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Once upon a dream vacation time we took a young prince and two princesses to Spain just so they could see Alcazar Castle. Despite their young ages, these three Disney World veteran groupies were well versed in knowing that Spain had “real castles” and made it very clear their mission was to see one. Staying in Madrid Segovia was one of the first places we rushed out to see.
Alcázar de Segovia, definitely fulfilled their idea of what a real castle should look like and have inside of it. Unknown to them this castle had actually been one of the inspirations of Walt Disney when he was creating his theme parks. It was second only to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany according to Walt. Both girls upon first sight, declared in hushed whispers and followed by giggles that this was Cinderella’s real castle,
Just the first sight of the royal blue-gray turrets, perched upon the rocky cliffside, it was hard not to give a little TMI to the little kids dictating our daily vacation itinerary and not launch into a rich history dating back to around the dawn of the 12th century when the castle was first an Arab fort. They didn’t care that it was only after than that -- that it became a palace for royal families or that even later it was a prison. Even less interesting to them at their tender ages? That it was also once a military academy. All they wanted to know was if Cinderella was home (or back in Orlando where we came from) and if Prince Charming would ride past us on his horse. And where was that carriage? Or even more importantly would we see any mice who could talk?
Oh, you can be sure that we saw it all -- from the palace, to the artillery museum to honor our own prince’s wishes, and even went up to the Tower of Juan II. Now, I will admit that climbing the Tower of Juan II was quite a lot of narrow steps up a very steep spiral staircase -- 152 steps gleefully counted out loud -- by those who are far younger than us. But it definitely was worth the breathless climb, because the views indeed took your breath away.
We often travel as a mixed group age wise -- ranging from senior citizen great grandparents, to grandparents, to parents to kindergartners and grade school. That often is an interesting dynamic of opinions and shared historical facts. Some of us were old enough to know that Alcázar Castle was used as a movie set for Lawrence of Arabia. While the a different generational member pointed out that the fifth season of Game of Thrones had also been filmed there. And all of that “history” was promptly dismissed by the youngest of our entourage -- this was Cinderella’s castle and it wasn’t a fairy tale anymore.
Castles in Spain
Check out this great video of Alcazar de Segovia!