Friday, March 25, 2011

The Blog According to Kenna

So, yesterday was Wednesday and we were off to begin another day of fun and adventure. There were the eight of us: Ray, Heather, myself, the Lloyd family and, of course Holly’s invisible friend Rick. Our plan was to rent a car and visit Segovia (town, Palace and Roman Aqueduct), El Escorial (Monastery/Palace) and the Valley of the Fallen (Memorial). It is lot to do in one day but with Rick to guide us and Holly cracking the whip ( too is invisible but, trust me, she has one.) surely we can do it all.
Okay our ‘early start’ was delayed because of the late night before. No worries, it was fun and we weren’t too late. A quick run to get the cars may have had a glitch or two (or 8) but it all came together and we were on the road by 10:00ish.
Now I have to admit that we did come close to aborting the whole trip shortly thereafter (Holly and Rick not withstanding.) as we were driving up into the mountains and it became COLDER. Okay, we all left the apartment that morning with Madrid weather in mind. Yes, we did bring rain coats (come on we ARE from Vancouver) but none of us were really prepared for the snow; no mittens, scarves or heavy coats among us. (Why none of us considered the possibility of it being colder in the mountains is a curiosity – we ARE from Vancouver.) Anyway, the result was that for some minutes before the road descended to the valley on the other side each of us considered the possibility that the day might be more fun in Madrid. To our relief when we arrived in Segovia we had only some wind, a little rain and, thank heaven, no snow.
Segovia is a quaint little town, reminiscent of Whistler but WAY older. Oh and it also is home to a Palace, a Cathedral and a Roman Aqueduct all of which are fascinating and steeped in historically significant events, people and culture. Oddly enough though, the image that comes to mind is none of these but rather the ‘house of a thousand beaks’. It is a real “must see” kind of place. You know, the kind of thing that you don’t see just anywhere.

At this point, Holly stopped channeling Rick Steve’s helpful and fun information about the town and …CRACK! “Time to go people!” and so…we grab a sandwich and make a run for the cars. We were on our way to El Escorial. Now, you might think that since we had just seen the many wonders of Segovia, another Palace/Monastery might just be overkill. Oddly, though the Monastery at El Escorial is my personal favourite. Why? You might ask. Well….it could be the Royal Pantheon which is completely decked out in marble and gold, including the stairway that leads down to the crypt. It might be the FANTASTIC inlaid wood doors that I could have stared at for the entire day and still found new details. It may also have been the ancient tomes and maps that lined the Palace library or the details of the paintings on the walls in the Hall of Battles. Any of these magnificent sights could be the most significant to me but….well…this is me and there are other memories that will stay with me longer.
My favorite memory from El Escorial will be Heather, Holly and I laughing almost hysterically as we strolled through the Hall of Battles (there really is a chicken in most of the painting and the soldiers stopping in the midst of battle to pose for the painter struck us as amusing). Another good memory will be the image of Heather being (almost) physically escorted from the library because the man with the keys wanted to lock up but she “wasn’t done yet.” Finally, I will hold forever the image of Rhys standing across the courtyard, shrugging his shoulders to let us know that he (our last hope) had no idea where Ray was and they really were locking up!
Fear not! It all worked out in the end. We found Ray…or he found us, we found our way to Madrid (only one wrong turn), we found the place we had to drop off the rental car (only a few extra loops), we found some wine and we found ourselves spending a good night of talk and laughter at the apartment.
But wait! You may remember that we had planned to visit the Valley of the Fallen. We only had time for 2 of the 3 tours that we planned. So much for Rick’s sage advice and Holly’s invisible whip.


Steve said...

Is this a hostile take over? What have you done with my Sister?

Theresa said...

I hear the laughter
I see the sights
I taste the wine
I feel the love
I smell ???? nothing!!

Wishing I could be there said...

OKAY...I would like to change the font to 18 so you will know that I need to defend my elder child... not my s-i-l, or my grandchildren..they are armed. I think if Ray would just pick up the pace, you could have made the Memorial place and then all of you would be depressed and sad and on your return to Madrid, the wine consumption might lessen? Or expand?...just my observation from your comments. And Ray, when you call me to pick up the duffel bag, if you would be more comfortable, just leaving it outside your door...I won't hold grudges...:)
What a fun week for all of you. Love Mom