Archive for March, 2016

March 13, 2016

Some news from Spain XVI

Some of the latest from my dear Spain are here. Just warming up as after Vietnam is Spain twice !! See you soon again.

Museo del Ferrocarril or train museum you get there on Paseo de las Delicias, nº 61  metro Delicias.  This is the market of engines  or Mercado de Motores  with more than 200 stands with almost anything on sale from antique vintage products to second hand clothings or design items that is held the second weekend of each month. Webpage:

One of favorite drinks source news news !!! González Byass has reach agreement to buy into the region of the DO of Rías Baixas, Galicia. The property is call Pazos de Lusco, which will make GB represented in all the major wine regions of Spain such as in  Jerez, Rioja, Cádiz, Cava, Penedés, Rueda, Somontano, Castilla and now Rías Baixas. The Pazos  de Lusco is a Property from the 16C also known as  Pazo Piñeiro or Casa Bugallal and with a Big house, chapel, stables, and small houses dependencies all surrounded by vineyards of the grape Albariño. The farm has 5  hectáres. The house (Bodega)  of Gonzalez Byass, I have lasted visited in October 2015, and it is a family bodega founded in 1835 dedicated to wines and brandies of  Jerez, with the best known brand of  Tío Pepe Fino sherry and wines of  Noé or Apóstoles, or  brandy solera gran reserva Lepanto.. It has already more than 30 years that is dedicated to wines with bodegas of great quality in Spain such as Bodegas Beronia (DOCa Rioja), Viñas del Vero (DO Somontano), Cavas Vilarnau (DO Cava), Finca Constancia (VT Castilla), Finca Moncloa (VT Cádiz), Beronia Verdejo (DO Rueda) ,and  Pazos de Lusco (DO Rías Baixas). Webpage:

In my nostalgic Granada, recently Cervezas Alhambra celebrated in the city  the contest « Granada de Tapas” and arrive at 8 finalists which were Bar Mexuar. Hotel Saray, Rte. Andalucía Center. Hotel Center, Gastro&Drinks Löwe, Mesón la Criolla, Rte. La Cuchara de Carmela, Rte. El Pescaíto de Carmela, Rte. Ay Carmela , and Urban Gastro Lounge. The winners there were Gastro&Drinks Löwe,with the tapa Hasta el rabo no todo es toro, Bar El Mexuar (Hotel Saray),with the tapa ¡Pues vaya remojón! Mesón La Criolla, with the tapa; La Caja de los Sabores, and Restaurante La Cuchara de Carmela,with its tapa Cocogüéjar Carmeliano. Great Cuchara!!!

Now is time for the Fallas of Valencia from March 15 to 19, 2016. This is believed to have started from the 18C when carpenters burned in squares the parot wooden instrument holding a candlestick that wood masters worked at night. One thing is sure, all started by burning a simple estoreta of wood instrument and now the entire city burns. The city hall mayor declares the festivities by saying in Valencian provençal . Senyor pirotècnic, pot començar the mascletà”. This is the phrase the the Fallera Mayor says from the box at City hall . The dialy march starts at 14h (2PM) and roar after the sky is stained with smoke, vibrating the city like an improvised earthquake with shiny powder on the roofstops of buildings

However, not all Valencians are Falla fans ,and it is not a a religious festival or much less consists in burning ninots indiscriminately. There is something else in all that.

To come the best is short sleeve, scarf in hair and sunglasses. The city is invaded by crazy Valencian and visitors armed with firecrackers and masclets. And what looks like a full-fledged bombing is nothing more than the Despertà or awakens. Thus, do not sleep in five days ::). It is preferable not to use the metro during the Fallas unless you like to suffer the consequences of a crush that upon entering the wagon will be imminent. During the week fallera there is no space in the city not even for a needle, so the best advice is to use those legs and go to kick the city walking! . Anyway, you will be walking and a lot. In the city proliferate premises and stalls that sell churros, Donuts, hot chocolate and other gastronomic delights, try them at Horchateria Santa Catalina or the Horchateria Fabian, Calle de Ciscar ,5 no web;  both located in the Centre of the city As well as the usual giant Paella which takes place every year at this time , try them all free paella bar! Another option is to go to one of many restaurants that they produced delicious paella.

The Nit of the Foc , takes place in the early morning of March 19, ahead of San Jose and so little expected Cremà (little expected because it means that the fallas are over), and is the most impressive castle of fireworks that soars into the sky and that has one duration greater than the rest of those who are released on any other day . It is a magic show that you should not miss. If you have luck try to seek a balcony   from which to watch the fireworks without. But, get out of the Center and get away by Mall and the River, seeks an Esplanade and take a Chair to make yourself comfortable. It is an impressive spectacle… and also, impressively long. You will appreciate a chair to watch the offering of the   Virgen de los Desamparados (Virgin of the Homeless) patroness of Valencia, affectionately known as the Cheperudeta is another of the highlights acts .. A wooden Cheperudeta awaits the arrival of the falleros carrying bouquets of flowers in the Plaza de la Virgen. They have the Mission of forming a blanket of flowers on the body of the Virgen , and it takes place on March 17 and 18 by the Calle de la Paz and Calle de San Vicente

The full program in Spanish is here

And here

And the tourist office in English and other languages

El Brunch arrives in Madrid and as I am plannings visits in May and August need to fine tune my places of old with new ones. These are great new ones there

El 17 de Moreto, 17 Tel.: 618 629 767  Saturdays and Sundays, 12h-16h30 Price: 20 euros.

La Bicicleta Café  Plaza de San Ildefonso, 9 Tel.: 91 532 97 42  Saturdays and Sundays 11h30 –15h30  Price: 18 euros.

Carmencita Bar San Vicente Ferrer, 51 Tel: 679 183 399 Tuesdays to Sundays from  12h-16h30 Price 14 euros.

Some of my old addresses, El Jardin del Intercontinental Hotel Paseo de la Castellana, 49 Tel 91 700 73 70 Sundays from 13h30-16h Price  67 euros.

La Jefa,  Calle de Recoletos, 14 | Tel 91 621 76 74  Saturdays and Sundays as well as Holidays from 11h-13h30 Price19,50 euros.

Ramsés Plaza de la Independencia, 4 | Tel.: 91 435 16 66  Saturdays and Sundays  from 12h-17h by menu carte but facing the wonderful  Puerta de Alcalá.

One of the emblematic cafes just reopen again the Café de Oriente, a colonial decoration of the 1930’s with the soul of the 21C! You have the bistró style in the upper floor, where you can have breakfast, lunch, tapas, or enjoy an after work or a great cocktail. It has a Chester sofa in front of a chimney, a long wonderful bar counter now of marbre, the painted walls with colonial style and huge mirrors with plenty of corners to just fade away. The nights the bistro change with its lighting and DJ’s with a rising main deck for dancing as well as live Jazz nights. Lovely place  at  Plaza de Oriente, 2  Tel : 91 548 78 46.

And of course, be there in May Champions league time and Real Madrid is still in it. Even if do not like Florentino Perez lol!!! Enjoy it. Now on to Vietnam ::)

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