The only architect I have ever admired is Allah and this has never changed. Even at times where I felt impressed by the concept of understanding nature to build incredible buildings like Gaudi or the concept that revolves around physics and trigonometry in basics of architecture, none of it is possible because His Wisdom comes first. Nothing compares to His creation and what He allowed to happen and these are among of the few the reasons I will always prefer nature. I thought I would never get the chance to see that part of Spain because the hype of all attractions are always in the city. But I got to go hiking in Sierra Navacerrada and visited Cuenca and I was beyond happy during these two trips.
When I got to know about a hike Aluni was organizing to Sierra Navacerrada in the middle of November, I got all excited. I didn't care how much I had to pay and to know it was free was a bonus! I told everyone I knew at that time about the hike and invited them to come along because good things are meant to be shared. When the day came, I met really nice people and this was how I made my first Slovakian and Estonian friend. It was very easy to bond on this trip considering everyone speaks English and we had nothing else to do during the 50 minutes journey from Madrid and during the hike. Being talkative as I am, of course I was not going to let the time pass with silence. Plus, time seems to move faster when we have conversations.
Even before the hike, I was already one happy kid. The moment we arrived, I looked around and everything looked so beautiful and different, because I am only used to trees that grow in rain-forests. Pine trees and pine cones falling everywhere was just something I have always seen in the movies and in pictures. Not to mention the cool and fresh mountain breeze that accompanied us during the whole hike just made the whole experience better. Let me just remind you it is autumn too. So yes, it was cold. I have always known I have very high resistance towards coldness but I didn't expect it to be very high. I was still sweating at one point. I pulled out my jacket later than everyone else and it was only because everyone was already wearing theirs and I figured it was the smart thing to do so that I wouldn't have to stop in the middle when I actually got cold.
|Before the hike|
When we were almost at the top, Erika and I took a detour because it looked safe and we wanted good pictures. If anyone knows me, you know that doesn't sound like me at all. I am the type that always follow the path that was given and never thought of doing something like that. I think I have this fear of getting lost, forgotten or left out, I am not sure. Heck, I was never far from my mom whenever we go shopping until I was like... 15. But Erika's attitude towards the whole thing made me realize how it is harmless to go somewhere else sometimes and not be afraid because you always know your way back. And it was the best decision we made because the view was spectacular, I was stunned.
|Just a glimpse of the beautiful view|
We continued hiking and the view on top was just so breathtaking. We also had lunch there (we packed of course) and Erika said that every time she hike, she would drink a beer on top and she did brought one. She also brought raw green bell pepper and that was the first time I ever ate them like that. Surprisingly it was good. Maybe she had fresh ones and the fact that we were so high up and it was cold was also the factor, I don't know. I still cant believe I ate raw bell peppers.
|We made it to the top|
Though I can tolerate coldness, I can't say the same for my fingers. They get numb so quick! I basically had to eat with my gloves on and I couldn't take pictures so well. Martin (the guy from Estonia) helped me took pictures because he did not have gloves on. Erika jokingly said "It's because he is Estonian" which for some reason I find so funny because she kept saying it. We were also lucky because two wild horses came when we were there! I love horses! I went crazy I almost forgot what to do with my food. I use to be in the equestrian for a little while so I know how to interact with horses and hug them and everything but I am not use to wild horses. I don't know how they would behave if I try anything so I just pat them and avoided their hind, which is something anyone knows how to do.
|Hungry wild horses|
On our way back, everyone slept. Given that we have been walking more than 5 hours, it was very called for. But it was definitely worth it. I heard that it is snowing right now, I really feel like going there again!
My visit to Cuenca was actually a last minute decision after Shams invited me along. I did not plan on going because I wanted to really safe money for my Europe trip (big hint on future blog posts). Since Shams wanted to go and Nicole said she will be going too, I figured why not. But now I thank God so much that I said yes in the end because Cuenca is now my new favourite city in Spain! This is where history and nature meets, creating an ambiance that gives you this brief moment of travelling back in time. Built on hills, there were many buildings that appeared hanging off the cliff. Even merely walking in the hilly streets made me smile and bewildered. Nooks and crannies of Cuenca has its story which made me appreciate the beauty of it even more.
The fact that art was also very highly appreciated here made the town even more precious. I can imagine how someone would develop their romantic and creative side here. This quiet, easy going little town overlooks the beauty of nature at its best. The whole serendipity and freshness of the highland wind leaves you breathless. 1000m above the sea level, it looks like the clouds are just above you. All these reasons make you just sit there, close your eyes and smile - you are definitely closer to heaven now.
|Where I forgot about my sins and didn't mind if I didn't see tomorrow|
Before we went to Cuenca, we stopped at the Enchanted City which is a park with oddly shaped stones (more like boulders). The bus had to climb up the mountain to get us there and the view from the bus was beyond amazing. The fact that it is autumn and the different coloured trees graced the mountains and valleys left me speechless and emotional. When we got there, the bohemian side of me just exploded. Everything, everywhere looked like how I imagined a perfect photo shoot would be. I am crazy about getting good pictures but I am also the kind of person that would like to enjoy beauty without the distraction of my phone. Since we only had an hour or so there, I was torn but I think I managed to make the most out of it. Remind me to come here again for a real photo shoot with my whole bohemian get up though.
|I hate how pictures don't give natural beauty justice|
I was beyond overjoyed on this trip. Even Nicole noticed this. She said I wasn't like this in Seville and you know I liked Seville. How was I not. I got to see up close the magnificent work of my Creator and my favourite Architect. Nature is always only there to compliment the beauty of man-made creations. But His creations can stand alone and it already looks perfect.