Yesterday, I went for a lovely walk to Madrid’s Casa de Campo. Situated to the west of the city, it used to be the hunting grounds for the Spanish Monarchy. It covers a staggering 1,722 hectares – compare that with Retiro Park’s 142 hectares and Central Park’s 340 hectares – and you could say it gives the city a great pair of lungs! The park was given to the people of Madrid on the 1st May, 1931 under the Second Republic and now provides a wide variety of activities to Madrileños – mountain biking, triathlon, walking, running, etc.
I actually went to the park with my son and daughter and my father-in-law in order to ride the cable car. The Teleférico runs from just inside the park to the edge of another park, Parque del Oeste and offers wonderful views of the Royal Palace, the Cathedral and old Madrid. The ride took us around 11 minutes and covers a distance of about 2.5 kilometres.
Having received such a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks the Casa de Campo was a beautiful green colour. I was actually quite surprised to see so few people there, seeing as it was a beautiful Saturday in April. It seemed like the perfect place to unwind from the bustling city centre of Madrid and have a picnic under the pines with a cool glass of beer. According to my father-in-law the place has got much better since the clampdown on cars entering the area. The only cars I saw around the cable car were those which were transporting cyclists to a cycle race. And boy, does this look a fun place to go for a ride or do some mountain bike racing.
If you’re looking to get to the park, the easiest way is to get the Metro to Lago or get the cable car from Argüelles.