Madrid and Segovia

Yesterday afternoon we met Alfonso and his family at an historic restaurant, an old convent near the Palacios Real, the King of Spain’s residency. Afterwards Alphonso’s mother Anna invited us to her home for tea and coffee. It was fun seeing everyone — Alphonso, wife Gemma, and son Adrian are here until August and then will return to the Bay area where they currently live. I unfortunately left the camera at the hostel so Dad took a few photos with his iPad. In the morning before meeting Alphonso we strolled in the Parque del Retiro, Madrid’s version of Central Park.

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Today we took a train to Segovia, yet another beautiful Spanish city. The old section features a 1st century Roman aqueduct — a spectacular engineering marvel with no mortar used to build it. Other historical sites include a Gothic cathedral and the Alcazar, or fortress, which among other purposes housed Castilian monarchs during the Middle Ages.

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Along with learning about the city’s fascinating history, we realized that Segovia is on the route of a southern Camino path that winds north to Santiago. It was good to see the familiar shell embedded in the street to guide pilgrims. The cathedral office stamped our credentials. Tomorrow’s plans include seeing the Prado Museum and painter Joaquin Sorolla’s house and studio. Our last day in Spain will be a day of art!

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