January 25, 2020

The garden promenade of Plô,Lavaur!

And now I take to some off the beaten paths of off the beaten path town of Lavaur. It is in the Cocagne country of pastels and Cathar tradition and very sentimental to me as mentioned before do not want to repeat.

We have come here many times and did walks all over for reminicents times, but hardly not to many pictures. I guess when you have it no need to show it. This time came with my 3 young men and our dog Rex and walk again all over but did took pictures.

Therefore, let me tell you a bit on the Esplanade de Plô in Lavaur, the Tarn dept 81 of Occitanie in my belle France.

Le Plô is the site of the Lavaur castle which no longer exists. The Plô site, bought from the king by the consuls in 1622, was laid out as a public promenade and then as an esplanade from the 17C. The Esplanade du Plô, will immerse you in the history of the Cathars as you can imagine the bonshommes trying to repel the troops of Simon de Montfort besieging the city to capture and kill these heretics. This epic past, this site has now become a place of rest, calm and relaxation where you can soak up the charitable soul of Dame Guiraude. It is the ideal place for an improvised nap or a family picnic!   Petanque or here Boules lovers, a bowling alley or Boulodrom awaits you!

Lavaur

It , also ,has wonderful views over the river banks and valley of the Agout, the main river here. It is worth the detour to see the natural beauty of this area and think of the history above that took place here!  A bit on the river if I may.

The Agout river passes in the two departments of Hérault and Tarn, in the Occitanie region. It is an important left tributary of the Tarn river, therefore a sub-tributary of the Garonne river. The length of the Agout river is 194 km . In the dept 81 of the Tarn it passes by the towns of Brassac, Castelnau-de-Brassac, Castres, Coufouleux, Giroussens, Burlats, Lavaur, Rabastens, Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe, and Vielmur-sur-Agout. For info much of these have written in my blog.

Lavaur

Its flow was observed over a period of 56 years (1946-2001), at Lavaur. The river catchment area at this location is 2,300 km2 (or approximately 66.3% of its total which is 3,497 km2.). After a passage in the Tarn river, then the Garonne river , the waters of Agout river will finish their race in the Atlantic Ocean. The official vigicrues or river levels in France on the passing by Lavaur in French is here: Official Vigicrues river water levels on the Agout at Lavaur in French

Lavaur

The town of Lavaur in French has plenty on the things to see and pdf files on the heritage and history not to mention on doors which seems to be a popular post in several blogs in wordpress….::) City of Lavaur on heritage in French

And my info translated came from the tourist office of the Tarn dept 81 on the Plô here in French: Tourist office of the Tarn dept 81 on the Le Plo of Lavaur

And voilà the quant old Lavaur and its off the beaten paths beauties, hope you enjoy it and do pass by on your rounds in cathar country! Love Lavaur!

And remember, happy travels  good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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January 25, 2020

The Halle aux Grains, Lavaur!

So I am sticking around Lavaur, a sentimental favorite. Down by the Tarn dept 81 in the region of Occitanie right in cocagne and cathar country! And after doing lots of visits and walks finally got some pictures lol!

One of the sights you see entering the city and finding parking at the allée Jean Jaurés is this imposingo circular building. The Halle aux Grains, well it was to stock silk then grains and now its a cultural center with great events in the city.

Let me tell you a bit on it ok

The Halle aux Grains at Place Stalingrad, Lavaur. It was built from 1879 to 1881 by Guillaume Aurignac, architect of the city. On the ground of the cooler (former underground ice warehouse) it was intended for the silkworm cocoon market, which lacked space at the Old Market. It is hexadecagonal and offers a lot of space because it has no pillars.

Lavaur

The fall of the silk trade in the Vaurais, at the end of 19C, confined it only to the sale of grains. The central lightning rod vane represents a winged dragon no info as to why is there but leyend says it was to dissuade the grain thieves or bird eaters of the grain.

Lavaur

It is now part of the cultural calendar of the town of Lavaur and if there is an event you can see the inside. One of the photo shots with my dear late wife Martine and a must stop by when in town by us now.

And as we were right in city center, we decided it was time for lunch , and again came back to an old favorite with the family right at the traffic circle coming in from the road D112 from Toulouse and walking distance 3 minutes on foot to the Halle aux Grains. This is the Les Américains as known at 1 allée Jean Jaurés or the full name Le Grand Café des Américains. A great place in town known by all; every weekend, they offer a live musical group to liven up your evening. And the evenings of major football and rugby matches will be broadcast on a flat screen. And great tripel karmelite Belgian beers to boot with Guinness with formule or menus at 12€! expresso coffee and it came out to just a bit over 17€ and our wonderful good boy dog Rex was allowed in too!!! And he behave wonderfully too!!! Always a perfect stop in Lavaur!

Lavaur

Lavaur

Lavaur

REX at Les Américains Lavaur 81!!!

A bit of webpages on the heritage of Lavaur here: Tourist office of Tarn Agout on Lavaur heritage in French

Restaurant Les Américains of Lavaur

Enjoy Lavaur, the Tarn and Occitanie, and remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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January 25, 2020

Church Saint Francois of Lavaur!

We make a must stop when visiting our sentimental Lavaur, and love it. The Church of Saint François is old and beautifully done right in city center, in fact you entered from the sidewalk into the church! It is at Grande Rue which is the main merchant street in town!

I wrote briefly on it long ago so let me bring you up to date, and my blog! Here is my take on the St François Church of Lavaur. Also known as the Cordeliers (12C-15C) with its large Puget organ 1866. Former convent of the Cordeliers (Franciscans), founded by Sicard, baron of Ambres. After the abolition of the convent, the church became parish from 1802 to 1963.

Lavaur

The Saint-François Church inspires respect. Majestic, it consists mainly of bricks and remains today the largest Franciscan church in the Southwest of France!. The current church brings together a polygonal choir from the 13C, an apse from the 14C, a nave from the 15C and a Stations of the Cross designed around 1880. Its interior decor from the 19C was mainly created by artists and craftsmen from Toulouse: paintings of vaults , stained glass windows and terracotta tiles , and large organ c 1866.

Lavaur

The Church of Saint François is located in Lavaur, dept 81 of the Tarn in the region of Occitanie. The church is oriented north-south. The choir of the Saint-François Church and two spans of the nave dates from the 13C, the apse from the 14C, the nave from the 15C. The church was consecrated in 1350, then again in 1512 The church was unoccupied during the French revolution. It served as a fodder store between 1790 and 1800.

Lavaur

The Church of Saint François was returned to worship in 1801. A gallery was built in 1848 above the entrance. The interior decor of the church dates from the 19C.  The church was built in bricks of a single nave, adopting a fairly usual plan in the Gothic churches of the Languedoc.

Lavaur

In the four spans to the south, the side chapels are integrated between the buttresses of the nave. In the 15C, the brotherhoods multiply in the Saint-François Church which have their chapels. The first chapel, to the right of the entrance, is that of the Saint-Côme-Saint-Damien brotherhood founded in 1501. The fourth chapel, on the same side, has Saint Eutrope whose cult was introduced in 1450. The organ was built by Toulouse organ builder Théodore Puget, between 1863 and the end of 1865. It was inaugurated in January 1866.

Lavaur

Lavaur

The webpages are limited on this Church for unknown reasons to me making it even more interesting to see it Below is the Catholic parish of Albi of which the town of Lavaur depend on for religious reasons.

Catholic Diocese of Albi on the Church St Francois of Lavaur

You will enjoy the monuments of Lavaur, small town but packed with goodies see my next posts on it. And do walk, we did the whole town lol!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 24, 2020

The streets of Lavaur!!

So been in the lovely Toulouse could not resist visiting Lavaur for sentimental reasons. We have crisscross this beautiful cathar area of France for many years, and Lavaur is the native town of my dear late wife Martine ,late father Pierre, who still had cousins in the area but now move further closer to Gaillac.

We spent many trips walking the streets of this lovely old town of the Tarn dept 81 in Occitanie and been so close could not avoided visiting it again this time only with the boys. Hope you enjoy it too on your way out of Toulouse into Cathar country!

We came in as always from Toulouse on the road D112 right into city center  Lavaur and parked free at the Allée Jean Jaurés by the grains market of old.  Before thus as you turn into the parking you come into a small square call the Place  de la Patience and a very nice fountain statue , a very nice way to welcome you into the town.

Lavaur

Lavaur

You can help it but see the enclosed canopy at the beginning of the alley sort of like a rest stop for the sights and bus routes of the town of Lavaur.

Lavaur

You could go on walking all along this alley (allée Jean Jaurés) along the road and past the halle aux grains or grains market that will tell you later.

Lavaur

You come across a real kiosque à musique  or music kiosk walking towards the city/town hall of Lavaur and right in front of a school.

Lavaur

And you do come to the end which is the Mairie or city/town hall of Lavaur , a nice building as usually they are.

Lavaur

And you get an idea of the quant old town that Lavaur is with a rich history some of which will tell you in the next posts. Enjoy Lavaur, in the Tarn in Cathar country of old, the traditions and history of my belle France. Hope you have enjoy the walk and see the capital of the Cocagne country=Lavaur. The tourist office in French of this traditional town is Tarn Agout (the rivers) here: Tourist office of the Tarn Agout area on Lavaur

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 24, 2020

Some shopping in Toulouse!

And to wrap up the trip why not show some of the place we shop now, before or in the future these are our favorite stores there and all over France.

The walking is great, the shopping is inspirational, and the food oh well its French with an Occitan twist! Enjoy the pink city of Toulouse and its shopping.

And who say you don’t do grocery shopping here while on vacation? Of course, we do and enjoy it very much as we have been renting appartments or apparthotels for the last several years as our family grows and we now have a dog, our big boy Rex.  So we go to our old favorite not available in our current Brittany , Auchan.

From our Adagio apparthotel we move up north pass the A61 autoroute and into Gramont and Balma to visit the Centre Commercial Espace Gramont.  There are the usual mall stores here but we came expressively for the Auchan hypermarket and our groceries. The shopping center is here: Shopping Center Espace Gramont Toulouse

Toulouse

Back in city center Toulouse, we had to go to the boys favorite store FNAC, they get so much goodies out of here, and more I do not understand oh well!!! The store here is very convenient in city center by Pl Wilson and Allée Jean Jaures, on 3 levels rather well stock. For more info see their webpage here: FNAC pl Wilson Toulouse

toulouse

And of course, there is for Dad too, so my favorite store for yeeaars has been you guess it Galeries Lafayette. There are all over not just in Paris ,we even have it near us in the Morbihan Breton. The store in Toulouse is of course nice too. It is right into the old town at 4/8 Rue Lapeyrouse not far from the Capitole and near the busy shopping artery of rue  d’Alsace-Lorraine.  It has a food market in the basement and a wonderful views of the city from its terrace top floor resto Ma Biche sur le Toit. More info here: Galeries Lafayette Toulouse

Toulouse

And there you go choices for everyone and at every level, this is the pink city of Toulouse in my belle France. Hope you have enjoy the run and we as said will be back!!! Adieu-siatz!!!

And do have a happy shopping spree anywhere. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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January 23, 2020

Other eateries of Toulouse!

So already written on a institution here in Toulouse, Le Loubechem at pl Victor Hugo (see previous post in my blog), I come to the other finds of this trip.

We had several runs of drinks and quick meals but will post the most memorable ones of our trip here, just for the memories. Hope you enjoy it too

The first one we encounter by just walking around Place Esquirol where we had parked my car. We came upon L’Esquirol bar just facing us right on.

Toulouse

This was a one stop deal, we came in with our dog Rex and voilà they accepted it in the terrace which was fine. He love it outdoors and ate too lol!!! We had our usual beers and me menu entrée of seafood goodies and then a pizza chévre miel all down with a fondue de chocolat and expresso coffee all for 22€ per person which included lots of beer pints lol!

Toulouse

no webpage but my fav tips place YELP has some guidance. Yelp on the bar L’Esquirol Place Esquirol

Then, on another we were tempted for ice cream go figure with crazy boys hanging around Toulouse, they decided wanted to eat ice cream!! in January! and remember the good place of Haagen Dazs at Place Wilson so we went for it. Another dandy as very receptive to our dog Rex in upper floor and lots of goodies with coffees and of course ice cream.

Toulouse

Toulouse

Toulouse

 

The official webpage is here at Place Wilson; Official Haagen Dazs at Pl Wilson Toulouse

And we came to the dandy of them all a new find and sure to be back here. This is at  Port Saint Sauveur on the Canal du Midi section and we found Le Bistro du Port. Super friendly service upper floor view of the marina and canal, Cuban salsa blaring on loud speakers and great seafood .fish beer combination. And of course, our Rex! Recommended.

Toulouse

I had as entrée another round of seafood platter with lots of shrimp and then a salmon steak very nicely done! for dessert another round of Fondue de Chocolat and the local blonde beer of the house all for 18€ per person! nice

Toulouse

Toulouse

No webpage of course but they do have a Facebook page here: Facebook on Le Bistro du Port Toulouse

In all a nice short trip where we walk a lot , had fun , found new places to see and eat and came back loaded with goodies. Enjoy the pink city of  Toulouse, there is more to my belle France than my eternal Paris! Bon appétit!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

January 23, 2020

Port Saint Sauveur, Toulouse!

So moving right along to the edges of the city of Toulouse and walking do the talking we came upon an area not seen before alas! So much to see in my belle France I am telling you! We were walking along the big boulevard and alleys seeing gardens and museums buildings and look up this spot so decided to take a closer look.

As usual for us, we hit a dandy. The Port Saint Sauveur is wonderful and great food with a Cuban beat lol! This is pure Canal du Midi folks down under!!! Enjoy it

Toulouse

The Port Saint-Sauveur district is a small district on the edge of Toulouse city center, attached to district 1. It is located southeast of the historic center, between the Canal du Midi and Boulingrin (Grand Rond garden). Its name comes from one of the two river ports of Toulouse located on the Canal du Midi, the other being the port of l’Embouchure. These ports are intended for the management of goods passing through the canal.

A bit of translation from the city of Toulouse.

A stopover at Port Saint-Sauveur allows you to discover a city steeped in history, very lively, and full of charm. The port, close to all shops, well served by public transport, is still popular with French and foreign customers. In 2008, it won the Stopover Trophy in the freshwater category for its action in favor of respect for the environment and the quality of the services provided to boaters. Since 2014, the Saint-Sauveur port has been awarded the Pavillon Bleu. This label created by the French office of the foundation for environmental education in Europe in 1985, promotes sustainable actions in favor of a quality environment carried out by the port.

Toulouse

The Port St-Sauveur was inaugurated in September 2001 and is the result of the will of the Voies Navigables de France (VNF) and of the City of Toulouse to create a reception point for boaters who use the Canal du Midi. The Capitanerie or Harbor Master’s Office, which today accommodates yachtsmen, was the old hangar for storing goods. Magisterially restored, it offers a large reception area with a breathtaking view of the Canal du Midi.

Toulouse

With a capacity of around 40 berths, the port receives an average of 400/450 boaters per year: speedboats, barges, rental boats, a few sailboats, etc. The boats are passing boats which can stay from 1 night to the week or even the month, but also wintering boats which will spend 6 months or more, from October to March-April. Each year, more than 40 boats are received in winter. Since 2017, boaters have had 24-hour access to sanitary facilities and the Harbor Master’s Office. The port benefits from a very good frequentation: a French clientele, but also foreign with mainly English, Australian, German, American, Belgian, and Swiss.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of Toulouse on Port Saint Sauveur

Private site on the Canal du Midi webpage on the Port Saint Sauveur

A dandy trip while enjoying the seafood and fish on a wonderful resto by the canal blaring Cuban salsa music to our delight!! Enjoy the Port Saint Sauveur a bit out of central Toulouse!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 22, 2020

Quai des Savoirs, Toulouse!

Ok once again the walking always reveal interesting places that before you just cruise by either by car, public transport or even walking. This time with the boys we were, I guess, more curious. We dwell into an area full of gardens, museums and monuments that was great to walked it and we came upon a dandy that needs more time for a next trip to my pink city of Toulouse.

Let me tell you a bit now on the Quai des Savoirs venture in Toulouse. I translated it from the city page.

The Quai des Savoirs is located at 39, allées Jules-Guesde, in the heart of the city, in place of the old science faculty, just opposite the brand new Welcom desk at the Federal University of Toulouse. The project combines architecture, heritage and modernity. In front, the largely restored building lets glimpse this sublime heritage of bricks, white stones and sculptures. It is dedicated to scientific, technical and industrial culture and is innovative in its uses as in its vocation.

toulouse

This project builds on the strength of several breeding grounds in Toulouse and its metropolis: research, education, as well as cutting-edge companies and industries or the digital galaxy. Inside, you will find the “Passage” between the Federal University of Toulouse at 41 and the Quai des Savoirs at 39 ,and will put the visitor in the mood, with its two glass “Signal Boxes” which will display works of art. digital art.

toulouse

The Quay includes three levels on a total surface of 3500 m2. On the ground floor where the general public activities take place, you will find: the reception hall, science cafe, the “Great Hall” of exhibition, all white with its trompe l’oeil windows, dedicated to events, the Quai des petits, where free discoveries will be offered for children who are not readers, workshop rooms … The “Hall des Manips” will offer free access to various fun and interactive experiences.

The Quai des Savoirs is a place open to all, part of which will be accessible free of charge and open to the general public. The place dedicates each of its floors to specific uses and audiences: the ground floor is open to everyone; the first and second floors are reserved for professionals: offices of Quai teams, companies, laboratories, academics, researchers, engineers, associations, etc. A whole area is entirely devoted to the digital economy (La Cantine, etc.)

In the Great Hall will be organized not only interactive and participative exhibitions on scientific themes (the city of the future, the great mysteries of science, robots …), but also major events: European Night of Researchers, Festival of Science, Futurapolis … Workshops, internships, training, and even a thematic leisure center, to build your robot or discover the medicine of the future, make a rocket, are also in the pipeline.  Also to discover, interactive installations and augmented reality without forgetting knowledge cafes to listen to conferences over a drink.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Quai des Savoirs in English

City of Toulouse on the urban projet Quai des Savoirs in French

Tourist office of Toulouse on the Quai des Savoirs in English

It seems an interesting place to know more about it for our next trip to Toulouse. It is full of contemporary innovation worth a look. Hope you enjoy this primer on the Quai des Savoirs of Toulouse

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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January 22, 2020

Jardin des Plantes of Toulouse!

Well if you walk, then gardens are a must, and they are all beautiful! Often overlook by visitors because they want to see monuments but here are a wonderful part of any city and gorgeous statues fountains etc as well. A great way to rest amongst this beauty after a long city walk.
Toulouse has some that I like and will tell you here on one historical at least. I like to tell you now about the Jardin des Plantes!

The Jardin des Plantes is a public garden in Toulouse; formerly it was a garden of plants and it has retained its name but not its status. It is part, with the Boulingrin and the Jardin Royal garden, of a set of three gardens located southeast of city center/downtown Toulouse. It extends over seven hectares between Allée Jules-Guesde, Allée Serge Ravanel, Rue Alfred-Duméril and Rue Lamarck.

Toulouse

The first Toulouse Jardin des Plantes was created in 1730 by the Toulouse Science Society. But it was not at its current location, it was in the Saint-Sernin district, not far from Porte Matabiau.   As the quality of the soil was not satisfactory, the collection had to be moved in 1756 to rue de la Sénéchaussée (current rue des Fleurs). It is in 1794 by the will of Philippe Picot de Lapeyrouse, naturalist, that the Capitouls decreed that the Jardin des Plantes will be located in an enclosure almost identical to that which it occupies today. It takes up part of the old enclosure of the Barefoot Carmelites. With a collection of 1,300 species, local or acclimatizing, the Jardin des Plantes became a large botanical garden but also a place where the poor can collect medicinal plants. By decree of July 27, 1808, Napoleon I   gave the city the land and the buildings of the garden. During the Battle of Toulouse (April 10, 1814), the garden was used as an artillery point from one of its mounds.

Toulouse

In 1817, a pond was created, fed by the nearby Canal du Midi. The garden was transformed for the coming of the international exhibition of 1887: it became a public garden. Seals, bears, monkeys, etc. populated the garden until 1976, then there are only water hens , ducks, geese, swans, and peacocks. The current Jardin des Plantes is located southwest of the city center, in the Busca district near the Pont des Demoiselles district, towards the Canal du Midi.

Toulouse

Toulouse

When it was moved to this location, it was outside the city walls, now it is right in the center in a very dense residential area mixing old buildings and newer buildings. It is bordered by the School of Medicine, the Museum of Natural History, the Daniel-Sorano Theater and the Saint-Exupère Church. It is very close to Boulingrin (Grand Pond garden) but a wide avenue separates it. However, a metal walkway allows pedestrians to join these two public parks. Several entrances serve it. The oldest is the Toulouse Capitol gate, dating from 1555, which was moved from the Capitol compound to the eastern side of the garden. The most common is the so-called Virebent entrance at the Allées Jules Guesde . It is connected to it by the allée des justes des Nations street. The Jardin des Plantes garden brings together several vestiges, old or renovated buildings. Among these, the Museum dates from the end of the 16C. The east entrance gate to the garden is a reconstruction dating from 1886 of one of the gates of the old Capitol. The North gate overlooking rue Ozenne is there since March 6, 1805.

Toulouse

Indeed a wonderful place and as you can read full of interesting things to see in lovely Toulouse. The tourist office has more on it here: Tourist office of Toulouse on the Jardin des Plantes

And the city of Toulouse on gardens has a bit more in French: City of Toulouse on its gardens

There you go another wonderful place to be full of culture all around you. Enjoy this walkable area of the pink city of Toulouse. The Jardin des Plantes is small today but nice for a visit.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 21, 2020

Some news from Spain LXXXVIIII

Well I have beena  bit away , a pity , of my beloved Spain. However, always in my mind. Let me catch up and tell you a bit of what is going on in my country down south! Enjoy it and Feliz Año Nuevo 2020!

The 34th Goya Awards (Spanish equivalents of the Oscars). From the headquarters of the Film Academy, applicants to the 28 categories that include the awards. The 146 Spanish films premiered in this country have been presented to the screening, of which 88 are fiction films, 55 are documentaries and 3 are animated. There are also 53 European films, 15 Latin American films and 35 short films. Of the total number of applications, 56 are raw operas. As for the scripts, 112 are original and 29, adapted. The film with the most nominations are Mientras dure la Guerra (While the war lasts), of Alejandro Amenábar,with 17 nominations. Dolor y gloria,(pain and glory) from Pedro Almodóvar, with 16 and La trinchera infinita, (the Infinite Trench ) of Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga with 15 nominations.

The gala, which will be held on January 25, 2020 in Malaga, will be presented by the actors Andreu Buenafuente and Silvia Abril, The 2020 Goya of Honor has fallen to actress Pepa Flores. More info here: https://www.premiosgoya.com/

The exhibition Extra Moda! (extra fashion) will be on in Madrid until March 1st 2020 at the Museo del Traje or Costume museum . What is considered the first publication with fashion content Mercure Galant, founded in 1672 in the France of Louis XIV, already speaks of what is carried and what is not.   Harper’s which first appears in November 1867, and Vogue, whose number one dates from December 17, 1892 They are not far from other periodicals such as The New York Times, founded in 1851. A century after the creation of Mercure Galant, The Pensadora Gaditana or Thinker from Cádiz (1763-1764) is published, which was born in Cádiz with fashion content. While in France, the cradle and still today the center and axis of the fashion industry and everything that it drags, the Paris brand was exported from the beginning, in Spain, Cádiz plays an important role that currently sounds strange. It is the moment of the Enlightenment, the diffusion of thoughts and a cosmopolitan city that is the entrance and exit of ideas and merchandise that come from America and the United Kingdom, among other places. With respect to the press, everything changes from 1791, when under the reign of Carlos IV, the Count of Floridablanca prohibits the publication of any type of newspaper in fear of the entry of revolutionary ideas from France!!. More info here: http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/mtraje/exposicion/temporales/historico/2019/extra-moda.html

Something that we love and eat in all its variation is rabbit meat. The conejo in Spanish or lapin in French. Here is some interesting facts about them.

Rabbit meat is, along with chicken and turkey, a healthy white meat alternative. It is soft, pink, easy to digest and good for low-calorie and fat diets. It can come from small game or farm. The meat of the latter is more fat, pink and tender. The younger, the better for stew. The oldest usually end up as pâte or terrines. Those from the bush, also called field or wild rabbits, have a harder, reddish, tasty meat with a lower fat intake. The mountain rabbit can only be tasted during the hunting season, which covers autumn and winter. The farm is available all year.  In the market, rabbits are usually sold without skin, but whole. Before buying, check that the leg joints have some mobility. It is an indication that the meat is fresh. See also the color: the better the pinker. When you get home, keep it in the refrigerator. Frozen whole hold a year. Nine months if you do it in pieces. The more time passes, the quality will fall. To defrost it, it is best to let it take a temperature slowly in the fridge.

Every 100 grams provide 20.7 grams of high quality protein and superior to that of other animals, such as chicken. And that with only 132 cal / 100 grams, a perfect claim if you have declared war on the scale. It is a meat with only 5.3 grams of fat per 100 grams. In addition, it is low in saturated fat and sodium. About 100 g of rabbit meat cover, in a healthy adult, 54% of the RDA of vitamin B3 or niacin (8.6 mg), necessary for the normal functioning of energy metabolism, the nervous system and mucous membranes. They also provide 400% of the recommendations of vitamin B12 (10 mcg), necessary for the creation of normal red blood cells and key to the process of cell division; and 30% of the recommendations of vitamin B6 (0.42 mg), which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune and nervous system. Also its high phosphorus content (220 mg / 100 g), essential for the normal functioning of bones and teeth, potassium (360 mg / 100 g), which contributes to the normal functioning of muscles and selenium (17 mcg / 100 g ), a mineral with antioxidant qualities that protects cells from oxidative damage. There you go we knew it!!!

The “escape room”is a game in which a series of players are locked in a room and have to solve different puzzles   to get out of there before the set time. The plot of «Escape Room», arrives in Madrid with a cast made up of Antonio Molero, Leo Rivera, Kira Miró and Marina San José. The work tells the story of four friends -two couples- who go, with the intention of having a good time, to an «escape room» located in the neighborhood of Lavapies despite the fact that the dismembered corpse of a man has appeared very close . Once they are inside,the room becomes a pressure cooker and to get out of it they will not only have to solve puzzles or tests as in any” escape room “, but they will have to face to some truths that in another situation, if their lives were not at stake, they would not face. See it at the Teatro Figaro, Calle Doctor Cortezo, 5 Madrid, more info here: https://gruposmedia.com/cartelera/escape-room/

A new statue is erected in Madrid at 121 years of the commemorating deed: the one that took place during 337 days in the town of Baler, Philippines. Where a church was erected (and still stands today) in which 60 soldiers resisted against almost a thousand adversaries. The last news they had been able to certify was the defeat of the Spanish army in Cavite against the powerful North American forces of Commodore George Dewey. And, presenting battle, they ended up retreating to a position where they would end up starring in a memorable place. They were the last in the Philippines. Calle Alberto Aguilera at the height of Valle Suchil, in the Jardines del Almirante Cervera, stands on a granite and spectacular pedestal, the representation of that moment in our history, in the figure of Lieutenant Saturnino Martín Cerezo The last officer in command of some soldiers who, after their suffering, were at least recognized and honored by the country, with medals in retirement for the last private soldier. Well worth the recognition. More info on the story and on lt Saturnino Martin Cerezo here in English: http://www.spanamwar.com/Baler.html

The cheeses of Spain in Protected Designations of Origin. In total there are 26 cheeses with D.O. my favourites are

The milk used for its production is obtained exclusively from the herds of cows, sheep and goats registered in the Cabrales Protected Designation of Origin and controlled by the Regulatory Council. It will be whole and clean milk, without any preservative and with a balanced composition in fat and proteins according to the different seasonal productive characteristics

The milk to make the cheeses with Denomination of Origin Idiazábal comes mainly from the sheep of the Latxa breed, which is a small and rustic animal. It is a sheep that produces a limited amount of milk. About one hundred liters per season, mainly from February to June, but large sheep of the Latxacalidad breed.

The cheese with Protected Designation of Origin Cebreiro is a fresh cheese of white, soft and grainy pasta, made with cow’s milk from the Rubia Gallega, Alpine Parda, Frisona and their crosses. It is made without any additive or preservative, in a completely natural way. It is shaped like a mushroom or chef’s hat, composed of two parts: A cylindrical base, of variable diameter and with a height not exceeding 12 cm. A hat that is between 1 and 2 cm more in diameter than the base and a height not exceeding 3 cm. Weight: between 0.3 and 2 Kg.

The Galician cheese covered by the Denomination of Origin Tetilla Cheese is made with cow’s milk from the Frisona, Alpine Brown and Galician breeds. It is one of the most representative Galician cheeses and the most international. It is necessary to emphasize its typical form of «tetilla» that is formed by the funnels in which the milk is allowed to curdle at the beginning of its elaboration. Another Galician cheese that has the same shape is San Simón Cheese. Shape: conical, concave-convex. Weight: from 0.5 to 1.5 Kg. Dimensions: The height will be greater than the base radius and less than the diameter.

It is called Manchego Cheese made in the natural region of La Mancha , from Manchego Cheese with Designation of Origin of sheep from the Manchego breed, with a minimum maturity period of 70 days. Manchego cheese is made with pasteurized sheep’s milk and artisan Manchego cheese, with unpasteurized sheep’s milk, from livestock registered in the Manchego Cheese Designation of Origin. My tops and lucky to be able to find it in my current living area in the Morbihan Breton of France.

More info on the Spanish cheeses here: http://www.spanish-cheese.net/

 Something good to save our bookstores/libraries in Madrid. The scene is becoming increasingly common in the streets of Madrid. Lowered blinds, curtains thrown in shop windows and posters that are repeated as a constant: “Closed for cessation of activity”, “closed for retirement” … And always the word “closed” as core. That is the scenario that the bookstores of the capital’s neighborhoods live. The Culture Commission of the City Council of Madrid and the Consistory to deepen a plan of shock against this phenomenon. Two main issues: financing and collaboration with the city’s public library network. That is why the municipal government has opened a call in free competition for bookstores in Madrid that develop activities to promote reading so that they receive direct aid,said sources from the area of Culture.

A line of financing that was 65,000 euros in 2019 and 80,000 euros in 2020 and from which 8 libraries have benefited from Madrid, which are those that have applied for such aid and will begin to receive these subsidies soon, after the period of justification of expenses. The second pillar on which the project will be based will be public libraries. The Culture Area works on a framework agreement for the maintenance and updating of collections and the formation of foundational funds for new libraries To this end, the number of suppliers, which so far stood at seven with only three from Madrid-, up to 25, all of them bookstores in the capital. Bookstores have always been more than a trade, they are part of the cultural fabric of a city, highlighting that these points of sale provide other intangible assets such as the valuable recommendation of booksellers or   experience staff visiting a bookstore.

Some wonderful beaches to have in mind when visiting Spain at the right time !

Located in Galicia, the Playa de las Catedrales has been chosen several times as the best in Spain and has come to sneak among the best in the world. Its bath is not the most pleasant, but the unique views of the natural monument that erosion has created cause this Galician corner to attract tourists all year round. You just have to wait at low tide, take off your shoes and start walking to dazzle with the 30-meter high buttresses and the unusual prospects of arches inside other arches that are born as you move forward. More info on the beach here: https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/destacados/praia-das-catedrais?langId=en_US

La Concha Beach San Sébastian: The San Sebastián Bay is a symbol in itself. Captured in so many snapshots, the beach of the most aristocratic city in Spain is perfect to enjoy any time of the year. And both from the bay’s own sand and from one of its elevated sides, either from Mount Urgull or Igueldo, which also houses an amusement park of the 20s. A unique postcard that is perfect to capture with the camera in these months, with the winter haze giving it a mysterious touch and fewer umbrellas. In addition, its bar gastronomy is perfect to get warm later. More info here: https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/to-do/what-not-to-miss/the-concha-bay

At the foot of the Pyrenees of Huesca, in the Sobrarbe region, little Aínsa is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is indeed , we passed by it on our way to Spain from France for many years. The medieval village, belonging to the former Kingdom or County of Sobrarbe, emerged more than a thousand years ago at the confluence of the Cinca and Ara rivers, on a promontory at 589 meters of altitude, from where the surroundings dominate, has all the ingredients to enjoy a complete weekend in which to practice both active and cultural tourism. It houses a huge heritage with medieval flavor, in which the wall, the castle, the old cobbled streets and its main square stand out. On the other hand, its strategic location, between the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido (to the north), the Natural Park of the Sierra and the Canyons of Guara (to the south) and the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta (to the east), tha it becomes a perfect destination for lovers of nature and mountain sports, both in summer and winter.

The nerve center of the town is its arcaded Plaza Mayor, full of restaurants, small shops and bars that take their terraces outside in good weather; in January 17 there will be bonfires there in honor of San Antón and San Sebastián January 19, and on the first Sunday of February it will host the agricultural and livestock fair that has been held since the Middle Ages. Of enormous dimensions and trapezoidal plant, it is believed that it dates from the 12-13C, the largest in the town. It is surrounded by perfectly preserved original stone buildings, including that of the City/Town Hall or Ayuntamiento, and surrounded by two of its most important monuments: the Romanesque Church of Santa María, 12C, and considered one of the best examples of Romanesque Alto Aragón (upper Aragon) ,the visit is free and includes the crypt and the cloister.

And the Castle, initially built in the 11C and renovated and expanded in the 17C. It has two access gates and a moat, and concerts and festivals, such as the Castillo de Aínsa Music, are held in the Plaza del Castillo in summer.  The castle is linked to the imposing walls that surround the old town of Aínsa, which in some sections reach 14 meters high and still retain five of the seven gates that existed, such as Portal de Abajo, Portal de Afuera, Portal Alto, Portal de Tierra Glera and Portal del Callizo. The wall is passable from the top, so one of the obligatory walks is the one that surrounds the villa walking on the walls enjoying the fantastic views. The facades of houses such as Arnal 16C, Bielsa 16-17C or of Latorre, as well as the Cruz Cubierta or Covered Cross 16C, symbol of the legendary origins of the town, commemorating the victory in 724 of Christian troops on the Muslim army, thanks to the miraculous appearance of a cross of fire next to an oak tree, are some clear examples. Enjoy it , a car is needed of course.

Tourist office in Spanish of AinsaTourist office Valle de Ainsa on Ainsa

Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa: Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa in English

And last but not least on the wine wars between the EU and the USA

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has released in a statement the main data extracted from the statements submitted by the operators in November through the Market Information System of the Wine Sector (Infovi). The provisional production of wine and must in the 2019/2020 campaign reaches 37.2 million hectoliters, as of November 30, representing a decrease of 26% compared to the last and 14% to the average of the previous four . By autonomous communities, Castilla-La Mancha appears as the largest producer, with 54% of the total, followed by Catalonia (9%), Extremadura (8%), Valencian Community (7%), Castilla y León (5%), La Rioja (5%) and Andalusia (3%).

The European Commission has approved two legislative proposals aimed at easing measures to promote the export of wine, including those of the Spanish Wine Sector Support Program (PASVE). This measure is part of the requests made by Spain to Brussels in a common position with France and will allow EU funding to be extended to wine promotion programs from 50% to 60%, modify their destination and extend the duration of those approved for third countries.

This measure responds to the decision of the United States, on October 18, to start applying additional tariffs as a result of the Airbus case to certain products, including agrifoods worth 764 million euros. With regard to wine, the additional tariffs applied do not affect all Spanish exports. It is proposed for still wines packaged in volumes less than 2 liters and with a graduation not exceeding 14% by volume, so its impact is especially significant for wines that are protected by protected designations of origin (DOP) and protected geographical indications (IGP), of higher quality and added value.

The additional wine tariff applies exclusively to the countries of the Airbus Consortium: Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It does not apply to wines from other European Union countries such as Italy or Greece, among others. The United States market is the third destination of Spanish wine exports in value, with an average of 283 million euros in the 2014-2018 period. With regard to wines affected by retaliatory measures, they represent 62.46% of the volume of wine exported to the US. and 69.26% of its value. In any case, Spain has requested the European Commission to carry out a detailed monitoring of the markets of the products concerned in order that, if necessary, other mechanisms of the Common Organization of the Agricultural Markets are put in place and even resorted to tools outside the PAC, to minimize the impact on the agri-food sector. Trade wars lose at the end and the most affected is the people. Me think.

There you go  ,now can rest at ease, giving you something from my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy the series of Some News from Spain.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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