Archive for February 27th, 2017

February 27, 2017

Some news from Spain, XXXVII

Ok this is it, heavy rain, strong winds, the Breton coast is reaming with the weather yet temps remain moderate at around 10C or 50F. Getting ready for my trip to Spain and Portugal tomorrow so a good way to finish the week with some updates on things of my Spain.

Sara Baras (Cádiz, 1972) is presenting finally the show “Voces en Madrid”. Together with partner and artist José Serrano, musicians and dancers will be at the Teatro Nuevo Apolo to give honor to the masters of flamenco such as Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, Antonio Gades, Enrique Morente, Carmen Amaya, and Moraíto. They will be present with their words and artistic heritage. The Teatro Nuevo Apolo is at Plaza Tirso de Molina, 1. Show going on now. Until March 30th, more here: .

The III Salón de los Vinos Radicales a symbol of the effort and labor of small winegrowers that stay loyal to their original varieties with soil and climate will have 34 Bodegas participating of which 16 will be for the first time, Guardians of the small and essential nothing of the big groups or extensive vineyards or boutique wines these are the radical wines straight from the land to you.. It will be held on March 6 at the COAM, or Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid, Calle Hortaleza 63, More here:

A great movement in the 1950’s comes back to Madrid north, a open air cinema Autocine Madrid RACE with 300 places for parking and a screen of 250 meters! The place is located in the Chamartin area, C./Isla de Java,2 and has a capacity of 1500 persons. There will be different movies shown as well as shows, operas, new films as well as classics. The sound will be done through your FM radio and will have as well an authentic American diner with terrace and several food trucks. The Autocine will be open all day of the year and hours will vary according to the activity and the sunshine hours. To facilitate the entry of all autos those with campig cars, or large vehicles will need to park at the end and on lateral spaces ;inside you can only drive at 20 KPH,and the place will be open even if it rains .Admission will be children 4,50€ and Adults 8€ euros (weekends), and 7€ Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. More here:

And for the many Carnavals going in this time of the year in Spain ,here are some family favorites in Madrid:

Maty, Maestro Victoria, 2 metro Sol Tel. +34 91 531 32 91 ,Calle Hileras, 7 metro Ópera Tel +34 91 541 20 16 ,more here  It started in 1943 for flamenco articles, ballet and dance now it is one of the biggest stores in Madrid for all costumes for all events . It has more than 1.200 m2 in two floors.

Fiestas Paco, Calle Toledo, 52 metro La Latina Tel +34 91 354 06 70; more here:  The store was founded in the 1930’s as Caramelos Paco as a big Candy distributors. Due a great success they added costumes and the Fiestas Paco came to be . You can find here all inspired from the 1920’s for all adults and children.

Chindasvinto, Calle Clara del Rey, 59 metro Alfonso XIII Tel +34 91 416 78 86 ;more here:   A small toy store in the neighborhood of Prosperidad that since 1967 has remaind open. They have costumes for all year occassioins from the economical to the classics for young and old/ Also, wigs ! from famous artists.

Party Fiesta shopping center C.C. La Vaguada (Avda. Monforte de Lemos, 36), metro Herrera Oria Peñagrande Tel +34 91 730 97 75; more here :  This one has as well all costumes in every detail and they have 75 stores all over Madrid with all types of accessories.

Carnaval de Las Palmas, here they come until March 5, the best in several locations in the hot Islas Canarias; and just watching TVE tv of Spain and getting ready to see it at 22h30!! see the Gala de la Reina (Queen gala) , Carnaval al sol (Carnaval of the Sun), the Children contests on costumes and the two nights of Carnaval. More here:

You need a car but if you go to the limits of the provinces of Alava and Burgos you will find the Salto del Nervion, a waterfall, biggest in the Iberian peninsula (Portugal and Spain) with 222 meters high. You can only see the fall in a few months out of the year mainly in January and May. This is the period of the ice melting or rains in the area the park Monumento Natural del Monte Santiago, located in the western part of the Sierra Salvada and the town of Las Merindades. The best site to see the falls is at the Mirador del Nervion or lookout spot, where the park folks make it easier to see it.

To reach it is easy and can be done by several routes. The one I know is from the town of Berberena,Burgos , but,also from Orduna, in the north. Once inside the park you choose the parking to leave your car and walk :J

There is plenty of signalisation and you can even walk with kids or bikes or baby strolls cars/More here:

Ok so my photos are not that good, me and my small Samsung digital. However, Antonello Dellanotte, has excellent photos of his adventures and has created a page for them call Retiro Experience. Why ,I am putting this here, because the Retiro is where I used to lived close in Madrid ,and it is sublime. Here, he compiles hours of investigation from archives and libraries as well as anécdotes on the park. Most of the data base comes from the city of Madrid ,and the library or Biblioteca Nacional; or Works like ‘Historia del Buen Retiro’, from Rosario Mariblanca, and the Casón del Buen Retiro (Prado). You can see his collection and buy them on site . more here:

Some numbers crunchers ,like in my job but this is better lol! The lidia bulls have increase in Extremadura to 32.101 in 2016, almost a thousand more tan last year and the biggest number in five years ,even with the crisis in the business; this is as per the last census done by the Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentacion y Medio Ambiente (Mapama) , Andalucía (250) and Castilla y León (178), Extremadura,108, are the region with most farms of brave races. From the 32 101 heads in Extremadura, 19.697 are females and 672 males data gathered by agency Efe. More on agriculture in Spanish from the Mapama site here:

The director of the Museo Nacional y Centro de investigacion Altamira, Pilar Fatàs has mentioned that it cannot guarantee the limited opening of the original cave of Altamira with admission of 250 persons per year for too long. Any decisión will come from the technical reports of the Plan de Conservación Preventiva. The Director has recognize that in France they offered more protection for these types of monuments having developed art centers and investigations of great proportions that allow people to see reproductions to protect the original. It has to put up with conditions to protect the extremely fragile condition of the Paleolithic art in the cave with multiple paintings such as the sala de los polychromes  and its bison (hall of bison polychromes) discovered in 1868. They have already modified the internal structure of the cave and built artificial walls to hold up the ceiling of the room as well as filling with cement the deeper opening on the walls; this change irreversible and radically the natural dynamic of the cave. The cave had 250 visitors and the museum 285.000 in 2016 or 8% more than last year. According to the director Fatás,the archeological museum is the most visited in Spain and Europe just behind the Museo Nacional de Arqueología. Also, in 2016, there conducted 7000 guided visits as well ,and welcome four expositions, organized more than 1.000 activities with a participation of 170.000 persons. More here:

And to finish with a historical footnote I like. The story of explorer Hernando de Soto. Or Spain in the USA. Hernando de Soto abandoned everything and gave his fortune obtained from the conquest of Peru on orders of Pizarro in exchange for a royal license to discovered and populate new territories. Following swamps, rivers, forests, with alligators snakes and deadly insects to what before was a rich young men , well married in Sevilla with an aristocratic young women, Isable de Bobadilla, and his future secured. The royal license came with a title of  Capitán General y Adelantado de La Florida or Captain General and noble of FLorida. In 1538, he set sail with about 1000 men to explore new lands and lands in Tampa, Florida. He quickly come into indians Warriors attacks ; during months he explore and has only one friendly encounter with the princess Cofitachequi (Sp) that offered him pearls from the river. The indian chief Tascalusa (Tuscaloosa) invite him for a few words with good deeds to his village of Mauvila, enclosed town and once the Spanish come inside they are attacked by the Indians. This is a feroce combat that last for 9 hours of which De Soto fights standing as already wounded in the backside that dont allow him to ge ton the horse; this was the biggest battle in the history of Spain in the new territories with several dead on both sides and only to be cure from the carcass of the dead.

Exhausted and hungry, demoralize they received news of ships arriving from Cuba to picked them up. Hernando de Soto is not a soldier but a noble of the Crown of Spain and refuse to believe in the black leyend , the real misión is not to find gold but to follow the will of, seeds, cattle, luggage etc. They have already travel and obey the  queen Isabel la Católica, to follow it and to convert the locals into the Catholic faith. They decided to continue to find other towns and territories. They arrive to the Mississippi river in 3 years of pilgrimage and they go down to Mexico coming back with familiesStates of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Carolinas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas. Destiny did not allow that the future USA was an extension of Hispanic America. Only an insignificant mosquito stops him from following up the dream. He died on May 21, 1542, in Ferriday, Louisiana Remember him, from Extremadura, Spain, Hernando de Soto. Bit more here:

Enjoy your week and read you soon, cheers.

ps. Going to rainy parts of Northern Portugal and Galicia where the weather has not been good either.

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