Last week, I went on a trip to Casa de Campo, a huge park close to Madrid’s city centre. My aim was to check out the owl refuge there, but unfortunately, the owls were too sick to be seen by visitors. 😦 This was a bit of a shame. However, as I was walking back to the Metro station after my unsuccessful mission, I noticed something interesting overhead…
Was it a bird?
Was it a plane?
Was it Superman?
No, none of the above, but it was a rather cool looking cable car.
I stored this fact away for a rainy day when I was bored and didn’t have anything to do.
And the rainy day (metaphorical, not literal) came around much more quickly than I’d supposed, such that yesterday, I decided that I would treat myself to a ride on said cable car (which goes by the name “Teleférico de Madrid”- here’s the website).
From the ground, the cable car looked like tremendous fun. But as I waited in the queue, I began to have second thoughts. The little cabins didn’t look quite so sturdy up close, and they also appeared to be going surprisingly fast. In addition, it seemed like pretty much everyone else there was with their family or friends, who could give them moral support as their cable car hurtled through the air, whilst I faced the alarming prospect of sitting in the cabin, by myself, and hoping that nothing went wrong.
But before I knew it, I was being helped into my capsule, and, with a whirr of machinery and a lurch forward, I was off.
The cable car was indeed speedy, and I got some great views over the city, river, parkland, and out towards the mountains on my ride. However, I’m not going to deny that it was a little alarming at times, as the cabin swayed in the breeze, and jolted precariously when it passed the stanchions.
Overall, it lasted for about 10 minutes, and then we arrived at Casa de Campo. There wasn’t a huge lot to do there, so I went to the viewing platform, and had the obligatory tourist photo opportunity…
Then I went for a bit of a walk through the park, which was looking particularly autumnal. I got a bit lost on my journey back to the cable car station, but, fortunately, I just needed to look up to find my way.
I felt a bit happier on the return journey, as I knew what to expect, and I had managed to survive the first leg intact. I also realised that it was much less frightening if I looked out into the distance, rather than straight down.
So, overall, I give the cable car the “thumbs up”, although if you suffer from vertigo, I would probably suggest taking the Metro and/or a strong drink instead…