In this crazy times of pandemic, Madrileños(Madrid locals) we are beginning to appreciate more and more the jewels of our own region. The Herrería Forest is one of them. 50 minutes from the center of Madrid is a perfect day trip to go with the little ones to enjoy some fresh air. And that’s what we did, we took our car and we drove to the Herrería parking lot or Silla de Felipe II, you will find it on Google maps by either of these two names. There is usually plenty of space, we went on the weekend and got it without problem.
From there, all you have to do is to enjoy the walk. It is very well signposted, there is no way to get lost. The kids enjoy the colors of nature, the massive cows (the poor ones are more than used to our selfies and silly bullfighter gestures) and some little exercise jumping between rocks.
With our little one who is still a baby we used a trekking backpack and she was so happy looking at everything amazed. It is signposted as GR-10 route with red and white bands. We arrived with the little one and my 12-year-old niece without problem to the Casa del Sordo (Deaf man House) where there is an incredible viewpoint of El Escorial and Monte Abantos.
Our trekking: We start from the Cruceiro(a stoned cross), as it says, paid by the Romeros de la Virgen de Gracia, we cross the road and the first thing we see is the Fountain of Prosperidad(Prosperity). Here you have to take a wide track, the “Camino del Castañar”, and just before reaching the “Ermitaños de Abajo” sign, we continue straight ahead until we reach a pass with a small landmark that indicates Silla de Felipe II.
The Casa del Sordo (Deaf Man House) was occupied by a deaf ranger who gave the site its name. We must highlight the huge rock that dominates the landscape from where you can take splendid photos.
We decided to go down to the Chair of Felipe II to eat at the picnic area, since in the kiosk we could heat the baby’s pot( “potito” we say). They are not very friendly, by the way … we order some drinks but there are many free public wooden tables that we sat to eat our own sandwiches( Bocadillos we say)
Tradition says that from this place Felipe II supervised the works of the Escorial Monastery, they extended from 1563 to 1584. Nowadays, according to specialists, it seems that it is a typical invention or license of the romanticism from XIX century and that, even more interesting if possible, the carved rocks could have been originally a Celtiberian veton sacrificial altar.
To sum it all up, we had a memorable day, chilly but under the sun of the Sierra de Guadarrama and breathing fresh air that our urban lungs appreciated so much. To be true, thanks to this experience day trip we relief our travelling needs a lot ahahaha