Monday, August 29, 2011

Las Sierras

This past weekend my Sister in law and her partner Marc, came from Barcelona for a visit. I really like both of them and it was good to see them. Getting to know the Spanish side of my family is a very good side benefit of living in Spain.

They rolled into town on Friday and we spent a very agreeable afternoon eating tapas and going to the Prado museum. Where we saw the regular collection, and it was wonderful.

The next day......
We went out if the city and into the mountains. I love mountains. I missed the mountains. If I had to pick one or the other, beach or mountains, I would pick mountains every time. These mountains surrounding Madrid are part of the Spanish Sierras. These first two pictures were taken romantically from a gas station.
The climate is remarkably like Colorado. It was very odd to think of Colorado and then see a old stone wall or Spanish style farmhouse in the middle of the countryside.
Our goal for the first part of the day was to explore Escorial. Which housed the kings and queens of Spain for many years. It is a small town located in the mountains North of Madrid.
We went early in the day, because later that evening the "Vuelta a España" (Tour de Spain bike race) was going to end there. Here is a picaresque scene with some non racing bickers on the route hours before the race was due to end. Actually we did not leave the city soon enough and were detoured for some reason down the last 10 kilometers of the track on our way out.
Here was the official ending of the tour (the other side of the arches).

Anyway it was a very lovely city and I could not get enough of the mountains that reminded me so strongly of home.

We surprisingly found the above tree in a park. It is surprising because it is a giant sequoia.

So tomorrow more about the royal palace and photos of it, but until then enjoy my new mountains.

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