This made it possible to travel to a number of different cities for day trips, something I did several times.
In early February 2020, about one month before the pandemic hit the country, I went on a day trip to Segovia with a friend who was visiting Spain for the weekend. The city is in the region of Castile and León, and is perhaps most well-known for the Roman aqueduct running through the Plaza del Azoguejo. This aqueduct was thought to have been built around the 1st century CE. Together with the city centre, the aqueduct was named a UNESCO Heritage site, so of course it was first on our list to see.
Our train tickets leaving from Madrid’s Chamartín station to Segovia Guiomar was around 8 euros each. We took a bus from the station in Segovia to the street nearest the aqueduct. The plaza is pedestrian only, so we walked the last two hundred meters or so. It was raining when we arrived, but began to taper off as the day went on.
After taking pictures of the aqueduct from multiple angles, we began exploring the city. We stumbled upon la Iglesia San Martín, a Catholic Church originally built in the 12th century. Segovia is truly a city built on centuries upon centuries of history and civilizations.
Our next stop was the famous Catedral de Segovia, a late-Gothic style cathedral complete with an old bell tower. We arrived just before a new tour of the bell tour began, so explored the cathedral for a short time before joining the tour. We followed our guide through the tower, up the various levels (to the home where the bell-ringer and his family would have lived). The stairs were narrow and steep, but the view from the top was quite incredible. We stayed as long as we could before the wind chilled us through to the bone. The many flights of stairs down helped warm us back up.
We stopped for lunch after the tour, giving my friend a proper Spanish experience with patatas bravas and tinto de verano. After tapas, our last stop was the Alcázar de Segovia. This castle looks like it has appeared directly out of a fairy tale.
However, the line to enter was long and we had a return trip to make it back to the station for. We admired the castle from the outside, then made our way back to a bus that took us to Guiomar station. The train itself only took us about 30 minutes or so, which made the city very accessible. There is plenty more to see and explore in Segovia if you have the time, so I highly recommend you visit this piece of Spanish history!