Madrid Mountains Coming Alive
Who wants to climb up a mountain? Madrid is surrounded by spiked sierras and green landscapes that contrast with the concrete architecture of the city. On one of our daytrips, starting at 9:00 a.m. we took a private bus to go outside Madrid and we had the chance to hike into these beautiful mountains of the National Park of Sierra Guaderrama.
Situated about one hour north of Madrid is also one of our favorite hiking spots, la Pedriza, a geological rock formation that is a popular trekking spot. The learning goal behind the trip was to introduce CIEE students to the regional biodiversity near a large metropolitan area and experience nature up close by taking a hike in a comfortable walking shoe and socialize with other students on the program.
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Our group was accompanied by an expert local guide who showed us the most prominent highlights such as La Pedriza (or “Stony” in English). The Guadarrama National Park is the fourth largest national park in Spain and home to eleven distinct ecosystems. We learn about some of the animal species who live in the park, including deer, wild boar, Iberian wolf, deer, mountain goats, foxes, and hares.
One of the CIEE students became very excited about the hike and started singing “The hills are alive” from the Sound of Music musical film because she mentioned that she was feeling a sense of liberation by walking around in this amazingly beautiful and grand landscape.
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