“It’s always still today,” said the poet about the passage of time. At the foot of the city walls, the spiritual heart of Machado still beats strong. The Seville-born poet who lived in Segovia between 1919 and 1932 often went for walks in places just like this, perhaps carrying a notebook that he later used to pen universal verses. Such surroundings offer a strange fusion of the dreamer’s romantic spirit and the hard realism of Castilian stone. Never doubt that Machado, one of the most magnificent voices of Spanish poetry, is still here among us.
It’s coming in dark now. The light is fading fast and it won’t be very long before a precipitous wintry darkness envelops everything. Under the archway of Santiago’s Gate, which leads through Segovia’s city walls to the San Marcos district, a couple strolls along, oblivious to everything. Picture postcards of my old city that I manage to keep capturing every day…
What stands out here are the arcades, which are home to a good number of banks, small businesses and bars. “Avenida de El Acueducto” has to be the busiest thoroughfare in Segovia. I have childhood memories of heavy traffic and the constant comings and goings of people on its pavements. It used to be a main road that went right under the Aqueduct. When local politicians decided to stop traffic going under the Roman monument, some twenty years ago, it became a pedestrian zone. Over time, it filled up with the terraces of bars and cafes so that Segovians and tourists can enjoy the spring sun and magnificent views of the huge Aqueduct.
On a blue morning I observe storks flying elegantly and mysteriously the way only storks can. They glide, peaceful and serene, circling the bell tower of the old Santa Cruz la Real campus. I find their slow, silent wing beats captivating.
A sense of geometry. It’s something I try to apply when I photograph a scene. Others call it the decisive moment. It’s not easy. Sometimes I don’t quite manage to shoot just at the right time, but I try. Everything is a question of practice. As I walk through the streets I come across lines and arrows that flag the potential for a good photo. Than all I have to do is wait for the scene to set itself in some way. A subject appears, stops, and looks at me. That’s the moment to give it a click, and I have my photo.
Sometimes shadows change reality. Right now we’re living in times of shadows that distort our view of things. You have to be able to distinguish between reality and a mere game of appearances.
The city has turned passersby into shadows. The idea of anonymous beings walking around like ghosts puts my imagination into overdrive. Armed with my trusty camera, I watch them wandering about. They’re like ants, zig-zagging between streets. In a few minutes’ time night will make the shadows disappear, and the street will be deserted.
A wise man once said that our obligation as rational beings is to always act as if we were being watched by all the eyes in the world. We don’t need to be controlled. A person who conducts him or herself properly doesn’t need surveillance.
From a bird’s eye view IE University’s Segovia campus looks magnificent. Situated at the foot of a medieval wall, the old Santa Cruz la Real Convent is now a source of pride for the city for two main reasons – because it’s an architectonic gem in itself, and because it houses a university that is committed to innovation. A national heritage site, the history of this building, with a surface area of more than 18,000m2, is quite a curious one. In the 13th century it was the first Dominican convent to be built in Spain, then it was rebuilt in the 15th century, and rebuilt once again in the 19th century. Behind these walls that are so steeped in history, today Santa Cruz la Real is equipped with cutting technology applied to education. Moreover, it’s one of the most international university environments in existence. Young people of more than a hundred nationalities come here to study. Santa Cruz la Real is, without doubt, still making history.
From the inside of this café, I have the feeling that life is going by slowly. The rain keeps falling and passersby keep going past in dribs and drabs. Watching the rain outside, coffee in hand, makes a person feel cozy and safe.