A quick note before we leave for Toledo and then catch the train to Barcelona in the evening. Yesterday Carlos drove us up to Segovia where we visited the cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain, passing the Plaza Mayor where Isabella was proclaimed Queen. (I forgot to mention that we visited the much larger Plaza Mayor in Madrid on Tuesday.) On our way up the hill to the cathedral we passed an ancient Roman aqueduct that spans a small valley between sides of the city. It continues underground to the Alcazar, the fort which was a stronghold for the Castilian monarchy for centuries. After lunch in La Granja, we visited the gardens of the royal palace there. Then on to Escorial and the monastery built by the most powerful king of Spain and Habsburg monarch, Phillip II. Carlos kept getting into trouble with the guards who didn’t want us to take pictures. Anne Mei was spooked by the crypt filled with coffins of the Spanish kings. She said that it smelled of death. I loved the old library filled with precious books and manuscripts. It was interesting to see the books placed with the spine inwards and the title handwritten on the fore edge. Carlos said that placement helps maintain the paper. We went to supper with Carlos’ family on a terrace in town up the hill from the monastery. Paella with only chicken since I do not like seafood and Anne Mei has caught that affliction. A good time spent with my butchering Spanish and Maria practicing her English. I had not seen her since Carlos and she visited us in Freehold before we had Anne Mei. She is a social worker in a high school in Madrid so she was interested in Anne Mei’s plans.