Some news from Spain XLVIII

ok so back into Spain, this is the countdown 10 more days and I am in my Spain. Now here in beautiful Morbihan, there is sun and hot weather finally feels hotter but only 21C or about 69F. Down in Madrid it is gorgeous sunny and 89F!!!

Ok so now let me tell you a bit of the latest from the South….that is Spain here.

There is a lot history between the two countries not always nice, but this one it is. Between Irùn Spain and Hendaye France there is a river Bidasoa and in the middle there is an island Isla de los Faisanes in Spanish or L’île des Faisans in French (eng. Pheasants).  It only has 5000 square meters or 53 800 square feet of which 6 months each belongs to Spain and France! It is guarded each time by the commandant marine of San Sebastian (Donostia) and Bayonne.  The island is 215 meters long by 38 meters wide in an oval form filled with black poplar trees , low grass and stone megalith that reminds us of a moment in history when on November 7 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrénées was signed here putting an end to the 30 years war.  In one of the clauses of this treaty, the infant Maria Teresa of Austria daughter of king Felipe IV of Spain was to married king Louis XIV of France!

In the years to come many marriages and prisioners of both countries were exchange here mutually; some of which were there in 1659 were D’Artagnan captain of the musketeers, and the painter Diego Velazquez . The deal was that was a cessation to France that before they belong to Spain. However, 200 years later the Treaty of Bayonne of 1856 did finally divided the island by the two countries, when the erosion in the river caused the island to shrink to about 80 meters long and 5 meters wide. The two countries combined for the necessary work to make it splendid again to the size we see today. The gardening and cleaning of it is share as well between the city mayor’s office of Irùn and Hendaye. The only things does not exist in the island is pheasants as Victor Hugo wrote in 1843! More info in English here: http://www.bidasoaturismo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=290&lang=en&ch=1

Continuing with the French Spanish connection, actress Jeanne Moreau is dead at 89 yrs old. Consider the grand dame of French cinema.  She was borne January 23rd 1928 of French father and English mother .She played under the best of France/Europe such as François Truffaut, Louis Malle or André Téchiné.  Orson Welles called her the best actress in the world!  and the first women part of the academy of fine arts in the history of France, pole bearer of the New wave and muse of directors such as  Elia Kazan and Luis Buñuel,of which she worked in  ‘Diario de una camarera’. In  2001 she was the first women member of the Academy of fine arts of Paris and the only actress presiding the Cannes film festival in two occasions. She played in movies such as  ‘Jules et Jim’ (1962) ,’La mariée était en noir’ (‘La novia vestía de negro’) (1967), of Truffaut, ‘La notte’ (‘La noche’) (1962), of Antonioni,or “Moderato Cantabile” (1960), of Peter Brook, that gave her the best female performer of Cannes. A great one passed away RIP.

The fields of lavander are gorgeous by Brihuega and Villaciosa de Tajuña . In summer , in the La Alcarria they are 10% of world production or about 1000 hectares, and the fields of these towns are full of them in July especially. 2000 kg of the plant each harvest ,and broken down into 250 hectáres for perfums, cosmetic, medicine, and restoration as well as about 750 hectares for decoration and perfums.  And you see the Festival of lavender of Brihuega again in July 2018: http://festivaldelalavanda.com/

More of the lavender in Spanish with guided tours here: http://www.disfrutadelaalcarria.com/ruta-de-la-lavanda/

And this is summer festival abounds in my Madrid, and I look forward to them.

We have three main feasts or festivals such as those of  San Cayetano, San Lorenzo , and the Virgen de la Paloma, all of them in the districts of  Lavapiés and La Latina.  The first one are those of San Cayetano,next August 3rd,  but these can begin from today July 31st.

My favorite and the one I always went with my mother first, and now with my family is the Virgen de la Paloma in the Plaza de la Paja to Plaza de las Vistillas. There are from August 11 -15 in honor of the Virgin of the Pigeon or Virgen de la Paloma. Activities for the whole family.

This year the Asociacion de Empresarios de la Hosteleria de la Paloma (assoc of merchants of the hostelry of the Paloma) will begin even from August 4 to August 15 in the Ruta de la Tapa Slowfood (tapa route of slow food). Participating restos will be  ‘La burbuja que ríe’, ‘Casa Mateos’, ‘Los Ángeles’, ‘NdelT’, ‘Viuda de Vacas’, ‘Concepto Bistró’, ‘Bar Coto’, ‘Casa Antonio’, ‘Bar La Sixta’, ‘Bar Marathon’, ‘Mesón La Paloma’, ‘Mutxomas que pintxos’, ‘Tapioca Chill’, ‘Bar Txirimiri’, ‘Zaida 26’, ‘La petit Boheme’, ‘La Cervecería Lorena’ and ‘El Bombín de Sabina’. Everyday from 18h to 00H (midnight), you can take photographs with a local costume Chulapo/a if do not have the costume on. It will be done in the bar El Atril (gay bar) , calle de la Paloma,9. Also, the August 11-12 until OOH midnight there will be the the cry of the Virgin , sang by Pepa de Chamberî. Monday August 14 in Las Vistillas the show of La Verbena de la Paloma organized by the castizo association De Madrid al Cielo (the best show). Everyday there will be different musicals such as Catenca de Macao at 23h August 12th, Plaza de la Paja, and Mikel Erentxu at 22h45 August 15 in the Plaza de las Vistillas.  August 15 the festival will end with the traditional lowering of the portrait of the Virgin of La Paloma that will be at 14h15 by the firemen of the city hall of Madrid.  In the morning a floral offering of the Virgin from 10h in the front of the  school of La Salle-La Paloma, and after a solemn Mass at 13h in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma. In the afternoon at 20h a procession. More of it in Spanish from Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/fiestas-agosto-Madrid

El Capricho, is one of the prettiest park in Madrid but also one of the least known! It is done in the style romantic with a beautiful botanical , sculpture and artistic details . This green lung of Madrid hides one of the secrets of Madrid a bunker from the Spanish Civil War  unique in Europe in perfect state of preservation. It’s origins go back to the 18C when the aristocrat Doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, duchess of Osuna, decided to create a place for leisure and relaxation with nature. The park El Capricho is located in the Alameda de Osuna, just outside city limits, by Barajas. The bunker has  2 000 square meters built 15 meters below ground during the Spanish Civil War as well as the palace, dance room, and the ermite or chapel. The duchess of  Osuna is credited with many feasts, events and talks that shows the literary wisdom of the times as well as the promotion of the arts with many donations and shows presenting even the one and only Francisco de Goya–. In 1834, at the death of the Duchess of Osuna the park began to decline each passing year worse until in 1974 the city purchase the land and started renovating it. The work finished in 1999 and since then it is open to the public.  More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

The wonderful Caixa Forum is exhibiting a great show coming from the British Museum that shows the beauty of the Helenic arts that the Beligian artists  Jan Fabre will be showing in the  Teatros del Canal.  Monte Olimpo, an spectacle of 24 hours where he will make the public relives what the Greek of yesteryear fell . The exposition entitled  Agón! La competición en la Antigua Grecia. The show opens with a beautiful statue of the goddess  Victoria Niké, and close out with fries fragment of the mausoleum or  Mausoleo de Halicarnaso,the giant tomb built by king  Mausolo de Caria in the year 350 BC. This monument was considered one of the 7 wonders of the old  world  and the first time the British Museum loans it out.  You see in this area room showing of sculptures from the funerary group such as a head of a lion, and two warriors, one Persian and the other Greek. Between the two rooms you will see many amphorae’s, vases, cones, and tablets that shows the daily life of the Greeks.  You will see the splendid corps of the statues with more than 2 meters high of a warrior and a discus thrower , this one a Roman version of 120-140 AC of a work credited to Naucides, known artists of bronze statues of the Olympic winners.  Lastly, do not forget the rooms dedicated to the wars loaded with military bronze with a Roman bust copy of Euripides, the drama writer from Athens that today we continue to show works such as Medea or the Las Troyanas,(Trojans). Show that even today we are not that different from those competitive and party Greeks of the past. Expo open until October 15 and admission is  4€. More here:  https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/agon-competition-in-ancient-greece-caixaforum-Madrid

And to finish the post , some news on getting continents together. The company Hélity Copter Airlines will begin regular lines by helicopter. What was now a long tiring trip from Spain to Ceuta and other destinations in Africa ,now will be done in 10 minutes (trip Ceuta to Algeciras) to 25 minutes (trip from Malaga airport) . The flights will be done in a AW-139 chopper with 15 passenger and two crewmembers. The prices will be from 35€ to 150€ and the company ,also,offers sightseeing trips and private charters for business and individuals. More in Spanish  here:  https://helity.es/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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