Escorial and Valley of the Fallen
wow guys, it has been a crazy week!! today we woke up hella early and headed out to see El Escorial, this huge building that serves now as a monastery, a chapel, and a school, but was built in the early 16th century to house all the kings and queens when they died. I got to see the Pantheon, which reminded me a lot of the Caeser´s Palace in Vega, except this one is made of real marble and gold!! but it´s got all the coffins of all the reigning kings and queens!!! and then there´s 9 other rooms where relatives and little children were kept...yikes! King Felipe II lived here and built most of the palace, although his son was the one who finished it up.
the chapel is really amazing though. there are actually 45 chapels surrounding the main altar to serve for each of the Spanish saints recognized here in Spain! I know nothing about saints and Catholic rituals, but wow, these churches are amazing!!! Unfortunately my batteries died while walking through this beautiful place, but I would recommend this to anyone!
Afterwards we went up another 300 meters in height to Valley of the Fallen, where Franco´s body is buried along with the many soldiers that died during the Spanish Civil war in the 30th. What he did was when the original king was going to reign after his father died, Franco came in and tried to take over. There was a huge battle and he won! He reigned Spain as a monarchy until he died in like ´73, and now he´s buried in this huge Basilica that is actually carved out of the mountain, done by the prisoners of the war he won. it´s so fancy, the man obviously thought very highly of himself, but ít´s beautiful. and on the way there you pass SNOW!!! there´s even a ski lift you can see on a nearby mountain...yes people, it is that cold!
We met a cute couple from North Carolina and a family from Peru who were all very nice. our tour guide was cool, but her English was so-so. she kept mispronouncing things and rushing through all the histories, it was impossible to keep up. Words like ¨mountain¨ she kept saying ¨mountine mountine¨ and i was like, what the hell is a mountine?!
anyway, i´m here trying to upload these damn pictures but to no avail. jeez....it better not be this difficult everywhere i go!
tomorrow we leave bright and early to granada and then sevilla!