There must be a word for it—something warmer than overwhelmed and real than magic. And that word would perfectly encapsulate the essence of Segovia for me.
The stark vacuum of the barren lands stared at me. After the concrete layers of Madrid, I wasn’t ready of the contrast.
As the car drove closer to the hotel, I felt that Segovia is colder than I thought. Colder in vibe. And when the car accelerated on an incline, it opened up a totally different landscape in front of me. My eyes widen as I panned my head to make sense of its earthly brown structures.
Everything was in sepia.
Itching to explore this quiet UNESCO World Heritage Site, I took a 30-minute walk around the hotel. Downhill, I saw a pharmacy and a couple of shops with their shutters down. I glanced at my watch. It was lunch.
Aimlessly, I strolled back to the hotel and I suddenly came across a quiet corner. This was the San Antonio El Real Monastery. Intrigued by its coat of arms, I walked inside this 15th Century monastery. The Mudejar and the Hispanic-Flemish work was astoundingly beautiful. I sat quietly, when I realised that even my own thoughts seemed too loud for the place.
After lunch, the warm afternoon sun of this sepia treasure-trove made me feel warmer towards it. On foot and downhill again, I walked towards a different direction. After 500 meters, on my right, I witnessed the first views of the historic Aqueduct of Segovia.
Segovia is synonymous to this 2000-year old Roman Aqueduct or a concrete waterway. Stretching over 15 kilometers from its source in the mountains, this was used to supply water to the dry valley. Often sited as the best work of Roman engineering, this duct runs many layers deep into Spain’s earth and is held by two tiers of independent arches (i.e. completely held by stones, without any use of concrete). It has withstood many natural calamities over centuries.
Sure, the history was impressive. But as I followed the Aqueduct, which grew about 90-feet taller than me, I was frozen by its magnificence. I gawked at it, as the sun rays filtered through it. I stood intimidated by it.
The next few hours I clicked my camera repetitively, in an attempt to capture every corner of this structure. One of the best things about the aqueduct was its ability to play with light.
With the harsh morning rays, I saw it as a stately and overpowering barrier. As the sun touched noon, it appeared to be more welcoming showing its textures. And towards evening, it was introverted, with dark shadows hiding its layers.
I continued walking around from this centre point. After coffee on Calle Carmen, Prachi and I walked upwards on Calle Cervantes. This busy pedestrian only street was bustling with shops, cafes, abrupt heritage gates and intriguing corners with stairs.
The walk concluded a little before Casa De Los Picos, or the striking 15th Century home with protruding diamond tips. From here, we admired the dull orange panorama of the town and walked back to the Aqueduct.
Read: The Spanish Surprise
Does the Roman Aqueduct fascinate you?
Note: I was invited to this media trip by Tourism Office of Spain and Turkish Airlines.