Pine trees and fresh streams of all sizes inhabit the valley of Fuenfría in Madrid. The mountain pass of Fuenfría proudly stands in the south of Guadarrama, to the north of the valley and at an altitude of 1792 meters, marking the border between Madrid and Segovia. To the south, we will find Cercedilla, a place of great historical renown. No matter where we are headed to, walking through this valley constitutes a journey full of poetry and history. Besides, it is perfect for families.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the valley of Fuenfría is related to its Roman past, whose ancient traces we can still follow. In fact, its old Roman road is one of the main paths that will guide us through the valley. It was originally built as a means to connect Titulcia with Segovia, and nowadays it is simply a beautiful cobbled road. There are four Roman bridges that complement these traces from another time, and they were built to cross the creeks which wind through the valley.
Water finds a different means of expression here, shaping the natural pools of the park of Las Berceas. In this setting, the most adventurer travelers will be able to enjoy a series of fun activities, like climbing or zip lines, which are considerably popular in Madrid.
Another popular spot in the area is the small—yet picturesque—waterfall in the creek of La Navazuela. Over time, it became better known as La Ducha de los Alemanes: “the shower of the German”. Nature and history intersect in this place too. In the early 20th century, a few German people became the first mountaineers of Madrid’s mountain range, and they used this waterfall to freshen up. The rumors of their activities soon spread throughout the valley, which is also crossed by one of the many paths of the Way to Santiago.
This corner is full of fascinating stories. There was another German man, Eduardo Schmidt, who put so much effort into exploring and taking care of this place, that now he has his own path: the path of Schmidt. Famous Spanish author Camilo José Cela even wrote about it in one of his most popular books: Viaje a la Alcarria.
Cela himself has a corner in the valley of Fuenfría. In fact, there is a sundial with its name on it on the route connecting the lookouts of different poets. However, Camilo José Cela is not the only Nobel Prize winner here. Vicente Aleixandre is also immortalized here, since his verses immortalized the mountain range of Madrid, and we can read his words on the rocks of the lookout named after him.
We will mention one last poetic figure: Spanish poet Luis Rosales, whose love for this place was strong enough for him to live here. Indeed, in the early 60s, Rosales lived in Cercedilla, a municipality in the mountain range of Guadarrama. He would eventually come back to spend his last days here. The valley can be admired in all its glory from these perspectives.
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