Segovia, Bejar & Alba de Tormes

I haven’t been on any major trips recently. It’s a “lull in the storm” of sorts, this month I have plans to visit Granada, Sevilla, and Madrid. It’s been nice to have a few weekends to catch my breath and sleep in my own bed, although I’m looking at the calendar and trying to figure out how to make it everywhere I want to go! Anyway, just because I haven’t been on any major trips doesn’t mean I’ve been bumming around Salamanca – I’ve taken several day trips: Segovia, Bejar and Alba de Tormes.

SegoviaI went to Segovia two weekends ago with ISA. We (obviously) saw the famous Roman aqueduct, as well as a Middle Ages church and the Alcazar de Segovia (the castle). I thought that the aqueduct, which was built without the use of any mortar, was amazing. It was in continuous use until the 1940’s, and still functions today, although it is only used on special occasions. 

The Alcazar de Segovia was really cool. Fun fact I learned: the castle in Sleeping Beauty was modeled after this castle!

After taking a tour of the castle (and possibly posing next to some dashing Middle Age armor, although you’ll have to look in the Spain Picassa album for those photos), we were given free time to explore the city. We walked around, but it was a Saturday afternoon and most of the shops were closed. To be honest, while the Roman Aqueduct and Alcazar were really cool and made the trip well worth it, I wasn’t all that impressed with the rest of Segovia.

Bejar  I’ve really wanted to go hiking in Spain – there are a lot of really beautiful areas. However, getting to remote mountain towns by public transportation can be a bit difficult (as I’ve discovered), so instead of the beautiful area between Portugal and Spain, I settled for the Sierras de Bejar, about 90 minutes south of Salamanca. A few friends and I took the bus last Saturday, to Bejar. 

While we weren’t actually able to hike in the Sierras, we did walk through the woods. With the leaves falling, it was a beautiful and refreshing afternoon that reminded me quite a bit of Colorado.

Alba de Tormes – Yesterday was a festival day here (November 1st, All Saint’s Day) so we didn’t have school. I decided to go to Alba de Tormes, a little village about 30 minutes away from Salamanca, for the afternoon.

 Their main claim to fame is a large castle that the Duke and Duchess of Alba lived in at one point. Soon after I arrived at the castle, it closed for siesta (gotta love Spain!) so I didn’t have a chance to visit the museum inside it.

However, the town is directly on the Tormes River, and the trees were turning. It was quite beautiful, and I had a quite pleasant afternoon wandering around the little town taking photos and enjoying the solitude of a festival day.

Hope everyone had a good Halloween, and is ready for November and all that it will bring. I know I am – November 1st marked 2 months in Europe!

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