Day 23: Madrid Spain: Avila and Segovia – Farewells, and visiting a finger, an aqueduct and an Alcazar!

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November 7th 2015
Published: April 9th 2016
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Today marked the official end of our Contiki tour to Spain, Morocco and Portugal. We said goodbye to our fellow travelers at breakfast as Renata and I set off for our Segovia and Avila tour with Julia Travel.

We arrived at the Julia Travel agency only to discover that the agency had moved to another location in Madrid. Luckily, we found two Julia Travel representatives whom connected us to our bus going to Segovia and Avila.

We arrived in Avila first, known for its amazing castle-like walls surrounding the city. We visited the basilica of San Vicente where the interior houses a beautiful altarpiece and tomb. We also visited the convent and museum of Teresa de Jesus. It is here where you can find many relics including the room where St. Teresa slept and the finger from her right hand.

Our next destination was Segovia! Segovia is known for its culinary claim to fame, roasted suckling pig. Although, I did not feel inclined to order the delicacy, I did order the typical tourist lunch consisting of “La Granja” white beans and stuffed veal. It was not the best meal of our trip, but a good experience nevertheless.

One of the most noticeable attractions of Segovia is its Roman aqueduct. The aqueduct, around 16 km long was used to ship water from the Rio Frio River to the city. People even say today that if necessary that the aqueduct would be able to provide water to the city. What an incredible awe inspiring work of human ingenuity.

Not far from the aqueduct is the Segovia Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic style Roman Catholic cathedral located in the main square of the city.

However, the highlight of Segovia for me was the Alcazar. It was built as a fortress, but it has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a royal artillery college and a military academy since then. You can get an amazing view of the valley below from the top of the Alcazar. Moreover, there are many different colourful rooms including an armory and a throne room. It reminded me of the castle in the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie.

So that marked the end of our day trip to Avila and Segovia. We headed back to Madrid, where Renata and I settled into a Hostal closer to the city centre. We found this great Peruvian place near the Hostal where we watched the football game while having delicious Peruvian food. Yum!

Then we called it a night. Tomorrow we head out to Cuenca, known for its Hanging Houses. How cool is that?

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