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Spain Day Two: Segovia Featured

Day two brought us an hour away to La Granja, about 5km from Segovia. We spent the morning at a crystal factory and even got to watch students learn to make pitchers and vases. It was incredible to watch; I would have never guessed that putting the handle on was a two-person job (one person came with to the first with a rod of hot glass and attached it to the first.) We toured the factory and learned a bit about the history of crystal, different types and saw some impressive pieces. Did you know that glass can be recycled, but crystal cannot?

crystal worker la granja

Next, we toured the royal summer palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, an 18th century palace built by King Philip V. The building was modeled after Versailles and is also known for its' massive, manicured gardens. Philip V really did not want to be King and passed along the title to his sun, Louis I, before his death. The original palace was modest; this palace was meant to be his retirement home. Unfortunately, his son died and he was forced regain the throne. Thus, a more elaborate palace was built. I really enjoyed touring it in the fall as the leaves were changing. I can only imagine how beautiful everything looks during the summer when the flowers are blooming and the fountains spewing.

Royal Palace of La Granja Palace La Granja Garden

After the palace, we traveled to Segovia for lunch and a tour. Approaching Segovia, I was amazed at its' beauty and presence. Approaching the city, you are greeted by a giant Roman aqueduct. The aqueduct is authentic and was functional up until the last century- pretty impressive!

Segovia Aqueduct

Lunch was at Meson de Candido, a restaurant known for their suckling pig. The restaurant in itself is a museum with plenty to look at. Lunch was the usual 5 courses, beginning with bread and jamon. Spanish food makes it so hard to pace yourself! The suckling pig was juicy and tender. I've never had anything quite like it. The restaurant owner presents the pig, chops it up with a plate and then smashes the plate on the ground, making a great show! You may even end up with a leg or tail on your plate!

suckling pig segovia

We took a much-needed walk around Segovia after lunch. We saw the beautiful cathedral, built in the mid 1500s. The cathedral was built in gothic style, which was outdated at the time of building. Inside, the cathedral has many family chapels, each more adorned than the last.

segovia cathedral

My favorite part of the city tour was the Alcazar. The Alcazar was built in 1120 as a fortress, but became a palace when Segovia returned to being a Christian territory. The castle is said to have been the muse for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle. It is most important inhabitants were Queen Isabella, who seized the throne when King Henry IV died. This in itself was a bold and progressive move. Within these walls that Christopher Columbus came and asked Isabella for the funding for his voyages that lead to the colonization of America.

Segovia alcazar

Each room in the Alcazar was more fabulous than the last. The ceilings were all different; texturized wood and gilded in gold. Our tour ended on the patio right at sunset. My head was spinning of whimsical dreams of becoming a fairytale princess.

alcazar room alcazar tower

Read 3367 times Last modified on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 20:40
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