A Travellerspoint blog

Salamanca to Madrid - Thursday, 21 July 2016

See Segovia en route to Madrid. Visit the Prado Museum. Farewell dinner.

sunny 36 °C

Hotel - Hotel Villareal, Plaza de las Cortes, 10 Madrid - Room 501

Gazing out our window this morning we spied this stork on top of the monastery.

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Along the way we had a photo stop for the village of Humilladero. We didn't go into the town - just a panoramic photo stop. Humilladero is in the province of Malaga and is situated on the border with Seville and Malaga. It has a population of approximately 3,300 residents. It is a very pretty town.

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Next stop Segovia for lunch. We were blown away by the stunning aqueduct. It was amazing. It is a Roman aqueduct and one of the most significant and best preserved ancient monuments left on the Iberian Peninsula. The date of its construction is not known though it was thought to have been during the 1st century AD, during the reigns of the Emperors Domitian, Nerva and Trajan. It once transported water from the Rio Frio River, 17 kms from the city. One of the amazing facts about the aqueduct is that it contains no mortar. It is constructed of brick like granite blocks. It provided water to Segovia until the mid 19th century.

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Segovia is a lovely city and well worth a visit. It was very hot and most of the group decided to do their own thing but Isabel was offering a guided walk to the castle, so Sandra, Phil and I decided to accompany. Now normally we would have had plenty of time, but Isabel gets very excited about lots of things to see along the way, hence we arrived at the castle with just a short time for photos and then we realised we were running out of time to get back to the square and on to the bus.

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We suggested she phone for a taxi, which she did, but it took ages to come. Eventually she called them again and said that we needed it urgently as one of her group was feeling unwell in the heat. That seemed to do the trick and the taxi arrived for the short trip back down to the main square. Then we rushed around trying to find somewhere where we could buy a sandwich to eat on the bus. No luck! We ended up buying a couple of absolutely delicious pastries (which was really naughty, but nice) and ate them as we headed off for Madrid.

We are now in suckling pig country and we came across a "ceremony" of cutting the pig. Apparently suckling pig is very tender, so tender in fact that you can cut it with a plate. Hence this demonstration. At the end of the cutting, the guy smashed the plate on the ground which is very Greek and not at all the Spanish thing to do, says Isabel.

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Some of the lovely shop windows in Segovia.

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When we arrived at our hotel in Madrid, we had a very sad farewell with Javier. He had driven the maximum amount of time and had to leave us on arrival in Madrid. We had secretly taken up a collection for Javier and Phil made a speech and everyone was crying, especially Javier and Isabel. It was sad because he had been a great driver and even though he couldn't speak English and we couldn't speak Spanish, we all communicated very well with him. He was such a lovable little guy.

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We have a lovely suite of rooms in this hotel. We have a sitting room, plus a bedroom and two balconies. Very nice.

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We freshened up and then walked to the Prado Museum and were divided into two groups and then guided through the gallery. It was excellent. No photos allowed - sorry.

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On our way out, I took a photo of the queue. The Prado Museum has free entry later in the afternoon, and lots and lots of people line up for that.

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We dressed for our farewell dinner, met in the foyer and all walked to the Los Galayos restaurant together. We sat with Curvetta and Grant; Coral and Ed; and Sandra and Allan. We were entertained by some singers and Isabel made a speech and gave us all some Spanish fridge magnets. We took up a collection for her too and Robert Scanlan made a speech and thanked her for all of us. She is a good tour guide. Very thoughtful.

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Phil has lost his voice (yeah!)

Posted by gaddingabout 20:39 Archived in Spain

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