Day in the Mountains – Guardarrama

Last weekend we took Dani into the mountains north of Madrid. We headed for Guardarrama some 56 kilometres to the northwest of the city. Guardarrama is a little town but also the name of the mountain range in that area.

Around the Lake…

First we went to a reservoir – Embalse de la Jarosa – a few kilometres from the town. We walked one of the simpler routes around the lake – suitable for a 3 year old. There are plenty more challenging routes as well as mountain bike routes. The cyclists were out in force.

From the lakeside the memorial cross at the Valle de los Caídos (valley of the fallen) is clearly visible. The 150m high cross is part of the monument at San Lorenzo de El Escorial which is in another town/municipality. It is said to be the tallest memorial cross in the world. This is also the place where General Franco was laid to rest in 1975 even though, according to his family, he wanted to be buried in Madrid.

Magnifying Glass for Christmas…

There were plenty of ants and other insects. I showed Dani how to shove a stick into an ant’s nest and watch them all come running out. He loved that. Next year he should be ready for a magnifying glass versus ants challenge. He is still too young for that but he will definitely love it. What little lad doesn’t? I might even buy him a copy of one of those old-fashioned I-Spy Insects books. That way he can tick each species off as he burns them.

This 1955 Edition cost a shilling

There is good fishing to be had at the lake. Again something Dani is not quite old enough for just yet. The low water level must be of concern though as it is not yet summer. Hopefully there will be some rain before the long hot summer kicks in.

There were also plenty of giant pine cones – well giant to Dani. We collected a few as you do. Some remain in the car where I am sure they will be for some time.

Memorial Cross in the distance


Into Town…

 After our walk it was the part I was looking forward to. Into the town to find a nice restaurant. The town does not disappoint. There are plenty of places to eat and drink and the food is excellent.

But there is also a nice plaza, town hall and the parque municipal (town park) in front of the church (Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel de Guadarrama) which had an interesting rastro/flea market.

Town Hall



True to form the little lad was fast asleep before we left the area. Enabling us to stop off en-route to do some shopping in peace.

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