Archive for ‘Spain’

September 1, 2015

Fairy tales do happened in Luxembourg city!

Here I go again ,on my summer vacation wandering the roads of France,Luxembourg and Germany. Now this is like coming home to Luxembourg city, we used to come very often even in one day when lived in Versailles. Now we are farther but we manage to come again, always nice memories.

The tourist office is here http://www.lcto.lu/en

In our older rounds we came for the pepperoni lovers pizza and the Mousel beers at Place d’Armes , and of course mingled about. Just for Lunch ::) ; then we came again and saw more of the city and the country. Now we gave it a good tour some old some new places. We came by car from our Germany base, on the A3 around the city into the back of the train station in Lux city. We went straight to our usual parking by place du théatre near the theater of des capucins underground. Then we set on foot all over the city.

Walking around the nice place de Saint Esprit and all the monuments and government buildings over the Viaduc , place de la Constitution, the music kiosk , and the great views over the Peitruss below with the nice church of St Jean (St John), and over the Grond or Grund  into the casements bock ,seeing the little train as when my kids were smaller and recount the story of the Duchesse Maria Teresa of Luxembourg who is born in Havana, Cuba

Getting a look at the wonderful Ducal Palace, again. nice area in front in the place Guillaume II with his equestrian statue, and over the always wonderful Place d’Armes where memories lingered of bringing my boys here to eat even lunch ::) Pizza Hut still there as it is Bananas, and we remember all, now the beer change from Mousel to Bofferding, but the same great service and great pizza. Had our garlic and goat cheese breadsticks, coffees, and beers! A bit technical info on Lux beers ;http://www.brewersofeurope.org/site/countries/figures.php?doc_id=675

and the Luxembourg beer history and breweries here, http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/luxbrew.htm

The nice churches of St Michel and St Alphonse nice elements of a serious city and of course, the magnificent Cathedral Notre Dame , or of the Blessed Virgin with it’s lower chapels and wonderful display of statues, chapels,and ceilings, just great to see again. http://www.lcto.lu/en/place/worship/cathedral-of-the-blessed-virgin

And of course,another one of our favorites ,the Kirchberg district, not just because for me there is many European institutions there but with the family we enjoy the wonderful Auchan shopping center and the cinema Utopolis

http://www.auchan.lu/fr/page/1120/art/83/

https://www.utopolis.lu/fr/

We had another great time in Luxembourg city, I have a colleague who is from there, when I mentioned I went back to Luxembourg ,she shrink her eyes, indeed is a lot nicer than what most think. You should try it; Enjoy the pictures.

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August 30, 2015

Vianden, the Castle and world heritage site

This is Vianden, Luxembourg. I have come close to it but never made it here, perhaps too much driving around. This time I came straight from Echternach on the road N10 and it was fantastic, one of the highlights of the trip as we love castles.

There is a quaint small town ambiance which is superb here, we love it, and nice churches such as St Nicolas and Des Trinitaires; as well as a good cable car that takes you the castle about 15 minutes walking from it for 4,80€ roundtrip. And the river Our with its cascades and levies is nice natural environment to see and walk its banks.

However, all else is secondary to the Castle of Vianden. http://www.castle-vianden.lu/english/visit/index.html

It is open every day from 10h and until 16h to 18h depending the date.  admission is 6€ adults.

You come up a long winding hilly road into the entrance gates, pay, and go up more steps into the first courtyard. YOu follow a sequence of numbered rooms to the Arms hall, archeological crypt, early kitchen, lower chapel (with byzantines designs) ,knight’s study, inner courtyard, upper chapel, Byzantine gallery, JP Kotz hall, Charles Arendt hall, Banqueting hall, bedroom, festivity hall, genealogy hall, grand kitchen, dining hall, the well, knight’s hall, and the large cellars. You can easily spend half day looking at the castle alone or more.

More info in Vianden tourist office here,  http://www.vianden-info.lu/francais/visites-et-decouvertes/patrimoine-historique/le-chteau-de-vianden

The castle is impressive , with great showing , and a nice cafeteria at the way out , suggest though to get something to drink as you start your tour, bottle of water etc as the long up and down sideways can be exhaustive for older and or less active folks.

In all, with only a couple places to see and maybe eat here or take picnic food as we did, you can have a wonderful time in Vianden. We love it, and will be back. Enjoy your Sunday, I am catching up on my trip lol!

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August 29, 2015

Echternach Luxembourg and its Basilica museum

On one of my days from home in Germany near the Luxembourg border we decided to come to Echternach, I have been by here briefly before , but this time the whole family was in. Echternach is the basilica of Saint Willibrock.

The tourist office is here http://www.echternach-tourist.lu/en/city

It was easy for us as we just came from our village up the B51 up to Konz and then to Wasserbillig Luxembourg on the road N10 straight to Echternach. nice ride.

We came upon the old customs house and right afterward there was our parking at rue du pont right next to the Benedictine abbey that took us into city center at place du marché.

Here we came across the old justice palace done in the 13-14C and still in great condition, the city hall or hotel de ville is here. We came across the thing to come here, the Basilica of Saint Willibrock, with its Merovigien crypt with the tomb of the founder of the abbey. Portraits from the 11C, the basilica as we see it today dates from the 11C to 13C  was damaged during the Battle of the Ardennes (Bulge WWII) and rebuilt in a neo roman style. The Crypt is from the Caroligian period and has remains of paintings on the walls. It house a great white marble sarcophagi containing the remains of Saint-Willibrord. You will find as well the fountain of St. Willibrord, the renaissance confessions and the stained glass windows.  It is here that the famous International Festival of ’Echternach is held.

There is ,also, a museum of the abbey present the story of the abbey founded in 698AD, and house in the old abbey vaulted cellars. The museum has great decorative paintings in gold with the first letters of the Evangelism of great value; the beautiful facsimiles of work of such as the Codex Aureus Epternacensis or Codex Aureus Escorialensis. IN another section you can see a few remains of the work of Saint Willibrord,and ,also on his time and origins here; nice. http://web.cathol.lu/991/mouvements/oeuvre-saint-willibrord/st-willibrord-website-english/

A wonderful place du marché or market square to wandered and have lunch completes the day, but we had ours elsewhere this time. Enjoy Echternach a medieval looking complex right in the center of town, easy parking. Cheers

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August 28, 2015

Luxembourg more than one city, Grevenmacher and Schengen.

I have come to Luxembourg but always head out north down the center from the city; this time basing ourselves closer , we took the plunge into the southern part. Here we came up to wine towns of the white grapes or bubblies these towns were Grevenmacher and Schengen.

The tourist offices of Schengen, European Center is here http://www.schengen-tourist.lu/index.php?idnavigation=20&fidlanguage=1

And Grevenmacher is here, http://www.grevenmacher.lu/tourisme/patrimoine-a-decouvrir

We rode from Germany on the B51 over the 419 and into Wellen crossing the Moselle into Grevenmacher and then down south on the 10 and 152 to Schengen. Easy beautiful rides along a wonderful river and very nice scenaries.

Once in Grevenmacher, we walk all over the nice streets, wonderful feeling; beautiful fountain statues and a nice Church St Laurent right in city center near the hotel de ville or city hall.

We had our lunch at La Belle Pierre, 15 Route de Thionville, a nice resto of excellent food at greater good prices. menu at 9,90€! and a nice beer Diekirch of Luxembourg.  We had lasagna dishes, and I had the menu of entrée of shrimp and fusilli  bolognaise with dessert of custard, and it was just right. In a very nice bright clean modern ambiance, here is the webpage http://www.labellepierre.lu/

We came afterward to visit the Caves Bernard Massard, of the great Luxembourg white whites and especially the bubblies of the methode traditionelle (not allowed to use the word Champagne). This house is from 1921 and the founder learn the trade in France before coming back to do his cellars and now they are purveyors to the Duke of Luxembourg. Great host Peter , and a wonderful barwomen Nathalie, in the tasting room, wonderful boutique and great welcoming, the wines were good and we purchase both still and bubbly wines.  We had the tour of the cellars in addition to three tasting full glasses for 9€ per person. http://www.bernard-massard.lu/fr/

We then continue a short ride along the Moselle river to Schengen the European Center and old castle and a nice church St Sauveur. The Euro Center was the treaty of free exchange of people in Europe something that is in vogue today in Europe and test this initiative done in 1990. The castle now a hotel and conference center , originally built in 1350 was visited in 1871 by Victor Hugo. The center is like a museum showing the history of the treaty and the different customs houses of Europe;it ,also, shows the different organisms governing Europe today. Educational.

We headed back up to Grevenmacher and cross the bridge to Wellen and Germany to go “home” in the Saar. Stay tune for more, cheers.

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August 26, 2015

The land of Sarre in Germany, Mettlach

Well this was a nice surprise unintended. I was going to Sarrebrucken to see the Ford factory as my car is a Ford all my life. And while getting there met a nice city and a pretty town on the way;the town is Mettlach.

Going all the way on the road B51 from my base south to Mettlach was easy, passing many interesting towns and enjoying the car ride. There is a tourist site but in German, http://www.tourist-info.mettlach.de/de/

From the region tourist office you have more in English, http://www.germany.travel/en/search-results.html?q=mettlach

Mettlach is a nice town, with a history of Saint Luitwinius in a very nice Church. Great river cruising on the Sarre river up river and most of all the home of ceramics wonderland in Villeroy & Boch ,with its many outlet stores and also many others like Land’s End.

For me the hightlight was the visit to the old abbey now the home for 260 years of the ceramic maker Villeroy&Boch, http://www.villeroyboch-group.com/en/visit-villeroy-boch/outlet-shops/mettlach.html

There are many outlet stores there from Land’s End, http://www.landsend.de/de_DE/Mettlach-Outlet-Store/co/ks-outlet-store.html

and many others like Laura Ashley, Bassetti,Silit etc here http://www.mettlachoutletcenter.de/en.html

So it is really a shopper’s paradise with a nice river cruise and picking up some bargain the day trip to Mettlach should be great. And do not forget to go up to the Church of St Liutwinius.

We had a snack there at Eiscafe La Taormina, Sicilian folks and great beers with gelato, Italian ice cream just wonderful like been there,and on the main street just down from the Church on the main street to the river boat terminals and five minutes from the Villeroy & Boch abbey/outlet stores.

the abbey has a great garden with water fountain, and a tower 1000 years old of St Liutwinius and a statue of the Saint in the up the square facing the town; just a nice small town indeed and a wonderful find. Enjoy the pictures;cheers.

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August 24, 2015

The Saarland of Germany, Konz-Oberemmel

When we sat to decide on our summer vacation, we look at all the places we have been even shortly and those not yet gone. We have stop by Trier(Tréves) ,and like the area so we decided to rent south of it in the Saar region of Germany. With the help of the region tourist office ; http://www.saar-obermosel.de/en.html

We chose an apartment in the winemaker’s house in the town of Konz-Oberemmel where we rented for two weeks as our base; the town is lovely, and the stay was good with excellent quality/price ratio. This is the town page on the tourist office, http://www.saar-obermosel.de/en/citiesandcommunities/konz-oberemmel.html

The rental at Willems & Hofmann was here , http://www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/kontakt.php ;It was in the 2nd floor of the building,  it had an entry stair a bit tight, then kitchenette, dining/living room combine with two windows in the attic, two bedrooms with two twins beds on each and the sofa bed in the living room; coffeemaker, microwave,medium size fridge, closets, the bathroom with shower and window;cable TV with some English stations for news, plus French, Spanish,Portuguese,etc. no telephone and no wifi/internet. The rent was discounted as we rented two weeks so it will change according to your stay and season. The family daughter and winemaker speaks English, and it is the daughter who handles the initial rental by email.

The town has one grocery store and one bakery, that is it, 1700 inhabitants, one spoked English and two French, the rest German and our few words. The reception in town was very friendly, and all folks try to help us; we did attack that grocery store Edeka-Krumm, http://www.oberemmel.de/dienstleistungen/97-aktiv-markt-krumm.html

The bakery was Baeckerei Baasch, no webpage but here is some info, http://www.innungsbaecker.de/baeckerfinder/baecker/baeckerei-baasch-konz-oberemmel/

We were lucky to arrive at the time of the Wine Festival in town, with live music until the wee hours, and plenty of white/red local wines and bitburg beers as well as sausages of all types and friendly service. The town is full of private wineries so on every street there is one to taste lol! And of course, in the wine festival there were all!!! The town page is here in German but you can see the festival announcement weinfestival, http://www.oberemmel.de/

We walk the town all over, and even into the wine fields, lovely, the homes struck us the difference where all the houses were decorated different; the town has an event hall and one Catholic Church St. Briktius . two restaurants and plenty of walks and bicycle rides tours, other than ours plenty of others for rentals here, http://www.oberemmel.de/ferienwohnungen-an-der-saar.html

As for directions well the best is to come from Trier on the B51 direction Saarburg, and then take it to Kazem, and then Wiltingen on the L138 to Konz-Oberemmel. We coming from France took it from Luxembourg city beltway A1 to No 2 direction Remich and American Cementaries, once at Remich take the B407 up to Saarburg and then theh L138 to Wiltingen and then Oberemmel. Narrow and hilly roads full of winegrown grapes but lovely along the river Saar. We enjoy the ride stopping at many places along the way and from Oberemmel using it as a base to cover all of Luxembourg and western part of Germany as far as Darmstadts/Mainz, Koblenz, and Saarbrucken. Many posts to come, stay tune.

Enjoy our base camp in lovely wine country of Oberemmel (Saarland). Cheers

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August 6, 2015

Some news from Spain XIII

Candelaria Candelaria

It’s been a while on my Spain, but never forgotten ;here I am . As summer is here Spain offers all kinds of interests for the whole family. As one commercial from the 80’s used to said, “Spain ,everything under the Sun”. So here is my sunshine on Spain.

 

The Cies Islands are an archipealogo located in the ria of Vigo, consisting of 3 islands; San Marino, O Faro, and Monte Agudo. They are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park, and are the main tourist attraction of Vigo. Less than an hour by boat from the city, in summer and Easter there are daily trips organized by the city only accessable by boat. At San Marino you need to ask permission for anchoring.

There are nine beaches in the islands, and they are all beautiful. Through different hiking trails that crisscross the Islands, you gain access to all of the beaches. You can spent a wonderful day at either Rodas, the Chapel of Areinas or practicing nudism in Figueiras. In the campsite of the Cies Islands you can camp provided you have booked a space as it is inside the park handle by the city of Pontevedra.  You have restaurants ,cafés and shops about 50 meters from the beach. However, there is no electricity, as it is a protected park ,but is not required with the stars of the Moon when they shine on the Cies Islands.

On the islands you have the largest colony of seagulls in Europe with more than 20 thousand pairs of their species. You ,also, will find woodpeckers, and other birds in large numbers such as cormorants, and small communities of gannets, doves, birds, as well as rich sealife in crab, octopus, lobsters,a nd turbot as well as urchins, barnacles, and mussels. If you are lucky you may see dolphins.

You can get more information here  http://www.turismodevigo.org/en/cies-islands

And now go to my ancestors island of Tenerife. The Teide mountain (volcano) or Cheide, as the original inhabitants the Guanches call it is awesome. The Reloj de las Flores or clock of flowers giving by Denmark over 50 years ago,and in the Parque Garcia Sanabria , a cultural center designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes ,TEA) ,the square or Plaza del Principe conquered by skaters, and an auditorium overlooking the sea modeled after the Calatrava. To add, there is great nightlife on the surrounding beaches, with shops, market, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de Africa as well as the Castillo de San Juan.

At San Cristobal de Laguna , the first capital of Tenerife (1723) you see nice architecture still present in the old town with narrow streets that resemble a checkered chess board. You should not missed in the Center, the Casa del Corregidor, Alhondiga, and Palacio Lercaro , amongst other buildings; The beaches, you have the quiet Abama, Duque,and Las Eras or the surfing wild Agua Ducel, La Pelada, and El Cabezo, the emblematic las Teresitas the marine environment of los Cristianos, the volcanic such as las Mujeres,and the to go with children such as the Camison.

We go the North-West of the island (known as Isla Baja or low island) to get to the Walkers paradise of Parque Rural de Teno, great views of the Atlantic ocean, endemic plant species of the area, and come across the Barranco de Masca, one of the most impressive of the island, dotted with charming villages, not easy to reach but that is why the charm. The garden or Jardin del Teide, starts on the slopes of the volcano and reaches the coast at Puerto de la Cruz, peaceful life and great seafood. The top here is the Lago Martiànez with more than 13 000 square meters of artificial lakes of salt water.

The Dragon tree is a national monument since 1917, and the giant and longevity of it is amazing. The millenium dragon by the town of Icod de los Vinos in the north of the island has 18 meters with a trunk of 30 meters diameter and about 300 branches. You reach Garachico ,where a Genovese merchant founded it in 1496 and since then ,began to fill it with palaces, churches, convents and castle fortresses. The castle of San Miguel has the arms of Charles I of Spain and the same Charles V of Germany, and it is still there. See the paradise of Tenerife.

What to do in Madrid in Summer! Well many things like walks in its wonderful parks such as El Retiro and take advantage of the non crowds to visit others like the El Capricho the Jardin de Sabatini, Casa de Campo. The museums in the capital are still open in summer such as The Prado, Reina Sofia, the Archeology museum, National Library or the Thyssen museum all awaiting you.

Then, you have the Parque de Atracciones (Amusement park), and Parque Warner. Other sites includes the Aquopolis parks and in all you can be a child again. Luckily, Madrid has some private beaches too in which to escape ok go to the Reservoir of San Juan in San Martin de Valdeiglesias, a classic for Madrid folks and the natural pool of Las Presillas in Navacerrada, the best ways to cool down with the waters of the Sierra mountains.

Several of the shows are held outdoors near Rio Madrid ,the huge park that runs along the banks fo the Manzanares river. This year you can enjoy the film festival of Fescinal, in Principe Pio, outdoor cinema at Conde Duque, and the stage at Puente del Rey rio Madrid with guests stars Estrella Morente, El Cigala, Jose Mercé and the best of the Zarzuelas in the theater. Also, the Matadero or (slaughterhouse) another essential now in Madrid.

At Alcalà de Henares you can spend a day touring its old streets with something for everyone, and in summer is a wonderful time to see it. The Calle Mayor, Plaza de Cervantes and the House where he was born, Cathedral de los Santos Niños, auditorium all that in historic Alcalà de Henares , and take advantage of visiting Torrejon de Ardoz with its unique Europa Park and some great shopping at Parque Corredor (great took my kids here for toys r us ).

Back to Madrid in the summer the streets are empty and a great time to walks its streets such as Preciados (great store El Corte Inglés) and the awesome Puerta del Sol without appearing the entire world has been given appointment here. Find your way to the El Rastro ,flea market, nothing more local than this. Come Sunday heads for Calle Ribera de Curtidores in the La Latina neighborhood to discover the hidden treasures in the market stalls of a centuries old tradition. Even in the summer the Rastro is open later closing at 16h or 4 pm; if nothing else in Madrid in summer stop by here. The city tourist office has official guided tours program and this August 2015 you have the traditional festivals of Madrid such as the San Cayetano, San Lorenzo ,and my all time favorite the Virgin de le Paloma or Verbena de la Paloma.

Awesome and all is everything under the Sun, Spain , of course.

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July 4, 2015

Madrid is a lot more than a city , for me!

In a way I am very lucky to be able to visit Madrid often, couple times a year sometimes 3. For those new to my blog, I lived in Madrid in the 70’s in another era as a teenager, and it has impacted me greatly over the years. My Spanish from my grandparents of Tenerife, allows me to move easy in the city as well.  It’s a memorable event each time, like the first time. This is city of Madrid tourism http://www.esmadrid.com/en/  and this is the autonomous region of Madrid tourist page ; http://turismomadrid.es/en/?eprivacy=1 I came from Nantes on Iberia to terminal 4. Very easy trip going and coming. I had my usual rendering of mas Q menos resto in T4 and my usual turrones, chocolates ,and vinos of Spain to bring back. I had a drive to my hotel. http://www.iberia.com/us/?language=en The hotel is the by now usual one, good , they all know me there now lol!  Ayre hotels and the wonderful Gran Colon at 1 C/Pez Volador and Dr Esquerdo; http://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotel-colon/ The metro station on line 6 or 9 is Sainz de Baranda or Conde de Casal. However, I do not need to go underground to see the city as I used to lived not far from the hotel.https://www.metromadrid.es/es/viaja_en_metro/red_de_metro/planos/version_texto.html The first night had opportunity to go out went to my old baseball playing field in the Polideportivo La Elipa, I walk over the passarelle of the beltway road M30. This road was built just as I was leaving Madrid with my dear mother, and now it’s a major road encircling Madrid on the first beltway. It took about 20 minutes walking to reach La Elipa, and what of memories began to flash back. In previous did not had time to stop by.. La Elipa back in 1971 was just a playing field that the US air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz had built so the kids of the servicemen could continue play the American game of baseball.  It was just a playing field, couple of stands and period. I played for a team that was sponsoring the baseball initiative, the Real Madrid CF in a league of 8 teams that included the Rayo Vallecano, Atletico de Madrid, Condepols, Piratas, the school Abraham Lincoln, etc.Don’t remember them all. The ride was taken on the P13 that now is bus line 113, the same!!!. The Madrid baseball federation is now based there, and they still play baseball there!!! Now with a huge complex of 3 municipal pools, running trails, and a full cafeteria. It was a moment to reflect on those beautiful times of youth that just won’t or do not want to let it go away. Madrid is home. I came back late at the hotel and decided after a full day running around to eat at the hotel restaurant which is nice and a view of the street Dr Esquerdo. However, before went with friends for lunch to Rivas VaciaMadrid and we had lunch together at Palacio Criollo, an Argentinian steakhouse. I had my bife chorizo very good and tender, with the cruzcampo beers and coffee, great experience even if for most visitors this is a bit far off, line 9 of metro and then walking.  This is their webpage for reference, http://www.palaciocriollo.es/ By the way one of the top baseball teams in Spain today is from Rivas Vaciamadrid. You would see the clubs here http://www.rfebs.es/clubes# ; and the fields are here where there is now an instructional school, http://www.rfebs.es/terrenos#  ,and I am still a fanatic Madridista of Real Madrid CF ! The second night there, decided to go back towards the  Retiro park, a wonderful park in the heart of the city and my hangout as a teen and still in love with it , or love all the things I see there ::)  I set out on foot as well best way to see any city and Madrid is no exception. This was my itinerary on foot. I left the hotel Gran Colon after work, and head out to Dr Esquerdo street, walk towards conde de casal but turn right on ave de Nazaret , this took me to plaza del Niño Jesus (square), here reach avenida de Menendez Pelayo and the Retiro park was on my right hand side. Flashes back already as every building every turn almost every house got to think, “I was here” ; http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro/ Continue on Menendez Pelayo until the traffic circle of several streets but stayed on right hand side to hit Paseo de la Reina Cristina; this is a wonderful boulevard going down to Atocha, and of course passed by the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha church, very nice, http://www.parroquiadeatocha.es/ At the end it joins avenida ciudad de Barcelona with a nice monument to the fallen, and you see the Repsol gas/petrol station and of course Atocha on the back cercanias trains entrance ; http://www.adif.es/en_US/infraestructuras/estaciones/60000/informacion_000070.shtml , this is from Spanish transports and from the tourist office , http://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-cercanias-train/ and went inside, There had my soul searching boy mind and had my whopper at Burger King ! yes, can ‘t help it ok so what is good and from Florida another of my love spots in the world. http://www.burgerking.es/restaurantes/17078 It was time to remember, to go back in my mind to those wonderful days of youth and see all the crowds in their routine of traveling in Spain by train. I too, went out of here many times since those days. After some soul searching, headed back to the hotel following the same route, took about 15 minutes. Time to rest and say one more time Adios Madrid, pero recuerden, Madrid al cielo y un hueco en él para mirarla todos los dias. Or Good bye Madrid, but remember, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Enjoy your weekend wherever you are thinking of your life and others. Cheers Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid Madrid

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May 17, 2015

A Coruña again a visit to the green of Galicia

Its been a while too long I think, last time here was in July 28 ,2012!! so this is like welcome back to Galicia and A Coruña. Again , this time a shorter stay but always pleasant full of memories ,good company and more souvenirs.

The tourist office of A Coruña is here ; http://www.turismocoruna.com/web/ and of the region of Galicia here; http://www.turgalicia.es/portada?langId=en_US

I was on swing trip that included Portugal see last post; then came up here. I took off from Lisbon airport on Iberia airlines and it took me to Madrid (these days we go backward to go forward and its cheaper lol!) ,not enough time in Madrid just to catch the flight to Coruña small airport.  There friend pick me up and went to the hotel and then out.

The hotel was a new one never been in it, the Attica 21 Hotel, very modern contemporary in a nice area just about 6 kms from the beaches.  The district of Matogrande very up and coming area with lots of night life too. It is about 5 minutes by car from the airport fast driving.  The hotel has spacious modern rooms and a great breakfast restaurant with private parking and helpful staff. The webpage is here http://www.attica21hotels.com/en/5/hotel-attica21-coruna/

From there we went out for dinner, and first had a drink with tapas at Soho Café, a trendy place with plenty of locals. We had some cañas or tall glass of beer Estrella Galicia, and then some bits of cheese and ham; great place and good company. The webpage is here ; http://www.sohocafecoruna.com/

As it is the custom, we went out to another place for dinner, and this one was modern and trendy as well lots of university students and older crowd as well very nice, and great staff and food. We had the same beer Estrella Galicia with raxo de Puerco or pork bits with potatoes, and most of all lots ot talking. The place is call Bogarts Baar a mix of food and drinks, restaurant with high chairs and long high tables in a modern setting , young and vibrant. All was good. the website is on facebook but this site tells you a bit in photos of what this place is superb , http://interioreschic.com/bogart-baar-en-a-coruna/

Next day was all work, and then we went to a nice cafeteria, the ones workers come to eat lunch ,very local outside the city on your way to Sada, you get your buffet style place with a drink and dessert and coffee for about 15 euros; nice local ambiance and quiet family place. Cafeteria Restaurant Al Paso at Carretera N-VI, km 582 ;tel +34 670 053 065, it is part of the group Josmaga where you can see a picture of it. http://www.josmaga.com/cafeteria-alpaso.php

It was time to head back home and was driven to the airport of A Coruña for my Iberia flight to Madrid and then Nantes France, where my car was waiting for the trip home in 1h30. Of all these flight connections and metro, taxi, personal car all went smooth and nice, quite perfect trip. It just remains an area to come with more time. that is a promise.

Enjoy your weekend and for me back to routine tomorrow until next month travels. Cheers.

A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña A Coruña SADA

 

 

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May 16, 2015

Lisboa one more time is better!

One more trip to Portugal , more so in Lisbon than in the north near Coimbra but nevertheless too short, the opportunity is always there. It has been a year since I last visited this wonderful city and country. So here is again Lisbon, Portugal and to some lesser extend the wine region of Barraida near Coimbra in the north.

I flew straight from Nantes Atlantique airport to Lisbon on last Sunday. After driving about 1h30 from home to the Nantes airport on the N165. I was afraid of having the flight cancelled as was using TAP , and they were on strikes early May, but was fortunate enough the flight was handle by Portugalia regional carrier for TAP and was ok, flawless.

Once landed at Lisbon airport, the hesitation is to take a taxi as last time, but trying to be all places and see all, needed to take the public transport just to try or to be able to said I was here::)  airport site here; http://www.ana.pt/en-US/Aeroportos/lisboa/Lisboa/Pages/HomeLisboa.aspx

Landing at Terminal 1 the way out was easy well posted except the metro signs, but I would think is easy, I speak Portuguese too ::) Once on the outside of the terminal, you see the metro entrance even with TV telling you about the incoming and outgoing flights, you go straight to the ticket machine. There was a small line with only four machines! but it move fairly quickly. I got my refill on my previously purchased card from last year, took two trips at 1,40 euros each. Then went on to the red or vermelho line to Saldanha and here took the yellow or amarela line to Cidade Universitaria, got up to street level here and walk on rua afonso coma pinto all around to my hotel on foot ,about 10 minutes.  Walking past the University stadium and café , and the hospital Santa Maria. It was hot about 30C so thinking not to do this again, better a taxi. metro site here; http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/eng/customer-info/diagrams-and-maps/

I got to my hotel the Marriott Lisbon at Avenida dos Combatentes, nice spacious hotel if a bit out of the city center. The Marriott was for a finance conference, and I had the 15th floor with a great view of the city. the shortcomings was far from center and the bar right in the lobby and smallist. The rest was perfect, with great service, spacious rooms and baths, nice outdoor pool with terrace, nice restaurant, and very modern facilities.  The hotel site is here; http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lispt-lisbon-marriott-hotel/

First night, it was free time, and as I have been here before and spoke the language , became sort of the tour director of the rest that came from several countries.  So we took taxis and went to Restaurante Pinoquio at praça dos Restauradores, website here ; http://restaurantepinoquio.pt/en

To my shocking surprise , others had ,also taken taxis and follow us to this place after hearing me talk about. Well we were 18!!! and no reservations. I got my best negotiating hat on and convince the nice folks there as always to come through and found us 3 tables close by to hold all of us. We had a great time until late at nite almost midnight , the poor folks had to kick us out lol!!! Of course, I have been here several times and know them all, nice folks, great food ,real Portuguese dishes and great prices. After, closing we just took a left turn into the next street Rua do Jardim do Regedor, and hold up a café bar with about 10 of us.  Don’t ask me the name because well could not tell…. Just we stayed until about 2am (02h).  We had a stew of beans lobster, shrimps, gambas, and potatoes with cold salted side dish of shrimps and local mussels going down with  nice local Sagres beer. Got a taxi back to the hotel.

Next full day, we had a dinner as part of the finance conference and they chose the Solar dos Presuntos, a very special famous people restaurant. Located at R. Portas de Santo Antão 150. Before arriving here we were given a bus tour of the main sights  such as Belem and the harbor area in Lisbon, a different way of seeing the city as I am always with a car here or metro. Places later as with a tour bus again not my cup of tea , hardly see anything well, but was the organisers who did this.  The restaurant was served a chunk of codfish with vinho verde white wine not my favorite there either so those in my table who mostly were the good guys from the night before agree and we kind of switch to beers. The website is this one; http://www.solardospresuntos.com/

After the famous restaurant meeting a group of about 8 decided is time to hit the road and were so delighted with Pinoquio that we went back there for drinks this time. Another round of good times and cheers before heading again by taxi to the hotel Marriott. Next day was half a day and more advisory council meeting of which I am a member. Finally, I was free again to visit other offices of my company in the country.

I check out of the Marriott into the local hotel that I always stayed when in town at Exe Parque Hotel at Rua Largo de Andaluz just behind the praça Marqués de Pombal and heading down to avenida da Libertade. this is a very modern spacious hotel tuck into the old section of Parque metro station and only about 7 minutes from the square Marques de Pombal. The website is here; http://www.exelisboaparque.com/EN/hotel.html

The welcome is very nice multilingual staff, walking distance to the best in Lisbon , right up of Marqués de Pombal is the park or parque Eduardo VII and down you have libertade, then square restauradores, Rossio square and  train station, and square  comércio. Spacious rooms and bath in a modern contemporary design. Price right too. I walk all over here and has become my home in Lisbon, and the side streets of duque de Loulé and the picturesque Mouzhino de Silveira street.

It was then time to be back at airport and time for my other branch in the north to come and pick me up after having meetings with them and other suppliers in Lisbon, we drove to near Coimbra on the A1 road. Had my usual meetings there ,in the region of Barraida wines, and was taken back to Lisbon at night. Here we met with other country folks and head out to watch the Champions football/soccer match of Real Madrid vs Juventus at the Bairro Alto area and chose a resto with TV’s all over call the Marisqueira M at 100 rua do Norte.  No website but tel is 351) 21 346 1027.  I had nice company but unfortunately my life team lost this time; well we have won 10 more than any other club by far…..Hala Madrid!

Then, was taken to the airport by car for another journey on next post of my Marco Polo adventure. Nice to be back in Portugal and Lisbon is very nice worth coming back for it ,and I will. Cheers.

Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Lisbon Portugal Portugal Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

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