Sunday, January 23, 2011

El Fin de los viajes dias

Today the day trips came to an end with a wonderful trip to El Escorial.  Going into the final trip I was rather exhausted and had no idea what was in El Escorial.  However, since for most of the trip I was not about to take pictures I learned a lot.  I will started with a little background information:  El Escorial is just under an hour out of Madrid and located in the mountains a little bit.  The main attraction in El Escorial is "El Real Monasterio de El Escorial or the The Royal Monastery of the Escorial; it is a ancient building which includes a monastery, basilica, museum, and a day school and boarding school - impressive I know.  The monastery is of San Lorenzo, who happens to be one of the first martyrs and died my being grilled; the symbol of San Lorenzo is therefore a grill, which can be found numerous places on the Monastery.  It was wonderful that we went to El Escorial today and the tour was mostly inside, because it was pretty chilly today.  Side note - I have made some lastly friends on these day trips :)

First look at the monastery.

The landscape of El Escorial.

The first thing we saw was the basilica – once again I was in awe of everything.  We were not suppose to take pictures, but I couldn’t helped myself and snap this one photo.  What was really interesting about the basilica is where the king’s and queen’s bedrooms were.  When looking that the alter the king’s bedroom was to the right of the alter and the queen’s was to the left.  Every morning when they would wake up, the first thing they were able to see was the alter.  It was amazing how much emphasized was placed on religion.  Our tour guide, Javier, told us numerous times that it was amazing that this basilica was built as just to glory God and the catholic religion – simply amazing. 

Following the basilica we saw the library, the crypt where the kings and queens of Spain are kept.  Something interesting about the crypt was the rotting room – before the king or queen could be placed in the crypt room they bodies had to be in the rotting room for about 30 years.  The actually coffins of the kings and queens are very small, since only bones are left after the rotting room.  Along with the main crypt room for the actually kings and queens there was 20ish additional rooms for the family members of the royal families.  I thought it was interesting how much time and effort went into “presenting” the dead, it shows they loved and wanted to show their family members honor.  There are no pictures, because photos were not allowed – sorry.

My favorite part of the trip was the courtyard and the gardens of the monastery.  However, the landscape of Toledo beat it out by a little bit.  See the pictures below.  Something interesting happened to us as we were walking around, the non-touristy town of El Escorial, a parade for San Santiago.  It was a wonderful surprise – nothing like the parades I am used to.  This was for the sol purpose of a Saint: they were not throwing candy or waving, instead they were simply acting in the culture of El Escorial.  I really enjoyed the parade.

The Fish Farm used at the monastery.  Notice the swans.

The start of the parade pictures :)

Walking back to the garden to take pictures.

I tried to be artistic. I just like green things and the sun.

I also enjoyed El Escorial, because they have my road: Calle Riena Victoria (Queen Victoria Road) and my Palace is there ;)

Overall I really enjoyed all the day trips, because I got to see four different places around Madrid and I didn’t have to think about planning trips/things to do my first two weekends in Spain.  I will be leaving  for Paris this THURSDAY!! I am so excited.  I am not taking my laptop with me, so I probably won't be blogging about Paris until Sunday.  I hope everyone is watching the Packers beat the Bears. 

As Always,
Paz y Amor. God Bless.

1 comment:

  1. i love all your pictures!!! everything looks amazing! Have fun in Paris!!!
    ps only 13 days till your bday :)