Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's the cliiiiimb

On Monday there was holiday in Madrid so Allison was at home with me so we decided to take a day trip! We took the Cercanias train to about an hour outside Madrid called San Lorenzo de El Escorial. El Escorial is famous for its monastery and palace. Since we went on Monday the Monastery was closed (it is only open Tuesday to Saturday) which was bummer but we got to walk around and see how cute the town was! It was really hilly and is near the mountains so Allison and I were looking for a good trail to hike on. I remembered that one of the teachers at the school mentioned something about a famous rock up in the mountains of El Escorial that King Felipe II built to be able to watch the monastery and the palace being built. We didn't know how to get to said seat so we decided to pop into a internet cafe to look up directions. After searching around for about 30 minutes we finally found some directions that seemed easy enough. We walked past the monastery into a park and after about 5 minutes of walking we found a sign pointing toward the Silla de Felipe II. Feeling confident and excited, Allison and I walked toward where we thought the sign was pointing. We went into a park and up a trail that we thought lead to the illustrious silla. After about 10 minutes of walking we reached a convent and realized that we had gone in the completely wrong way. So we backtracked to the sign on the road and saw some people walking toward us. They told us that the Silla de Felipe II was 2 km or about 1 mile walking on the road. Although we were nervous about walking along a winding road up a mountain, we really wanted to find this silla after looking for it all day. So we started on the trek up and oh boy, was it a steep climb. We almost gave up hope after about 15 minutes of walking that we had gone the wrong way. But we kept walking and we finally found it!!! There was an 2 seats carved into the rock where Felipe sat. The view of the mountains and El Escorial was absolutely amazing!! Definitely worth the climb to the top. I got exactly one picture of the view before my camera decided to die. However, I did get some really good pictures of monastery and the town!

My only picture from the Silla de Felipe II!

One side of the monastery with a swan lake. So pretty!

The front of the Monastery.

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