Some news from Spain ,XXXVIII

Ok so far away in Breton lands here is my latest on my beloved Spain, here it is 13C or about 59F while in Madrid it is now about 62F or 14C.  We have cloudy skies and dark days no sun, no rain. Same in Madrid but tomorrow should be better.

Some ideas to get away for Father’s Day in Spain : You go to Consuegra (of Quijote windmill fame) where you have the Casa Rural El Retiro de La Mancha, a great complex for a great weekend. It has many gastronomic offers and guided visits to the castle or Castillo de la Muela. More information here: www.elretirodelamancha.com

Another is the Casa Rural Juliana, province of Cuenca . Here you will learn about the wonderful olive virgin oil and the honey of  Alcarria. You can go on the route of Olives of the Mancha and Colmenas with tasting of olive oils and honeys.  You can do ,also,  a guided visit to the famous monastery or Monasterio de Uclés. Something I will do next summer. I will be in another house nearby but this one is a good one too. https://www.escapadarural.com/casa-rural/cuenca/casa-rural-juliana

And why not visit a traditional Galician winery in Castro Rei, of the denomination of D.O. Ribeiro, where they will explain the process and processing the wine as well as tastings .  Also, there is a thermal spa in  Termas de Prexigueiro with pools of hot natural water treatment with vinotherapy, partial message. More information here: www.pazoalmuzara.com

And on one we visit last summer and post here in Chinchon you have the Hotel Rural La Graja. It has a thermal circuit of one hour and a message of 30 minutes. At night, you have a gourmet tasting in a nearby restaurant. You can have more information here: www.lagraja.com

And on the balnearia Parque de Alceda in Cantabria you have a place to relax with great local cuisine. It has outdoor thermal pools with the water coming from a spring at 26C or about 78F. A great getaway place ;more info here:  www.balneariodealceda.es

We continue on the world of Arts and culture by visiting the museum or Museo Guggenheim of  Bilbao; tourist bus to see the city in one shot. See the museum here: https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/

And why not another wonders in a lovely city , visit the Hotel Rural las Treixas in Zamora. It is at the Puebla de Sanabria, a rural hotel to relax in style. They offer anti stress treatment with the best gastronomy of the region. More info here: www.treixas.com

More in arts see Faces a showing of more than 50 photographs in black and white of movie director Isabel Coixet done from her 22 movies. This expo is free until June 30th in the Espacio Cultural La Térmica, avenida de los Guindos, 48 Malaga. It has shots from artists like Time Robbins , Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi or Candela Peña. You can see the passion of the moviemaker for the publicity world, expressive of the human body and the photography. More here :http://www.latermicamalaga.com/isabel-coixet-recoge-su-fascinacion-por-el-rostro-humano-en-la-exposicion-faces-en-la-termica/

And we are back in Madrid ,where  Alberto Álvaro  traces the places of Madrid walking and photographing in the Barrio de las Letras, Malasaña or Lavapiés districts. Walking by with the small of freshly baked bread and seafood in all the places of a  bygone era. My Madrid. He once walked by the street Calle de Echegaray and took aim at the small businesses of Madrid  to have them in photos.  Two years and hundreds of instant photos with all label and square format he present it in an expo call Reliquias de Madrid or Madrid relics. He has taken seafood stores,restos, bakeries, chicken fast food ,steakhouses and even videoclubs taken you to the nostalgia and memories . He tells the story of walking by street or calle de los Tres Peces ,and feeling like seeing a scene from a movie. There he found three relics , one printing store, shoe store, and creamery store that are not longer there. More here:  https://www.instagram.com/reliquiasdemadrid/?hl=es

You run to the Círculo de Bellas Artes and see the work of Francis Bacon with more than 100 works on paper by the artist coming from a collection of more than 600 drawings of Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino, partner of the artist for many years that are put together in the Francis Bacon Collection of the Drawings Donated to Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino. They all belong to the last decade of the artist painter, including the parents of  Velázquez, clergy portraits, auto portraits and those of friends ,and images of his eternal obsession, such as cruxifiction, addomens, heads etc to put the figure into a space.  The expo is “En Francis Bacon. La cuestión del dibujo”, there are works in black and white to rend homage to Van Gogh, atelier shops of  Guercino or Leonardo Da Vinci,  more auto portraits, and painting of his friends, etc . Circulo de Bellas Artes, Calle Marqués de Casa Riera 2, showing until May 21 2017. More info here:  http://www.circulobellasartes.com/exposiciones/bacon-la-cuestion-del-dibujo/

One of Madrid best icon cafés closed since last July is making a comeback under new ownership. This is one of my favorite and we discussed with friends there its closing so sad, now I am thrilled to read and tell you that from March 21st it will be open again! Café Comercial part now of the Grupo Escondite who also owns Lady Madonna, El Escondite de Villanueva ,and Bárbara Ann. The Café Comercial in the Glorieta de Bilbao is 130 years old founded in 1887 with the name El Comercial, giving light to the novel “La Colmena”,  of the Nobel prize winner Camilo José Cela, and here many famous came to meet such as the writers  Antonio Machado, Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Rafael Azcona ,and Rafael Sánchez-Ferlosio. Be there from March 21 I will be back in summer.

Flamenco the history of the jonda culture is having a show in the Biblioteca Nacional or national library . You will see 150 works coming from the  Biblioteca Nacional de España ,and Museo Reina Sofía, Museo Picasso de Barcelona, the Fundación Cante de las Minas de la Unión and many private collections.  A trip thru 400 years with books, manuscripts, recordings, drawings and paintings as well as fragments from film, photographs and record label covers as well as posters ! It will show one of the earliest manifestation of flamenco in work like the La Gitanillla of Cervantes or stamp paintings such as El Vito of  Goya, to arrive of the films of Saura, etc. Literature and books , newspapers articles from Chaves Nogales, Gómez de la Serna, Caballero Bonald or Félix Grande, and movies from directors Val Del Omar, Rovira Beleta, Serrano de Osma, Carlos Saura,and Tony Gatlif, capturing artists like Carmen Amaya, Antonio El Bailarín, La Paquera ,and Enrique El Cojo. Until May 2nd, more info here: http://www.bne.es/es/Actividades/Exposiciones/Exposiciones/Exposiciones2017/PatrimonioFlamencoLahistoriaculturajonda/Index.html

The cycle Andalucía Flamenca is in vogue in Madrid.  You can still catch up with Rocio Marquez March 17, Marina Heredia y Dorantes ,April 21st on the camara room and on May 7 in the sinfonia room Arcangel with Miguel Poveda, Estrella Morente and Manolo Sanlùcar. More here: http://www.cndm.mcu.es/ciclo/andalucia-flamenca

How about Charles III king Carlos III; in his 300 year anniversary of his birth. In the museum of history you will see over 200 pieces part of the collection of the city of Madrid,  Museo del Prado,National Heritage, National library ,and the museum of natural sciences or Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, this in addition to those already exhibit at the Museo de historia,which is in the former hospice of San Fernando, calle Fuencarral,78 : more info here:  http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Museo-de-Historia-de-Madrid?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=ab18a1ead63ab010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=10206017

 The XXXIV del Festival de Otoño a Primavera de la Comunidad de Madrid or the fall to spring festival of the Community of Madrid is on. You have the calendar from March onwards here: http://www.madrid.org/fo/2016-2017/calendario.html

Big sporting events coming up such my better ones of Real Madrid FC (my team OK).  Real Madrid vs Barcelona European league game admission from 35€ on March 27 at Wizink Center, more info here:https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/wizink-center

The Madrid half marathon is back; April 2nd and will be run from Paseo del Prado (between Neptuno and Atocha),and finish line at the Paseo de coches in the parque de El Retiro. More info here: http://www.mediomaratonmadrid.es/

Then, you have the match between Real Madrid FC and Atlético de Madrid (the derby) on April 9 in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. A game part of the Liga Santander, 1st division football/soccer in Spain. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium/virtual-tour-3d

And the El Clàsico game of the liga Santander between Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on April 23rd  at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Another angle from the tourist office of Madrid and more info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/real-madrid-fc-barcelona-liga-santander-santiago-bernabeu-stadium

Then, we have Heroes Manga festival as well lol! At the Feria de Madrid complex will have the XVI edition of the Salón del Manga y la Cultura Oriental; at this edition it change its name to Héroes Manga Madrid (before it was  Expomanga),a must for all lovers of illustrated stories from Japanese origins. On April 22-23 2017 and more info here: http://www.easyfairs.com/es/heroes-manga-madrid-2017/expomanga-2017/

I love the Feria del Libro de Madrid  (book fair of Madrid) and this year is no exception. A must for all readers abound on earth.  From May 26 to June 11, 2017. Since 1933 in the Paseo de Recoletos, and my parking is just off Cibeles lol! Then, it was moved to the bigger Retiro park . The coming one will the 76 edition and will have about 365 chalets and 480 exposing members amongst them, official organisms, distributors, specialist bookman, general libraries, editors from Madrid and beyond. From 1982, the event is call as today the Feria del Libro de Madrid and always opens up with a member of the Royal family walk in the morning. More info here: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/#

And another big event in Madrid as anywhere in Spain is the Holy Week or Semana Santa. This year from April 9 to 16. marching virgins and saints on the streets of Madrid with drums and trumpets with a sacred song. And time to taste those Torrijas! More info from tourist office and official web of the event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/easter-madrid

The next one is wonderful and roots of Madrid, the Fiestas San Isidro from May 12-15, the castizo soul and the spirit of Madrid come together each year to honor the city Patron Saint. Again more here from the tourist office and webpage of official event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

In my time there I always enjoy these festivities and lucky to be there again in summers and the next. The zarzuelas or operettas or feast of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo, and my favorite the Paloma  are held from August 5-16 this year. This is the history of Madrid by its Verbenas.  This is the theater presentation of la Verbena de la Paloma, https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/la-verbena-de-la-paloma-teatro-Victoria

And on the Summer feast here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/august-fiestas-madrid

And do you know we are celebrating 400 years history of the Plaza Mayor of Madrid all year long!  It is a huge program with its own webpage in Spanish here; https://plazamayormadrid4c.es/agenda/

The  above will be huge so much schedule will take a blog of its own to tell you.  The tourist office of Madrid has plenty in English here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/4th-centenary-plaza-mayor-Madrid

Some in the area of Plaza Mayor even older you ask, well there is. Here are some: the oldest business is not far, just at Calle Mayor ,59, call the Antigua Farmacia de la Reina Madre founded in 1587 by a Venecian chemist with fame as he provided medicines to king François I of France while prisoner in the tower or Torre de los Lujanes in the Plaza de la Villa. The original was in the Calle Sacramento in 1914 when it was translated to the current place with structure, furniture and medicines and all! More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/botica-la-reina-madre

While it is call the Posada del Peine ? because it was a gift that offer the proprietor to their guest , a comb=peine and posada a hotel type. It was given tied up to a cord in the bathroom so it will not be taken from the room.  Those that walked by the street Calle de Postas, next to the Plaza Mayor, will have notice the beautiful façade that you see today in the modern hotel of the chain Petit Palace that opened in 2006 at the same spot that one day occupied the Posada del Peine that worked as one from 1610 to 1960! More here: http://www.petitpalacemayorplaza.com/

And we have more, that are from about the same age as the Plaza Mayor. these are the Posada de la Villa in Cava Baja, 9  that opens by 1642 where it was a windmill once of flour,the only one in the city. It welcome all visitors to the city and today serve an excellent roasted lamb in wood oven! More here: http://www.posadadelavilla.com/index_en.html

The other place and one of my favorite corners in Madrid is the Libreria San Ginés , attach to the Church of same name next to street Calle Arenal at Pasadizo de San Gines, 2 (and you know what’s on that street too ::). It’s origins go back to 1650 when Diego Logrono worked as a librarian. Here, you will find old books and used, with post cards, posters etc. You can take a picture with its stalls outside; and you too can come up with stories like mine. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/libreria-san-gines

And that is all folks, Spain is everything under the Sun! Enjoy your week. Cheers!

 

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