Yesterday, M and I spent a very pleasant day up in the mountains. Sierra de Guadarrama with peaks reaching almost 2.500 meters (8.200 ft) lies to the north of Madrid. The trip there takes a little over 2 hours by train and it's our favorite retreat from the city. First stop, Cercedilla, which is reached from Madrid on the Cercanías line C8b from either Atocha or Chamartín. From there, the Cercanías C9 serves a number of the mountain villages, travelling from Cercedilla to Los Cotos. Many of the stops along the way are great places from which to begin a day's outing but we usually get off at Navacerrada and take El Camino Schmidt trail down to the saddle, Collado Ventoso. Then depending on how much sun we have left, we have a number trails to choose from to get back down to Cercedilla. Yesterday, we took the rocky and steep red&white trail, Vereda de las Encinillas down. Today, my butt, legs, ankles and feet are very sore as a result.
snapshot of wall graffiti from the C8b to Cercedilla
little village on the way to Cercedilla
going up the mountains on commuter train C9
vista of Siete Picos
a view of the Pista Forestal, an old troop service road built during the civil war.
some lichen on a rock
purple flowers exploding from the ground.