Archive for March 1st, 2011

March 1, 2011

Madrid, Sights and Smells

Good morning Madrid, and the world. Well one can never stop thinking of the wonderful open ambiance of Madrid with its gorgeous sights and smells. I like to continue telling you about about one of favorites cities in the World. Si, una de mis ciudades favoritas en el Mundo, mi Madrid.

Once upon a time in my travels back to the city I happened to splurge myself and spend three nights at the Fenix hotel in calle Hermosilla,2 very near the Castellana and Serrano as well as overlooking Plaza Colon. This was a gorgeous hotel  then part of Tryp and now part of the Mélia group, and The Leading Hotels of the World service status. The breakfast were faboulous, and the views from the top magnificent, the lobby is just the same just beautiful, so here is the webpage http://www.gran-melia-fenix.com/en/

Another one of more regular hangouts is at the Hostal La Plata, Gran Via 15 in city center, this is a family concern of the Garrido’s and a lot more affordable. I have stayed with the family and is central to all to see walking. the webpage is http://www.hostal-laplata.com/laplataflash/home_textos.asp

Some of the nicest attraction for children is Faunia, its a natural park attraction with lots of activities and very educational. There is eating on site, and can get ticket online in advance advised. The location is just past the M40 beltway road on ave del Mediterraneo, cercanias or suburbian train at Santa Eugenia C2,C7,and C8 trains get you here or metro Valdebernardo line 9. the webpage in English is at http://www.faunia.es/en

Another favorite going back to when I was a kid and took my own kids there to is the Parque de Atracciones en Casa de Campo, metro Batan line 10 or taking the Cable Car=Teleferico and walking (my best trip) or bus Nos 33 and 65. This is an amusement park with all kinds of rides , concerns, exhibits, and many other activities gear for the whole family. The webpage in Spanish go to Atracciones, for details of things to do , http://www.parquedeatracciones.es/

the Cable car or Teleférico is an institution in Madrid since kid days use to ride it with the girls just for fun, now still do with the family again for funa nd great above ground (about 1000 feet) views of Madrid, it also takes you to Casa de Campo where there is an attractions park, zoo,and aquarium. You take it at Paseo de Rosales, metro Argûelles lines 3,4, and 6.Also, bus Nos 21 and 74. The hours are varied depending on the season and day of week, usually is 11h to 19h but need to check, the admission is 5.35€ roundtrip for adults and then lower for kids. The webpage in English is here  http://www.english.teleferico.com/

The transportation webpage for Madrid as far as metro/buses/suburbian train, etc is CTM here http://www.ctm-madrid.es/  . The official tourist office of Madrid in English is this one , http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do

Some of my best time in Madrid were spend reading and searching for books of all sorts, the best library and long standing in the city is the Casa del Libro or the house of books at Gran Via 29 , metro Gran Via lines 1 and 5. Practically any book printed you can find here, and of course, a great source of travel information on Madrid and Spain. The best all time department store in Madrid and Spain is the El Corte Inglés, many in the city at Callao,Argûelles, Goya, Nuevo Ministerios, and Sol (my favorite at calle Preciados) are stores visited. They are a dept store so clothings to cosmetics, to books,CD, DVD, video games, linen,shoes, etc all can be found here in one stop shopping. I used to come here when a little boy with my mother, and still do with my family now. Lucky that from France I can ordered by mail and its delivered via DHL! The webpage is http://www.elcorteingles.es/

Some of my nostalgic favorites no longer in existance included SEPU, SIMAGO, and Galerias Preciados.

To know about the historical stores still in existance is to go back in time to a Madrid of romantics and great manufacture. My beloved Madrid of childhood dreams and adult nostalgia, these are the stores that make what Madrid is, a city never to be forgotten or as the saying goes ” From Madrid to Heaven ,and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day of our lives” Enjoy Madrid.

Antigua Casa Crespo, Calle del Divino Pastor, 29 tel +34 91 521 56 54. Metro Bilbao lines 1 and 4. sandals, hand made shoes, naturally done with a deco from the 19C, just great, webpage http://alpargateriacrespo.com/ . The antigua Casa Talavera, Calle Isabel la Catolica, 2 tel +34 91 547 34 17.metro Santo Domingo ,line 2. wonderful ceramics painted by hand ,original designs and reproductions of models from the 10C to the 18C, from all major ceramic points in Spain such at Toledo,Granada,Manises ,and Talavera. no webpage. antigua Pasteleria del Pozo, Calle del Pozo,8, tel +34 91 522 38 94.Metro Sol lines 1,2,3. from 1830 where a spot religious relics were thrown to a well so the name of the store=pozo=well, known for the roscones de reyes a traditional sweet that need to taste it all in a 19C style done just right with the best ingredients. A family treasure now share. In Caramelos Paco, Calle Toledo 55, tel +34 91 365 42 58.Metro La Latina, line 5. founded in 1934! and now you find candies!!! of all sorts even without sugar, another family tradition share and with webpage http://www.caramelospaco.com/ . Casa Diego, Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, 12 ,Metro Sol ,lines 1,2,3, and tel +34 91 522 66 43.If you need an umbrella, cane, gloves, castanets, all first quality and doing it for years, even my grandfather purchased here, webpage, http://personales.ya.com/jlleran/ . The traditional Casa Mira, Carrera de San Jeronimo, 30 ; tel +34 91 429 67 96.Metro Sol lines 1,2,3 or closer Sevilla line 2. pastries of Madrid since 1855! nougats are the must, the typical of Madrid if you want to get local, no webpage. Casa Postal is unique at Calle Libertad ,37. TEl +34 91 532 70 37.Metro Chueca line 5. to know old Madrid with its post cards, photos,posters as well as collector toys,cameras, and metal boxes of old, antique very unique and gorgeous with Madrid in mind and great for souvenirs and gifts. webpage http://www.casapostal.net/.

To continue with El Riojano, Calle Mayor,10. tel +34 91 366 44 82. founded n 1855! great sweets like try must try the azucarillos made with sugar cane hard liquor ,they ,also have a small salon de thé. Madrid of my loves.  Metro Sol lines 1,2,3.webpage http://www.confiteriaelriojano.com/. Then good taste and great architecture go to La Duquesita, Calle Fernando VI,2, tel +34 91 308 02 31. inside the Palacio de Longoria, open in 1914, even had a queen Maria Cristina as client! ,great architecture, and great tortes or tartas as well as roscones de reyes. Metro Alonso Martinez lines 4,5,and10. no webpage but in Madrid tourist page above. Another grandparents favorite that became mine too is La Favorita, founded in 1894. Plaza Mayor 25, tel +34 91 366 58 77.Metro Sol lines 1,2,3. Its the store for hats, caps,basques chisteras, umbrellas,gloves, all for the gentlemen’s needs.webpage http://www.lafavoritacb.com/ .

And more at La Mallorquina, Plaza de la Puerta del Sol,2, tel +34 91 521 12 01. metro Sol lines 1,2,3. Who has not come to Madrid and try its delicacies? Founded in 1894 and still going strong. the Napolitans with creams or mille feuilles and the truffes are great,and a small salon de thé always full but so what. Now with many other locations and restaurants in the city,no  webpage.  Another classic selling violet candies is La Violeta, Plaza de Canalejas,6 .Tel +34 91 522 55 22.Metro Sol lines 1,2,3. Founded in 1915; with its original facade store front and previous great customers like the Queen Victoria Eugenia, the candies have the essence of the flower and comes in various shapes. no webpage. Lhardy, Carrera de San Jeronimo,8 ;Tel +34 91 521 33 85. Metro Sol lines 1,2,3.  It is one of the oldest delis in Madrid open in 1939. you try the callos a la madrileña, and be in heaven, webpage for the Deli as it is ,also, a fantastic restaurant, http://www.lhardy.com/lhardy_eng/lhardy.htm .  The ecclesiastical must is the Monasterio de Corpus Christi (a monastery) , Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 3, tel +34 91 548 37 01.Metro Opera line 2,5 or Sol lines 1,2,3. !founded in the 17C and best known as “Las Carboneras” as it was given as donation a wooden altar that was found in a coal pit. Here the sisters make sweets with almonds and oranges etc that they sell to the public, just knock on the door and ask them what you want to buy and they will open it for you .Great history and tradition for all Madrileños and visitors alike. no webpage . If you want to chase the famous Spanish hams then head for my favorite trio, Jamones Juan Pedro Domecq, Calle Velazquez 53 first left, Tel +34 912 961 580 , metro Velazquez line 4. pure iberian breed of pigs with the best elaboration and they sell to the public here.  Also, Jeronimo Jeromin Meson Restaurant, Paseo General Martinez Campos, 19, tel +34 91 593 11 07. Metro Iglesia line 1. a resto but serving the best ham derived products(pata negra) in Madrid, webpage info http://mesonjeromin.com/restaurante/ . Then, the popular Museo del Jamon, many locals I have try the ones at Gran Via, 72 tel +34 91 541 20 23.Calle Alcala, 155 tel +34 91 431 72 96. Calle Atocha, 54 tel +34 91 369 22 04. Great hams since my days living in the city and still going strong. webpage http://www.museodeljamon.es/  To bring it all down, get your bottles of great Spanish wines at my all time favorite store there the Bodega Santa Cecilia, Calle Bravo Murillo, 50;  Metro Rios Rosas, line 1. webpage http://www.santacecilia.es/

Hope you come to Madrid and taste the real Madrid, wonderful examples of a great tradition in a traditional city, this is Spain. Enjoy it and cheers!!

 

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