26 – 27 March, 2015
I was super keen to begin exploring Segovia but not being able to get into my hotel room was going to delay this somewhat. On the cardboard sleeve containing my room access card key I’d been given at check in I was certain the room number was written as 207. But I was wrong – it was in fact room 204. In my weariness of travelling for a day and half by motorcycle, ferry and motorcycle again from London, I’d not looked closely enough but it did look like a seven to me initially – still does a bit except for the horizontal bar Europeans like to include halfway down (they didn’t teach us to write it that way at school in Oz).
Exploring Segovia is delayed by misreading my room number – still looks like a 7 to me!
I felt a little foolish when the card worked perfectly in the correct room and tried to explain that I thought it was a 7 rather than a 4. I think the very helpful lady from reception bought that excuse too. I quickly changed and set about recharging everything electronic I’d need for tomorrow’s ride (bluetooth helmet comms, spent GoPro batteries, iPad, iPhone etc) and then tried logging into the hotel wifi and see if I had any emails that needed urgent attention.
The wifi password was typed so there was no confusing hand writing to deal with on this occasion. But it wouldn’t connect. I checked the password again and re-entered it into my smartphone – still no luck. So I tried on another device and still no good. I’m hungry and want to start exploring Segovia so I’ll check with the lady at reception on my way out.
Having explained it wasn’t working I passed over my smartphone and she got it first time. Seems I’d over and over keyed in an “i” instead of an “e”. This time there was no excuse offered. I deserved her thinking I was a complete idiot!
Undeterred, I headed out to up the cobbled street towards Plaza Mayor in search of Restaurante José María. It wasn’t that far and I had a chance to take some average night photos with my smartphone in and around Plaza Mayor.
I located the restaurant and went in to see if there was a table free. Typical of most Spanish restaurants, there was a bar area serving drinks and tapas that I had to pass through prior to getting to the restaurant. I was told a table would be available in half an hour which was fine as I’d amuse myself with a drink at the bar and perhaps some tapas in the meantime.
Delicious – and way more food than I’d expected when I ordered. Very good value!
Before I could finish my first small beer I was being ushered to my table and was soon ordering a glass of the house red and my meal, both of which were promptly served.
Restaurante José María was a great recommendation from the receptionist at Hotel Don Felipe and in spite of my confusion when checking in earlier this evening, I was enjoying my stay at this superbly located and appointed hotel. Here’s a look around Hotel Don Filipe including my room for the evening.
After a restful night, I awoke and was showered, dressed and was out exploring Segovia around 8am. Unfortunately the weather was overcast and even a touch misty – it could rain. Pity.
The main attractions I was able to see in my limited time in Segovia were:
Aqueduct of Segovia – just amazing what the Romans could do in the first century AD
Segovia Cathedral – one of last Gothic cathedrals to be built in Europe around the mid-sixteenth century.
Alcázar of Segovia – originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy.
I spent over two hours all but power walking my way around as much of Segovia as I could fit in. I even managed to have time for a light breakfast before going back to the hotel to change, pack my bags, re-load the Family Truckster and check out. Barely enough time for properly exploring Segovia but it was all the time I could afford in my 3 day push south to Benalmádena. Exploring Segovia was an unexpected highlight on my Vuelta a Andalucia – please go and see for yourself if you are in the area, stay at least two nights, have a proper look around and let me know what I missed.
The Family Truckster is loaded and we’re ready to roll onto Valdepeñas probably via Ávila so I can take in more of Spain’s glorious N roads. The weather is starting to clear – it’s going to be a great riding day. See you in Valdepeñas next time.