Sunday, 5 July 2009

An evening in Segovia.....

Weeks ago, Jorge invited us for an evening in Segovia, the capital of his home province. He comes from a village a few kilometres away, but clearly spent lots of time in Segovia and wanted to share it. We finally got around to it last Thursday evening!

Things didn't quite go to plan immediately - we set off rather later than intended, then had to turn back halfway due to a fire, and find a different route. We arrived in the city at 9.45pm (on a school night!! :-). On the way, we'd been impressed by flashing lights on sharp bend signs (yes, we're easily pleased!), our ears had popped several times and we'd burst Jorge's eardrums singing along with the radio!

As we were driving in, we'd seen some hot air balloons in the distance. Just as we walked from the car, they floated directly overhead!!

We marvelled at the aqueduct, then strolled up to the cathedral which is beautiful at night when it's all lit up, and then further on to the castle. Given that the gates were locked at that time of night, the only way we could get a glimpse of the fairy-tale towers, was by standing up on the city walls. Which are rather high!! Jorge had a bit of a moment, when Eve stood a tad too close to the part with a 200 foot drop on the other side but otherwise we survived the acrobatics!

Obviously by this point, we'd stopped for a couple of drinks, the first in a great old traditional bar, with stacks of stuff hanging all over the place. Very tasty patatas ali oli tapas too. The next was in a surprisingly busy place. Having been walking round all evening, barely seeing another soul, it was a shock to find a street that wouldn't have been out of place in Madrid. Hordes of people in the street, chatting, drinking, spilling out of various bars. It was like being in a different city!

During the evening, Jorge had been really interesting and informative about the city. I'm constantly amazed at how much Spaniards know about their towns, country and history. Now I realise that probably sounds slightly patronising, but find me many Brits who could take you round their town and just know all kind of fascinating facts, figures and dates. I know for a fact that my knowledge of Brighton doesn't run to even knowing when the Royal Pavilion was built!! It makes such a change for someone to be interested in, and knowledgable about their town.

We headed back for the car as various people had work the next morning, but were diverted by the bright lights of TelePizza! Fancying just a slice each turned into ordering 2 big pizzas between the 4 of us. Despite being damned hungry, not helped by the tempting smell from the boxes, we hopped back in the car and found a quiet park (OK, it was more a patch of grass by a convent!) to eat it! Something about it felt quite naughty, a bit like when you were a kid drinking Merrydown Cider in the graveyard. Somehow the conversation turned to the aurora borealis and I said I'd seen them in Iceland. Hannah accused me of name-dropping so I told her I'd meant the freezer shop. Not that funny, I'm sure you'd agree but for some reason this set her off laughing, crying and snorting for an alarmingly long time!

The journey back was much faster, though we had time to stop off and top up our water bottles from a water tap hidden in a pitch-dark layby, wonder at the stars, and play silly games. How is it possible that I Spy can still be entertaining when the combined age of the people in the car is somwhere around 130? It helps when you have Eve guessing "Jorge" when the letter was H. A rather feeble attempt at "I am not Nebuchednezzar but I am......." (or as Hannah called it, I'm not Xaphod Beeblebrox.....) proved that it was amazingly difficult to think of a famous person that all 4 people in the car had heard of.

All in all, it was a lovely evening - Segovia at night is a very different place to the city I saw a couple of weeks ago with Sid. Thanks to Jorge for driving (and of course putting up with alcohol free beer all evening) and to everyone for their company!