Tuesday, July 1, 2014


This past week has been spent packing up not only our suitcases, but everything in the apartment. In our absence, Ana has decided not to live there on her own (it's fairly expensive), so we've been helping move everything out. On Friday evening, we had a little going away party in honor of the ático.

On Saturday, we hopped on a bus to Segovia, where Susan did a study abroad program four years ago, and also where our profesora is currently teaching for the summer. As I got to show Susan around Teruel, she finally got the opportunity to show me around the place where she fell in love with Spain. I had somehow never managed to make it there before, so it was all a nice surprise. 

Upon our arrival, we had drinks with Itzá and the other teachers in the program, Nelson and José. Nelson was quite the character and a pleasure to talk to. José was a mild-mannered Spaniard and a very nice guy. They introduced us to a passing student, Jason, who had recently gotten a mean sunburn on his face. Jason seemed to be one of the few students who was really taking advantage of the $5,000 they had spent on the program. 

Next, we headed out to meet up with Susan's former host mom, Luz. After getting a little lost, we finally figured out where it was and she welcomed us into her home as if Susan had never really left. She thought I looked and talked like a Spaniard, which was entertaining. She and Susan got to spend a little while reminiscing and Luz told us about how many years she had been involved in the program and programs similar to it and how there are always a few students who come back and visit her. She gets to come into contact with many different cultures and perspectives without leaving the house, which must be fun.

In the evening, Itzá and I headed out onto the little balcony for drinks and tapas while Susan took a "siesta" (which turned out to be more like sleeping all night). I'm not sure how she managed to sleep as much as she did, as the party started at midnight and lasted until around 5 a.m. Itzá and I stayed up on the balcony and did some serious people-watching and enjoyed the music. Eventually Susan made a brief appearance right before we all decided to go to sleep, but not before we got to see some morally-questionable dancing on stage right in front of the giant cathedral. It was quite the juxtaposition.

On Sunday morning, we awoke to the sound of cleanup crews and more music in the streets. We went to a little bakery and got some coffee and some breakfast. From inside, we watched children get chased around by people with giant-headed masks and brooms. It was rather entertaining. After finishing up our coffee, we did a little walk around town to get a quick peek at the many historic buildings of Segovia.

Zumba in the square in front of the acueducto.

Of course, the acueducto is one of the most famous attractions, and we went up top to get a better view from the lookout point.

Afterwards, we headed to take a look at the Alcázar with a couple of students named Will and Melanie, where we didn't have enough time to go inside, but it was fun just getting a gander at it from the outside. I'll have to pay it another visit when I return one day. The façade was reminiscent of chainmail and, at the top, of scale mail. The back was more like a Disney castle (someone mentioned Disney taking inspiration from it). 

We met up with Jason and the teachers at the public paella in a little park area down below the Alcázar. It turned out to be a nice little picnic and there were bands there playing music while some ladies did some traditional dance. 

Our post-paella workout was a stroll around the back of the Alcázar and through the forest. We found some very well-maintained gardens on the backside before heading through the "Jewish quarter" of Segovia and back to the city center.

José, Itzá, Susan, and I continued on a little stroll and ended up having some frozen yogurt and passing by alongside the acueducto to another part of town and looping back around. According to legend, a lady who had to carry water on her head down from the mountains made a deal with the devil in which she'd exchange her soul for a more efficient way to transport the water. His minions erected the acueducto and then she begged forgiveness from the Lord. I'm not sure of her fate, but the structure still stands.

Before heading to the bus station, we had one last drink at Itzá's favorite local bar where one of her friends from Venezuela works. 

Our trip to Segovia was nice and relaxing, which was a relief, as the next couple of weeks will likely be quite the adventure. I really enjoyed the city and its atmosphere and would like to return and spend a bit more time there in the future. I'm glad Susan got to give me a little tour too. Now we must get ready for our little Eurotrip...

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