I was on a balcony. I had a view. There were gardens, mountains, and pieces of art. A cool breeze was passing through. The only thing that was missing was my princely clothes and my crown. My visit to the monastery of El Escorial was like a fairy tale story. This giant monument is located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a charming municipality with picturesque mountain views and architecture that complements the scenery. I was taken aback when I learned that it was the residence of Spain’s austere King Phillip II. The ancient monastery includes eerie royal catacombs, a meticulously decorated basilica, gardens, courtyards, multiple rooms, and artwork from many centuries ago.
Our group finally was able to reach one of the upper floors where the king’s art collection was being displayed. A balcony with an open door caught my attention. “Awesome! A view!” was one of the first things that came to my mind. Little did I know I was entering my very own storybook scene complete with a gorgeous view of part of the castle-like monastery, artsy gardens bellow, and magically verdant mountains in the distance.