Segovia is a short bus ride from Madrid, and the reason - or at least the principal reason - that so many tourists from Madrid bother to travel to Segovia is the town's Roman aqueduct. When approaching the town the massive engineering marvel is impossible to miss. It begins as a low wall and as the valley falls the wall retains it height. In the valley one can see how impressively the Romans built their structures to last.
Segovia's aqueduct was constructed over 2,000 years ago using solid stone blocks, without a drop of mortar. It was built to carry water from the Rio Frio across a valley to the town, which sits atop a hill and probably predates the Roman invasion by many years.
The huge stone blocks of the ancient aqueduct seem to vary in height as they span the town's valley, but in fact they are level at the top where it really counts.
Jennifer stands at the base of one of the massive aqueductillian columns. Yes, that word is made up.
I stand beneath the Aqueduct. Behind me, up the hill, is the medieval wall of Segovia, behind which was the place where the Romans needed water very badly.
Jennifer and I in the Plaza Mayor, in front of the picturesque Segovia Cathedral. The cathedral is a honey-colored stone structure covered with countless spires. It fits into the city dramatically, and it's worth a look inside too.
A few minutes' walk from the Plaza Mayor is the Alcazar, supposedly the ancient castle that protected Segovia through dark times. It looks authentic, perched on the edge of the hill, but in fact the original castle burnt down in the nineteenth century and this is a somewhat exaggerated replica. Still, this doesn't detract from its grand, imposing towers overlooking the distinctive Spanish countryside.
If it looks familiar to you there is a reason why it looks familiar: the Disneyland castle in southern California was modeled after it (and also after a castle in Bavaria). The mouse strikes again.
The inside of the castle features displays revealing the catle's long associations with both the military and scientific research. At the top of the stairs, which we found just beyond the strategically-placed gift shop, was a wonderful view of the countryside.
I stand atop the Alcazar. In the distance is another view of the cathedral.