Sunday, March 6, 2016


Hi Friends -  from Spain! Syd and I have been here almost a week - long enough to recover from jet lag. We are going to be here with our family, and short stints of Spanish adventure on our own, for 6 weeks total. Our plan is to hike El Camino trail with our daughter and son-in-law for about 5 days while we are here. That will definitely be an experience! And then, day trips to various sites will also be fun!

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.


Alvin R. said...

Hiked the 800km trek from St Jean-Pied-de-Port France to Compostella back in 2009 in 28 days. Best trip of my life and great way to renew the spirit and let go of everything. Have FUN!

Hugh Savage said...

Enjoy. We have a movie of the trail and enjoy it. A gal at church had hiked some of the trail as a spiritual exercise and the writer of this week's part of Rejoice magazine spoke of hiking part of the trail. Have a wonderful time. H & Ethel