Segovia and El Escorial, Spain

Croatian high school students go on one-week school trips before the begin of their last year of school. Most of them choose destinations abroad, and Spain, Greece and the Czech Republic are the most popular.

With my class of 2000 I visited Spain. We flew to Madrid and stayed for four days before we hit the road. On the long way home we saw the unbelievably beautiful fountains of Barcelona, Nice and Monte Carlo. But that's another story.

We had a guide and it was only on my second trip to Madrid with my family that I really got the feeling of the city. With a guide, I always feel like a package, just sit back and listen to what the guide says. However, it was on this trip with my class that I visited Segovia and El Escorial.

Segovia is a beautiful city with plenty of things to see. The Roman Aqueduct is one of the best preserved in the world. Unlike Toledo, the city is pedestrianized, which makes it perfect for leisurely strolls through its medieval streets.

Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a huge palace, monastery, library and a mausoleum of Spanish kings, built in the 16th century. The Pantheon de los Reyes is the most spectacular, all in white marble, with tombs of most of the Spanish kings and their relatives from the last five centuries.