Thursday, January 12, 2006

Family outing to El Pardo

Today we drove to El Pardo, a town 7km from Madrid to see the Palace. It was the first time since my Father has been here that we have been out together as a family - all 5 of us. The sun shined brightly against the snow on the mountains which was a lovely setting for our visit.

The Palacio de El Pardo is really the old hunting palace of the Kings and Queens of Spain. Today it is also where most state visits are accommodated - quite luxurious I must say.

However its greatest fame is having been the home of Francisco Franco, the ex dictator of Spain from 1940 until his death in 1975. The family apartment within the palace is now a museum and has been untouched since his death. Very revealing were his bedroom (twin beds in quite a small room and a place for praying) and the bathroom refurbished in 1973, not to mention his study where he must have signed all the famous death sentences!!

After the nearly 2 hour guided tour, we walked out into the small town in search of somewhere to have lunch. Funnily enough we ate at a restaurant, "El gamo" where Eladio and I had been at least 15 years ago.

Pictures to illustrate this post are of the girls, my Father and me outside the palace (Oli first left, Grandpa, Susi and me) and Eladio and I in a good close up. The camera was good to us and we both look years younger - probably thanks to the sun glasses.

Great day all in all. We must plan more.

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