Last weekend to celebrate the arrival of Summer we got out to – and up – the mountains en famille! And while it wasn’t the first peak my almost three-year-old son has been up, it was the first in which he carried out some more or less significant part of the ascent/descent on his own little legs.. and it was also the first in which the full family group including both progenitors and Auntie A. took part. We’re quite aware that it probably isn’t a great idea to drag kids around the mountains if the little ones aren’t into it, but, so far, our little guy seems to really like it. It has become increasingly common to hear platitudes about how important it is for children to be in contact with Nature, but sadly the reality for most urban-bound youngsters is that they are lucky if they have occasional contact with the street outside their home.. let alone with distant, far-flung and sometimes daunting Nature. Even in the small town of Cercedilla where we live, at the foot of the mountains, many kids rarely transgress the city limits. And no, seeing wildlife documentaries on tv or visiting your local park don’t constitute profound experiences of the natural world. Nor do holidays at the beach in Summer or at ski resorts in Winter..they just don’t cut it, man – ¡Pan forbid! – ski stations in particular are, I would say, more of an anti-nature experience. As for zoos and “wildlife” parks, no comment. Now I’m not saying you have to haul your sprogs up a mountain every weekend, but I do believe that ‘contact with Nature’ means that you have to get away from the urb, and from large crowds of people, and mechanized transport. And if you do get some way up a mountain, then yes – unless you are in some kind of prostituted “National Park” – there’s a good chance you and yours will really be experiencing.. Nature!
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Tagsahimsa Alps Aneto An Samhain autumn autumnal colour Benasque Valley blackberries Bola del Mundo broom butterflies Cerro de Valdemartín Claveles climate change cold Autumn days cold Spring days cool summer daffodils dodgy media Dos Hermanas farsa nacional de guadarrama ferns Fuenfría valley fungi getting back to nature guiris in Guadarrama Hermana Menor Ireland kids gettin' out there kids in the mountains lack of snow la Maladeta La Peñota little gnome in the snow Loma del Noruego Lozoya valley Montón de Trigo Mountain skiing national farce of guadarrama nature Navalmedio valley peonia Peñalara Peñalara East face Peñalara ski Pico Cordier pine forests pines Pinus sylvestris piorno Pirineos poppy Pyrenees sheep-shearing Sierra Guadarrama Siete Picos Siete Picos ski snow Spring Spring Gentian steep ski strange Spring Summer sun beating down temperature changes the aesthetics of snow trash Valle de Benasque very weird weather weird weather wild camping Winter Winter wonderland yo-yo weather Éire