Friday, April 13, 2018

Segovia to Madrid

As I left my hotel in Segovia, the sun appeared for a brief moment. I took a taxi to the AVE train station, out of town because of the newish high speed line. In half an hour I was at Chamartin Station in Madrid. I was given a room on the 6th floor of the Barcelo Imagine Hotel, with a view over the entry into the station. I could watch trains coming and going all afternoon. I was also intrigued by watching for the homeless occupant of a shack on a piece of waste ground just below me. They had obviously been there for some time.


My hotel in Segovia


Photo taken from the giant picture window in Segovia Station


View from my window over Madrid Chamartin Station


Homeless shack


This hotel has a music theme, including this floor piano


That's about it for the last day of my travels. I must say that the weather hasn't been the best, but I've not experienced the extremes that some people have on the Camino up north. The section of the Camino I did last year around Pamplona has been completely flooded because of mountain streams dumping their load into the river. Some pilgrims trying to cross found themselves and their possessions up to their necks in water! One girl lost her mobile phone in the stream. The police finally closed the track and bussed people away. So, it could have been worse!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Segovia Alcazar

I nearly gave this a miss, as I was so fed up with the cold damp weather yesterday. This would have been a big mistake as this is THE Castle in Spain! I got there early, just after 10.00 am., avoiding big school groups of teenagers converging on the place, but at the same time as Korean and Japanese tourists.


Both the interior palatial rooms and the ramparts with their views outwards to the surrounding countryside were beautiful. There were also lots of medieval weapons, cannons and armour on display and a museum of armoury which told you more than you ever wanted to know about the subject!




Mural in tiles of the castle under attack


Incredibly deep moat













The Cathedral seen from the Castle


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Segovia

I left Zamora on a bright sunny morning just above freezing. I knew from my Weather App that it had been snowing all night in Segovia so I had no idea what to expect. The train left at 11.30 and arrived an hour later. It was a main line train from Corunna and Santiago to Madrid and reached 249 kms per hour in places. I was on the look out for the first signs of snow. The countryside was flat, but there was a snow covered mountain range which came into view as we approached Segovia. The train station appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, with snow covered moorland all around, but a taxi soon transported me to civilisation and to my hotel in the old town, the Convento Capuchinos.


Shots from the train




View from a little garden outside my hotel room


Looking across the Plaza Mayor to the Cathedral


Huge and Gothic!


Information board about the towers of the Cathedral 

And now, the famous aqueduct:




Segovia was a Roman military base. Trajan's engineers built a 9-mile aqueduct to channel water from the Rio Frio to the city. The famous and exposed section is 2500 ft long and 100ft high, has 118 arches and was made from 20,000 granite blocks without any mortar.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Zamora 2

Various views from my window:


Looking down to the Roman bridge by which pilgrims enter the city 


Swimming pool - I wish!


Better at night

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In between the showers, I walked up to the castle. This has undergone a lot of reconstruction as more defensive walls were added throughout various stages of history.





There are triple defensive walls as well as a moat.


Outside view of the unusual dome of the cathedral, with its "scales".


Another view of the Roman bridge


Buildings in Sagasta Square

There are too many Romanesque churches to get my head around. Some are closed on Mondays, some on Tuesdays. I couldn't sort it all out!


Mary Magdalen was definitely closed


Church of Santiago was open


San Juan de Puerto Nueva looked closed, but the entrance was round the side. Photos from inside follow:





Painting in my room titled "A Camino".

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Zamora

No snow this morning in Salamanca, just the usual cold and damp (though heavy snow was falling in Hervas apparently). I left on the 10.15 am bus for Zamora which took an hour. I must say I was glad not to be walking as the way was flat and boring. I saw the odd pilgrim on the Camino which went along beside the road. 


I'm now at the Zamora Parador for 2 nights, since they are offering bargain rates for their Spring Getaway. No sign of Spring yet! This is another historic building in a lovely position overlooking the river and the bridge into town. Pilgrims come across the bridge, into the old town and then hang about waiting for the Albergue to open (after 2.30 pm today), as I could observe from my window.


I may have just seen enough cathedrals on this trip, but here are some photos of Zamora Cathedral and its collection of Flemish tapestries.


Detail of a tapestry which has 3 large panels:





The following tapestry depicts Christ opening his wounds, so that his blood pours into a wine press:



Inside the Romanesque Cathedral:


The design for this dome was much admired and copied in other cathedrals such as Salamanca and Plasencia.


Door from the cloister 


Silver gilt altarpiece


Santiago