..."The countryside that lies between Valladolid and Segovia, except for some pine groves, spreads out in a vast, wide plain which gets lost in the horizon.
There are no mountains; not even molehills. The hills don’t dare but lightly ripple the surface. Neither are there trees that come between the eyes of the observer and the horizon. Beyond what can be seen, one senses that the immense plain stretches on to infinity. However, when the city comes into sight, the grass grows green and fresh. And when the Sun touches it with its rays, the color is so intense that it doesn’t seem real. The Zamarramala Road carries on meandering down and after a few kilometres the city of Segovia comes into view like the discovery of a hidden treasure. Like a reward. The Cathedral shows itself to the world, seductive and suggestive, like an Egyptian Goddess, reclining and voluptuous. And while the road cut the distance between the first appearance of the city, and rolls down into it, the landscape transforms itself into an explosion of lush greenery. The city sits on top of a great rock and the road descends and wriggles along its slopes. There are crawling vines that climb by the mountainsides and completely cover them. Fresh and transparent streams; giant pines; springs and waterfalls; woods; rocky knolls; viewpoints and meadows; willows; poplars; elders ; tamarisks; cherry trees ; chestnut trees; lime trees; maples; hackberries that darken the landscape of the Alameda de Fuencisla."
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"She drove towards the Palacio de La Granja. She parked where the road surface became paved, and after getting out, went through an iron gate. She was surrounded by columns of hundred-year-old sequoias. It was half past eight and, officially, the Palace did not open to the public until ten. However, a guard, out of carelessness, had left the gate open, and so, Victoria entered.
Although the Sun was shining, up there it was colder. Hundreds of birds fluttered around the cold blue sky. She walked the white paving and went down the marble stairs.
There were columns whose bases were flowery and sumptuous. The garden was formed by geometrical shapes big, square- shaped and semicircular, and in the middle, a statue wanted to fly.
She went round la Fuente de la Fama, and before going further in, she turned her head. An unusually beautiful image appeared before her eyes.
The sky over the Palace had clouded over. They were large and thick, leaden in color, dark blue and white and appeared like cotton buds. The Sun from the East lit up the metallic clouds and grey and vanilla walls. It seemed like a watercolor. So beautiful that it didn’t seem real. The work of an audacious painter. A portrait made by a magician.
She went up the stairs and carried on walking on the street parallel to that of Valsain. Magnificent trees rose majestically dozens of metres high and let their branches drop. Flirtatious, like haute couture design. Bell sleeves and sheer fabrics. She walked around the sanded walks and she contemplated what had been constructed at the crossroads. Exuberance and luxurious greenery were to be found here and there. Lime trees and chestnut trees; ash tress and maples. A green fog had come out of the lamp of a wizard, and slowly, had carpeted the ground. Here and there, there were fountains. Golden and white fountains. With angels who had the body of a siren and their hair brushed by the wind.
Corpulent dragons with open mouths and irascible gestures. With swans and golden geese. With Roman Emperors who were held up by their mitres. Lion’s heads and globes of the world. Wild horses driven out of control. And fish derived from Greek Mythology. A stone and wooden bridge could be made out in the middle of the greenery. A little squirrel crossed the path and stopped beside a tree. She had lost sight of the Palace and she didn’t know exactly where she was. From a high stone wall lichen fell. April’s rains had carved holes and channels, and the rims of the wheels of the maintenance carts had left their mark on the sand. Between the foliage and the ends of the paths, in the crossroads, marble statues appeared which played the tambourine with their hands cut off by the wind. Frogs, toads and devils.
A sudden gust of cold wind blew. She took ‘La Calle de Valsain’, and at the point where the road became tarmacadamed, the sun appeared again and the leaves of the trees turned nearly transparent and into an intense green which was nearly fluorescent. The trees began to project the shadow of their branches over the path. There were benches and lampposts on both sides of ‘la Calle de Valsain.’ Beside a stone bench a golden sign in the form of an ancient parchment one could read the name of the street: ‘Calle de Valsain.’ With dark script and the royal seal.
Beside the bench, an opening allowed access to other horizontal and cross paths which came together outlining arbours made up of hedges. They led down to a wide meadow. She walked down through the network, and at the bottom, she could again see the Palace crowned by metallic clouds. On some leaves there still remained, at the point of dropping, some drops of the recent, fine rain.
Suddenly she realized that, fascinated by her surroundings, she hadn't looked at her watch. It was ten past nine and she only had twenty minutes to get to the office in Calle Fernández Ladreda. She hurriedly crossed the labyrinth and returned again to 'La Calle de Valsaín.'
A sudden murmur, which came from the other side of the street, caught her attention. She crossed the street and realized that a clear water stream ran underneath sweeping downstream dark green algae. However, time was already short.
She carried on walking down 'La Calle de Valsaín' towards the Palace and the exit. The sun lit up the path and the benches and the shadows of the branches of the trees were outlined on the ground. These moments had been full of magic. Of signs, perhaps. She would come back the next day. She promised herself."
Paragraph selected from Chapter 3th "The last redoubt"; Fourth Part "The letters to the grand mother"