If you don’t have a car or don’t drive — there’s a direct bus from Madrid Plaza de Castilla that takes you on a beautiful road to Miraflores de la Sierra. I am a new to Madrid although I have lived in Barcelona. The travel system and tickets are different to Barcelona. I got a transport card that works for all busses, trains, metro and etc. However, I am yet to figure out how the top up system works.
I got on a bus but my transport card didn’t work. I had cash but the driver had no change. I thought I’ll sit and wait while all other passengers get on board so the driver has some change for me. It turned out he still didn’t have any change. A Spanish lady, who looks like she stepped out of the eighties, with a luggage a handbag and backpack wanted to squeeze next to me.
I didn’t object particularly when I had a great chance of not actually going on this bus. This lady spoke only Spanish. My Spanish is improving daily but not as fast as I could have a conversation about my problem. She handed 5 euros to the driver and paid for my ticket to Miraflores de la Sierra. I insisted to give her at least 4 euros back that’s how much change I had.
She didn’t take it. People are so nice in Spain! I’ve lived in the UK for over 15 years and no-one has shown me this type of kindness. Yes, people would point me to the right direction when I was lost. Yes, people would be kind in saying “anything you need I am here for you” but I have never received this type of kindness. People here are genuinely nice unlike in London. No-one here wants to show off their wealth and “power”.
What I mean by that is there are no signs everywhere telling people to be nice like in London. People in London feel entitled to treat other people bad because they work so hard. For instance, in the bank in London I see “Please note we are here to help so please don’t raise your voice” or something like that. In GP’s practice “Please note the receptionist is not responsible for your troubles, please don’t shout” or something along those lines.
In Spain I have not seen not even once a sing like that! People look after each other here in Spain. If you don’t know where to get off someone on a bus will give you a hand. In London I have never had that. In London I was always a foreigner here people don’t care even though I stand out from the crowd like a sore thumb. You need help they actually help.
Miraflores de la Sierra is one of those rare towns gifted with nature that could linger briefly in you and make you feel, you are genuinely invited into the mystery of its life. Miraflores de la Sierra is a small town. It’s got charming restaurants and winding mountain streets with freshly baked bread and food. If you were to lift your eyes to the sky you will not be disappointed because there’s plenty of golden eagles flying around.
The first time I saw the street with restaurants I felt I was in some kind of film. A film with all its romantic promises. North of Madrid is considered a wealthy area and the restaurants prices are higher than one would expect of Spain prices. The food, however, is amazing! My husband and I don’t eat meat and there is plenty of meat. People love meat around here. If you are meat eater will love it here.
I love it here too. There are tourists here, of course, but they are different type of tourist compared to Barcelona. Barcelona is full of stag and hen do’s unlike tourists who are eager to breath fresh mountain air, walk in the mountains and enjoy enchanting nights out in the centre of Miraflores de la Sierra. Life in this town is like a health retreat.
I have my daily yoga, mountain walks and swim in the pool with a lot of vitamin D — the sun. It’s not a holiday it’s our life here. I always have to remind myself of that.