Archive for ‘Real Madrid’

February 7, 2014

Madrid is like home!

Well this one was a quick one two days meeting but always nice to take advantage to come to Madrid, my Madrid of childhood memories.

I was there from Tuesday to Thursday and staying at the now usual hotel Ayre Gran Colon was great by Dr Esquerdo.  the location can’t be beaten to be away from tourist central, you are near lines 6 and 9 of metro by Sainz de Baranda or Conde de Casal, and plenty of bus lines stop in the corner of calle pez volador and dr esquerdo. walking distance to the Retiro park.

Coming from the Airport, Barajas at Terminal 4 I try the new law on the flat rate for the taxis, 30 euros and you are at your hotel; very nice and easy, the meter already says 30,00 when you get on. This is the scoop, from official Spain airports site,

I had my rounds at the usual Cerveceria Cruz Blanca at calle Dr Esquerdo, very nice folks , prompt nice service and no tourists ::)

My luck have it was there during the Copa del Rey or King’s Cup game between my Real Madrid and the local rivals Atletico de Madrid, well it was a feast to Watch with good company, we won 3×0!!! almost qualifying us to the semifinals!!! Can’t beat watching a football/soccer game in Madrid and at a bar lol!!!  More of the football/soccer there at the tourist office and of course will only tell you about the Real Madrid FC

Until my next chance in my beloved City, in Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!!! Cheers have a great weekend.

Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid

January 1, 2014

2013 in review, Thank you all, Best wishes for 2014.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 81,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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December 30, 2013

Some news from France CXXI

ok so this is short and sassy, just to wish all my readers ,friends,and family the very best in 2014. Without fanfare but an honest wish to provide you with all you are seeking in this world, health especially so we can continue to go for glory,gold and the pursue of happiness


So therefore, Happy New Year 2014 to all.


Feliz Año Nuevo 2014 a todos


Bonne Année 2014 à tous

Feliz Ano Novo a todos.


This one is for you all. And thanks again for following my most precious hobby of traveling around this beautiful country and the world. More in 2014.

And from my favorite city to you, Cheers

Versailles Versailles Versailles

December 6, 2013

More of Madrid Spain!

well Madrid was a dream that became a reality several years back, and it has been a virus of love ever since that day on December 30 1971 that I landed at Barajas international airport Madrid. I lived for almost the next four years there ,and then visited often sometimes more than once a year. Its one of those cities you won’t feel tired of coming back for more. This time was business ,but no matter, it was heavens on earth just before the Christmas, Navidad season.

I made a doubre cross journey, first going from Nantes to Paris Orly airport and then Madrid and then coming back from Madrid to Paris CDG and Nantes all on Air France/Air Europa. The trip was excellent as usual..::)

I first seek out friends met over the years and have a tapas and glass of beer of one of my favorites places there  ,the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca. Many branches so I had first at Menendez Pelayo 47 and then at Doctor Esquerdo 157. At first had me rice pilaf with squid in black sauce to kill for, and little fry fish boquerones, all wash down with cruzcampo beer and a nice cup of coffee. Then came back next day for the counter, beers of the same with an order of patatas revolconas or blended potatoes and bacon cornhusker, and torrejas (delicious old bread in cinnamon sauce) as well as that strong cup of expresso coffee. Sublime and nice to be back.

I stayed as usual on business at the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon, pez volador ,1 corner of Dr Esquerdo near metro sainz de baranda lines 6 and 9; easy connection from Barajas airport. The service is always impeccable and clean nice spacious rooms at a great price of 72 euros including breakfast.

I took my scrolls around Retiro park , memories of youth and always supreme, grand beautiful, nostalgic, romantic, daring, just awesome. I used to lived not far from there in Quintana line 5 of Metro of Madrid.

I had the chance to visit my all time favorite store , El Corte Inglés, it has been a tradition of the family for years, back back. This time I visit the nearest one to my beloved Santiago Bernabeu stadium at Paseo de la Castellana, corner of Calle Serrano ;

and to add, the Real Madrid basketball team won again on a roll undefeated,and the football team moving up just 3 points behind the leader, one game, just one game!!! Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like I said, a business trip , quick in and out, but to be Madrid even a minute it is Worth it. Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!! cheers

Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid



November 22, 2013

Some news from Spain XII

This is time to write about Spain, its been a while but when you are far ,well busy…..

My team the Real Madrid , that have written so much on it here, is now in third place but will have that change at the end of the season ::) They are getting ready for the next Liga BBVA match vs Almeria;in the 14 game of the season in Almeria.  We have 31 points with 13 matches ,10 wins,1 tied,2 losses ,35 goals in favor, and 17 goals against (poor).

We play the first round of the King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) vs Olimpic de Xàtiva, on Dec 7 and the return on Dec 12 2013. And the bigger Champions league of Europe, we are playing the group rounds in Group B, vs Galatarasay of Turkey, Copenhagen of Denmark, and Juventus of Italy. We are in first place with 10 points our seconds only have 4! so we will go thru the next round.

In basketball, we are in first place undefeated 6×0, in the Liga Endesa with our next match Nov 24 vs our derby Estudiantes at home. In the Euroleague or basketball equivalent of the Champions league we are in Group B with Milano Italy, Efes Pilsen Turkey, Zalguiris Lithuania,Brose of Germany, and Strasbourg of France.

The sorting of the groups for the World Cup in Brazil next June 2014 will be held on december 6, and Spain will not be with France for the group ::) See the photo for the bombo or picking group.

In a contest in metropoli of El Mundo newspaper they had chosen as the best souvenir boutiques of the muséums in Spain as the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemizra, both of Madrid, then Alhambra of Granada, Fundacion Joan Miro , Barcelona ,and the Guggenheim of Bilbao.

In Spain we rendered honor to the 50 years of the Pirelli calendar;you know the one with the beautiful women…

And now that its about the time to be Christmas i missed most my times in Spain, Castilla y Leon, Zamora, Leon, Salamanca, Valladolid, Segovia, Soria, Avila y Palencia. memories….

The Centro Cubano, 41-1º Calle Claudio Coello, Madrid, the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe (open in 1967) closed in 2011. Now I hear that members of the family are trying to open a new one in José Ortega y Gasset street. no name yet. Stay tuned.

I will be back again early December 2013 ::) Have a great weekend.



July 28, 2013

Real Madrid, the Liga is here again, my other love

Here we are heading into August and the smell of the rubber ball is coming around again. My other love is football,soccer, or calcio, since coming into this world.

And there is no greater love than the  Real Madrid FC, Madrid, Spain. It was my team while alavin, and benjamin divisions while living in Madrid, and it has stayed in my heart forever. If that time comes to be away from this world I have ask to be wrap in the colors of my team, blanco y puro para siempre. White and pure forever, the colors of the team or popularly known as merenque or meringue.

My love began in 1971 when in Madrid (from there went to Paris 1972 and you know the name of my blog). But lets talk about modern times.

WE have a new coach Carlo Ancelotti of Italy, a winner wherever he has been and hopefully that will continue with our club. He comes to us from making the Paris Saint-Germain French champions last year coming from nowhere. The amazing assistant will be the one and only maestro Zidanine Zidane, of France and former Real Madrid player. His son Enzo plays in the juniors with Real Madrid !

The team has been reinforce and change a bit as usual on every season. The Liga starts August 18th vs Betis of Sevilla at home. Before, starting today they are on a USA tour for friendlies and participating in an international champions tournaments with other European teams.

The squad for the trip will be Goalkeepers: Casillas, Diego Lopez, Jesus and Tomas Mejias.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho, Casado and Mateos.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di Maria, Illarramendi, Isco, Casemiro and Cheryshev. Forwards: Ronaldo, Benzema, Morata and Jese.

Its not a definite squad but pretty much set up. Recently they tied 2X2 in Lyon vs OL Lyon and beat in Sweden the Paris Saint-Germain 1×0. So this tour is the final fine tuning before coming home for the XXXV Santiago Bernabeu cup vs Al Sadd at home August 22nd at 22h30.  Raul Gonzalez Blanco the emblematic ex Captain of Real Madrid will return to the stadium where he played for 16 seasons. He will play 45 minutes with each team. This will be the first time that Qatari Club plays this Tournament. Al- Sadd FC is the most successful club in the country with 13 leagues, 13 Emir Cups and two AFC Champions League.

The basketball endesa league that I ,also, follow for the team will be starting the 2013-14 basketball season with La Liga Endesa Supercup in Vitoria on October 4th and 5th. The regular season will begin the following weekend of October 12th and 13th and will close on May 25th with the 34th fixture of the year,2014.  The team will be lead by coach Pablo Laso, with Rodriguez, Drapier, Llull,Jaycee Carroll, Suarez,Rudy Fernandez, Darden, Mirotic, Slaughter,Felipe Reyes, Bourousis,and Mejri, amongst the sure so far.

You can have a tour of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium,

The official site for the team in English is at

My favorite forum for discussion is below on my blogroll in Spanish and here

You can see the games in internet from afar here

And you can, always do it in company with bars around the world that show the games here,

Now, you can buy Real Madrid souvenirs online here and the shipping is available to several countries, the real thing.

or if at the stadium here Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Entrada C/ Padre Damián, Puerta 55
Telephone:+34 913 984 300
Mondays to Sundays  10:30 to 20:30h ,

and the Carmen location at Calle Carmen, 3
Teléphone +34  91 521 7950
Mondays to Saturdays  10 to 21 h, Sundays  10 to 19h

we have a foundation that helps others and keep kids in soccer/football away from troubles and needs, here


 Now for the uninitiated this is Real Madrid 9 times champion of Europe(most), 32 League championships in Spain (most), 18 King’s cup in Spain (third) , in football/Soccer. In basketball, 8 times Champion of Europe(most) , 23 King’s Cup of Spain( tied most); the main competitions. Hala Madrid!!!!!!

Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid



March 1, 2013

Some news from Spain XI

Well been letting this tag kind of alone lately but its lively in Spain always. My latest finds to share with my readers are,

First , you have concerts from some of my all time favorites such as Merche, April 18 at Joy Madrid, 20€, at a nostalgic place whre Iused to go for theater plays when young, then a disco, then a nightclub of all, and the famous of Spain, more info

 Top it off with Alejandro Sanz, June 26/27 at palacio de los deportes, from 33€ to 235€ on sale at ticketmaster or El Corte Inglés stores.

You have Chenoa playing May 24 for 25/35€ with sales at El Corte Inglés and at Teatro Compac Gran Via,

of course in the Palacio de los deportes of Madrid you can see many things and I used to do fencing and volleyball there when young, now you can see the Real Madrid basketball team 7 times European Champion and on top of group in the euroligue this year. In the league official page, you can see the history of Real Madrid baloncesto or basketball,

Tabacalera, la Antigua Fábrica de Tabacos de Madrid, or the old cigars factory of Madrid was built between  1780 and 1792, Initially it was set up as  Real Fábrica de Aguardientes y Naipes or Royal factory of eau de vie  and game cards.  It served this way for a while before been change to a Fábrica de Tabacos y Rapé or factory of cigars and snuff in 1809 ,and kept the manufacture until the end of the 20C. Now from 2007 onward it is handle as a center of visual arts on the street level and basement the rest is used by other centers for diverse exhibitions.  It is located at Calle Embajadores,51 metro embajadores line 3 or cercanias train C5. It is open Tuesdays to Fridays from  12h to  20h. Saturdays, Sundays ,and holidays from 11h to 20h. Mondays closed.  You have a wonderful expo on painting,and architecture by José Manuel Ballester  until April 28;more info here

Do stop by Casa de América, at Cibeles 2 metro banco de España open from Mondays to Saturdays from 11h to 19h30, and Sundays from 11h to 15h,free admission.

Casa Europa at the old and wonderful Circulo de Bellas Artes or beaux-arts circle at calle marques de Casa Riera,and Alcala , metro banco de España,  more info here

Some of the best places to see Madrid my youthful city are, museo de Antropologia or Anthropology museum, Calle alfonso XII,  ,and the Biblioteca National or national library,  ;Casa de Lope de Vega, when young his were the books and stories we learned Spanish and our history; here is where the writer lived and died from 1610 to 1635, at Calle Cervantes 11 in a very Madrilene district nearest metro Anton Martin. free admission at the regional gov site, sorry its long and in Spanish,

The Cathedral of Almudena, guided visit for 6€, visit apart the chapel of the bishop for 2€;  the wonders of monasteries, such as monasterio de la Encarnacion, plaza de la encarnacion, metro opera, admission 7€ painting of Madrid and the Bourbons, and the more popular Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, plaza de las descalzas, metro Sol, admission 7€ more info here

Museo de Cera or wax museum with nice history of Spain inside, near Colon Plaza. at paseo de los recoletos, metro Colon. 16€ more info here  The Lazaro Galdiano museum at Serrano 122, one of the most brilliant private expositions of paintings in Spain, Museo Casa Natal de Cervantes, this is where it is claimed Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born (the wter of Don Quijote)  at Alcala de Henares, more info

The palace of El Pardo, including the casa del principe Don Carlos, paintings including one of Queen Isabel the Catholic, ; the palacio Real,, and the Palacio Real de Aranjuez, ,and the palacio Real de la Granja at near Segovia, the Versailles of Spain,

The Planetario or planetarium of Madrid, ; Real Monasterio de El Escorial,  the Real Observatorio de Madrid, or astronomy with telescopes meridian, clocks, and mirrors including a pendulum clock from Foucault,

I won’t need to tell you about the triangle of arts that includes the Prado, Reina Sofia,and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. But do take a look at the Museo Sorolla, general martinez campo, 37 metro Iglesias; free admission,and the best collection of this Valencian painter; wonderful place,  and do visit the museo Taurino behind the Ventas monumental bullfighting ring, metro ventas line 2 and 5, where I lived for four years nearby.  Calle  Alcala ,  237  just from the gardens,

And one of favorites areas for the cable car or teleferico to Casa de Campo, where you have a zoo,aquarium, attraction rides park,and just great. and  and right from paseo del pintor Rosales on the parque de la Montaña more known as parque del oeste you have the temple Debod, egyptian gift to Spain in 1968, from the gods Amon and Isis.

And last, I ate at Dehesa de Santa Maria, Calle Mayor, 88  a franchise chain all over Spain with tapas, hams,sausages, and beer/wine right at old Madrid near plaza Mayor ,slow service for a plate of four tapas and two beers 13,90€ the price was right, but not one I will be going back ::)

Enjoy Madrid and you know it life is beautiful, more so in Madrid ::)

February 23, 2013

Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

I just came back from visiting again Madrid, my Madrid. IF you have not read my blog, I lived there for four years in the 1970′s, and then came back for the 1982 World Cup of Football/Soccer,then again in 1990, and then from 2003 , I have been coming here two to three times per year. Needless to say is one of my favorite cities in the world, rather high on my scale.

Madrid is envigorating to the soul, active, modern, no taboos, free, open, lively, enthusiastic even in the worst economic situation like now, with an Iberia strike that needed two re schedules of my flight but so what,its Madrid, all worth it a million times.  Madrid is From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday. I do look on it every day thanks for the TVE tv station that I see here,and the radio Los 40 principales, and countless of friends and family,and my soul brothers of the Real Madrid FC; its a treat to be back,and I savour it every second of its air.

I made a short visit, business needs, but took the time the best I can manage it to see a bit of the city, from the wonderful magnificent Prado museum to the interesting and history museo naval or navy museum all is glitter. Webpages here  where the van goth exhibition has been extended by popular demand. and the navy at

You have many wonderful churches full of history from the church of Nuestra Señora de Carmen, history of Madrid since 1575 with the carmelites rites, and and the church built between 1610 and 1640,   and the church of San Gines de Arles,  it is know in writing since 1332, but they are some indices it could be from the 13C , the church of calatrava  done in the old monastery of  Real de la Concepción, better known as the commandements of Calatrava, here since  1623. Church of San Jeronimo, a history full of Spain, it goes back tot he order of the Saint Jerome from the year  1464. In May 9 , 1502 Queen Isabel the Catholic give the monks of jeronimos Santa Maria del Paso a place close the courts, a place that came to be known as Prado de San Jerónimo, and now you know the museum of Prado ::), and mine Church of San Benito and San Manuel right off Alcala and across from Retiro park ,

The Retiro park,parque del buen retiro and the Real Madrid stadium Santiago Bernabeu with the Cibeles fountain, all a symbol of my Madrid, the stay was at Ayre Gran Colon hotel off pez volador and calle dr esquerdo,

My Puerta de Alcala, and Plaza Mayor, and so much more need to have a blog just for it, but you get the idea, Madrid is heaven, and you should discover it. If you need more let me know, I bet I know every nook of it. Enjoy the photos. Cheers.

Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid



February 18, 2013

Some news from France LXXXXV

Here we are starting a new week. Tough day at work, many arrangements for travel and difficult to convince people of their needs, they are all perfect, and me well I just fill a room lol!! woos that feels good , let it out,now back to travel.

La Samaritaine store was supposed to start construction of the new building layout in three days, but some save the old stone organisations are vetoeing the move as there are some houses from the  17C and from Louis XV time that they want saved. In principle , work value at  460 millions euros -,and take 27 months to do, including a luxury hotel of 72 rooms , restaurant with terrace,  20.000 m2 of office space, 96 social low income housing apts (what a mix!!!) ,  26.400 m2 of shops spaces, a baby care center with  60 beds, and about  2000 jobs created; is all on hold.  The building bordered by the streets rue Baillet, de la Monnaie, de l’Arbre-Sec ,and Rivoli is missing some local authorisation for building codes types. So far they are claiming for the finish year 2015, still. This is one of the groups opposing the construction, and

The tourism in France is here to stay healthy and welcoming, according to the ministry of culture spokewoman M Pinel, and shown in the Le Figaro, we had 77B € of revenue from tourisme in 2012 with an higher influx of visitors from abroad, preliminary figures these are. Lol!

ok so you come to France, buy a souvenir key chain of the tour Eiffel, but made in China lol!! now a group (passion France) is doing something to make sure you buy Made in France. They started selling these souvenirs at the Galerie Lafayette of blvd Haussmann and they were the best sellers over 15 months, the company doing this is Passion France and have a store at the ave de la Grande Armée past the arc de triomphe, a bit more expensive, but it is French lol!!  And here is their webpage,  Now buy French will you ,why the heck you come here for lol!!! Allez les bleus ::)

Ever heard of the old adage , buy early buy cheaper, well with the SNCF train tickets now going up twice per year jan and july , the idea of doing your buy early makes sense, the more you wait the more you will pay ,two raises per year.  So if have time, know French, you can buy last minute and still get good prices from those willing to resale their ticket at two sites, Kelbillet, and Troc de Trains, their webpages here and  don’t say I didn’t tell you ok ::)

In France, in the continuing effort to track and punish money laundering operations, there will be a law on the table to be approved by end of year, that is lower the requirement for payment in cash from the current 3000€ to 1000€ for residents and from 15K to 10K for the non resident. So if the law passes and you want to pay for something worth more than 1000 euros you better have a good proof of purchase or use a card or check no cash lol!!! I think is just a gimmick to make you go paperless, its a conspiracy lol!!! Black Monday.

And this is from my Real Madrid, The Santiago Bernabeu is the first European category 4 stadium to install a high-density wifi network that covers 100% of the field and will be fully operational in the coming months. With this network Real Madrid intends to offer a wide range of services including live video, match statistics and internet access, which will improve the experience of spectators coming to the stadium through their electronic devices. Only two others in the world has it, Kansas City (MLS) and Brooklyn Nets (NBA) in the USA lol!!!

Some update news,  the pizzas in France are losing their size by a few cm, so now occupied 4,3% less in surface. However, the French stay the second most consumers of Pizzas in the World, 1) USA, 2) France , 3) Italy. The French eat on average 20 pizzas per year with the most popular the Reine (queen) and 4 fromages (four cheeses) with some coming in top places such as savoyarde, chorizo, merguez ,and tartiflette. There ,love it, cheers!

if you can go get there quick great jazz recommended  SUNSET HORS LES MURS : SAMY THIEBAULT
Thursays February 21 at 20h30
admission 25,00€  at Le New Morning, 7/9 rue des Petite Ecuries 10éme;

you all a great week!!! Cheers

January 1, 2013

2012 in review. Thank you to all my readers in sharing with me this wonderful adventure.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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