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LA 705 touched down 25 minutes late – there had been an “air traffic jam” in Frankfurt that prevented our flight from leaving on time.

Claiming our luggage – rather fast delivery, dispatched taxi at EUR 30 fixed price down town Madrid and we were at the Room Mate Laura at 23:45.

Night cups at Casa Perondo just around the corner and we were all tucked in bed by 1:30.

Alarm clock went off at 7:30 and we met M. and B. at 8:00 for the usual breakfast. Since we had toured Madrid quite extensively last year, our plan for today was to visit the city of Segovia, known and famous for its Roman aqueduct of more than 2,000 years of age! It is truely Segovia’s landmark and a must-see for all Spain visitors. Especially because getting there is

  • inexpensive and
  • very convenient.

Using one of the Spanish High-Speed trains that commute between Madrid Charmartín to Valladolid. The only stop is Segovia. Round trip per person as of May 2017 EUR 20.60.

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27 pleasant minutes with almost 250km/h, driving through a landscape that reminds of Tuscany, though also passing through the darkness of 28 kilometers of the Guadarrama tunnel!

The Guadarrama tunnel is the largest engineering project executed in Spain, which puts us at the head of infrastructures worldwide: it is the first and only tunnel for high-speed use constructed without intermediate stages, the fourth largest in Europe and the fifth in the world.

The construction process was developed based on criteria of meeting the completion deadline and having the minimum possible environmental impact.

The breaking through of the east tube was carried out on May 5th, 2005 in an inauguration ceremony presided over the Minister of Public Works, Magdalena Alvarez. One month later, work was completed with the breaking through of the west tube. Given that the construction began on September 28, 2002, the total time invested was approximately 32 months.

Source: Adif

 

Bus transfer from the AVE train station directly to the Aqueduct EUR 2 per person. Taxi ride EUR 8 – so if you are a group of four you might as well take a cab down-town Segovia.

The city is a gem and certainly one of the history highlights in the region.

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I leave it to you to read about Segovia in detail; suffice it to say it is a rather small town ladden with history: Celtic origin, ruler by the Romans, taken over by the Visigoths until the reconquista ruled by the Moors…

While the city and its sites show traces of all of the former occupants – to me Segovia looks and feels predominantly “Roman”.

Below the tour we took with M. and B.

We made our way through the city passing by on the backside of the Cathedral, heading towards the Alcazar, which quite frankly looks like as if it was taken from a Walt Disney Amusement Park.

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As we had visited the Alcázar on previous trips, we sent M. and B. on a tour waiting for them in the Cafeteria. As a tour guide you should never exert yourself 🙂 As most fortifications in Spain – it founded as a Roman fort, the present structure was given by the moorish occupying forces – became the favorite seat of the Spanish kings in the middle ages. One can clearly read all the various elements and traces of all the different eras.

The Cafeteria offers a wonderful scenic view over the Segovia… that alone is worth having a “café solo” there.

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On our way back we hit Plaza Mayor getting a good look at the impressive Cathedral to then head back sneaking through some of the smaller streets to avoid the tourist crowds.

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15:10 – boarding the bus to the train station and 15:57 the AVE back to Chamartín.

16:25 we arrived Madrid – on time.

On our last trip to Madrid, we had discovered a quite nice shop with a great cigar selection in Calle Magellanes 16. Since this was basically on our way back, we took Metro 1 to “Cuatros Caminos” changed in to line number 2 direction “Las Rosas” and got off at “Quevedo” – Calle Magellanes is just “around the corner”.

At metro station exit: “Calle Arapiles”. Turn left, then right into Calle Magellanes.

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EUR 90 later we took Metro line number 2 to “Opéra” to pay Café San Ginés a visit. Manfred and M. had their usual cana, while B. and I indulged in Churros y Chocolate (you only live once)

 

The complete picture set can be found here