This weekend we tried again to see and touch some snow – again. This time there was going to be no doubt the snow would be there. We were heading for the ski area of Puerto de Navacerrada. This time we took Dani’s cousin Susana along.
Once again we knew that unless we got up very early driving up there would be almost impossible. So we decided to drive to Cercedilla, another lovely little town about 1200m up in the Sierra Guadarrama north of Madrid. From there a smaller gauge train runs up to the ski areas of Puerto de Navacerrada. Unfortunately we made the mistake of not booking. The trains were full. The main commuter train from Madrid stops at Cercedilla and many had already bought their tickets directly up to the ski areas. We had missed out again.
And so to the mountain trails…
Not to be put off we made our way to the mountain area outside the town. There, high above the town we found an information office where the lady kindly gave us maps and explained some easy routes. There are plenty of routes from easy (yet tiring enough for the kids) to very challenging. There were also plenty of people out walking and mountain biking. We walked a well marked path crossing small rivers and looking out for seven dwarfs and any other fairy tale characters the kids could think of. I think that kept them going until eventually they had to stop for a biscuit break.
Walking amongst the trees…
Just before we stopped to eat in one of the mountain restaurants we discovered a great tree top play area. It reminded me a little of the Ewok village from the Star Wars trilogy. The kids are still too young for this kind of adventure but there were plenty of older kids and adults taking up the challenge. In a few years’ time I can look forward to walking in the trees with Dani.
Aventura Amazonia Cercedilla
Before heading back to Madrid we stopped in the town centre where there were several bell towers for Dani to see. The one at the town hall was the best as he could see the clappers striking the bells on the hour.
A Town’s Famous Son…
Not only is the town famous for its proximity to the ski areas of Madrid but it is also famous for being the home of Spain’s first (and only) Winter Olympics gold medal winning skier. Fransisco Fernández Ochoa won the slalom gold at the 1972 Olympics in Sappora, Japan. He remains Spain’s only ever gold medal skier. Just before he died in 2006 the town erected a statue in his honour showing him in his Olympic victory salute. Dani paid homage by mimicking the salute (see phots below). Amazing to think that Fransisco (aka Paquito) learned to ski in the relatively small ski area outside the town and yet managed to scale such heights in the sport. His sister Blanca won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in France. There is a ski museum in the town bearing his name.
The town has many bars and restaurants. Some bars echoing the ski theme. And of course some classic mountain town architecture.
So Close and Yet So Far..
From the town we could clearly see the radio masts and snow that mark the start of the snow covered ski areas which run down the other side of that peak. Almost touching distance yet so far away…
There’s always next time…Third time lucky maybe?