Tuesday, July 31, 2012

El Escorial

This is Nick! Jamie decided that I should contribute to the blogs, so here I am. Isn't she swell?! 

On Tuesday the 31st it turned out that I didn't have to go in to work (my morning assignments having been indefinitely postponed due to August vacation and my afternoon assignments having been indefinitely postponed due to... well, August vacation) and we decided to take advantage of the free day and try to make it to El Escorial again. This time we had success! (The first time we tried we learned that the train wasn't working from a certain train station and so we went to Aranjuez instead.) 

Some interesting tidbits on El Escorial, from Wikipedia:
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial... It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school.
A short bus ride (45 minutes? An hour?) had us there in no time. The tiny city that is home to the huge building sits halfway up a mountainside, which affords a great view of the valley and the surrounding areas including a lake and lots of pine trees. As soon as we arrived we headed straight for the El Escorial, which is where we spent most of our day. 

View from the entrance side

Andrew showing off his new fighting moves at the entrance to the monastary

View of some towers from one of the inside courtyards
A courtyard garden and the valley in the background
More gardens on the other side of the building, and some of the mountains
A view of the entrance to the basilica from a courtyard.
This thing was HUGE (Jamie's in one of the archways)
While Jamie took a look inside the cathedral, the kids and I hid from her in the courtyard.
This was when we spotted her finally exiting the building!

Just gorgeous!

This was just the cover of a magazine that I liked and decided to drop it in here

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos of the interior which is a shame because we saw some gorgeous wood inlay doors and an incredible underground, marble and gold round room that holds the remains of several monarchs called "Panteon de Reyes."

After the self-guided tour we grabbed a bite to eat at a forgettable restaurant
that was fortunately located right next to this pretty little plaza.

And look at that, there's a geocache 375 feet away from our lunch!
Thank goodness for free city-wide Wi-fi! 

A street. Wow.

Aaaand that's a wrap.


Queen Bee said...

Don't quit your day job Nick.

Love the garden photos though. Just beautiful.

Kristin Johnson said...

We saw El Escorial in fog and it looks completely different. The wait to get in was also and hour, so we skipped the inside and now I am wishing we hadn't. Enjoy your last two weeks!