Several weekends ago (has it been that long already?) we took an hour long bus ride up into the foothills outside of Madrid and spent the day wandering around El Escorial, a palace, monastery and mausoleum belonging to the Spanish royal family. The palace is beautiful, and filled with rugs, paintings and other artifacts from the time that the palace was inhabited regularly by Phillip II.
A view out over some of the gardens. Located in the hills outside the capital, the palace is ideally built as a respite from the summer heat.
The main entry to the royal monastery. It give the impression that solicitors aren't really welcome, without having to actually put it in writing.