One of the famous day trips from Madrid is Segovia. One can easily reach this city from Madrid either by train or bus. We took the bus leaving from the bus station of Príncipe Pío that cold Saturday of 8 June. Bought the tickets on the same day we were leaving that the bus leaving at 10:15 was already full. Gabi and I, my Korean travel buddy for the day, waited for an hour for the next bus that leaves at 11.
Segovia is famous for this.
It’s the city’s landmark. You can tell from the number of tourists having their photos taken with it as a backdrop (yours truly included).
When we arrived, it was raining so we had to wait for at least 30 minutes inside the tourist information center which is just on the corner of this side of the Aqueduct. When we finally went out, my camera started acting up again. I got it to work 2 days before this trip you’d never imagine how thankful I was and then it was starting to fail me again. Luckily, this bad start didn’t last as it opened to life after my 8th attempt or so. Thank my camera for taking these:
A specialty this side of Spain is the cochinillo.
As a Filipino, I know well that this this particular delicacy, that is the star of every fiesta in my homeland, is a Spanish influence. Lechón is the name used in the Philippines. I learned here though, that lechón is the name of the baby pig used for roasting and cochinillo asado, refers to the way of preparing the lechón. In Spain, a lechón, the baby pig, is the one used for roasting but in the Philippines, it’s normally an adult pig that is roasted.
We dined at Duque, one of the best-known restaurants that serve the best cochinillo in town! Gabi and I checked the price first before entering. The cochinillo is priced at 21€ and we agreed that we could share it and we’ll order a salad to also share. The serving portion is perfect for 2 people. It’s too much for one person and with it’s high cholesterol content it is wise to share it.
After lunch, we headed to the Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos. I looked it up online the night before our trip. It says it provides a good vantage point of the Alcazar de Segovia – the fortress-castle said to be an inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Cinderella.
The entrance for the castle is 4.50€ but we we’re not interested in going in. What I wanted was a good photo of the castle from the outside, with its blue turrets in full display to capture that Cinderella Castle look. And I got it. *sings Cinderella-like: a dream is a wish your heart makes.. ♪ ♫
We also passed by the Cathedral.
We stopped for merienda because I was feeling cold and wanted to sit down for some hot tea or chocolate con churros. The restaurant we went into didn’t have the latter but I got me a tea and chocolate crepe. It was nearly 6 in the afternoon and we still got time to kill before our 8 pm bus for Madrid. We went to the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente.
They have an exhibition of the Prado Museum entitled: El museo del Prado visto por los artistas españoles contemporáneos (The Prado Museum seen by contemporary Spanish artists). The exhibition showcases paintings of contemporary artists that were called on by the Prado to create their interpretation of the museum. This happened in 1990. 12 artists were selected. And then again in 2005.
Upon entering, we were told that there’s a free tour of the said exhibition starting in 5 minutes. It’s always good to know the explanation behind the paintings so we joined the tour. It was really interesting. The guide has asked several times if we’ve seen this painting, that painting in the Prado since it was chosen by a contemporary artist to depict in his interpretation. I was mentally scolding myself for still not being able to find the time to go in the Prado. There were some really curious interpretations and a favorite among these contemporary artists to re-create was Velasquez’s Las Meninas. It was the guide’s words that pointed out that the female artists’ depiction of the paintings has more depth, story-wise. It was true. There was a creation by Soledad Sevilla that I particularly like. She has chosen a painting of the artist Guido Reni entitled Hippomenes and Atalanta.
The museum was a nice way to cap off the day. I was feeling inspired and feeling intellectual after the paintings I’ve discovered hehe. 😉 We walked back to the bus station and we’re there by 7:30, just in time for our 8pm bus. I went back to Madrid with a worsening throat (I totally blame the weather) but it was still worth the trip.