I arrived to Madrid at night and my couchsurfer was so kind to pick me up at the airport. He lived in Las Rozas which is around 20 km away from Madrid. If he hadn’t picked me up I don’t know how else would I have gotten there at night 😀 I still remember how sick I felt when I was trying to fall asleep. I had a cold and hoped it would not completely ruin my Madrid trip. It certainly didn’t ruin my first day in Madrid. My host took me to visit El Escorial. I was pleasantly surprised as I had always wanted to visit this monumental palace.
El Escorial is a former residence of spanish kings. It was built in the 16th century. King Philip II. wanted the building to serve as royal palace, monastery and burial site for his parents. Since then, most of the spanish kings were buried here in the Pantheon of the Kings. Pantheon of the Kings is probably the place that made the biggest impression on me in El Escorial. I was looking at all the gold and marble tombs in awe. I felt like I was part of the history that was bigger than me. I don’t have any pictures of this chamber. It was not allowed to take pictures inside and the guards were everywhere but I managed to take some when they were not looking.
After the visit of the inside we took a quick tour of the gardens. I don’t really remember much of the inside apart from the tombs and that beautiful ceiling. Looking now at the pictures of the library it seems quite familiar 😀 I feel like I was affected by the cold more than I had realised. All in all El Escorial makes for a nice day trip from Madrid, especially if you are a history fan and a museum kind of person. Even if you are not it is still worth a visit as this complex of buildings is so monumental it will get under your skin.