Skooter reporting 06/01/12
Aranjuez: Best for regal gardens
This is our third day in Madrid and we are scheduled to go to Aranjuez where trains leave from Atocha every two hours and the ride takes approximately 45 minutes.
Right then, the town of Aranjuez has two large, flower-filled gardens and exceptionally -preserved royal architecture and thus it is the perfect spot for a day of nature and relaxation. It is conveniently located just 50 km south of Madrid. In the morning it is best to spend wandering through the open Jardín del Príncipe, a garden completed in 1808 under the rule of Carlos IV. Here your stress vanishes as soon as you see the bubbling brooks and the many statues planted along the way and act as perfect photo backdrops, and wedding parties can regularly be seen snapping flower-side shots while strolling through the well manicured lawns.
From there we cross to El Castillo de 1806, an fashionable restaurant where you dine in style in a cavernous brick interior, situated between the Jardin del Principe and Jardín de la Isla. Take your pick, for a starter of grilled octopus, an entrée of oxtail stew, and for dessert it is recommended a creamy chocolate soufflé.
After a tranquil morning, you may seek out an afternoon of excitement. Let’s take a look at Plaza de Toros but mind you the place is no longer a regularly functioning bullring, but allow me to paint a vivid picture of the Spanish sport’s brutal glory days when regulars such as would come to watch the fights. The ring would not be complete without a hospital for injured bullfighters, it is still intact, and you could see and feel the deep scratch marks from the bulls’ horns that are still visible along the ring’s wooden perimeter.
That ends our tour for today and tomorrow Toledo – best for mountainous landscapes. Hasta la mañana, amigos!