My childhood friends arrived in Madrid. A couple for the first time; another couple for the second time. Then there’s my sister visiting for the first time too, and my niece who’s based here but has not made the day trip to Alcala de Henares, birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes of Don Quixote fame.
I like this university town. Earlier, I blogged about Alcala de Henares and knew I’d be back sometime soon to share this discovery. While the town gained fame because of Miguel de Cervantes, I grew fond of it because of the community of storks to be found here. Every spire, tower, church windows and rooftops seem to have storks who’ve taken permanent residence there. Huge storks, comfy with their huge nests!
We checked out the Universidad de Alcala where we found a tienda with many interesting stuff. Don Quixote immortalized in many forms! Then there’s the Museo Casa Natal de Cervantes and the lovely Plaza Cervantes itself. The Museo comes with free admission and the Plaza has no tourist crowd. How refreshing! And this town is only 35 kilometers from the center of Madrid. Just a short Cercanias train ride from Atocha or Nuevo Ministerios.
If you wish to simply spend time away from the city yet still immerse yourself in Spain’s art, architecture and culture, visit Alcala De Henares. The university youth even runs plays nearly year-round so check that one out as well. We even found pastelerias (try the rosquillas), tapas bars and restaurants with reasonably-priced set menus. Really a great day destination without burning a hole in your pocket.