Rascafria: 24th November 2013
Rascafria is only a couple of hours drive from Madrid, and came as rather a pleasant surprise. I’d done some research before my visit, and Google Earth showed it to be a rather shabby, run-down sort of place. Maybe they did a bit of decorating since the Google van came round; maybe they were just unlucky with the weather, for it wasn’t shown in the best light … literally, as well as metaphorically.
Although the day was sharply clear, it was also cold, for the town sits about 1200 metres above sea level … that’s about the height of Snowdon … at the foot of a range of snow-capped mountains. The whole ambience was vaguely Alpine, but, of course, with a lot of Spanish mixed in.
The hotel itself is located next to an imposing monastery. It’s on four sides of a large courtyard, and was once the monks’ living quarters. But, it became surplus to requirements, as there are now only eight monks. It stands on the fringes of the Valle de Lozoya National Park, at the junction of the Lozoya and Paular rivers; an area just crying out for exploration … and photography!