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Buitrago del Lozoya

February 6, 2011
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Taking full advantage of my expensive Madrid transit pass means being able to ride a bus really damned far.  In this case, to the end of the line, a small rural town about 75 km (47 miles) north of Madrid: Buitrago del Lozoya.  Gastronomically speaking, there is little to share about today’s trip.  But regarding the beautiful weather (no coats in February!) and peaceful scenery?  The notably slower pace of life and undeniably clean, crisp air?  It was unforgettable.

Buitrago provided respite, which I hadn’t even noticed I needed so badly, from the city’s smoggy air and harried pace.  Between climbing the city walls and seeing an intimate–and free–collection of Picasso’s art, I was content simply wandering the streets, breathing in the air and reveling in the atmosphere.

Buitrago really embodies small-town Spain: whitewashed walls, stone churches, and potted plants hung at the bars of windows.  And, of course, some well-preserved ruins.

The best part is that it is surrounded on three sides by the river Lozoya, which is bordered on the other side by uninhabited hunting grounds.  This means near-silence and a wonderful setting in which to enjoy it.  In short, it was beautiful, and I’m already looking for an excuse to return.

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