Archive for August 21st, 2016

August 21, 2016

Madrid ,well is more than a word for me, always nostalgic to be back!

As our vacation time in Spain begun, there is no way I would skip Madrid and even arriving the first thought was to come here and visit again. Madrid I never get tired of visiting, long story going back to my early teen years living there. Lucky enough to visited several times even more than once in the year. This time with the entire family was even more memorable.

We drove from Las Majadas ,province of Cuenca , Castilla La Mancha region (see last post) on the A40 connecting at Tarascon with the A3 to Madrid and parking on the Atocha train station Saba parking lot.

Then, we were all over walking at first, from Atocha to calle Atocha to the Plaza Mayor and onwards to Calle Arenal, Preciados, Carmen and back to Calle Bailén and the Royal Palace and Cathedral of Almudena.

By Calle Arenal we past the old archives building of Madrid dating from the 17C. The Palacio Real is always wonderful to see even if been there several times, the Cathedral of Almudena is a wonderful building that was seen again,and onwards along calle Bailén on the other site to the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande.

On Calle Atocha got in finally into the Church parroquia Santa Cruz , a wonderful Church that in the past had been close when passing by , this time it was fully open and wonderful.

I took the kids to my all time favorite since evey younger than they, Chocolateria San Ginés, in my youth used to come here after the dance club next door ; Joy Eslava, which at the time was a community dance hall and theater, later becoming a chic discothéque. I past by it too. San Ginés is the famous churros con chocolate racion for 1,40 euros or the porros a bigger size churro. A must in Madrid.

We did went shopping at El Corte Inglés by calle Preciados 3 and had our lunch in the 7th floor cafeteria ,and later stop by my favorite store, the official Real Madrid store at Calle Carmen off Sol. We did shopping here too and got a nice beer mug ::)

We came back to the Plaza Mayor a must to visit while in Madrid , always a happening ; see the Plaza del Callao and the famous cinema there, and got around the Teatro Real or royal theater, and the Puerta del Sol square.  We passed by the mercado de la Cebada market and the famous theater of La Latina. A visit to the mercado San Miguel is a must and see the beautiful building of the museum of Anthropology and the Ministry of Agriculture. Down to the Puerta de Toledo where we took the C2 bus to get back after a long exhaustive day of walking to all the wonderful Madrid Streets always telling my sons where their Dad had walked before even younger than they! A nice neat family experience.

This is Madrid in one day leaving before it got too dark, but always memorable, I have no words Madrid is more than a city to me, it is part of my life and a happy nice life indeed; always Madrid or From Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!!

Some links for the above sites here:

Atocha train station: http://www.adif.es/en_US/infraestructuras/estaciones/60000/informacion_000070.shtml

Palacio Real: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/royal-palace

Catédral de Almudena: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/catedral-de-la-almudena

Parroquia Santa Cruz Church: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parroquia-santa-cruz

Chocolateria San Ginés: https://chocolateriasangines.com/

Joy Eslava: http://joy-eslava.com/

El Corte Inglés dept store: https://www.elcorteingles.es/centroscomerciales/es/eci/centros/centro-comercial-preciados-callao

Real Madrid official store: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium/stores

Plaza Mayor: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/plaza-mayor-Madrid

Puerta del Sol: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/puerta-del-sol

Mercado de la Cebada: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/mercado-cebada

Teatro La Latina: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-la-latina

Mercado San Miguel: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/mercado-de-san-miguel

Museo de Antropologia: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/museo-nacional-de-antropologia

Ministerio de Agricultura : http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/ministerio-de-agricultura

Puerta de Toledo: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/puerta-de-toledo_45

Teatro Real : http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-real

Plaza de Callao and the famous cinémas: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/callao-city-lights

and the bus network of Madrid is EMT Madrid , and the best way to move quickly and stay above ground to see more here is tourist link with bus info:  http://www.esmadrid.com/en/getting-around-madrid-by-bus

And I will be back at the end of my trip for a last look or take a photo of it in my heart. Cheers

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August 21, 2016

Our home base Las Majadas, Casa Pitu

Moving along telling you all about my last trip family vacation to Spain. We finally arrive in our home base of Las Majadas ,in the Serrania de Cuenca mountains on a house 1400 meters or 6600 feet high in the mountain, name Casa Pitu. I find it on the rural houses site Top Rural. http://www.toprural.com/

The house webpage is here: http://www.casapitu.es/

Just to say it has been our best vacation ever ,not only because the location was great, the house fanstastic with all the trimming ,and the price right, but the host Luis and Ma Isabel were fantastic beyond the call of duty to make our stay a wonderful one full of great memories and even friendship. You will do well to rent from them in the future as we will definitively look forward to another opportunity.

We arrive on an earlier Saturday so the first thing after the great welcome by the owner hosts, we headed for the big town of Cuenca, UNESCO historical town, in search of………….food! groceries to stock our house. We found our favorite French chain Auchan which in Spain are call AlCampo (literal translation) on a shopping center right in town outskirst.

There we did our groceries and found upon recommendation by the house owners a wonderful bakery call Pasteleria Ruiz which we stock up on sweets, goodies!  Store AlCampo here: http://www.alcampo.es/mi-tienda?p_p_id=myShop_WAR_alcampoportlets_INSTANCE_KU0b&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=1

The pasteleria Ruiz has a branch in city center Cuenca and the one at AlCampo we purchase our goodies ,link here: http://confiteriaruiz.com/index.php?option=contacto

Once well stock we took a walk in the town, passing to get some fresh bread Sunday morning at bakery Los Gemelos (twins) Calle  Atanasio Lasso,7 ,with friendly local flavor. Took a walk around the Iglesia Senora del Sagrario (Church notre dame of the sanctuary) ; the small park by the avenida de la constitucion where we came in and out each day, and there is the bus stop for connection with Cuenca. For those interested on the bus Schedule is Rubiocars here : http://www.rubiocar.com/lineas-regulares.php?id=22

Tourist link in Spanish for the Church here: http://www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/iglesia-de-nuestra-senora-del-sagrario-en-las-majadas-90164/visita/

We pay a visit to the local bar cafe in plaza mayor, and had our first cold beer Mahou Cinco Estrellas (five stars) real Madrid beer for you; serve with sardines in olive oïl as a tapa. The name escapes me now but it is in front of a stone statue that is to the left of the photo.

Of course, we took some pictures of our home base house for the souvenirs that will last a long time. Indeed ,it was a wonderful mountain experience unique owners,and great all around family vacation, the best so far.

And we rest ready to hit for the first day , my Madrid. Stay tune for more lol!!!

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August 21, 2016

How about getting to home destination in Spain, Las Majadas

Ok so following my trail from previous posts, I finally made it to Spain over the Col du Portalet mountain peak to my final home base in the Serrania de Cuenca (mountain range) in the town of Las Majadas (elevation 1400 meters).

We left the tunnel Under the Pyrénées and follow the road N330 towards Jaca and then Huesca on the A23 which here is the N330 passing the viaduc of Monrépos and mountain of same name; right into a smaller tunnel Under it. You can see on the pictures a lake this is monrépos lake reservoir on the other side of the tunnel.

We road hard until the outskirst of Zaragoza where from the A23 we took the beltway Z40 direction the airport of Zaragoza/and Madrid.  We continue on this A23 to direction Teruel/Cariñena wine country. On this stretch we stop for lunch at Plaza Mudejar A23 Somport-Sagunto km 215 by Villadoz/Zaragoza; here we had our bocadillos or sandwiches of chorizo and tortilla (omelette) with  a large glass of beer call a tubo, croquettes of ham and cheese, and orange juices all came out to 7,65€ per person.  It was delicious and good festive vacation ambiance with lots of travelers. Plaza Mudejar cafeteria

We took off again after gas up at the nearby BP station on the A23 passing the mountain town of Albarracin and its Church Cathedral of Santa Maria (St Mary) a historical monument: (photos).  Albarracin tourism

This is already on the road A1512 off the A23,and you see on the photo the mountains of Albarracin. Where if you have time you can stop at a rest stop and go down to see remnants of a Roman aqueduct ;the Albarracin Gea Cella aqueduct that is seen for 25 kms or about 13 miles. More in Spanish here: (photos)  Aqueduct Albarracin

We continue on the medieval wonderful town of Albarracin and saw the Castle of Santa Croche high up in the mountain on the same A1512 road. more here in Spanish : (photos) .  Castle at Albarracin

Follow up on the road DE 9111 mountain route we pass by the mountain town of Calomarde which is at 1584 meters high. (photos). We didn’t not have time to see as was not our destination but here there is a great canyon or Barranco de la Hoz; more here in Spanish:  Town of Calomarde barranco de la Hoz

By here we pass by a statue in metal call the guia del cobo, Sierra de Albarracin at the birth of the river Tajo on the CU901 road, until we finally saw the panel for Cuenca/Tragecete on the CU2119 heading our home base. Glorious mountains of the Serrania de Cuenca that can go to almost 1900 meters high, and the panel signaling Las Majadas 24 kms or about 12 miles.

You will see the photo with the road high up and the mountain then the town down Under just arriving to final home base. More of the home base of Las Majadas on later posts. We arrive, we are at home base up 1400 meters and plenty of mountain animals here such as deers, goats, sheeps, wild pigs, and cows and bulls. Spain is ON!

town city hall webpage is here :  Town of Las Majadas

And the national park of serrania de Cuenca where the town of Las Majadas is located is here in Spanish:  Serrania de Cuenca

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