Our final adventure to the outskirts of Madrid was to visit El Escorial, the historic residence of the king of Spain.
El Escorial and the surrounding gardens
Julie and I took the Cercanías Madrid (light rail) to the Las Retamas stop where friend Eddy and his intelligent and outgoing daughter Maria picked us up. The drive was similar to the trip we took to The Royal Palace of La Granja, into the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Julie and I with our tour guides Eddy and Maria
The contrast between La Granja and El Escorial is stark: where La Granja is baroque and Versailles-like, El Escorial has an ascetic quality. The setting for each, and the surrounding gardens, are what make these sites worth visiting. We also loved the Harry Potter-esque library in El Escorial.
Spanish lunch with Eddy and family
We closed out the afternoon with a warm and welcoming lunch with Eddy’s family. Such a treat to spend time with with a family in a setting like this.