Thursday, 21 January 2016

Basilica de la Santa Cruz del the Valle de los Caidos and the Monasterio de El Escorial, Madrid.

A morning of mixed feelings and an afternoon in a more beautiful place.

Jayne and I went across country and through the hills to our first stop of the day at the Valle de los Caidos, a rather controversial but spectacular monument near San Lorenzo de el Escorial. I am not going to say much more about this place but more information about this site can be found here.   
The area around this monument is wooded and very pleasant and during our walk round I saw Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Next came lunch which we had in El Escorial before spending nearly 3 hours going around the stunning Monasterio de El Escorial where we took the audio tour. Later we went back to Segovia and had our meal in the town.

Photographs from the top: The cross at Valle de los Caidos, female Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), a really bad shot of a Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus) and 2x shots of the Monasterio de El Escorial.

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