Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hiking in El Escorial

     Early December and the weather was great for hiking, so Emir, Camille and I took a train out to El Escorial to walk some trails. El Escorial is famous for the enormous monastery Philip II had constructed during the later half od the 16th century. It's only 45 kms from Madrid but I hadn't been out there yet, and still didn't get into the monastery. Instead, we walked past it and into the hills for some nice views. 

Part of El Escorial 
     When the monastery was being constructed, Philip II would walk into the hills and sit on a seat he had ordered to be carved out of rock so he could watch it being built. You can easily hike up to it and sit there yourself, which we did. 

The seat across from Philip II's, with El Escorial in the background
     We continued to hike up into the hills and the sun made the day nice enough to go shirtless and be very comfortable. At one point I was certain I was being burned, although fortunately I narrowly escaped it. It would be a bit embarrassing to get a sunburn in December.
Emir on a rock

     Later on we found some fresh oregano and after a nice lunch of chorizo and tomato sandwiches we got lost, as usual. We tried to take a different way back down but lost the path and decided the sun was getting a bit low in the sky to keep going on so we had to double back. As soon as the sun went down the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and soon we had our winter coats and scarves on again. All in all it was a nice daytrip hike. From the hills we could see the cloud of pollution settled over Madrid and it made us glad we had escaped for the day to get some fresh air.
In King Philip II's chair


  1. I'm happy and enjoy your post :) Travelling is really beautiful, I love it and can't imagine my life without it!

  2. Thanks a lot Mandy! I agree with you!