Some news from Spain XXXV

Well thinking ahead and not to let my beloved Spain behind here are some news from the country of the movida and more. I will be back for summer vacation there:done.

But for now talking about the winter we still have, in my neck of the woods is 6C or about 44F, and my beloved Madrid is now raining and 42F. To go for snow there now:

You reach the Puerto de Navacerrada, in the sierra de Guadarrama, (my first ever try at skiing and it was not good at all , fell all over the place lol!) ; it is the closest station to Madrid at about 60 kms by the road A6, as well as cercanias train and buses. It has about 10 kms of skiing surface with a family ambiance with trails for different levels of experience. Next comes the Puerto de Cotos where you see Valdesqui with 19 kms of skiing surface and 27 trails with forest pines all around it. The farther at about 115 kms from Madrid by the road A1 and in the province of Segovia, you will have La Pinilla in the Sierra de Ayllôn . It has 20 kms of skiing surface with trails of some difficulty , you can do dogs carriage rides, snow bike, and snow running. The area is nice where you can visit Riaza and the medieval towns of Maderuelo, Sepûlveda, Pedraza, Ayllôn and Burgo de Osma. Also, get to walk in natural spaces like the Hayedo de la Pedrosa, and the banks of the river Riaza and Duratôn.

Some webpages for them are here:

And a site for overall snow and ski conditions in Spain :

Moving on to land and history and wines we arrive at Toro. You see the Puente Romano or Roman bridge with 22 arches perpendicular to the river Duero; even if the bridge is from the 12C it is call Roman because it is build on one before. Do not forget to visit the Colegiata Santa Maria La Mayor, roman roots too, as well as the ramparts and the Church of Santo Sepulcro. The historical anecdote here it was the center of power struggle between the Queen Isabel la Catôlica or I and her niece Juana la Beltraneja. After the death of king Enrique IV father of Juana and brother of Isabel, part of the nobility took sides as to who will rule. The main battle took place here in 1476, and from the Portuguese side ; as Juana was born from a union of king Enrique IV and Juana of Portugal, and step daughter of  king Eduardo I of Portugal ; the Castilian side finally won and so went on to other wonderful things we know as the Discovery and the union of all Christian Spain. More on the tourist site here:

We go on nearby to the Museo del Vino de Pagos del Rey, located at Morales de Toro, a wonderful bodega that has a didactive museum and prize as the best enotourim promotion for 2016 and finalist in the event European Prize Museum.  Admission is free and at the end you can taste the wines of Toro D.O. and local cheeses. More here:

Parque Estelar Starlight , in Iruña de Oca; you will see wonderful heavenly stories with planetarium, telescopes, and several galactic space gadgets to see the galaxy like never before. Here is more of it:

The famous historical painting of  ‘Guernica‘ of  Picasso, icon of the contemporary art and symbol of the horrors of war is 85 years old and 25 resting at the Museo Reina Sofia. There are political moves to get it over to the Prado, that would be sad me agree; the idea is to put it in the Kingdom room (Salon de Reinos) been renovated in the Prado museum to enlarge its pinacoteca but hopefully not, stay tune.

And who ever writes about cementaries all over the world ,not me , but there are some , I admit that are just a place to see. IN Spain, there is now an association to showcase their values to visitors and locals alike. It is call the Asociacion de Funerarias y Cementerios Municipales or AFCM and created by Cementerios Vivos, an initiative to showcase the part of culture and heritage of these fields. The webpage is here :

And some of the best outside Madrid are:  Cementerio Mancomunado Bahía de Cádiz.  A visit to modern Cadiz and following the path of the old with two centuries of history. The main things to see are the pantéon Moreno de Mora, Pyramide conmmeration crown with a bronze angel and the monument to the fallen in the war of 1898 for Cuba and Philippines ,guarding the fallen of this war that were send back to Spain. You have the one at  Montjuïc , Barcelona, looking over the sea with English garden, forest pathways with tendancies of look from the 19C and early 20C. It has more than 150 000 tombs with 6000 hypogeums and 70 pantheons, more info on here:

Continue on the dark side of life to Jardin in Alcalà de Henares, next to the river Henares with 35 hectares, a lake, and 33 species of animals, 27 of them birds. Each November 1st they celebrate next to the lake the diminishing of lights with direct music and offering such as pigeons release, balloons etc.  More here:

The San Froilàn in Lugo, Galicia, very old and rich heritage on the foot of the camino de Santiago or the way to St Jacques. You can have guided visits and walks inside. More here:

 At San Sebastian you have the Polloe, named after the village of Polloe-Enea, the cementary began here in 1878. Neo gothic chapels where the folks resting here are Ignacio Zuloaga the painter, drama writer Miguel Mihura and the politician Clara Campoamor. More info at

And we end up in historic Granada at the cementary San José. It is overshadow the Alhambra following orders of king Carlos III. The first one was call Barreras in 1805 and today it is call San José. It has 110 000 sq meters with beautiful patios. More here :

And to out to sea to scuba dive between 300 sculptures under water. You come to the recently open Museo Atlántico de Lanzarote, the first with underwater arts in Europe. It is located in  Playa Blanca, Yaiza,at 12 meters deep.  Exactly on the Bahía de Las Coloradas, with 2500 square meters of museum, easily reach by scuba divers , or snorkerls enthusiasts. Museo Atlántico. El Berrugo, 2, Puerto Marina Rubicón. Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. More info here:

Can’t leave this out as one of my favorite Spanish singing group is back. La Oreja de Van Gogh, San Sebastian after five years a new work, El Planeta Imaginario , will be shown in Madrid with all seats taken today Friday and Saturday January 28 at 21h30 in the La Riviera (Paseo Virgen del Puerto, s/n). More info here:

and for those not from Spain, here is their official site:

Old bottles of Sherry or Jerez, a wonderful wine and some are looking for old bottles and the great wonderful taste. Young amateurs in 2005 at Sanlùcar de Barrameda found the Bodegas Sànchez Ayala forgotten barrels of amontillados , very old. They chose one and bought it , and this was the beginning of Equipo Navazos and the Bota 1 de Amontillado. The success was evident and continue to commercialise in all of Spain. More on them here:

Then, the one and only Antonio Barbadillo from the old family bodega started on his own to gather manzanilla under the name of Sacristia B. Beginning in Sanlùcar with two barrels of 5000 half bottles or 37,5 CL of Bodegas Sanchez Ayala. After a great success the offering has expanded to Amontillados and Manzanillas as well as Olorosos of Marco de Jerez. The last barrel of manzanilla and amontillado came from Bodegas Yuste . It has a wonderful oloroso in Urium and it has found the lost barrel of pedro ximénez in Montilla (Córdoba), that will come out soon. webpage under construction here :

One nice old small great restaurant in Madrid would like to share with my followers/readers here. This is Casa Ricardo at C/ Fernando el Catolico ,31 ,tel +34 91 447 6119. This is a taurino or bullfights taberna or tavern of yesteryear. It has gone thru some tough times but always comes back to continue its 60 years history. After family members passed away the old employees continue the tradition, this is Madrid. You can taste here the Morcilla of Los Navalmorales, rabo de toro guisado (oxtails bulls my favorite) or croquettes of oxtails bulls, huevos fritos con puntillas (fried eggs with lace) paletilla de cordero (shoulder blade of baby lamb) need to order in advance, and the habitas con  jamon or ham and beans. All surrounded by bullfight panels, posters all over the narrow dining room. More here:

Something more : theater in Madrid at El Cartografo, until February 26 in Matadero, with great performers of tablas and bring them to current Warsaw. Here discovered an old leyend on the ghetto of Warsaw during the Communist oppression.  More here:

And further away in Bilbao Museo de Bellas Artes (beaux-arts museum) until February 6 you have the expo “La Cultura del Vino, Maestros del grabado de la Coleccion Vivanco”; all about in 75 works of art from masters of the time from the 15C to today. The culture of wine represented by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Andy Warhol, Paula Rego, Eduardo Chillida, Manolo Valdés, Miquel Barceló , and Eduardo Arroyo. More here:

And I close out this version of Some news from Spain with one of my favorite town Cuenca, and will be nearby this summer again ::)

Cuenca  has the honor of few cities in Spain to be considered world heritage site by Unesco, only 15 other cities bear this distinction. You have the wonderful hanging house or Casas Colgadas, dating from the 15C and one of them now housing the Museo Español de Arte Abstracto, with a purchase of a ticket you can see the whole of the hanging house. In its walls you will see painting by Fernando Zobel that also the train station bears his name. The museum is all part of the Foundation March, more info here:

You see nearby the Casas Colgadas the Puente de San Pablo bridge. The kings of Spain were photographed here during their honeymoon trip. It rises above the Huécar river early in the 20C on a steel design and construction. The original was made of stone to communicate the convent of the same saint (San Pablo=St Paul) . Today there is a parador or hotel here and the cells of the old monks are now the hotel rooms; however, it is still good to enjoy the cloister with lateral confessions and you can come to Mass service in the convent’s Church.  More on tourist site here in pdf file English info:

info on the parador San Pablo here:

Enjoy Spain, everything under the sun. Have a great weekend. Cheers



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6 Comments to “Some news from Spain XXXV”

  1. I would like to try real skiing some time. I went on a bonding afternoon out organised by work a few years ago to the dry ski slopes near Ringwood, Hampshire, and, like you, spent more time lying on the ground trying to get up than skiing, but it was a wonderful experience and a real laugh.

    When we retire in Spain, I’d like to visit some of the places that you mention, especially the Sierras. We used to be members of Amigos de los Paradores before we bought the motorhome and enjoyed a few breaks in various regions of Spain: they are all brilliant and the service is second to none. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh well, it’s all part of the adventure, although the pneumonia does sound scary! Good on you for trying!


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