Needless to say I was rather tired this morning. For a brief moment I contemplated leaving for our next stop without visiting Segovia like a few of our neighbours had but we couldn’t make ourselves leave without seeing it.
It was surprisingly nippy when we stepped out of the van, we could feel an icy chill in the air.
We traipsed into the Old Town, we were 15 minutes from the start of the aquaduct. It was great to see it, it was completely different from the HUGE one that we’d seen in Elvas. I assumed they’d be pretty similar but the supports were much narrower on the Segovia aquaduct and it had two layers on it. The rock it had been built from was bumpy and on a number of the blocks of rock there was a small place hollowed out, we wondered whether that had been to make it easier to move. It is an amazing piece of engineering but it was trumped by the Portuguese one.
We walked to a very grand church which we thought must be the cathedral, we were wrong, the cathedral was EXTREMELY grand and so much larger.
Our destination was the alcazar. What a superb building. The outside had been cleaned like the wall at Ávila so it all looked like new. We spent quite a long time there just admiring the architecture and the views from the gardens, it was a shame that we hadn’t come in early as we’d hoped to in order to miss the crowds but we took a different road back to the van and climbed up on to the ramparts where we got a fantastic view of the alcazar without loads of people in front of it.
There were lots of pretty little streets in Segovia, we zig-zagged our way through them and back to the aquaduct where we ate a very nice kebab sitting in the sun in the square in front of the aquaduct.
Then we had a long trudge up the hill beside the aquaduct back to the van, the highlight of which were storks flying low across in front of us, I wonder whether I’ll ever get bored of seeing them.
Our journey to San Juan de Duero was great, we saw LOADS of birds of prey throughout the journey but at one point we saw about 10 circling on the thermals we also saw a herd of deer walking across a field (FINALLY!) and the countryside was so pretty, we couldn’t believe how much the colour of the soil and rock changed as we drove the 3 hours to San Juan de Duero near Soria. At one point the landscape looked rather like the area around Mazarron in Southern Spain, with the rock weathered into sand ‘sculptures’ then a bit further on there were loads of pine trees and a huge depression with undulations in it. A little later on the area became rugged and there was a sign of quarrying then not too much further on the soil became a vivid red which was a strong contrast to the bright green of the crops that were starting to shoot. Twenty kilometres outside Soria there were still open fields of green crops but the soil had changed to a mix of white through beige to yellow then pale red. It’s intriguing to see the land changing like that. The temperature was also starting to change, I was beginning to wonder whether I’d left a window open again but then Darren noticed some signs saying we were 1128 metres above sea level!
We arrived at our overnight parking spot, which was the car park beside the river and the monastery, to find it full to bursting with cars, we could see two motorhomes parked there so we knew it was the correct place, we were on a narrow road so we had to carry on driving until a bit further along the road we found a space to stop and sort out the co-ordinates for the other 3 stop overs in Soria. As luck would have it during the time it had taken us to do that some cars had left so we managed to squeeze into a corner of the car park.
Once we had settled, had dinner and a cup of tea we went out to see what was around, we had a short chat with a French motorhomer (short mainly because we don’t speak much French and he didn’t speak much English but it was long enough to ascertain that he was going to move his van closer to ours when a space appeared, which was fine with us)
Whilst we had been eating we’d watched cars come and go, people didn’t seem to stay very long but one group of people, after they’d come back from a short walk along the path beside the river, started climbing up the hill on the other side of the road.
My nosiness kicked in and we decided to see what was up the hill. A fantastic view across the river to the town wall running up the hill opposite and a birds eye view of the monastery was what we could see. It was well worth the climb. From there we went down and had a short walk along the river path and over the bridge to the weir. It was a very pretty spot to stay in.