I remember my first month in Madrid, one spent in a hotel and when I was essentially involuntarily unemployed without access to my PC. The hotel’s internet connection left a lot to be desired, and so I spent lots of my time out in the field. It wasn’t quite the season for sitting down in the park with a good book and so I found myself wandering around the city, trying to get to know it (take a look at some of my earlier blog entries).
In the evenings I watched Spanish TV (without understanding anything of course) but I did manage to learn of a some cool places for weekend escapes from the city. Los Patones was also recommended by Polish guides (http://www.cowmadrycie.pl) and thatâ€™s why it quickly found its way on to the list of places to see.
Los Patones de Arriba is a beautiful village not far from Madrid. It takes us back a few centuries in time â€“ to stone houses and narrow streets up in the mountains. Weekends see the streets of the village and restaurants full of visitors from the city.
Daily life here has in fact moved to the village of Patones de Abajo, which is a more modern village lying at the foot of the mountains, butÂ some of the houses of Los Patones de Arriba are still inhabited (mainly by restaurant owners).
The surrounding countryside invites you to go for walks above and beyond the village and to enjoy the marvelous views. The restaurants offer traditional cuisine in keeping with the customs of past eras â€“ at least thatâ€™s how they advertise themselves in Spanish TV, where the presenters delight at food prepared in traditional ovens. I can’t really share my view on the food as Spanish cuisine is full of meat, fish, seafood and offals.Â In these places the only vegetarian food available is salad (mixed or goat’s cheese), patatas bravas & bread. This is what my basic menu is made up of whenever we eat out and I have to admit that they always taste the sameÂ ðŸ™‚ Having said that, I highly recommend the views and the atmosphere!
If not for all of the parked cars, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had in fact gone back in time ðŸ™‚