Sunday, May 3, 2009


I arrived in Spain on Tuesday, 28 April. After a little bit of a wait in the Madrid airport for Kimberly, another traveling companion, to arrive, we took off for the highways of Spain. Our first stop was a shopping center where we had lunch and bought some groceries. We were then off to Segovia.

Segovia is a beautiful city in central Spain. It is very old. Within the city there is a Roman aqueduct that was built before the time of Christ. It is put together without any mortar. You can still see small indentations in the stone where the Romans used tools to carry the big blocks and lift them in place. The old city is exactly how you would picture an old Spanish city. Narrow streets covered in cobblestones. It was so charming.

That evening we had a light dinner we prepared ourselves of sandwiches and small postres of pudding up on the roof of our hotel. It gave us wonderful of the old city and the sunset. There were these huge stork nests on the roof of the hotel with storks in them. I was able to get a few pictures but it was almost dark before we noticed them.

The next morning we got up and drove out to the castle, Alcazar. This is where the Spanish military archive is located. We were shown up the stairs to a research room where we were given a short lecture on what was available. We were shown books also that catalogued some of the military records available. After about a half an hour researching names for Brother Ryskamp we were allowed to leave the research room to explore the castle. Kimberly and I walked down the stairs and went and purchased a ticket so that we could climb the tower.

The steps up to the tower were interesting. There were 152 of them. For the most part they wound up a spiral staircase. The passageway was just barely wide enough for two people and so when we encountered someone coming down we had to stand to one side to let them pass. It was quite a climb but the view was spectacular. After spending several minutes up there admiring the view and taking pictures, we came back down the stairs and explored the rest of the castle.

This is the castle where Ferdinand and Isabel spent some of their time during their reign. The marriage of Isabel and Ferdinand is what brought together kingdoms of Castille and Leon together to form what is now mostly just known as Spain. Inside one of the rooms are the two thrones they used to sit on. “Tanto I Monta” is the inscription above them. It is an illusion to the great power Isabel had even though Ferdinand was a king in his own right.

After our trip around the castle, we took a tour of the archives given by the commandant in charge. They have a ton of military records of all types. He was gracious enough to take us on a quick tour even though the ministra of defense had visited earlier that morning and he was quite busy with her.

When we left the archive we drove back toward town to have a picnic in a local park that is next to a convent. We had a wonderful lunch of sandwiches and salad made by the Ryskamps. We then took off on the road to Salamanca.

No comments: