Apparently, regardless of how many times we can check and recheck our travel plans, we still end up stranded for a night in Madrid trying to find a place to sleep….
The weekend that was supposed to be a whirlwind tour of Toledo and Segovia started with myself and the rest of my group, Caitlin, Carly, and Eric, successfully making it to the Madrid Atocha train station, then proudly figuring out the metro subway system (with the frequent question of “Does anyone know where we are going?” to which the response was an unanimous “Nope.”) to get to the Chamartin station, where we bought a ticket to go to Toledo the next hour. About 10 minutes before our train was leaving, we realized that the departures board wasn’t showing our train or platform. So we went to ask why and the lady at the information desk looked at us wide eyed, saying we were at the wrong station…and the next trains didn’t leave until tomorrow.
The four of us bumming around rainy Madrid was quite a sight, as we tried to find a place with wifi to eat our prepacked bocadillos. Finally, a bartender took pity on us, inviting us in to try and use the wifi to figure out a place to sleep for the night:
Expensive last minute hotel reservations for four people didn’t seem like a very good option because we knew we would still have to pay for the hostel that we didn’t make it to in Toledo. The best option for four broke college students making the most of an unexpected adventure? Pay for a cheaper hotel room for two, and then sneak two more people into it! We decided we would skip Toledo for the weekend and change our tickets the next morning to spend more time in Segovia.
After a long night and an early morning, it was like a breath of fresh air pulling into medieval Segovia, Spain. Between the 2,000 year old Roman Aqueduct (that can still carry a flow of water!), the enormous and intricate Catedral, and the regal Alcazar (castle), it was no surprise how quickly I fell in love with the city.
After checking into the Duermevela hostel (which I strongly recommend for those staying in Segovia) we decided to go exploring. The old part of the city is small enough to walk the entire length in 20 minutes and the width in 10 minutes, so there was no fear of getting lost. Segovia is a big tourist location, which meant we had no fear taking as many photos as we wanted:
We were told we had to try the famous Segovian cochinillo asado, grilled suckling pig, and I had made it my goal to try everything that the places I travel to are known for. Well, perhaps if we weren’t on a tighter budget and could have afforded a better restaurant it would have been more worth it…what was worth the try was the famous Segovian pastelería, bakery, Limón y Menta where I got a taste of the ponche segoviano, a lemon marzipan cake. We also got a sampling of a few other treats:
While Segovia has famous food, what the tourists really come to see are the aqueduct, cathedral, and castle. The attention to detail and intricateness of both the cathedral and the Alcazar was mind blowing. Especially with the thought that they were constructed hundreds of years ago:
Despite a frustrating start to the weekend that turned into quite the adventure, we could not believe how quickly we fell in love with Segovia. Yet,it was not only the beauty of the city, but also how wonderful and helpful the Segovians are! They were always so willing to help us find our hostel and figure out which bus went to the train station, we didn’t even have to break a sweat! (Well except for climbing the 152 steps to the top of the tower in the Alcazar). While our weekend is over, I am so excited that I will be able to come back and show my parents why I love the city so much when they come in a little over a month!
2 Replies to “No Planes, Missed Trains, Should Have Taken an Automobile…”
Claire — I’m loving your travelogue