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
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.
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.
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.
This is my last trip just back last night. I was in Mexico ,especially in Jalisco state and just around Guadalajara and its wonderful nearby cities of Tepatitlan de Morelos and San Juan de los Lagos. The area tourist office at http://www.visitmexico.com/en/guadalajara
This was a business trip so the time there was limited but thanks to the local friends I did see some of the town , a nice French hotel, and wonderful church. Some of the pictures were taken by these friends as I am still waiting for them, my camera died out there ::) The airport was that of Guadalajara ;https://www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/en/guadalajara-3.html
I went first to my first town San Juan de los Lagos, where the church is second only to Guadalupe in Mexico city as the most important there; already visited by Pope John Paul II. http://www.sanjuandeloslagos.gob.mx/
Here I visited the church of our lady of San Juan de los Lagos, 76 miles or 122 kms north of Guadalajara. The sanctuary begain in 1542 and the church in 1732. it is wonderful and a must to see, more here http://www.sanjuandeloslagos.gob.mx/
and the sacred sites webpage has even more on it , http://sacredsites.com/americas/mexico/san_juan_de_los_lagos.html
It is gorgeous and a must to see ,drive there you will be fascinated by the devotion and spirituality of this church. The town is very nice in its center too.
After this wonder of our world, we turn into my hotel city Tepatitlan de Morelos, meaning a place amongst stone, and it has the history of been invaded by the French in 1864, and its big party is from April 12 to April 30 which I caught a bit of it from the 12 to the 15 and it was great party on the streets lively ,under control nice. http://www.tepatitlan.gob.mx/turismo/
Here I stayed at the wonderful Grand Hotel of French decoration and one of the owner is. My room was the Mandela , all the rooms are individually decorated inmense wonderful, class in an unusual place; I was priviledge to see the room Marie Antoinette, http://www.grandhotelboutique.com/mandela/
and of course the center of my dine outs, I was introduce to the restaurant Don K, http://www.tepatitlan.gob.mx/turismo/directorio/#restaurantes
The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda, 47650 Tepatitlán de Morelos Telephone +52 378 715 5140 a web to speak of it http://www.gosur.com/place/food/don-k-maron/4c34d0407cc0c9b618fcf39a/?lang=en&mc=20.806955,-102.755982&mz=15&rids=6051279&category=topPicks&back=localplaces&units=metric
I saw football/soccer games Champions of Europe there,and it has football nights as well that is soccer.
The town has many churches and a great central plaza, nice for walks very laidback and quiet nice country town indeed. One never know how to find these jewels , but there are out there, here in Mexico , I just combing the surface. Enjoy it.
Well one more trip to Asia and the third one to Indonesia. Its becoming routine and love it. The only thing the flight is very long and tiring on economy class….. I visited Ngoro, Surabaya and then flew to Jakarta. My last trip here see post back in October 18 2013.
The official tourist office is at http://www.indonesia.travel/ and you have good official tourist sites for Surabaya here , http://www.sparklingsurabaya.info/ and Jakarta here http://www.jakarta-tourism.go.id/
I went on my usual long journey from Nantes Atlantique airport to Paris CDG T2F on Air France, and then took the CDGVal train to terminal 1 to catch the fly with Singapore Airlines; reaching Chiangi airport in Singapore after about 13 hrs , their tourist office is here http://www.yoursingapore.com/en.html ; from there continue on SQ to Surabaya in Indonesia. The return was the same but coming out from Jakarta to Singapore on SQ and continue to Paris CDG T1 where the unusual was not to take the cdgval train but two buses one from T1 to T2 and another from T2 to T2CD;weird. Here to catch the AF flight to Nantes Atlantique airport.
The airports, I took, CDG is here http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/inter-terminal-shuttles
I arrive first at Surabaya Juanda airport, official at http://juanda-airport.com/?lang=en and a better site in English here http://www.surabayaairport.com/ ;and I left by Jakarta Soekarno Hatta airport here http://www.jakartaairportonline.com/
I had driver to pick me up which improves tremendously the logistics, and take me to my hotel and office and eatings etc; the traffic on both areas is bad, and in Jakarta the worse ranking amongst the most congested cities in the world. Upon arriving in Surabaya Juanda airport I was taken to the office and then in the evening to my usual hotel the Somerset, http://www2.somerset.com/en/indonesia/surabaya/somerset_surabaya_hotel_and_serviced_residence.html
Driving by car took me to see a gas station (glamorous::)) petrafirma and the old stores like K Circle and A&W, and eat at Ngoro at the Me Joyo restaurant of local cuisine (one of the advantages of keeping with the locals you know the country well). Very hard to find webpages on it and will just take my word for it, it is good and see the pictures.I took some of the roads passing by.
This was a short visit here and I move on to bigger Jakarta, where driver was waiting again, thanks God!!! I love to drive but this is too much, can really undertand how they can sustain driving like this every day. What it says is a 45 minute car drive from hotel to airport is really 1h30 unless you go at midnight ::)
Here, again I stayed at my now usual Grand Kemang hotel right in the entertainment ceter of Jakarta. http://www.mesahotelsandresorts.com/grandkemang/facilities/ You really don’t need a car staying here as all shopping, restos, bars to boot are walking distances. I have some pictures of the airport, and hotel with its great Sperta restaurant.
Had great lunches at the Lembur Kuring restaurant here is a restaurant site in Indonesia with some info on it, https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/lembur-kuring-serpong/maps very good restaurant of local regional cuisine.
Another day I was taken for lunch at Sambara another west Sumatran regional cuisine resto that was exotic and authentic, here you pick the food and then they cook it for you, superb ;https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/sambara-resto-fatmawati
Lastly, for lunch again was taken to another authentic restaurant Sederhana, a typical padang region cuisine, here they stack the dishes according to how many people to eat and you choose which ones to eat if you try them all they will charge you for all;so be picky but all good stuff ::) They have several branches in the city too. A site that tells more about them is here http://www.yukmakan.com/restaurant/Jakarta-Selatan/Kebayoran-Baru/20441/Sederhana-Masakan-Padang
In all the trip back was easy with a driver, and the connection at Chiangi Singapore just barely but since on the same airline, they took me by people mover cars to the gate and I was waited for by Singapore Airlines. At Paris CDG had to take twice buses to reach my terminal T2F for the first time ever, but you always learn something new traveling lol!
Now very tired resting on a Sunday nice weather at home, and ready for work tomorrow …..and preparing my next flight April 13 stay tune. Have a wonderful Sunday and great workweek ahead. Happy travels !!!!
Wonderful Saturday light clarity ,the Sun is trying to come out at 11H (11am), and no wind no rain, temp at 8C. Chilled out at home lazyness in preparation.
Next week, my family will have a task to do , will cover the wall in wood paneling and installed two velux Windows on our roof ,like a sunroof feeling. The task will take the whole week lol!! Of course, I won’t be around as me got to go out for work duties. At least all the necessary goods are at home already.
Me, well I have my budget approved at work and now planning to visit our foreign offices which cannot tell much but , flying and travel are an integral part of my job. Nice.
Tomorrow by 3h (3am) I will be up to race by car to Nantes Atlantique airport and a long journey that will take me first to Paris CDG, then Chiangi Singapore and finally Surabaya, Indonesia, to do again in mid week another domestic flight to Jakarta, from which I will be returning home next Saturday.
Already book, are trips next month to Guadalajara, Mexico. Going here from Nantes to Madrid, to Mexico DF to Guadalajara!!!
Follow that up in May with a trip from Nantes to Lisbon, Portugal and then during the week by car (yes!!) to the north near Porto. Come back to Lisbon by car, and then flight to A Coruna in Galicia, Spain then from there back to Nantes by Madrid!.
And again, in June have my get together with some friends (invited folks here on the blog that follow me you are welcome to come) Where I will take them around Paris, underneath the Tour Eiffel, Chapelle Expiatoire (where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were dumps by the revolutionaries), sightseeing on some historical monument salons in luxury hôtels of Paris I once worked. Then visit the castle in Fontainebleau and some room I hold meeting that are not open to the public, then back to Versailles for a tour of the castle properties and some neat sights usually bypass by the tourists in the city I once lived for 10 years! These will be done June 24 Fontainebleau, June 25 Paris, and June 26 Versailles.
The family is trying to figure out where we are going for our long French summer vacation. So many places, and choices, every year is a torture to choose. We are thinking and prebook and cottage in the country near Trier Germany as we were there once in winter and it was freezing cold and light snow, summer should be better. And going back to our favorite little country Luxembourg ; where we used to go just for lunch at place d’Armes on a weekend!!! Now will do more as have more time. This is for August.
And of course, then there will be others as the planning is throughout the year and Vietnam and South Africa could be a possibility. Stay tune as many of these adventures will be documented here in my blog Paris1972-Versailles2003. IN case ,you have not read well, Paris1972 because it was the first time I saw Paris in tribute to the movie Last Tango in Paris by Marlon Brandon and Maria Schneider!! and Versailles2003 because it was the year we moved in to the magnificent, wonderful, gorgeous Royal town of France! and lasted for 10 years of joy. Missed it even today, even as wonderful and gorgeous Brittany/Breizh/Bretagne can be and is.
Have a Great weekend everyone wherever you are or going ::) Cheers.
and of course to add as the old song said, “I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas ,AND a Happy New Year”
Some photos of our Christmas market in La Rochelle with a festive mood we are all loaded for waiting the New Year here.
Wishing all a very healthy , prosperous and beautiful travels expériences in 2015. Cheers!!!
One of the benefits of work travel is to be able to go back to places you have been and like. This is the case of Brazil. A wonderful country full of ups and downs, intrigue, beautiful ,and sometimes not understood. My trips lately have been to inland State of Sao Paulo, where the most famous city is Sao Paulo. However ,I go inland to the country towns of Paulinia and Descalvado.
More on Paulinia here, http://campinas-regiao.com.br/index.php/en/cidades-en/139-paulinia-2 ; and more on Descalvado,http://www.descalvado.sp.gov.br/historia.htm
And the tourist site for the State of Sao Paulo, http://www.tourisminsaopaulo.com/ where the two cities are base.
I come into Guarulhos airport and have driver to take me to hotel in Paulinia the Ibis. The airport official site is here http://www.gru.com.br/pt-br very modern and has all facilities. My hotel was Under renovation but the chain French is very good. http://ibishotel.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3054-ibis-paulinia/index.shtml
Here reunited with friends one of them not seen in 20 years!!!! It was indeed a memorable event, we ate at the Estancia Grill in Campinas near on the side of Paulinia, it was the usual churrasqueria with meat cuts , salads, and drinks, nice family ambiance, and decoration country style. http://www.estanciacampinas.com.br/
We drove the wonderful rodovias of the State of Sao Paulo such as the Banderaintes to the town of Itapui, nice ride and great driving in the country. We took advantage of the rest stops or posto de serviço of the Graal chain, with all the trimming.
I then move on to Descalvado, this is really deep country with so far the only hotel in the area Hotel Descalvado, A historical building dating from 1888, see site, http://www.descalvadoonline.com.br/hoteldescalvado/ , it has AC , breakfast and a nice park across the street, as well as the main Church Our Lady of Bélem. You can read about the Church here, in Portuguese, http://diocesedelimeira.org.br/paroquias-e-padres/
We had our dinner with friends at choperia Caneçao in Descalvado, cuts thin slices of beef and breaded seafood with nice chopes or beers in the terrace right next to the road, nice ambiance, relax, and friendly service . The best site could find them is here, goes to show you the locals knows best. https://pt.foursquare.com/v/choperia-canec%C3%A3o/50de53f6e4b0c48b5320a143
On this trip had to transfer in Madrid, so again try the T4 to T4S terminal train on Iberia, that was very nice trip, got my seats, and ahead of Schedule both ways !!! here had my usual airport lunch at Mas O Menos on the way to Brazil in T4 ;http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Madrid-Barajas/en/LTDA_FA/1237564203089/1237552881450/ and on the way back try the Eating Point at T4 too, here http://www.areas.es/es/marcas/eating-point
Who is to say to really enjoy the city you need to have plenty of time, for me coming into Madrid even the airport is already nice to be back to the city I love and once lived for four years of my younger life ::) Brazil as well been there so many times and including periods of 3 months at a time so always enjoyable to be back and this time meeting again a friend that ocean and distance has kept us with little communication. However, what are friends for, it proves the real one, stays with you forever no matter where you are.
Enjoy the photos and until we go out again, next month. Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers.
As it goes driving around Jaca got a pamphlet from the tourist office about this monastery. So decided to give it a go. What a pleasant surprise and great road warrior ride up the mountains to it. The Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña.
This is their official webpage, http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/monasterio-san-juan-de-la-pena.php?L=en
We drove from Jaca after coming back from Sabiñanigo, on the N330a. We took going the mountaneous ride (about 1280 meters high) along the A1205 road that change into A1603 that goes to the monastery head on. We arrive about 10H30 in time to go the new monastery and take the mini bus by 11h30 to the old monastery. We left the place by 18h going the way towards Santa Cruz de los Seros on the A1603 that connects with the N240 that brought us back to Jaca.
This is a monumental place that must be seen advertise spread the word more, can’t believe it is not more known. I take office of the tourist guide who gave an excellent recount of the events here, she was good. Here in the mount of Oroel you find San Juan de la Peña, the monastery is covered by a huge mountain rock and its done since 920AD and known for maintenance of the Christian faith in the Pyrénées at the time of the Muslim occupation, this monastery was chosen as pantheon by the Kings and nobles of Aragón-Navarra. The land was before occupy by hermits who had withdrawn in this hidden corner of the Pyrénées, following the Muslim invasion, around the year 720. In the 11C, the monastery adopted the Cluniac reform.
The low church or early church who subsequently made office crypt, is one of few Mozarabic buildings remaining in the region. The courts and Pantheon of the Aragonese nobles of the 11C to 14C. Aligned along the left wall décor billets and pearls, burial niches are minted badge, a chrismon or cross in four Escutcheons, emblem of lñigo Arista, one of the founders of the Kingdom of Navarre. On a niche you can see an Angel carrying the soul of the deceased. Opposite a door gives access to the Museum, products of excavations in the monastery. The high Church of the end of the 11C. Part of its single nave in the rock for vault and three apse chapels decorated with arches are engaged in the wall.
The royal Pantheon opens in the left wall. For five centuries the Kings of Aragon and Navarre there were buried. Its current appearance dates from the 18C a la renaissance style. The cloister from the 12C and it is reached by a Mozarabic door. Inside you can see the paintings of San Cosme and San Dàmian from the 12C, the Superior Church done in 1094AD, and gothic chapel of San Victoriàn.
After fires and hesitudes a construction of the new monastery was begun in the year 1676. Throughout its works that extended until the first years of the 19C the monks counted on the advice of numerous professionals,you can see several Windows on the floor covered with glass floors that shows the work been done in the lower floor off from visitors only can be seen thru the glass. The trace of the building constitutes one of the most perfect and evolved examples of the monastic architecture in the Modern Age, because of its symmetry, because of the multiplication of its cloisters and because of the rational organization that possessed the original project, the one that, regrettably, was never totally carried out.
The facade of the new monastery building is impressive of a barroque style. It was abandoned in 1835 and after much needed renovation it houses Inside the center for interpretation of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, and a hospederia four stars (lodging hotel), a rest area, cafeteria’restaurant, Spa, salons and free parking. You can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel +34 974 355 119 fax +34 974 355 089.
Here I come again but this time up close and personal. This is another town in my life that passed by so many times on my route to Madrid of my youth, and really never explored it. Well, its never too late in life ,and to have the opportunity to be closed tented me for the ride with the family to see it up close and personal. It will once again deepens my appreciation for my Spain and closer to a new region of Aragon. This is Jaca, or Jacetania and the road to St James, and the tourist office ishttp://www.aspejacetania.com/oficina_turismo.php?idio=fr&Id=5 and the tourist section on the city page is http://www.jaca.es/oficina.html
Most of the best information is in Spanish of course, but rather give you the most coverage on the place, you can later translated online or other places, but the one I give you are the official Spanish sites. Good info.
We got into town by the road N330 coming from France by car, you hit immediately the boulevard facing the Ciudadela or citadel or castle of San Pedro on your right hand side, impressive fortified castle and what a way to enter a city! wow!!! I parked by car by the parking Turismo on Plaza Ripa across is the bus station and to the right is the Cathedral right in city center secured underground parking all day for 6€.
We moved on first by the Citadel like I said its a must to visit, there is a minituare museum of military pièces Inside very nice admission is 7€ adults. Here is the city page on it in Spanish, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/la-ciudadela-de-jaca.html and a video presentation in English of the museum and ciudadela here http://ciudadelajaca.s3.amazonaws.com/scb/CiudadelaJacaEN.html (just drag the computer mouse and go in virtually !)
Next you should see the Cathedral of San Pedro or St Peter’s huge richly decorated a marvel and UNESCO heritage site, an absolute must to see, i can’t describe not good for that, but its a must tant pis. 11C jewel of a Cathedral ,construction from 1077AD , as the site says its an open book of architecture from romanesque to renaissance. See my pictures it tells it all.
We had our lunch right across it while seeing the world go by at Plaza de la Catedral,3 at Casa Fau, very nice folks , fast service, good food, veal pork chops, fries, roast beef, sodas, coffees, and a bottle of Enate Crianza red 2008 Somontano local wine delicious. All for 16€ per person ::) nice Spain. no web but the commerce assn of Jaca has their listing ,http://www.acomseja.com/asociado_ficha.php?id_asoc=293
We continue wandering to the side Streets having cheese breads from the local bakeries and did went shopping for sweets to take home at Confiteria/Pasteleria Etcheto , right next to the restaurant above, site, http://www.confiteriaecheto.com/lapasteleria.shtml
We had some goodies for later and wines from Somontano like the Enate again at Bodegas Langa, lots of canned gourmet goodies like ham Teruel, cheeses of Roncal, and wines of Lalanne as well. Great, happy ::) Also, in the same area behind back door of the Cathedral, http://www.bodegaslanga.es/venta-de-vinos-a-granel-jaca-74/
We were ready and charge for more sightseeing, we walked past the episcopal palace or Palacio Episcopal , a site for those seeking the way of Santiago, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/palacio-episcopal.html We enjoyed the old ruins of the ermita de Sarsa or chapel right at a corner with great views over the mountains , it is the abandon Church of a nearby town moved to Jaca in 1970, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/romanico/ermita-de-sarsa.html
Monasterio de Santa Cruz, where the daughter of a king of Aragon Ramiro I, Sancha was brough over from Santa Cruz de los Seros in 1622, (the best preserve romanesque tomb in Spain) the monastery itself was built from 1555. The order of Benitas of sisters were in charge of the place. http://www.jaca.es/turismo/romanico/monasterio-de-santa-cruz-monjas-benedictinas.html
The Seminario Diocesano built in 1926 follow a great tradition in the city of diocese life for teaching the gospel since 1610. A great architecture building on the old walls of the citadel, that passes behind it.http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/seminario-diocesano.html
There is a street of the old jewish quarters such as Calle de Ferrenal and Calle de Cambras panels show you the history as you walked. The old coins and money of Aragon is shown on the pavement of Calle Mayor with a plaque to explained it in Spanish. There is a beautiful Paseo de la Constitucion with nice children playground, and music kiosk , many libraries or book stores are here and an open air book market with stands as well, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/naturaleza/el-paseo-de-la-constitucion.html . This is the area that takes you to the Puente (bridge) de San Miguel in the back , http://www.jaca.com/puentesanmiguel.htm#.U_sIncIcTmI
In the Paseo you have the Seminario Diocesano on the side and behind it the Ciudadela. You ,also, can see the quaint Torre del Reloj or clock tower built in 1445, it was once used as a prison. Now its a work office of the region of Aragon, but it can be seen Inside too by Calle(street) Sancho Ramirez, http://www.jaca.com/torredelreloj.htm#.U_sJLsIcTmI
With all there is to see you will have a full day or more, we rather like the wandering of the old Streets and the foods lol! its a state of mind, and so much to be back in Spain. From here we went to the side at Sabiñanigo on the new A23 and back on the N330a to Jaca, just for the ride on this side, and take a look at city center and breath a bit more of Aragon, Spain. We remain in Spain see next post ::)
Enjoy the pictures. Cheers.