Friday, 15 May 2009

A Little Adventure

Today is a public holiday in Madrid for the patron saint, San Isidro. So we decided to head out to the country. Actually we decided to go to the mountains. We found a slight glitch when we got to the main station at Chamartín: due to engineering works, we would have to get off the train at Los Molinos (the stop before Cercedilla) and take a special bus to Cotos. It seemed fairly straightforward, so we did it, along with several other people who were obviously kitted out for some serious walking.

However, when we got to Los Molinos, the train doors declined to open. We ran down the carriage to another set of doors, and they failed too. The train continued on to Cercedilla. We hammered on the windows to attract the attention of some security guys who pressed the button from outside, obviously thinking 'who are these morons who can't open a train door?'

We pointed out the problem to the ticket inspector and the driver, who were both massively uninterested in doing anything about it. 'Get back on,' they said, 'we're leaving in ten minutes.'

So we did get back on, choosing a different carriage, and when we got back to Los Molinos, the ticket inspector pressed the button and off we got. Of course we had missed the bus up the mountain, and the next one was an hour and a quarter away.

So we strolled into Los Molinos, and found a very pleasant little town with some excellent bars and restaurants. We abandoned the mountain plan, and spent the day there.

The main street with snow-capped mountains in the background.

The restaurant where we had lunch is a converted ice factory.

Fields and mountains.

The Guadarrama River runs through it.

There are plenty of trees and green stuff in and around the town. But despite the brilliant sunshine, if you weren't actually in it, it was pretty cold (apparently the temperature here is always 5 degrees less than Madrid: I guess it's at least 1km above sea level). They always get snow in winter.

A totally unexpected day out. Thank you, San Isidro.


CafeMark said...

Lovely piccies. always amuses to see the Guadarrama described as a "river"

nzm said...

Superb. Spain has some wonderful countryside. Yesterday, we again went up our favourite mountain - Montserrat - with friends on a stunning day.