Archive for September 22nd, 2012

September 22, 2012

Trujillo, Extremadura. Birthplace of conquerors and more !

On my last trip to Madrid as I was saying in my last post on it, had the grand opportunity to visit this wonderful town, Trujillo, in the region of Extremadura. I was here so many years ago when a teenager, and now it was like visiting for the first time. The city is compact ,and full of history all around you.

I was taken there by car, and given a short tour of the city that turn out very nice.  We stop along the road for gas at a Repsol service station at El Berrocal  at the road A5. We arrive right into the plaza Mayor, full of historical buildings all around it,and the huge statue of conqueror of Peru Francisco Pizarro.  You can see the beautiful church of San Martin, dating from 1440AD . There are the baptismal pedestal still from this period.  The chapel or Capilla Mayor was done in 1572 , there was the wooding carving and the clock was already there. Imposing facing the square or plaza mayor.

In the square or plaza Mayor you will see the Palace of the Pizarro (Marquis of La Conquista, marquis of the conquest).   The palace was the home of Hernando Pizarro y Vargas and Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui, brother and daughter respectively of Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru. Building was commenced in 1560 . The shield depicts a few scenes the history of the conquest including the arrival of ships ,the walls of Cuzcotogether with the Incan Emperor Atahualpa and his chiefs, and is a dramatic reminder of the role that Pizarro played in the conquest of the Incan Empire. The interior of the palace, similar to the exterior, is built in a renaissance extremaduran style incorporating not only indigenous decorative features, but also Castilian and Italian touches.

Another gem in the square or plaza Mayor is Palace of Carvajal Vargas (Dukes of San Carlos). The palace was built in the middle of the 16th century for Diego de Vargas Carvajal, Lord of Puerto de Santa Cruz. Constructed just a few years before the Palace of the Marquis de la Conquista with which it shares many similarities, it is the grandest example of Extremaduran renaissance civil architecture. This can be seen from features such as the extraordinary corner balcony, the unusual chimneys and the detail on the facades. It is also famous for its internal patio and the ornate flying stone staircase, completed in about 1650

You can tell from the plaza mayor the dome of the tower of Alfiler or pin tower at the Mansion of the Chaves-Orellana  built by the beginning of the 16th century a grandson of the renowned Castilian personage and confidant of Queen Isabel the first, Luis de Chaves “El Viejo”, modified the existing defensive building which included the Torre de Alfiler (Pin Tower). The new construction which was gothic in style included a partially cloistered patio and a sun galery (logia) in the upper part of the facade. This building was partially destroyed in 1828 but we know how it appeared from a Laborde etching dating from the early 1800´s.the decoration in various houses around the square. To one end up the stairs you reach the tourist office. Tourist office webpage

Before reaching thus ,we had a great lunch at Hotel Las Cigueñas, just before reaching the city. Its a complex hotel, restaurant,and events facilities. La Bodega restaurant inside is wonderful, we had tapas entrees of iberico ham, mollejas de cordero,a nice lubina fish dish, and red wine tayita from the region, all well serve, friendly efficient and well done. One for coming back. webpage

Best way here as always with my opinions is the car of course. Out of madrid on the A5 will get you here, webpage . However, you could come by bus on Avanza, webpage here

Hope you enjoy this bit of trip into the real Spain, seductive and beautiful, historical and grand. Trujillo will be remembered.

September 22, 2012

Madrid, Madrid walking and memories of teenager, always Madrid

Another chance in life to visit Madrid, for four days last week. Always great feeling as this was my entry into Europe,and lived there with my mother for several years in quintana. This time was a business trip but plenty of time to walk and see my areas, my neighborhood of old Quintana;line 5 in the metro de Madrid.

I stayed as always recently at the Ayre hotels Gran Colon at Calle del Pez Volador, 1: this is an excellent hotel, with cafe resto dj music disco style at nights, big rooms, nice friendly service, and central to all of Madrid on lines 6 circular and 9 at calle doctor Esquerdo or the buses 56,143,156 stops right there. webpage

The Café Ayre is wonderful with dj music ,big sports TV, (saw my Real Madrid vs Manchester City, we won !!! 3×2)  , and a Champions records win, see it at official Real Madrid site ,  The breakfast are full style with plenty to eat and great display of goodies,nice. I needed taxi service once to get to office and they were very efficient and on time. Nice hotel complex.

I walk Madrid, like any city ,the best way to really get to know it. I walk the areas that I ran and hide to go out in my early teens years; the walk up to the Torre España or Spain tower ,with 220 meters high (232 with TV antennas), and the tree line calle del alcalde sainz de baranda to get to calle Menendez Pelayo and the wonderful Retiro park or Parque del Buen Retiro, and see the place I went to birthday parties etc now a fine resto Florida Park,,the wonderful fountains and alleyways of the park, the monument to General Martinez Campos with the inscriptions of his campaigns like a major one in Cuba in the 1876-1895. You come behind the monumental arch and statue to king Alfonso XIII and the lake or estanco del Retiro with its magical boats, that I once rode my girlfriends on it lol!!! Still the place to be if you are in love ::) info from Madrid tourist office ,

I went over Menendez Pelayo, and doctor Esquerdo streets, see the nice church of the Santisimo Samontinos,  Calle del Alcalde Sáinz de Baranda, 3 off Menendez Pelayo; info webpage . Had my wonderful merluza with almonds garlic,olive oil dish, and chips and nice cruzcampo beers,and Mahou 5 Estrellas try them all lol!! again. Finish with a nice coffee, all for 32€ yes the fish dish was huge! and the beers plenty just needed to walk back to hotel ::) This was at Cerveceria Cruz Blanca at calle Menendez Pelayo,47, webpage with branches all over the area.

Of course, I visited my old neighborhood of Quintana, right off metro line 5 at Alcala 331, always a pilgrimage when in town. The plaza Quintana with my old Docamar was the site of heavy mahou beers and patatas bravas, just across my old piso, apartment. The place was packed with people out mingling, talking, playing cards, just a bustle and hustle of a vibrant lively city as always the times or needs dont change in Madrid. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!!!!

I have the chance to be driven around by the office management folks very nice people, and at nights the time to walk my favorites areas, just a great week in Madrid. I had the great chance to see Trujillo in Extremadura,and thats another post ::) Enjoy Madrid, always I will have Madrid.

Ahh I flew from Nantes on Iberia and this time they were on time handled by Air Nostrum. The ride was by car as I was nicely pick up at Barajas T4 by management.  I then try line 5,6,9 on the metro, and the rest of times walking;wonderful.  Madrid metro site . I will be back!



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