Here are the rest of the pictures from the gardens of the royal palace at La Granja. The first couple pictures of the lake were actually labeled as “el mar” (the sea) on the map of the palace gardens. It’s actually a reservoir that provides water for all the fountains. It’s also quite the workout walking up the hill that leads to it, but the view of the reservoir and surrounding mountains was definitely worth it.

   

   

Yes, that is me sitting on the bench. Nicole snapped it and it is very clear I was unaware my photo was being taken. I may look relaxed and enjoying the tranquil environment–and I was to some extent. However, the truth is I plopped unceremoniously on that bench because I was sweating bullets after going up the hill to reach this place and I was trying to catch my breath.

Believe it or not, the grounds of the palace continue past this artificial lake up into the mountains where there are different hiking trails. It’s already quite the walk up to get to the reservoir so we opted not to go any further.

The first picture in the following series shows a wooden bridge called “el puente de los suspiros” (the Bridge of Sighs) which sounds way more romantic in Spanish. The reflections were snapped at “El Estanque Cuadrado” (the Square Pool). The white statue in the middle of square surrounded by several fountains was taken at “La Plaza de las 8 Calles” (The Square of 8 Streets), which was appropriate considering there were 8 fountains in the square.

   

  

   

   

   

In the first fountain here, it’s hard to tell but the creatures surrounding the middle of the fountain are frogs! The jets of water come out of the frogs’ mouths when the fountain is turned on.

   

   

An aside: you’ve probably noticed in nearly all these pictures the fountains are turned off. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for all these fountains to be turned on every day. There is a water shortage in most of Spain because it is such a dry and arid climate. I think different fountains are turned on every day. However, all the fountains are turned on three times a year for the following holidays: San Fernando (May 3oth), San Santiago (July 25th) and San Luis (August 25th).

We eventually made it back down to the palace:

   

And two pictures of the surrounding small town of La Granja:

   

By this point we were starving so we had a late lunch before taking the (very sporadic) bus back to Segovia. We ended up walking around Segovia for a little bit before heading back to Madrid. However it’s really late and I should probably go to bed now. Until next time!

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