given all the weekends i spent hanging around my apartment and staying out all night, i can be proud of an accomplished plan to get out of the city. saturday i woke up relatively early and hopped on train with sights set on the distant mountains. i went to el escorial, a city in madrid province and skirted the giant monastery on the way to the fresh air of higher elevations.
i spent a few hours climbing over a mountain, stopping to take in the panoramas every so often. there is a great moment when you leave the crowds of families and people who drove up to the lookout point and the noise subsides and you find yourself alone in the quiet among the mossy rocks and occasional cowbell. there is another great moment, pictured above, when you reach a small valley between two peaks and begin your descent down the opposite side, and are rewarded with a whole new vista in front of you. for some reason the rocky hillsides gave me vertigo as i traversed across them.
and i did get my minimum recommended monthly dosage of fresh air, but check out that picture above. check out that hazy cloud, which became brown and heavier in the distance over madrid. it was as if i was looking through a flimsy curtain, as if everything had been bleached by years of sun. perhaps this is why i can't breathe?
meanwhile, i thoroughly enjoyed the day alone. i have to remember to do things like this more often. and today, back refreshed in the city, i had my first pre-season terrace get-together. a few new faces, one that will soon be gone, and a couple old favorites. ah, spring is here.