Madrid: A day in the mountain village of Cercedilla and its surroundings | The traveler


Snow, less and less. The winter season of the port of Navacerrada, in mortis article. But to Cercedilla, in the Community of Madrid, that they take away the skiing. “Tribute to the snow people of Cercedilla, to its 29 Spanish champions and to its Olympic champion and gold medalist, Francisco Fernández Ochoa.” A monument with this inscription and the sculpture of Paquito celebrating his victory in Sapporo 72 welcomes us in the Plaza Mayor of the Madrid town.

10.00 Fernández Ochoa’s hat

In the same square opens the Ski Museum (1), also tourist information office (918 52 37 18). On the first floor, leather boots, wooden boards and other antediluvian equipment illustrate the origins of this sport in Spain, when in 1904 Manuel González de Amezúa and four other crazy people began to skate (so they said) in the area of ​​Ventorrillo, halfway between Cercedilla and the port of Navacerrada. In the second, the protagonist is Paquito: photos, letters, numbers, medals… and the hat with which he won in Sapporo.

11.00 On foot, by zip line and by bike

You have to walk around Fuenfría Valley. At kilometer 2 of the Las Dehesas road (M-966) there is a visitors Center (918 52 22 13) (two) where they give the indications to discover the Roman road of Fuenfría, the waterfall of the Ducha de los Alemanes and the path of the Poets, which remembers, among others, Luis Rosales, who in Cercedilla put down roots, tears and friends of the soul : “The nights of Cercedilla / I carry them in my loneliness / and they are the last edge / that I would like to look at”. A kilometer further on are the zip lines and Tibetan bridges of the Amazon Adventure Park (3). The Carretera de la República starts nearby, a nine-kilometre forest track with a slight incline, perfect for cycling to the Fuenfría pass. But nothing like walking with snowshoes (it snows for sure in February) through the Schmid Way, that goes from the Fuenfría valley to the Navacerrada pass bordering the shady side of Siete Picos.

12.30 Inside the Factory of Light

In the same valley, 300 meters from the mountain town, there is a mini-hydroelectric plant that was built by the City Council in 1925, when the price of electricity rose, and which for 50 years supplied it free of charge, although scarce and hesitant, thanks to a Pelton turbine and, in times of drought, a 265-horsepower Krupp diesel-powered boat engine. When the lamppost in the Plaza Mayor lit up, everyone disconnected from the payment network. Today The Light Factory visit with reservation (695 53 40 43) (4).

14.30 Feast for all tastes

The fruit tree restaurant (5) It is famous for the trout in its nursery. Javier’s Ranch (686 13 48 83) (6)for its grilled prawns. Yeyu (7)for its creamy potato omelette. The Vine shoots of Gomez (918 52 06 89) (8)for all. the crazy goat (918 52 34 39) (9) It is a renewed classic whose Friday stew everyone speaks well of.

16.00 Through the Veil of Memory

To give a digestive crawl, there is the so-called desktop route, just one kilometer. It is one of the four urban trails that can be downloaded at cercedilla.es or with a QR code at the information office. The Memory Veil Route allows you to get closer to the towns that Ramón y Cajal frequented and Sorolla (10). The painter bought the house for his daughter, sick with tuberculosis, and ended up taking refuge in it for three years after suffering from hemiplegia. He died there in 1923. Another option is to walk around the Colony of Camorritos (11). César Manrique (author of one of the houses), Pedro Caba (Pasionaria’s doctor), Emilio Botín or the Koplowitz sisters have lived or worked in this centennial urbanization, two kilometers from the town centre. If we prefer to help digestion with a trot, we will take a walk with the horses of the plums (12).

18.30 A coffee at El Aleph

The carmen street (13), behind the homonymous church, concentrates the most desirable shops. Mountain clothing, in little mountain Bulk products, in Dragonería and La Despensa. Excellent meat from the Sierra de Guadarrama, in Javi and Sáenz de Miera. By the way, we can have a coffee at El Aleph. Tea and cocktails, at La Fragua. And next door, in the Plaza de María Mínguez, there are good terraces.

21.00 Four options for dinner

In a fairy tale house (this is repeated on social networks) is the restaurant the cupboard (14), good for dinner grilled meat. The beans and roasts in a wood oven are the great claims of the traditional Angel’s Steakhouse (fifteen). Those of the Italian-Argentine Swap (918 52 40 39) (16), the pizzas and the place, an old blacksmith shop. If we want music and drinks afterwards, we’ll go to Border (Main street, 36) (17).

23.00 The pine of the Chain

The hotel western lights (18) brag about views. To the west, of course. It can be seen from La Peñota to the mountains of El Escorial. The Rozuelas (19) It also has good views: to the Fuenfría valley and the oak grove that surrounds this stone house from 1940. But no accommodation surpasses the Navalmedio mansion (twenty), next to the reservoir of the same name, dominating an immense panorama. From here, in half an hour we will go up the Cortes road to see the most curious tree in Cercedilla: the Cadena pine. One morning in 1924 he was lying on the trunk of a vacationer when he was told of the death of his father. Besides, he knew that tree was going to be cut down. The vacationer did not allow it: he located the woodworker, bought the copy from him and arranged for the base of the trunk to be girded with a chain whose links would hang, while the tree lived, a brief epitaph: “To his dear memory, 1840-1924 ”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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