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Clare
Clare

Day 2: Segovia

We went out for a meal in Segovia last night and by the time we were walking back to the hotel, darkness had started to fall.

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The aqueduct looked beautiful against the night sky.

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So did lots of the little squares and streets in the old town :) 

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As we walked back towards the hotel, we caught a glimpse of Segovia's cathedral in the distance.

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The cathedral is situated in the town's main square.

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It looked absolutely stunning illuminated like this.

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Once we got back to the hotel we could see the illuminated castle from our balcony too :) 

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When we woke up this morning it was another beautiful sunny day.

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There was even a hot air balloon floating over the town :) 

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We set off to explore Segovia properly in the daylight.

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We soon came to the cathedral, which looked just as beautiful as it had done at night.

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The cathedral was built between 1525 and 1577, replacing an earlier cathedral which had been destroyed in a siege.

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We noticed these strange gargoyles on the side of the cathedral which seemed to be sticking their tongues out!

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From the cathedral we continued walking through the narrow streets of the old town. It was a lot quieter in the early morning than it had been last night!

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One of the things we've noticed about Segovia is that lots of the buildings have beautiful patterned facades. From a distance they look like tiles...

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...but when you get up close you can see that they're some sort of plasterwork.

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The cathedral isn't the only impressive church in Segovia. This is the church of San Esteban, which originally dates from the 12th century.

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By the time we got close to the aqueduct, the streets were getting busier.

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The aqueduct looked beautiful in the morning sunshine.

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It is thought to have been constructed in the first century AD and is one of the best-preserved Roman aqueducts in the world.

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Amazingly, it was used to bring water to the city until the mid-nineteenth century.

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We walked alongside it for a while and reached a point where it turns a corner.

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From here, we could get a glimpse of the cathedral through its arches.

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Once the aqueduct turns the corner it becomes lower, running alongside houses, down the middle of a street.

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We continued to stroll along it for a while, enjoying the shade, before eventually turning around and walking back to the centre of town.

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From the square outside the aqueduct we could see up towards the old town walls.

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We climbed up a staircase that looked like it was going to lead to promising views.

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Sure enough, we could soon see out over the town and towards the countryside beyond.

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We were right up by the highest part of the aqueduct now...

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...and had a great view over the newer part of town.

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At the top of the walls we walked along some really narrow streets...

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...past some more beautiful patterned houses...

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...and came across this enormous tower.

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I'm not sure what it was, but the tower was covered in patterns too :) 

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This part of town was colourful, with brightly painted houses.

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The road we were on eventually took us back towards the cathedral and main square.

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From there we walked back towards our hotel, which is in this pretty building.

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We were heading towards the castle, the Alcázar, which is on the far side of town from the aqueduct.

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From a little square outside the castle, we had some great views over the countryside.

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In the distance we could see a church...

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...and a monastery.

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It's free to walk into the grounds of the Alcázar.

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To go inside the castle itself costs €8; €5.50 for the palace and €2.50 to be able to climb the tower.

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Throughout its history the castle has been used as a royal palace, a prison and a military academy.

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We bought our tickets and went inside the palace first, saving the tower for the end. There was lots of armour on display.

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There were also some beautiful stained glass windows.

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The most impressive thing about the interior though were the ceilings.

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This one in the throne room was my absolute favourite...

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...but this one was also pretty spectacular...

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...and this room, known as the Hall of the Kings, not only had an amazing ceiling but also statues of monarchs all the way around the walls.

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Once we'd finished exploring inside, it was time to climb the tower. We had a slight glitch as somehow we'd managed to lose our ticket, but luckily we still had the receipt and the nice man on the gate let us through. At the ticket office there had been several signs warning that there were 152 steps to climb to get to the top of the tower. We thought that didn't sound too bad... but they were up quite a steep, winding staircase, so we were both pretty tired by the time we got to the top!

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The top of the tower is a big viewing platform.

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There was a big Spanish flag on the top, blowing in the breeze...

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...and we could look out across the roof of the palace, towards the smaller turrets of the castle.

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The most impressive views, though, were in the other direction, towards the town.

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We had a fantastic view of the cathedral, which really shows how enormous it is.

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It was definitely worth climbing all the stairs for :) The afternoon sun was quite hot by this point though, so after a quick drink in the castle cafe, we decided to go back to the hotel to enjoy the air-conditioning and shade for a bit before heading out again in the evening once it was cooler.

Segovia is a really beautiful place and it's been a great choice for a relaxing bank holiday trip :) 

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