This was another day trip by local train, the kind that runs every 20 minutes and for which you can buy a ticket from a machine, as opposed to the annoyances of the Toledo trip. Aranjuez is listed for the ensemble of royal palace and gardens, created between the 16th and 18th centuries and the associated Enlightenment town planning. Next to the palace is a set of gardens, wrapped around by the river, with geometric hedges and paths with the occasional fountain and shady stone bench.
Slightly further away is a later garden that has more naturalistic areas, some pretty much like managed woodland. In the middle is a prince’s retreat called, in a wonderfully ‘let them eat cake’ kind of way, Casa Labrador = Farmer’s House. It is fabulously and ornately decorated and I think is the only place I’ve ever visited where you have to put on fabric overshoes to protect the floors before you’re allowed in. This garden also has a small museum of royal barges, which just made me want a boat covered in gold cherubs that I could be rowed up and down the Thames in.
It was a peaceful and relaxing day which I spent mooching around, communing with the trees and stopping now and then for a read in the shade. Although in order to keep my calm mood I did have to make a number of tactical direction changes to avoid some screaming school parties.
And as it was a garden based day, today’s Lego model tries to portray a little corner of greenery: