Editors Note.

You readers will note a dramatic improvement in most of our blogs. This is due to the fact that Sarah has taken over the task and is far better at it than me.
So she gets to keep the job.
Thank you Sarah


A short trip through the beautiful Sierra Guadarrama brought us to our campsite (Camping El Acueducto located just outside Segovia.  An incredible 1.03Euro bus ride from outside the camping took us into the main centre.  We spotted the beginning of the aqueduct and leapt off the bus.

  This Roman aqueduct was built in 1 AD.  We followed its course

 to where it meets the city walls.

  From here we climbed up into the old town, turning to our right we followed the walls to the church of San Juan de los Caballeros

 and then back tracked to visit the Casa de los Picos which is covered with diamond shaped stones. 

 We made our way up to the plaza de San Martin a lovely square which is surrounded by many old 15thC houses which have galleried top floors which were designed for the purpose of drying textiles. 

 After a beer and tapas overlooking the church of San Martin,

 we headed towards the Plaza Mayor

 which is dominated by the 16thC gothic Cathedral.

From the Cathedral we meandered along the streets to the Iglesia de San Esteban.

  Our last visit of the day was the Alcazar which was built in the 1800s.

  This "fairy-tale castle" has some very ornate rooms and a very good weaponry museum.

  A steady walk back below the outer walls took us back to the bus. 


After some very useful information from the campsite reception we prepared ourselves for a day in Madrid.  Taking their advice we took the bus from outside the campsite and 40 mins later we were at the bus station in Madrid , which is linked directly to the metro system.  Two metro tourist day tickets from the machine and we were on our way to the Puerta del Sol.  Our guide book for this shows a large Tio Pepe advertising sign which adorns one of the main buildings.
  After scanning the skyline we double checked to make sure we were in the right place as there was no sign of the sign, and then we spotted the frame work.  As per usual we had turned up too late to see it.  From here we headed towards the Plaza Mayor.
  This is a 17thC arcaded square filled with cafes and the centre piece being a statue of Felipe 111 on horseback.
 After a cup of coffee overlooking the Palacio de Santa Cruz,
we carried on with our walking tour of Old Madrid past the Colegiata de San Isidro, which was used as Madrid’s main cathedral until La Almundena was built. 
 The short tour took us past the wrought iron market of San Miguel
 and then onto the Plaza de la Villa which is overlooked by the old Town Hall, the Casa de Cisneros
and the 15th C Torre de los Lujanes which was under restoration at the time of our visit.
  Returning to the metro we went into the Bourbon area of Madrid. 
 Rob loved this area with its grand buildings,
 the Puerta de Alcala,
 and the fountains of Fuente de Cibeles
 and the Fuente de Neptuno,
 but I couldn’t persuade him to visit the numerous art museums.
Finally we made our way to the Palacio Real
 and the Catedral de la Almudena. 
The buildings stand opposite one another and surround the Plaza de Armas.
  This Royal Palace which was built in the 18thC is really worth a visit if you enjoy seeing how the other half lived.  It’s a real show piece, every room is lavishly decorated and gold leaf abounds. The rocco chinoiserie ceiling of the Gasparini room has to be seen to be believed.  There is a room whose walls and ceiling have been made from porcelain, something we have never seen before.  The porcelain was made at the Royal Buen Retiro factory based in Madrid.  Rob really enjoyed the Armoury with its amazing collection of suits of armour for horses and men.  The palace visit was a wonderful finale to our trip to Madrid.  We made of way back to the metro via the Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes.