Friday, January 4, 2008

In Search of Andrés Segovia

It often happens with world-travelling bears – especially with former international fashion models and freelance Good Will Ambassadors – that our gruelling schedules don’t allow us to blog as much as we’d like to. I have been especially guilty lately and for this I apologise. My New Year’s Resolution – yes, even bears make resolutions – is to be a more conscientious blogger. Truth is that I’ve been travelling about Spain for the past month – visiting monuments, sipping sherry and signing autographs. At the beginning of December, my bipedal attendants took me to Segovia where I assumed I had been scheduled to meet Andrés Segovia. Or more precisely, "El señor don Andrés Torres Segovia, marqués de Salobreña". King Juan Carlos gave him that title in 1981 - and I thought " fashion model and freelance Good Will Ambassador" was a mouthful! Unfortunately, the world renowned classical guitarist isn't even from Segovia (which is very confusing and I think he should have changed his name earlier on), nor is he alive. How embarrassing. Not that I would have found him – even if he were still alive – because that weekend’s fog hid the city in a thick blanket of white. When it wasn’t raining. Not much fun when you have a film crew photographer among your retinue, but such are the vagaries of international jet-setting.

Segovia – in spite of the fog, rain, and freezing cold – was (or is) an amazing city. And as much as I loved Toledo, I think I preferred Segovia. The Romans made it a military town (and as a freelance Good Will Ambassador I don’t really approve of military things), it was later made a centre of the textile industry by those invading Moors. About 920 years ago, Spanish Christians captured it and made Segovia a royal residence. In 1474, Isabel (of Ferdinand & Isabel fame) was crowned queen of Castile here.

I’m pretty pleased with the photos of me at the aqueduct. True, you can barely (bearly!) see me, what with the grey sky and all, but I can’t be angry with my photographer or the weather. Not really anyway. Segovia’s aqueduct is one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the world and I was just grateful to have had the opportunity to see it in person (or bear-son). It’s almost 3000 feet in length (which I should know in meters but I don’t) but in any case, it’s very long.

The Alcázar would have provided an excellent photo shoot as well but again the weather was not very cooperative. This too dates from Roman times although it was expanded and remodelled during the 14th and 15th centuries, and then completely rehauled after a fire about 150 years ago. The oldest bit is the castle keep which you see as you first walk in the castle. I had hoped to have my photo taken there but apparently there was an issue regarding light readings or something. Photographers!

I really enjoyed my short stay in Segovia – except for all the dead piglets chilling on ice in the city’s restaurants’ windows, waiting to become a rather pricey dish of cochinillo. Such a difficult city for a vegan bear! I would have liked to show you photos of the cathedral and the Crusader church but, as I may have mentioned, weather was a factor. As it turns out, the weather improved significantly the morning we left; in fact, my sources tell me that it was all blue skies and sunshine thereafter. Which reminds me that I have to have a word with my schedulers. It’s not like weather reports are beyond their understanding.


H-Face said...

Excellent Post GB!

I could have sworn that Andres Segovia was in Segovia too!

edmundnesbitt said...

So very pleased to meet another travelling bear. Have you ever been to the Arctic? I am hoping to go in June, so any advice would be gratefully received.


Grey Bear said...

Welcome Edmund! Another travelling bear!! No I haven't been to the Arctic ... my bipedal attendants (one of them at least) hates the cold. Good luck though.