Some news from Spain XXXII

Right, this is my Spanish side, so some news from Spain is a natural.  Not only still family in Madrid but always keeping  an eye on it thru TVE, and the weather there some fog with 56F or about 12C bit higher tomorrow and probability of rain 90%! Anywhere in the world you are if can see España Directo on TVE just do it, the best show on TV I have seen from a historical, gastronomy, and cultural travel point of view.

Now, good news:  RENFE will begin offering ‘wifi’, Internet in its bullet trains, AVE, from December 5 2016. The first line in this new service will be the Madrid to Seville segment. The railway operator intends to go extending its new service to the rest of the AVE lines over the next year to offer it in all of them before the end of 2017.

Do come to a seldom visited city but one I have been many times even in my youth with a great poet’s history is Soria; Come to know Soria as Antonio Machado discovered it in his book of poems “Campos de Castilla”. That is the aim of this Leonese Castilian city weekend getaway that, as did the great poet of the generation of 98, begins on a train. They are two days to enjoy the gastronomy, nature, and the most emblematic places and typical products of the area. Campos de Castilla (Saturdays 8h15), a convoy that runs through the beautiful landscape of the Castilian Plateau that separates the capital of Soria in three hours, leaving Madrid Chamartin railway station. It is half an hour’s journey, in Siguenza, when passengers are transferred to the time of Machado, in 1912, thanks to the presence of some very special passengers representing the life of the poet and his work in the same wagon train. The actors, dressed in time, bring to light the traditions, legends and the most peculiar anecdotes of the area, accompanied by the most famous verses of the author and other curious stories narrated by a reviewer of early 20C eccentric.   Antonio Machado scenarios are a baroque chapel of San Saturio, which rises over a former Visigoth hermit cave, with excellent views over the Douro River, and the monastery of San Juan de Duero, the wonder of the Romanesque known also as the reverence of San Juan Douro, of which its splendid cloister and the Church of the 13C, are conserved and are two inescapable stop of this route. Also visit the Inn and the casa de Leonor, wife and Muse of the poet, the Instituto Antonio Machado (Baroque building and emblematic academic reference which passed through illustrious characters as the same Machado, Gerardo Diego Cendoya, Nicolás Rabal and Diez, Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño…), the Casino of friendship (where today a house of poets is located), the Church of Santo Domingo (the monumental jewel of the city dating back to the 12C), the demure but spectacular Plaza Mayor, with its theatre audience, among other monuments. The next day (Sunday), the route leaves the city to get to know the landscapes the poet traveled with his wife and that was inspired by the legend of Alvargonzález. Among them, the spectacular Black Lagoon, magical place for many, who, according to legend, it has no background and communicates with the sea through caves and streams   Come back to the train and back to Madrid, making a stop at the archaeological remains of the city of Numancia, name after the defunct celtiberian population located on the Cerro de la Muela, symbol of resistance and struggle for freedom. There, a guide specialized in Archaeology shows how endured before the invasion of the Roman legions and what life was at this vantage point. The Campos de Castilla does this route on Saturdays (with return the Sunday) until the 12 of November (the price, from 110 Euros, includes ticket of train, accommodation in hotel, breakfast, transfers, visits guided and food soriana.) More information,

Many places to read and mingle in Madrid:

Casa Arabe or Arab House | Alcalá, 62 | Príncipe de Vergara Metro | Tel +34 91 563 30 66 .The Casa Árabe and resident library, Balqis, host a monthly club that read and comment on works of the great names in the Arab world, both classic of contemporary authors and new publications. Scholars and specialists that enrich the debate with their contributions attend each session.

The La Buena Vida Cafe bookstore | Vergara, 5 | Metro Opera | Tel +34 91 139 81 10. The good life is a renowned Madrid space that mixes coffee and books. Both pleasures almost always can be enjoyed here at the same time: there are meetings around the theater of the 20C to the cinema, poetry. The book club, with a maximum capacity of 14 persons, meets Tuesdays at 20h30 and Fridays at 18h30. It requires paid registration of 10 euros including drink and snacking. In addition, two euros are returned in the form of a voucher for the purchase of the corresponding book.

Atticus-Finch | Palma, 78 | Metro Court | Tel+34 91 532 44 01.  The charm of Malasaña – not to be missed is the showcase that boasts a collection of editions of to kill a Mockingbird-with a small and crowded backroom that circulate muses, pens and avid readers. Apart from writing, presentations and other activities workshops, hosts a book club the first Thursday of every month, at 19h30. The price is fixed, 30 euros, and includes book, talk and picnic. The confirmed schedule is as follows: November, the childhood of Jesus, of John Maxwell Coetzze (South Africa); December, Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie (India) and January 2017, game and distraction, of James Salter (USA).

49 km from Zaragoza is one of the more phantom towns of the country, literally and figuratively. On the one hand, the town of Belchite is a handful of lone, dilapidated and abandoned buildings that can only be accessed today through guided tours for tourists.  Mainly, the municipality is known for having been the scene of one of the fiercest contests of the Spanish Civil War, the battle of Belchite, which took place between August 24 and September 6, 1937 As the last battle of 1937, constructions, which so far had survived the attacks, suffered irreparable damage by bombing which caused the complete abandonment of the town, today known as Pueblo Viejo (Old Town). Rather than rebuild it, the Franco regime decided to create a new one a few meters away, new town of Belchite  or Pueblo Nuevo (currently, 1,647 inhabitants), and thus leave intact the ruins of the former as a symbol of the war. The Town Council organizes two types of guided visits: the daytime (6 euros), historical character, and the night (10 euros). Combination of both, 12 euros. More information, schedules and reservations,

The Night Train ,an American-style Tavern (Portal de La Villa, 24, Belchite.) Tel: +34 976 83 04 33) is a friendly local snacks and drinks with a variety of rations. The toasts that, stands out is the bread Payés quail marinated with vinegar glaze, the beaten ham, the steak Roquefort or, one of the most famous, breast of chicken, egg, lettuce and vinegar glaze raspberry (5 euros). The local also offers a wide variety of drinks, from herbal teas, chocolates and soft drinks to cocktails.

Seville European film festival. Until November 12th in Seville (several stages). More than 215 projections, 27 world premieres, evening concerts, 120 professional meetings… The SEFF returns to bet on Auteur cinema and independent in its 30th edition, in which it will pay tribute to French actor Vincent Lindon.

Eurocon 2016. Nov 4-6 in Barcelona (CCCB and other venues). Find European science fiction, or what is the same, more than 120 activities between live interviews, presentations, screenings and panel discussions. There is a shopping area for fans of the genre.

You know I am not far away from wineries and a visit to the wineries Pavoni will complete the necessary training to understand the world of wine in its entirety. It is about an hour from Haro by car, and the trip is worth it as you will be delighted trying three different wines. The premises were created in the 17C located in Lapuebla de Labarca.

If looking for something more modern than modernity and anyone approaching the best-known wine making, can make a getaway to the CVNE wineries – returning to Haro.

In Madrid, streets, squares, churches and playgrounds of gossips became the public ‘walls’ of a huge ‘social network’ that took the name of ‘gossip of the town’. On the streets of Lavapies or Latina, where this type of guided tours run. Some of them have managed to survive to the present day after being declared a national monument, as, for example, the Calle del Meson de Paredes or Calle Miguel Servet, offering their balconies open to anyone who wants to photograph them. The Corralón. Raised in Calle Cerrillo in the district of Embajadores, it has since 1860 as a witness of the history of Madrid. Now, converted into the Museum of popular arts and traditions of the UAM, the calle Cabeza, can be one of the most famous courtyards of Madrid, not so much by their excellent conservation and the mysteries that hide in their basements: copper walls are the cells of the former ecclesiastical prison of the Crown, just a few steps from

The steps of San Felipe – formerly located at the current junction of the Puerta del Sol and calle Mayor-, came news of the Spanish Empire. As relevant as the slabs of Palace gossip. Before the Real Alcázar that inhabited the Hapsburgs, on the site where today stands the Royal Palace, district of the Letras – it was the most peculiar of the three gossip which existed: of. Under the window of what was once home of Cervantes, in the Calle Leon, the great author could witness the criticisms to his last work with only leaning on the balconies. Some of these gossips about the troubled life of the protagonists of the golden age inspired comedies which then premiered in nearby playgrounds, such as Los Caños del Peral, (what today is Plaza Isabell II), who laid the foundations of the Royal theater and the Spanish theater, An authentic–and convincing–cooked in a classic bar since 1895: Malacatín (calle Ruda 5). As a curiosity, this is one of the few in the capital where you can enjoy an intense and aromatic coffee pot. Four generations of a family dedicated to feed not only the most demanding stomachs, but also much of the history of a city so alive as when made to vibrate the gossip and the courtyards of the town and Court.

 Spain Everything Under the Sun ::)



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2 Comments to “Some news from Spain XXXII”

  1. I love travelling in the AVE, so fast and efficient! Good news for wifi users, although I tend to use the 4G service on my mobile; still, I could save my allowance usage. I’ve never been to Soria and must rectify that. Madrid will always remind me of my students days, when I used to walk all the way from La Avenida del Mediterraneo to Batán, where my aunty lived. I used to love reading my book in Plaza de España of a Sunday afternoon. Happy memories. Salud! 👍


    • oh yes of course ave del Mediterraneo lastly I have been staying nearby by Dr Esquerdo and walk by it a lot. Plaza de España have memories of climbing the statue of Cervantes lol! when a teenager… so many memories we talked in the family to just going back next summer just for Madrid alone ::) Cheers enjoy the weekend

      Liked by 1 person

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