Despite the cold air the sun was shining and as we left the village and headed towards Segovia all we could see was blue skies, low mist and a few mountains popping out the top of the mist and the odd clump of trees shining a gold/red colour … absolutely stunning.
We headed for an Aire which was right next to the bull ring and despite the lack of signposting the GPS was correct and directed us into a nice little parking area with the facilities to fill up and dispose of water and empty the toilet if necessary – all F.O.C.
We wandered into Segovia and were immediately struck by the beauty of the aquaduct – possibly one of the more unusual structures that I have seen and it stretches out from one side of the town to the other… totalling 818 meters and providing 170 arches, the highest of which is apparently 29 meters 🙂 It dates from either the end of the first century or the beginning of the second … and thankfully they appear to be keeping the structure in good order!
The rest of the town was equally beautiful with monestries, churches and cathedrals scattered in every direction …..even a synagogue to my surprise…However, I was more surprised to fall upon a kosher restaurant – needless to say I am afraid I didn’t go in, and it would be difficult to remain kosher here as every other restaurant / bar is offering up suckling pig on the menu ….. which smelt delicious …. I am definately not a good jew 😦
There is an enormous cathedral (in the background below), which apparently is the last gothic cathedral to have been built in Spain and a proper fairy tale castle dating from the 12th century
The town sits within a wall and is on top of a hill, so after we explored the town itself we walked through the valley surrounding it where the trees were just turning autumnal colours … very pretty.
After returning to motorhome for dinner we headed out to a local bar to watch the liverpool Madrid game. The bar was packed and we had forgotton that as you near Madrid every drink comes with a free tapas…. I was full, Keith was happy 🙂
In the morning we headed towards Avila which is also a roman walled city and were planning on staying on another aire, but it had been taken over the a fairground. We parked up closeby anyway and had a walk around as the ‘Romanesque’ wall was pretty impressive. We both commented on the quantity of churches etc, but I have just read up that it has one of the highest number of churches (and bars and restaurants apparently) per capita….
With no place to stay we continued on our journey to Salamanca. En route however, we were surprised to see 7 or 8 large vultures on a bridge going over the road. Most of the land around here appears to corn and potatoes …. only very few cattle or sheep – but I am guessing something was in its last days. It does make you wonder though …. where do Vultures live throughout the year, how do they know so quickly that something is dying and how far do they come to find a feed?
Dave… perhaps you know the answer? They are beautiful creatures … although they do remind me of undertakers with big jackets 🙂
They were probably Griffon Vultures as they are the most common species in the area. They form resident colonies and in huge numbers in some parts of the world. Whilst some birds will be perched others will be soaring and they watch each other at all times, any change in attitude or flight pattern will signal to other birds that there is food about. They have a very go sense of smell and over open ground can see a carcass from 4 miles away. Hope this answers your query. Glad to see you are still enjoying your travels we have now settled in Benicassim.
Yes, I have just had a look at the pictures of Griffon vultures and they like the part – they are odd looking creatures aren’t they? As you have described, there were a number on the ground and a few circling, obviously keeping an on eye on whatever the prey was that was in the process of dying…. what a lovely thought, but I guess it is evolution 🙂
We stopped in Burgos last week and one of the booklets mentioned that they had Black vultures in a national park nearby which made me think of our conversation … just odd that only a few days later we saw these!
Just to confirm, after all our efforts to broaden our taste for French wine …. having hit Rioja, I can confirm that it is still my favourite 🙂
Hope the weather treats you well in Benicassim.
Gail & Keith