Saturday, February 28, 2009

They have a famous dessert?!?

Ahh yes, kiddie beans. I did go somewhere that has a particularly famous dessert. But first...

Thursday night we were given the opportunity to go to the theatre. Now, when I signed up for this I had no idea what I was going to be seeing, but when have I ever turned down going to the theatre? Especially when it was FREE? Yep, I was pretty excited. Turned out that we were at the Teatro de la Zarzuela - Zarzuela is a type of Spanish musical theatre, done mostly in operatic voice but with the spoken lines of a musical. The show we saw was called La Gran Vía...esquina a Chueca, and was a remaking of a traditional zarzuela show called La Gran Vía. In the original show, the residents of Madrid are protesting (in costumes that represent the various streets of Madrid) the construction of Gran Vía, one of the biggest streets in Madrid. In this version, the residents show up (in costume, again) to protest the rumor that Gran Vía is going to be destroyed. It was a lot of fun, and since it was a comedy it was not a huge deal if we missed a few things here and there (which we inevitably did). I approved.

Yesterday (Friday) our program took a day trip to Segovia. We started out visiting El Palacio Real de la Granja de San Ildefonso - a royal palace so named because it was once a big farm that some king - please don´t ask me which, their names get all jumbled in my head - bought as a sort of retreat, then built this palace in somewhat the style of Versailles, minus the immensity and the vast amounts of gold. After the royal palace it was off to see the aqueduct. The aqueduct in Segovia is the best preserved Roman aqueduct remaining in Spain. It is absolutely incredible - they did not use any cement or anything else to hold the stones together, and you can still see the holes from the gripper-dealies used to put the stones in place. During our free time we climbed the stairs up to the rest of the remaining Roman section of the city - great view.

Speaking of free time, I definitely took that opportunity to sample Segovia´s famous dessert - Ponche Segoviano. It basically consists of a layer of custard, topped with a layer of pound cake with a cinnamon-y sort of filling in between, all covered with marzipan. One of the main ingredients is brandy, which gave it this great sort of spice-cake-like spiciness. It was amazing and kind of reminded me of Christmas. I totally need to go back with Momma and Daddy and eat some more in everyone´s name. :-)

It was also during this free time that we had time to eat lunch. Cassie and Jackie decided that they would split their meal in order to save a little money - only then it turned out that the waiters ended up giving them smaller-than-normal portions and were incredibly rude. Not cool. Then, because I still hear my mommy´s voice in my head, we all used the bathroom before we left, only to discover that instead of toilet paper, they had dispensers with what were basically a cross between a napkin, kleenex and a paper towel. This blew our minds.

After free time we headed over to check out El Alcázar - the old castle, used a lot by Queen Isabel in particular. This was seriously one completely legit castle, though I also learned something: all of these years this princess has wanted to live in a castle, when it turns out that they are FREEZING! I´m totally not moving there any time soon.

Next weekend: Lisboa!

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