Saturday proved to be an exciting but long day as we journeyed to Segovia and Ávila with weather forecasted to be cold and rainy. The weather man was right! At the end of the day we were all very grateful to return to our houses to warm up, dry off, and rest. Despite the cold and the rain the sights of the two cities were great, not to mention the beautiful view we had as we neared the cities with the mountains in the background.
When we reached Segovia (about 2 hours from Salamanca) we walked to the Roman aqueduct and met up with our tour guide from Segovia that supplemented Carlos on our tour through the city. First we spent some time at the aqueduct and admired its impressive condition and height. The majority of the aqueduct is actually underground but the section we saw is part of the 1 kilometer section that spans the valley. We then continued on and our tour guide pointed out houses of past nobility and important plazas including the Plaza Mayor. Near the plaza we also admired the cathedral. Our last stop of our tour was the castle in which the royal family of Spain resided for some time. Unfortunately the castle endured a fire at some point and as a result most of the interior design and decor was a result of restoration. However, there were some rooms that were still intact with intricate ceilings, tapestries and stained glass windows.
After the tour we were given some free time to eat lunch and to further explore the city. We then boarded the bus and drove approximately one hour to the city of Ávila where the temperatures dropped even more due to the higher altitude.
Due to the cold temperatures and the rain Carlos gave us a brief tour of the city which highlighted the Basilica de San Vicente, the cathedral, the Plaza Mayor, and the wall that surrounds the city. Following the tour we had a little bit of free time to shop, walk atop the wall, and try yemas de Santa Teresa, the famous sweets of Ávila. We then decided to depart early and return to Salamanca.
Looking Ahead...the Last Week!
Today, Sunday, is a free day for us to catch up on some much needed sleep and to do whatever we so desire. On Monday we will attend classes in the morning and then in the afternoon we will visit the towers of the Clerecia Church. There is also an optional lecture on Spanish history. It is hard to believe that this is our last week here; the passing of time is unbelievable!