Posts tagged ‘Madrid’

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

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  and this is the autonomous region of Madrid tourist page ; 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. 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; 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. 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, By the way one of the top baseball teams in Spain today is from Rivas Vaciamadrid. You would see the clubs here ; and the fields are here where there is now an instructional school,  ,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” ; 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, 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 ; , this is from Spanish transports and from the tourist office , 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. 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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March 14, 2015

My travel this year so far, or for lack of a better name !

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.

Surabaya Jakarta Mexico Singapore Lisbon Porto Madrid Xove Galicia Fontainebleau Versailles Paris luxembourg city Trier

December 30, 2014

Happy New Year 2015 to all of my followers and readers , thank you.

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.


Carrousel at place de verdun Christmas chalets


Christmas chalets by cours des dames vieux port


Grosse Horloge and festive Christmas markets


live music at Christmas market by cours des dames vieux port

Wishing all a very healthy , prosperous and beautiful travels expériences in 2015. Cheers!!!

August 26, 2014

Monasterio San Juan de la Peña, Aragon.

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,

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 or tel +34 974 355 119 fax +34 974 355 089.

Enjoy the pictures and sure its Worth the detour. A magical place indeed.Cheers San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña


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August 25, 2014

Jaca in Aragon Spain, we I come again!!!!

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 is  and the tourist section on the city page is

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,  and a video presentation in English of the museum and ciudadela here  (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 ,

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,

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,

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,  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,

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.

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.

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, . This is the area that takes you to the Puente (bridge) de San Miguel in the back ,

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,

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.

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May 25, 2014

Real Madrid 10th Champions!!! The greatest!!!

well indeed with all the travel I have overlook a bit my passion of football/soccer, just notice my last entry on the subject was back on July 28, 2013!

The team this year had a marvelous season , if they missed the LIga of Spain finishing third , it was the first with a new coach and new philosophy. It all we have won the most LIgas in history with 32. Atlético de Madrid won the Liga this year for the 10th time with a team playing together for as much as four years.

However, in the Spanish King’s cup, we won again beating archrivals Barcelona (second in the Liga) 1X2 with the winning goal from Welsh international Gareth Bale. It was our 19th King’s Cup in history.

The big one came in the top European competition the Champions’s Cup. We had to start winning against teams like Juventus of Italy a former winner, and on our way to the final beat teams like the last two Champions winners, Borussia Dormund and Bayern Munich by big scores. This was to be our 10th Champions, the most of any team by far.

We reach the final against the Cinderella team this year, Atlético de Madrid. Playing for their second final in their history (againts 13 for us) they have done an excellent year wining the Spanish LIga and knocking off Barcelona in the Liga and the Champions semifinals. The momentum was on their side.

However, this is the CHAMPIONS, and the history, class, of Real Madrid came thru. After controlling the first part of the game and only falling behind by an unusual mistake of goalie Iker Casillas coming out too early to clear a ball, giving Godin, the Atlético defender the goal ,they came back roaring.

First, the papa Sergio Ramos, another central defender came thru in time to tie the game on a brilliant header. 1X1 after the regular time of 90 minutes plus 5 minutes referee addition for wasting time in stop, injuries, etc, normal in a game.

The extra time started what seems to be a game header for deciding on penalty kicks. two 15 minutes half to decide or go into penalties.

This is where the class, shirt, history of this team came out . Coach Carlo Ancelotti of Italy make some good changes bringing in marcelo and Isco, and the team took off with extra lung capacity. They were all over pressuring constantly until the inevitable came in.

In the 110th minutes came in the Welsh stallion Gareth Bale again to score, what turn out to be the decisive goal of victory. the team was running still like the first minute and the Atlético was broken hardly could run. then came the expected, Marcelo scoring in the 118th minute ,one for Brazil. The 10th was ours no matter what we were in total control.

And ,if not enough, Cristiano Ronaldo score on a penalty kick, after a foul by Godin, the scorer for Atlético and after protesting, was send off from the field by the referee. The Atlético was humbling, could not run anymore, and CR7 score in the 123rd minutes the final 4X1 score. Cristiano Ronald has now a record 17 goals in a Champions, of all history, one for Portugal.

The team came back to Madrid in addition to all of us who followed on the TV and bars all over the world, there were 80000 fans watching on a giant screen in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The celebration continues from there down to Cibeles fountain, the symbol of Madrid and Real Madrid in Alcala street (my street living there and to note also played for the team alavin division to start a dream that grows with time!!).

The celebration continues until past 6AM with an estimâted over 500 000 fans filling the Streets where Madrid became a one city huge party. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS were sung by all, and indeed we are the best ever ever that played this sport. Hala Madrid!!!

Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid 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 5, 2014

Epiphany, the 3 wise kings, and the start of 2014.

All comes together today Sunday 5 January 2014. Tomorrow we head back to work and our normal days of family life and work, and hopefully some spare moment to travel and see the world. I didn’t want to be too far from my blog, already missed you all.

Tomorrow is officially the celebration of the 3 Wise Kings, or Los 3 Reyes Magos or simply the Reyes Magos. From my Spanish Catholic tradition it is the day where we give our gifts to our children, as the Wise Kings gave it in honor of the new born child Jesus. Over the years my travels my nationalities I have mix all tradition where we do follow up with all .

Living now in France, as French, the day is not celebrated even if a Catholic country per se, we just do the galette des rois a frangipane of almond with a figurine Inside that according to leyend was the opportunity for role reversal as a Roman slave took the place of the emperor before he reigned for a day later was send to death. King Louis XIV was the first one in France who push for it, and the tradition flourished, where the person who gets the portion with the figurine in it, gets to be the kind or queen for the day and especially gifts are given. The cakes differed a bit from the north to the South of France, what we do today is usually call the Parisien version of the almond bake frangipane cake.

In my other country of Spain, we have the similar cake of Roscon de Reyes;as a cake to eat on these days, but the celebration is much bigger with parades of the Wise Kings with great beautiful décorations, and the gifts to our children Under the arbol de Navidad or the Christmas tree. Even thus this year due to the economy many cabalgatas or parades will be diminished curtailed from previous year, still even some neighborhoods are creating their own. In my Madrid, the route of the parade will begin at 18h30 at Nuevos Ministerios (corner with plaza San Juan de la Cruz square ) down the Paseo de la Castellana, and passing through the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, Glorieta de Emilio Castelar, Plaza de Colón and the Paseo de Recoletos, with arrival at 20h45  approximately to the Plaza de Cibeles, where King Melchior will read the message on behalf of the three Magi. After this at about  21h, there will be a fireworks show.

Basically the meaning ,and history  in Spain is like this

The Magi from the East (or simply Magi) is the name which according to tradition are the visitors who, after the birth of Jesús from Nazareth, came from foreign countries to pay tribute and give you rich symbolic gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Gospels speak only about «magicians», nowhere lists their names, which were Kings, nor were three (a number that is possibly due to the amount of offered gifts). These beliefs were added centuries later and have remained in the popular tradition.  According to Catholic belief, these Magi were representatives of «pagan» religions of neighbouring villages, which the Gospels come as the first fruits of the Nations that accept the Catholic religion.  In some countries (usually Spanish-speakers) there is the tradition of representing Kings bringing gifts that children have asked in his letters during the night before Epiphany.  The Magi, traditions in some countries, part of the crib next to Joseph, the baby Jesus and Mary.
The Catholic figure of the Magi has its origin in the accounts of the birth of Jesus, some were integrated from the canonical Gospels that now make up the new testament of the Bible. Specifically the Gospel of Matthew is the only biblical source which mentions a few magicians (though not specific names, the number or the title of Kings) who, following a so-called Star, looking for the «King of the Jews has been born» in Jerusalem, guiding them such a star to Jesus born in Bethlehem, and to whom offer offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  In that same apocryphal gospel it is said that they had any family link, and that also came with three legions of soldiers: one of Persia, Babylon and Asia.  According to subsequent interpretations, the wizards were considered to be originating in Europe, Asia, and Africa respectively . However, the last book written by the Pope Benedicto XVI on Nazareth Jesús, «Childhood of Jesus», notes that the Magi probably came from the East, as it has believed traditionally, but Tartessos, an area that historians located between Huelva, Cadiz and Seville (Andalusia, Spain). In this way, the wise men from the East have become Kings, and with them have come into the Manger camels and dromedaries, said  Benedict XVI and continues:”the promise contained in these texts extends the provenance of these men to the far West (Tarshish, Tartessos in Spain), but tradition has further developed this listing of the universality of the kingdoms of those sovereigns«, interpreting them as Kings of the three then-known continents: Africa, Asia and Europe “.

They represented all men seekers of God of all times and all places and that included everyone until then known and whose western boundary was Tartessos, in the Iberian peninsula”, he explains. Mention to Tartessos, Benedict XVI refers to this geographical limit that had the world in the first century  AD, «magicians are East but that God seekers men of God of all places and all times are represented in that concern by search». With regard to the names of Kings (Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar) the first references seem to date back to the 5C through two texts, the first entitled Excerpta latina barbari, which are called Gathaspa, Melichior and Bithisarea, and other apocryphal gospel, the Armenian Gospel of childhood, which are called Balthazar, Melkon and Gaspard.

There so even if I won’t be having my Roscon, I will definitevely eat my galette des rois. Happy Epiphany !!!


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


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