Monday, October 12, 2009
The Spanish take their holidays seriously
This Monday all of Madrid had a holiday so a lot of people left the city but Tory, Allison, and I decided to stick around town. Wanting to do a little bit of traveling, we decided to take a day trip to Aranjuez, a city about 45 minutes outside of the city. It was an easy train ride from the center of Madrid to Aranjuez and one thing I love about Madrid is how good their public transportation system is. In Aranjuez there is the Royal Palace that was built by Felipe II and Fernando VI lived there. The palace was built by Juan Battista who is a famous Spanish architect. We got to Aranjuez and went to tour the palace. It was absolutely beautiful and all of the rooms were done in Rococo style which means they were uber-decorated. They had everything from a throne room to a Arabian library. We toured the palace and saw an exhibition on Palace life which included tons of abanicos, or fans, that the queens used. After the palace, we walked around in the gardens of the palace that were called Jardines de la Isla (Gardens of the Isle) because the king built his own river and lake around the palace so it would be on somewhat of an island. The gardens were definitely my favorite part of the day because they seemed to go on forever and there were tons of fountains and places to rest and relax. After walking in the gardens we stopped at a cerveceria to grab some sandwiches, beers, and patatas bravas for lunch. Delish! We also stopped to get the famous dessert from Aranjuez which was the freson con nata. It is a combination of berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries topped with the best whipped cream I have ever had. I am usually not a big fan of whipped cream but it was really thick and creamy almost like icecream but not cold. I might have to go back just for the dessert!