Day 12: Madrid and Segovia

This morning was a bit rough, as the sangrias presented me with a rather nasty hangover (which is why I should have stuck to beer).  Jim, naturally, was fine, and I felt horribly stupid for allowing myself to get so drunk on the eve of his BIRTHDAY!  We stumbled downstairs for breakfast (a nice spread, including lox and a few varieties of ham), then went back to the room for a shower.  Our plan today was to get to Segovia so Jim could feast on a nice birthday lunch of roast suckling pig and we could check out the aqueduct.

We enlisted the help of the internet to figure out our transportation to Segovia, and discovered our only reasonable option was to take an hour-long bus ride.  It wasn’t our first choice, but we had no other options because of our timeframe.  After getting vague instructions on how to get to the bus station from the Spanish front desk person, we walked about 20 minutes away and, with Jim’s keen sense of direction, found the bus station.  We procured tickets on the Segovia-bound bus, then Jim got a fountain soda to drink and I found some chipsies and a Diet Coke (turned out I wasn’t allowed to eat the chipsies on the bus, and the bus driver was very stern on that fact – no monkeying allowed.  I shoveled a few handfuls down my gullet when he wasn’t looking, though).

The ride was uneventful (and we saw the large cross of the Valley of the Fallen on the drive, as we had birds-eye seats in the front row of the bus) and when we got to Segovia we were dropped off a bit on the outskirts of town.  We got our bearings, then proceeded to walk about 20 minutes to the action.  On the way we passed the bus station where it occurred to us everyone else got off.  Mental note:  when taking the bus to Segovia get off at the SECOND stop.

Bits of the aquaduct in Segovia

A quick stop into the TI got us a map and a sense of where to go (and it was right by a large section of the aqueduct).  We proceeded to walk through the Old Town to the cathedral/main square, then set about the task of choosing a lunch spot.  Since it was Jim’s birthday it was his call.  We ended up at what was supposed to be Segovia’s premier joint for sampling roast suckling pig, Jose Maria.  We didn’t have a reservation, which seemed to ruffle some feathers even though the place was half empty, and we ordered lunch.  A chorizo-type appetizer came out first, then the entrée.  Jim had the roast suckling pig (with no sides), I had ordered some sort of cheese/bread dish that I thought was going to be a lot different than it turned out to be.  Lunch was sort of a bust, and I felt horribly because it was Jim’s birthday.  We paid the exorbitant bill of almost €50 and moved on.

Mighty big cathedral in Segovia

After regrouping at the cathedral for a moment, we set off towards the town Alcazar, because this trip was all about cathedrals, Alcazars, and equestrian statues.  This Alcazar was pretty cool from the outside, a little cheesy with the decorations on the inside.  We spent about an hour here (without climbing to the top of the tower, because we’re not climbers), and headed back outside.  It was now I felt an appropriate time to give Jim his birthday gift of a shiny new red golf bag (I wisely decided to bring a picture of it with us on the trip, not the actual bag), so we sat on a park bench and took a load off.  He seemed happy with the gift and the day looked to be on the up and up.

We’d expended just about all of the energy we wanted on Segovia so we decided to mosey our way back to the train station via a different route that included a leisurely stroll of about 30 minutes.  It turned out a bus was leaving at that time (around 17:00) direct back to Madrid, so we got lucky and scored a few seats on it.  The drive back was again uneventful, and we made it back to Madrid well before dark.  We were pretty exhausted, so we beelined back to the room to rest up (ok, ok, we also each got a cheeseburger from an unnamed fast food vendor that may or may not start with Mc), and ended up staying in the room for a few hours.

Around 20:00, we hemmed and hawed for quite a while about whether or not we should go out for dinner (neither one of us relished the thought of doing a Dinner Stroll), so we decided to go downstairs and check the internet to see if there were any good Italian options (specifically pizza) nearby.  It turned out there was:  a treat of a restaurant called Trattoria Ouh… Babbo!, which was tucked away a few blocks from our hotel.  From the outside the place looked unappetizing and vacant, and the inside décor was no better.  Bright red and black walls, white banquettes, and red, black, and white accents everywhere.  We were the first ones there (after all, it was only 20:30), and ordered pizza.  Before the pizza came out, the waiter brought a little tapas plate of arugula wrapped in mortadella and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.  Delicious!  Our pizza came out next, and I was a bit alarmed to see mine didn’t have any cheese.  I’d ordered the wrong one, but it didn’t matter – it was fantastic, just sauce (with lots of garlic flavor) and crust.  Jim had a pizza with mushrooms, onions, and salami on it that was equally delicious.  Seriously, it was as good as anything we ate in Italy, or at least it seemed that way, maybe because we’d been eating nothing but Spanish food for 2 weeks (ok, and quite a bit of Spanish-Italian food).

After dinner we decided to go out for “just one more,” and opted to stick with what we knew.  So we made our way back to the Carne y Tapas bar (memories of sangria from the night before came rushing back) and did indeed have just one more.  The mood in the place wasn’t as jubilant and lively as the night before, but it served its purpose.  Now full and a little buzzed (that all-too-familiar feeling), we went back to the hotel and crashed.

Previous Post
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: