Friday, 8 October 2010

Another parador in Segovia

It has been a long day from Salamanca to Segovia. Oscar, our Spanish driver, drove us for most of the day, stopping at Tordesillas, where Juana, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabel, who inherited the crown of Castil when Isabel died, lived for more than 40 years. She is supposed to have gone mad after the death of her husband, Philip the Fair, but he sounds like the sort of husband who would have driven any woman mad, well before he died. Poor Juana loved him desperately, but he screwed around something chronic, so they say. She travelled around Spain with his coffin, opening it frequently to gaze upon his corpse, for three years, and then was under virtual house arrest for the rest of her life. I´d like to know more about this unfortunate woman, but the books were all in Spanish.

Then we went to La Mota, an impregnable castle, where Cesare Borgia was imprisoned for some time before managing to bribe a guard to help him escape. He died in a minor skirmish not long after his escape. Having seen this castle, it became clear that other than by bribing someone, there was just no way out. We learned all about fearfully thick castle walls, and deep dry moats, so as to withstand cannon fire. Following that we inspected another even more impregnable castle at Coca. Learning more about the past, while keeping relatively abreast of current affairs and wars, really rams home the reality that people can be very violent indeed and seem to have relatively little reluctance or hesitation in slaughtering each other. Depressing, really!

Now we are in the parador at Segovia. this is another impressive hotel, with pool and spa, and FREE internet access without passwords. What bliss. There was an email from my daughter, which made me very happy, and I have been busy catching up with a few blogs, although regrettably do not have time to comment. The only disadvantage so far is that in this parador I do not have a double bed.
Tomorrow we see the Segovia cathedral (did I mention that I just love really old cathedrals?)  the Roman aqueduct, and something else, before setting off for Madrid, visiting El Escorial en route. Life is not all bad! It is time to duck off and change into a little something (actually the same little something as last night and the night before) in time for dinner at 8.30. Hola!


Elisabeth said...

The journey sounds fantastic, as you say, 'not all bad'.
Keep enjoying it while the rest of languish away in our ordinary routines.

Frances said...

I wonder whether in fact Juana could have been gloating?
It's hard to think that one might stay in love with a 3 year old corpse.

Pam said...

Hope the feet are holding up...