Friday, February 02, 2007

From the Land of Natives, to Segovia, the Land of Castles

“Do you have castles in Latin America?” asked one of my Spanish roommates while we had dinner Sunday night.

I was speechless. I stopped eating, and just looked up without knowing what to say.

Throughout my childhood, my mom had frequently put me to sleep reading Fairytales with princesses, dragons and castles. However, I could not remember ever seeing a castle in my continent.

When I first wrote the Spanish version of the blog, I actually thought there were no castles in America (read continent). But then, some of my readers verified there are several castles in different parts of Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.

Nevertheless, I still insist that those castles hardly resemble real castles, like the ones that we see in storybooks, with thin towers, thick bridges, protecting walls, etc…

Taking advantage of the fact I was living in Spain, I took a bus to Segovia to visit a real castle.

Even though my blue prince was not waiting for me inside the castle, I had the opportunity to walk over cobblestones eroded by the royalty, and then by millions of tourists who came before me.

I decided to visit the castle during lunchtime so I could enjoy every corner of it without needing to fight against tourist masses.

I took a long and careful look at the collectio of armors with curious curved feet that make you wonder if noblemen really walked and fought with such heavy and uncomfortable looking suits, or if these armors were simply decorative statues that some imaginative person then decided to include in myths and legends.

I also looked at the detailed decorations that covered the metal suits: some where full-body metal armors, other only covered half the body; some were plain while others had intricate motives carved into the chest and hands’ area.

I also climbed up the thin and claustrophobic stairs to the terrace where the wind messed up my hair, and obliged me to feel free. I stayed there for a while enjoying the view, extending the fantasy of beign inside a castle until my stomach’s growling became unbearable. It was already 4:30 p.m. andif I did not hurry my way down, I wasn´t going to find a place open where I could have lunch.

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