Segovia, Burgos and Vitoria

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2013

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Where I stayed
NH Canciller Ayala Vitoria Vitoria-Gasteiz
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Spain  , Basque,
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We got our 6:30 wake up call, bags out by 7:30, leave at 8:30.  We left Madrid behind by way of tunnels under the city.  One of the mayors of Madrid was nicknamed "The Mole" for all the tunnels he had built.  One tunnel was 1 1/2 miles long.  With the commuter/bus lane we made good time.  We headed north on the same road we took to El Escorial.  Once we crossed the mountain we were in the clouds and it remained foggy until we got to Segovia.  The bus dropped us off right by the Roman Aqueduct.  We had about two hours to spend in Segovia.  We took some pictures of the aqueduct and then headed to the Plaza Mayor where we stopped in at the Church of San Miguel where Isabel the Catholic was crowned queen.  She is the one married to Ferdinand who sent Christopher Columbus on his voyage.  It was a quaint small church which we found out had sunk into the ground in the 1500s and rebuilt.  Then we toured the Cathedral of Segovia which was large and had many side chapels, a cloister walk, and small museum.  When we left the Cathedral we walked down to the Alcazar or Castle.  It was situated on the hill with the fields and trees of the valley as a backdrop.  Walt Disney was inspired by this castle when constructing castles and the movie, "Camelot" was filmed there.  We didn't have time to tour it.  On the way back up the hill we had a good view of the old walls of the city.  Segovia reminded us a lot of Rotenburg in Germany.  We hiked back up to the Plaza Mayor and then down to the aqueduct, took some more pictures of the aqueduct as the sun was out, and then got on the bus to continue our journey.

We have a ride of about an hour and a half at which point we stopped for 45 minutes for lunch.  By now it was 2:00 so we were very glad to have had a big breakfast at the hotel.  We got sandwiches of egg and ham and Larry and Derek got a beer, Curzcampo.  Derek also got a cookie at the pastry shop.  Larry bought some local honey.  When we got back on the bus Raymond,our guide, went over the optional excursions with us.  Then he told us the password for Wifi on the bus.  So I spent the driving time starting the blog for today.

Our next stop was Burgos and the first Gothic Church in Spain, Santa Maria.  We were dropped off just across the river from the cathedral.  We crossed the bridge, went through the arch and entered Santa Maria Plaza.  We had less than an hour.  This cathedral in Burgos in one of the stops along the Camino de Santiago a five hundred mile long trail to the Cathedral of St. James in Compostela.  It is hiked in its entirety or partly as a Pilgrimage.  St. James even though he was martyred in Jerusalem is buried in Spain because this was the region where he was a missionary.  He did quite a good job as 85% of Spain's population is still Roman Catholic.  In the Santa Maria square was a statue of a pilgrim with a shell hanging around his neck.  The shell is the symbol of the pilgrim.  We got our tickets and hand held audio devices and toured the place where El Cid, a hero in Spain, and his wife are buried.  We arrived at the Fly-Catcher Clock just as it rang 4:00.  The clock is a whimsacal statue of its German maker, whose mouth opens and closes when the bell rings.We looked at the 18 chapels, the choir, the golden staircase, and then to the cloister walk and some other exhibits,  We just made it back to the bus by 4:30.

We got to Vitoria about 6:10 and it was dark and raining.  We got our room keys and went to the room to rest before supper at 8:00.  We went down to supper before 8:30 and stopped in the bar outside the dining room.  Larry and Derek got beers.  I sat and talked with some of the women on the tour while Larry and Derek talked to some of the men at the bar.  We went into dinner shortly after 8:30.  We sat with Virginia and Bill, Penny  and Penny's traveling companion, a woman whose name escapes me right now.  We started with bread and soup which served individually to us.  It a delicious cabbage, carrots, onions and some other things I couldn't identify.  After the soup we had our main course of baked cod with an amazing sauce, potatoes and peppers.  For dessert we had a very light chocolate layered creation that was light and just right.  The conversation at the table was lively including travel, football, the Rose Bowl (Penny lives in Pasadena), At&T and U-Verse.  Both Virginia and Penny are interested in doing the trip to Israel with my friend Sr. Paulette.  We got back to the room after 10:00 and went to bed.
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Toni K on

How wonderful to be able to see such beautiful buildings. Have a good time and be safe.

Peggy on


Don't know if this post will come through as O am not a Travel Ipod member.
Sounds lovely and I wonder if you have a shell around your neck?
Really sounds lovely and nice you are missing the light snow here.

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