01.11.19 — Journal

A Sunday Getaway

After a lot of working hard and playing hard, last weekend I decided that I needed to escape the noise of the city, and so made a little getaway to the mountains of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. I’ve been there a few times before, and I love the quiet surroundings and the small-town feel. It kind of reminds me of Sintra, a lovely town outside Lisbon that me and Ellie visited during our holiday together a couple of years ago.

The autumn colours only served to make El Escorial more beautiful.

The autumn colours tint the trees of El Escorial.
Yellow trees line a path in El Escorial.

I always enjoy a trip wandering around the town and it’s impressive 16th-century monastery, but the rather steep climb up to the centre of the town from the train station is always a bit of killer! I decided to take it very easy, meandering up at my jolly old pace in between a spattering of racing cyclists who looked like they were having a hard time!

Looking over the courtyard of the monastery in El Escorial.

Upon arrival, my first stop was at a little local lunch spot, one that I have made a habit of visiting since the first time I ever visited. I had a wonderful time the first time I visited the little bar, with gorgeous local dishes and a hilarious chat with the three generations of daughters who run the place. Every time I re-visit, I’m sure to update them on the events and happenings in my life, and this time was no different!

I spent a good time wandering the undulating streets of the hillside town.

After I had been fed to bursting with plate after plate of delicious dishes, I went for a wander around the town and the outside of the monastery in order to digest some of the food. I decided not to wander through the gardens, as I didn’t want to arrive back in Madrid too late, but wound up missing my train and so had to have another drink at another bar (huge shame, I know).

The King's Courtyard in the monastery in El Escorial, Madrid.
Walking back down the line of yellow trees in El Escorial.

The plan to get back to my flat in time for an early night didn’t work out as expected, and I found myself walking back from the train station in pitch blackness after the change in hour the night before. It was worth the short evening for the chance to make an escape, however, as being a country boy I do need to see greenery even now and then!