Sunday, November 27, 2011

Segovia, España - Otoño 2011

A day trip to Segovia is one of BU in Madrid's included program trips around Spain.  I first went to Segovia back in 2009 when I was a student on the program, so I'll keep this post short.  When I think of Segovia, I think of the giant aqueduct.  Though it's no longer used to transport water, it still stands as a reminder of the city's Roman history.  As you stroll under the aqueduct and into the city, you see many buildings with highly decorated walls.  The walls are patterned in a style, which I think is called esgraciado.
The pattern on the walls is esgrafiado.

El acueducto de Segovia
Since I really like to eat, (who doesn't?) I of course had to try poncha, a cake which is a regional specialty.  Poncha is a layered cake which features a cake base, a middle creme layer, and a top egg yoke layer.  The entire cake piece is coated in an almond paste, similar to marzipan, and dusted with powdered sugar.  It's really messy.  Don't order this to go.
Poncha
Cochinillo
Each fall when BU comes to Segovia, they do a celebration meal in place of Thanksgiving, at which cochinillo is served.  Cochinillo is suckling pig - baby pig.  Often, this dish and its traditions surprise American students for two reasons.  1)The entire pig is served on a large plate, face and all.  It still looks like a pig - 4 legs, tail, face, teeth, eyes, etc.  2) It is cooked all day long, and the meat is so tender that you cut it with the plate on which it's served.  In fact, the first cut - the removal of the head - is made by jamming the plate into the neck.  From there, the plate is used to cut the rest of the pig and divide it for serving.  You know one front leg for him, some ribs for her, a back leg and tail for the next person...    Afterwards, to show that the dish is only made of glass, the person making the cuts smashes the dish on the floor.  BU includes other entrees for vegetarians and people who lose their appetites from seeing this.

Stained Glass Window in the Alcázar
At the end of the day in Segovia, we always go to the Alcázar, which is sort of a lookout point.  From inside the building, you have a great view of the surrounding land, and therefore could prepare for approaching attacks back in the times when that was actually a concern.  Today, the Alcázar is filled with several suits of armor, other old artifacts, gorgeous ceilings, and colorful stained glass windows.  Tiled mosaic walls show that there has also been some Moroccan influence.

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