The days in La Granja were wonderful but it was time to move on and take the road from La Granja to Madrid.
Over the mountains via the Navacerrada Pass
The Navacerrada Pass crosses the Guadarrama Mountains and reaches 1,800 metres, or 6,000 feet. It was nice and warm on the day we crossed but there are ski runs and a ski station which is popular during the winter. The views are glorious and the inclines are easy up and down, but then we were in a car. I would not like to do this on foot!
We stopped in Escorial mainly to stretch our legs and because one of us wanted to find a viewpoint called the Seat of Philip II. We bumped through cobbled streets in the town and some small country roads with my back protesting long and loud and eventually found the spot in woods overlooking the town.
Casita of the Principe
Yes, I know it is sinful not to visit the Escorial but I couldn’t face another guided tour in machine-gun Spanish and so we settled for a cup of coffee, and opposite the cafe was an interesting-looking site.
This home dates from the 18th century. It was built for Carlos, Prince of the Asturias, and his wife Maria Luisa. ‘Casita’, meaning small home, because it was built with no bedrooms; the inhabitants slept in the nearby palace which was c.1.5 kms away.
The house is in walled gardens and situated in wooded parkland. We walked around the gardens but the house was not open.
And then we were on the motorway into Madrid. It was busy and complicated once we were in the city, and the SatNav was a little slow. If you are going to drive into Madrid be warned: you need permission to do so, and don’t do it at the end of the day when you are tired! Nevertheless we arrived safely at out AirBnB in the centre of Madrid, unloaded the car and then parked it in an underground car park where it stayed for the rest of the week.