|a view of the monastery through the trees|
This hike starts and finishes at a restaurant, although not the one we ate it. It´s in the neighbouring town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and is called El Paseo de La Horizontal. If you´re in town, just ask for El Horizontal and the locals will be able to direct you. It´s not a huge walk, about 5km, and it´s pretty easy, under an hour and a half, fairly flat terrain, but the views of El Escorial and Madrid are noteworthy, and if you happen to be carrying someone the whole way, you´ll be hungry at the end!
We walked by old granite distance markers, copses of young chestnut trees, staggering pines, and over clear streams. We passed a shrine to, appropriately, Our Lady of the Way, and even saw a dear. It was very peaceful until Tall Guy said, "we´ve got to hurry, it´s almost time for lunch!".
|the shrine to our lady of the way|