Some news from Spain XLVIIII

Ok so maybe one last post on Spain before getting there, can’t wait. We had in my area a cloudy, rainy cool day all day and still with temps at 20C or about 69F.

It is nice to speak about Spain and their parks , some very close to me like Guadarrama , Teide, and Picos de Europa. Here is more on them

Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama just north of Madrid. A mountain range running east to west in the peninsula (Spain) There are many roads to get there like the Calzada Borbónica in Fuenfría or the Macizo de Peñalara; also, in bicycle like the La Horizontal, Calderuelas, Pinares de Canencia, Las Zetas de La Pedriza, Pinares de La Barranca , and the Valle de La Fuenfría. You can do escalade or climbing on the La Pedriza de Manzanares. You can top if off by visits to  La Granja de San Ildefonso or the Monasterio de El Paular. You can stop by for lunch of gambas a la plancha, pork chops and grill meats at Sala, Ctra de los Molinos, 2 Guadarrama or Casa Ochoa calle Virgen de las Nieves 70). For more info visit the Centro de Visitantes Valle de la Fuenfria, ctra de las Dehesas, km 2, Cercedilla; open every day from 9h to 20h. More here:

Parque de la Sierra Nevada (Almería/ Granada). This is the biggest park with 80 000 hectares and the only Spanish Mediterranean mountain with more than 2000 species of flora; as well as many fauna. The best known trail is El Sulayr with about 300 km of trails that allows you see the park in stages. You can go by road on the Carretera al Veleta , the third highest peak of Spain. You can stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta, Avenida de Sierra Nevada, 146 Cenes de la Vega, Granada; a stylish palace mudéjar with a branch at Monachil. More info at the Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo, ctra A-395, direction Pradollano, km 23, Guéjar, Sierra Nevada, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 14h and 17h to 19h . More info here:;jsessionid=03ACA1726F0299348C402D12FF3709F2?idEquipamiento=19476

Tablas de Daimiel , Ciudad Real. Best to visit early in the morning or late afternoons. The tables or tablas are form by the overflowing of the rivers Guadiana and Ciguela.  You have three pedestrian routes to cover the whole park. The itineiraire of Isla del Pan is the most famous and takes 2 km with wooden passarelles. Here on the island or Isla del Pan you find the unique formation of forest of tarayes (tamarix). You can stop for lunch at  El Bodegon, calle Luchana 20, Daimiel; an old bodega of the 18C.  More info at the Centro de Visitantes de las Tablas de Daimiel, open everyday from 9h to 21h. More info here:

Teide(Tenerife) ,my family from both side of grandparents are from here.  These have an incredible view with a geological monument , volcanic cones, and sides of mountain in lava creating a multitude of colors. Parque Nacional del Teide is the most visited in Spain , and it has four roads to reach it. To climb to the highest point Pico Teide (3718 meters) you need a permit beforehand. The famous and wonderful canyons of  Teide,its great plains where the eroded lava is held in high altitudes and sides that you can walk on them is wonderful. The peak or Pico del Teide you can see free with guides and prior reservation. Do not miss the lookout or Mirador de los Roques de Garcia.  You can have lunch at  Tasca Tierras del Sur, calle pedro gonzalez gomez 20 Granadilla de Abona. More info at the Centro de Visitantes de El Portillo, ctra TF 21 de la Orotava a Las Canadas, Portillo de la Villa. Open every day from 9h to 16h. More info here:

Picos de Europa (Asturias/Léon/Cantabria). The biggest chalk formation in Atlantic Europe with an enormouse unlevelling between valleys and peaks that surround it. You have free guided tours during the Summer.  One spectacular tour is to see the Vegarredonda and Ordiales that starts around the lake or Lagos de Covadonga  and travel on hills around the municipality of Cangas de Onis. El Refugio de Vegarredonda is the intermediary point in the walk tour just where the ascend to the lookout or mirador de ordiales begins (a national balcon of 1700 meters on top of a side canyon vertical of 1000 meters over the valley of  Angon where you see wonderful views over the municipalities of  Ponga, Caso, and  Sajambre, and peaks like the western massive of the Picos de Europa). You can have a very good lunch at the Rincon de Don Pelayo, Real Sitio de Covadonga, 25 Covadonga, Cangas de Onis . More info at the Centro de Visitantes ,Sotama, avda Luis Cuevas, 2ª Tama, Cillongo de Liebana.Cantabria. More info here:

Couple of nice restaurants that open in August in Madrid are:

Lavinia, Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. It is a great liquor store as well with a huge selection on wines (Also at Pl Madeleine Paris). Great menu with chipirones a la andaluza con piparras fritas, steak tartare, ensaladilla rusa, mollejas con berenjenas etc; and over 4500 wine references alone! More info here:

El Perro y la Gallina, Calle Claudio Coello, 11, with an air of English club , own by the founder of the cracker company that shows in the decoration of the resto. It is dog friendly, and the menu includes ensaladilla con carpaccio de gambon, ceviche al pesto and tacos al pastor etc.  More info here:

And now let me tell you a bit more of my background, DNA for real, my grandparents on mother and father’s side comes from Tenerife, and I grew up with the traditions. Now let me tell you a bit on Tenerife and its wines as well.

Tenerife has the best vineyard festivals, and way back was a great kingdom of pre Christian times that still you can find tells of it.  The name of Tenerife comes from a king Guanche (how locals derive from, and king =mencey) that share the island with nine sons giving to each a kingdom. From the beginning of the Castilian conquest (ended in 1496 attach to Spain) the town of  Icod de los Vinos  was an important center of cultivation.  The cith of Santa Cruz is in the kingdom of or menceyato of Anaga .  It will a good idea to walk the street or calle Imeldo Serís, very typical of the origins. Some of the monuments here are Parrish Church de la Concepción, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, dating from 1502,  the fountain or fuente de Isabel II,(queen) in the square or plaza de Isabel II, a monumental  neo classical work built in 1844;  Plaza de la Candelaria, an esplanade on cobble stones that was the entrance to the now gone castle or castillo de San Cristóbal , that has an obelisk in marbre carrara of 4 meters high sculpture in the 18C ; the  palace or  Palacio de los Carta, now a bank  built with quarry stone and one of the baroque jewels of the city  with neo classical elements. The baroque temple Church of  San Francisco dating from 1680; theater or  Teatro Guimerá dated 1850, it has decoration in golden panes and musical frescos inside and comedy masks.  The park or Parque Marítimo César Manrique,next to the castle or castillo de San Juan; the Parque de la Granja, or the  Parque de Don Quijote; the Parque García Sanabria  is a romantic park with valuable modern sculptures.

We move on to the city of  San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island, and capital of the menceyato Guanche of Anaga , and the island. It preserved the richness of its monuments ,with mansion of sunshine, convents and good nightlife. You can walk along the Plaza del Adelantado and its most interesting street the  Calle San Agustín. See the Church  de la Concepción (1496-1511), with a belltower of 1701.  In the nave you have mudéjar arts on teak wood . It is nearby the Chapel of  San Miguel dating from 1506 now converted to an exposition hall. In the convent or convento de los Agustinos ,there still a bell, a cloister of red stone from the 18C, an a beautifical balcon on the Canaries style.  The original convent or convento de Santa Clara dating from the 16C keeps a lookout tower on the mudéjar style. You can see a similar one in the convent cloister or convento de clausura de Santa Catalina de Siena. the notable mansion of  Nava dating from 1585 now of different styles. In the 18C it was home to many literary and utopian reformists of the times. Other nice mansions are those of  Casa del Corregidor, plateresque gate, and the Casa de los Capitanes,dating from the 16C.

We continue with the city of La Orotava a typical tenerifian town with influences of English, Andalucian , Normandian, and Castilians. You should not miss the botanical garden of the parque botánico ,la Hijuela created in the 18C. La Orotova is the home of the DO of the Valle de la Oratava wines done with grapes of malvasía, and solera bodegas (wines not known on the mainland not elsewhere) the best bodegas are those of Valleoro and Tajinaste. The mansions of  Casa Machado-Llerena and Casa de Torrehermosa, Casa de los Balcones , and the buildings of the street or calle Colegio. From the lookout or mirador de Humboldt you can see the best views of the town  , Puerto de la Cruz, and its extraordinary botanical garden or  Jardín Botánico.

And the trip goes on to La Guancha the best known bodega on the island from the DO designation  such as Bodega Viñátigo, good white wines even if  95% of it stays in the island. You can try the Viña La Guancha (wines of the brand  Viña Zanata) are good too.  The Bodegas gives freely wine to taste in the festival or feast of San Andrés,  November 29-30 2017 next.  It has a nice square or plaza de la Pila, from the 17C with a small botanical garden. Some more bodegas in Icod de los Vinos with good quality are those of  Francisco Javier Gómez Pimentel (Aceviño). Around Icod  you find the wonderful caves of  Cueva del Viento, the longest volcanic tube in the world with 14 kms of tunnels where live 55 animal species adapted to subterranean living; it has been discovered fossil of a giant lizard and remains of a huge pre historic rat.

And we arrive to my specific area of DNA ! the valley or valle de Güímar , where my grandparents comes from on all four sides !!! This is an area with huge arqueological interest like the necropolis of the kings or  menceyes Guanches with hundreds of mommies, and the pyramids of  Güímar (and yes you are not in Egypt!). You see the interesting volcanic formation of the Malpaís de Güímar. You should stop by the Church of San Pedro, that has many sculptures of local folklore.  The city Candelaria (my paternal grandparents were born here) was an important Guanche inhabited area and grew from the 1526  around the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands (first of Tenerife) , the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria. Here you can walk on the square or plaza de la Basílica, with bronze statues of our ancestors kings and the Casa Consistorial,with tenerifian architecture  The DO on these lands are from the grape white Listán especially.  The coop or  Cooperativa de Abona ,and in Güimar, the Bodegas of  Juan Tacoronte Cejas , and  Tomás Guzmán Mesa are very good indeed.

And two sites to know more about the wines of Tenerife are here:


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