Tradition #1: Aranjuez in February
Living abroad, it’s difficult to have traditions as people and places change so often; if I visit a place more than once it rockets straight from that-one-time to downright-sacred ritual status. Thus, my February “ritual,” we’ll say, is to visit Aranjuez, a town that lies an hour south of Madrid. The grounds were deemed an UNESCO world heritage site, which should tempt you by this fact alone. It’s painlessly easy to get to via Cercanias, the speedy commuter trains that leave Sol every half-hour. At 6.70€ round-trip, what are you guys waiting for?
In Aranjuez, the spot to see and be seen is with a cheesy grin in front of this fountain
My last memory of Aranjuez from 2011 was of Christina and I trying to track down a gazebo in the Jardín del Príncipe (Prince’s Garden). We didn’t realize that the gardens would close at 6 p.m., and at 5:59 sharp, garden law enforcers drove up on golf-cart-esque vehicles and drove us off the premises.
Yesterday I returned to Aranjuez, this time with Andres. We visited the royal lodgings, the gardens surrounding the extravagant palace, and a bit of the town itself. The one new tradition I insisted on making? Tracking down that illusive gazebo.
Hark! A mythological creature spewing water!
Yeah, that’s right–a rare gazebo sighting!