Published: June 5th 2012May 31st 2012
For now these pictures are not mine, I will go back through and add some from our group.
Here was my week in a nutshell:
Monday: Nothing happened. Went to class did work relaxed in Spain. Summary complete.
On Tuesday, we took an excursion to La Granja and the Palacio Real. It is a huge palace that is based on the one in Versailles. The first part that we saw were the gardens, which are one of the last French-style gardens left. It wasn’t overgrown but it wasn’t perfectly kept up. That is intentional because a lot of places seem false or fake because of their perfect appearance. This place is like a perfect place that could be real as far as everyone who doesn’t know is concerned. At the far end of the gardens is a huge man-made lake that reflects the might of the mountain behind it. What is really interesting is that the lake powers the fountains in the palace. The fountains shoot what up into the air about 20 meters or more. Unfortunately they were not running the day that we visited. These are the only type like them used in Europe. What makes
El Palacio Real
This is the actual palacio Real. Look at photos of Versailles and tell me its not similar.
them so unique is that they are merely powered by gravity. The water on the lake pushes down through the pipes with a certain force. The pipes become smaller and smaller as the progress to the fountain. The builds up the pressure and allows the water to flow out of the pipes really fast and shoot up into the air. If you have any questions consult Bernoulli’s Principle.
Now that your physics lesson is over I will continue. The whole place had different natural wonders that were worthy of photos. There was a grotto that looked as if it belonged there for hundreds of years instead of being manmade. There was a wooden bridge that looked like an interesting arrangement of tree roots.
But in all seriousness, the palace grounds were wonderful. I think that the builders were successful when they made the palace to mimic the palace in Versailles. Inside was absolutely breathtaking. The entire place had feel of exuberant feel like whoever lived there was always doing something. There was a room of tapestries that were worth billions of Euros easily. They were encrusted with rubies, sapphires and gold. The clocks found around the palace all
had different designs and were sculpted with a different scene. There were marble busts, giant paintings, marble floors, columns and stairs all that showed the vast amount of wealth that the owners had.
On Wednesday, we took a tour of the Alcazar of Segovia, which was absolutely gorgeous. The coolest part was that the climbing of the tower, like always it was treacherous. They are very narrow and winding. In the middle of climbing the 200+ stairs there was a group of about 5 people that made up wait and go by. So we stood there while their stupid kids kept yelling in an enclosed stone area. Should have tripped one. But you can see everything on top of the Alcazar. Among the inside are more masterpieces that I am sure are worth more than my life.
Afterwards in the afternoon, some people got tattoos and I got to laugh at their pain and suffering and stupidity. For dinner our program director bought us all pizza and we ate at his hotel and he told us about the strangest students that he had ever had. There were some really strange ones too. I never knew those type of
people actually existed but you learn something new everyday.
On Thursday, first went to the Segovia museum and had look at the history of Segovia. We learned how the city of Segovia progressed and became what is it today. The indigenous people were few and simple and the Visigoths conquered them and let them live as they were. The Romans were the ones that changed everything. They built an aqueduct out in the middle of nowhere and made it a highly populated area. It was cool how they used simple machines to do all of the work. They lifted the blocks using pliers essentially that grip with the strength of gravity and hen crowbars to leverage the blocks into place. It was interesting learning about how the entire area had progressed into a metropolis. One funny event was when the person from the museum told me “sin flash, por favor” after I walked out of a room with some old artifacts. “Sin flash” means without flash referring to flash photography. I just said “ok” because I didn’t use flash at all. I am told that she followed me try to curse me out. I was wondering what the talking was. Sometimes Spaniards can be really retarded. But who cares.
Later that day we left for Barcelona on the AVE (high speed rail). It took us two and a half hours to get there and the train went about 300 km/h. That night I decided to get my ticket for the next day so I ran the errands and toured some of the city. I had a lot of fun. And that was just the first night. The rest I will leave for another time. Later.