El albergue

El albergue

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumn in Aranjuez

 As we were wandering through the immense Jardín del Príncipe in Aranjuez yesterday, the three of us girls sort of settled into this state of stupor.  It was that sort of drugged state that you experience when traveling – you are looking every which way, taking in every little detail until your mind and body are replete with the scenery, replete to the point that the very essence of what you are meandering through and gazing upon seems to be oozing out of your very pores.  That was how I, at least, felt yesterday as we gazed upon the endless beauty of fall evident in a vast forest-like country retreat, or what used to be part of the country retreat of the Spanish kings.  Every other minute almost, phrases such as “It’s so beautiful,” “Oh how pretty,” and the like fell from my lips almost unconsciously as my eyes drank in every fresh sight we came upon.

First sight of the day was a long road over which arched stately old trees – we entered it soon upon leaving the train station.  Second sight of the day was the most impressive palace.  Built in the style of Spanish Classicism, it’s pompously imposing lines were fronted by a large elliptical plaza and surrounded on all sides by trees, with the sound of a small nearby waterworks gently filling the background.
Just a simple summer house....

I loved the trees surrounding the plaza in front
of the chapel.

Third sight of the day was a giant square off the back of the palace girdled on all sides by delicate trees just entering the turning point of autumn, their leaves barely hanging on to the translucent green of the end of summer.  On the side farthest from the palace was a giant chapel built in beautiful rose-colored bricks and white stone to match the extensive buildings of the palace and adjacent structures.  The open middle ground revealed an exquisitely blue sky with traces of snowy clouds.

Fourth sight of the day was everything that the Jardín del Príncipe could be.  In short, it was amazing.  Soon after entering, we took advantage of a well-placed bench to pull out our lunch of tuna sandwiches and pears and watch other explorers like us stroll on by.  Then it was beautiful sight after beautiful sight, filling our hearts with the joy of the day, the joy of life, and the joy of autumn.  We meandered about in a semi daze for a number of hours, filling our cameras with pictures and our minds the wonder of nature.

El Río Tajo

Fifth experience of the day was El Rana Verde, a restaurant on the side of the Río Tajo whose sign prominently displayed the green frog after which it was named.  There, we ordered white wine and croquetas – the wine was delightfully sweet, cool, crisp, and refreshing; and the croquetas were, as they almost always are, simply divine.  We spent a good while sitting on the terrazza of the restaurant, enjoying our little treat as we slowly emerged from our site-seeing daze, and savoring the last bit of our autumn day in Aranjuez.

It's Autumn in Aranjuez!

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