Roman aqueducts, a Gothic Catholic cathedral, and suckling pig for days (if you’re into that sort of thing).
When deciding between Toledo and Segovia for our Madrid-based day trip, Segovia won largely because of the aqueduct. I’d never seen a Roman ruin before, and the opportunity to do so was not something I could pass up, especially when they’re only a 30 minutes away via local Renfe train.
I mean, LOOK at this beaut! It was built around AD 50 and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. It still stands in nearly peak condition and is flanked by many a restaurant and tapas bar where you can have a bite to eat and bask in its glory.
Speaking of bites to eat, Segovia is known for its cochinillo asado, or suckling pig. It was usually rather expensive and I’m generally wary of eating baby animals, so we skipped it. If you’re a meat connoisseur, though, it’s supposed to be delicious. (We noticed that a lot of restaurants in Spain advertised serving literal “baby” animals. Like the word “baby” was printed on the menu. In America we try to mask that sh* with words like veal; even serving “lamb” isn’t saying “baby sheep.” Way to go for the transparency, España. I see you with that branding.)
If, like me, the baby pig option isn’t for you, fret not. You can still try a traditional Castilian soup, also famous in Segovia, called judiones de la granja. It features large white beans in a tomato broth and was an excellent appetizer to my local fish lunch.
After eating, we wandered past the aqueduct (bye bb, be back so soon) to the Roman Catholic cathedral. This guy was impressive. It looms over the main square with its intricate Gothic spires and stained glass windows. It was built between 1525-1577 and is entirely worth just staring at for a while.
We wandered through the beautiful, quaint old town to the top of the hill where the Segovia Castle presides over the surrounding area. DEFINITELY buy the entrance ticket for the castle, and it’s worth tacking on the 8 Euros to climb to the top of the highest tower as well. The VIEWS.
After feeling like proper Medieval royalty for a few hours, we wandered down to have a cerveza and quick bite below the aqueduct (See! Promised I’d come back!) before catching the return train to Madrid. Almost as amazing as our proximity to the aqueduct was the fact that this collasal remainder of the Roman Empire was so not a big deal to the locals around us.
We bought our train tickets online the night before after experiencing the horror that was Lisbon train station ticket lines. Madrid’s station didn’t appear to be nearly as bad, but having tickets in advance certainly made for some breezy travel. We gave ourselves seven hours in Segovia, which might have been a bit too long, but we were definitely able to relax and just exist in the town for a few hours, which is never a bad thing. When we arrived back in Madrid we were perfectly full of adventure, culture and papas bravas.