The weather is cool right now. We have never visited in early spring, and it feels just like the temperatures we left at home on Vancouver Island, Canada, only without the rainy days. Here, it has rained a bit at night with a mixture of clouds and sun during the day. Pleasant, but cool.
In order to keep up with our pre-Camino training, we are trying to get out each day and hike at least a few kilometres. We are about an hour outside of Madrid, in a city named Alcala de Henares. Today, we walked into the centre of the city, where the traditional "town square" is located. Old brick buildings are everywhere, with stork nests on almost every roof you can see. This is THE city of storks!
|Can you see all the storks on this building? Click on the photo to enlarge.|
The trees around the town square are what we call camouflage trees because of their bark. (I believe they are actually eucalyptus trees.) In this city, they cut back the foliage and branches each fall, so the trees themselves are like pieces of art waiting to flower and flourish when the season is right. The cherry blossoms are just out, and almond trees have been in bloom for a couple of weeks.
|An older stork nest - added to each year. They are massive!|
Alcala is an old city, and many of the buildings are showing some of the wear and tear of the centuries. Several are being restored, which is a time-consuming project that can take years. Alcala is also a city with many unique and beautiful sculptures. Taking a walk to see all of the sculptures could take the better part of a day!
Getting in to Madrid is easy, as the train is just blocks from the house where we are staying. You can access almost any place via the amazing train system in place here in Europe.
As we travel and I am able, I will post more photos and let you see some of this beautiful country through our eyes.