Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hiking in Cercedilla

Today we had the opportunity to go hiking in the mountains just beyond Madrid. As much as I'm growing to love the city it was great to get some fresh air, so to speak. The mountains really are spectacular. It was definitely a work out; we disembarked in the small town of Cercedilla (Therthedilla with accent) and from then on it was an uphill climb to the top of the mountain. We walked from the town up to the Ecopark itself, and from there we entered the trail and started our hour-long ascent to the top.  

 I made the better part (all of it) of the journey with Leia, who, again, has earned her title as seasoned veteran here at Suffolk ("this is not my first rodeo"). She brought with her a plastic zip bag for wild blackberries so that she could enjoy a blackberry sundae when she got home. She was in luck; there were bushes located roughly every nine feet on the mountain, and she made sure to stop at every one. 

An hour and a half later we're trailing the rest of the group, but thankfully Leia has gathered more than enough food to last us through the winter. We're just about to reach the top when it begins to drizzle. Leia, mid-harvest, is unfazed. As we continue on it begins to rain harder, until suddenly the skies open and it begins to hail. By now it's also started thundering, and so Leia and I take shelter beneath the nearest tree. We wait there for the hailstorm to subside, although it's still raining by the time we finish our trek up the mountain. Needless to say we didn't stay long. 

Mid-storm (the last supper)

Post-storm/sun (gray fabric between my knees is wet clothing)

At any rate we made it back down the mountain alive, where our professor treated everyone to a much-needed cup of coffee. Our bus ride back was delayed, however, by the Vuelta de Espana, which is apparently Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France. One minute we're en route to Madrid, and the next our driver is standing on the side of the road with everyone else waiting for the cyclists to come through. Slept through the rest of the ride home. Awoke to Leia bemoaning the malformation of her blackberries, which she had apparently crushed mid-nap. Went home and passed out...the end.

Waiting for the bus/miserable


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