Some news from Spain LXVI

So can’t get away too far from my beloved Spain, here I am back at you. And it was my first day back at work after Summer vacations lol! Life goes on indeed…

The Summer is back to normal in most European countries after a nice Summer break in which we partake in long vacation periods; like mine was three weeks. I like to bring you up to date with some news and some more ideas to visit Spain, everything under the sun.

Before delving into that “paradise closed to many, gardens open to few”, as defined by the ancient Nasrid capital, Granada. You have to explore the surrounding region of La Vega, where are the true origins of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, in his year, now that is fulfilled 120 years of his birth and 100 of the publication of his first work, “impressions and landscapes”. In my favorite Spanish poet, love it.

The sierra Parapanda mountain range as a backdrop. There, the museum Casa Natal Federico García Lorca remains a strange bubble in a town that has undergone profound transformations since the late 19C. The house, which preserves much of its original decoration, belonged to the palace, the family of Matilde, the first woman of her father, whose destiny and tragedy would serve as an inspiration for his barren theater play. He only lived in it three years before his parents moved to another building in the same town. In 1907, they moved to Asqueroza, now call Valderrubio.  In this other town of La Vega, near the sugar mills that would make his family rich, they would try several houses before taking root in number 2 of Calle de la Iglesia (church street), now converted into the House Museum of the Poet. In which would return again and again until 1925,  a stone’s throw is the house of Frasquita (Bernarda) Alba that will soon be a museum.

Although you cannot take a step through Granada without finding his footprint, there are a score of key places that every lover of the poet and the work of the author should know. To the new Federico García Lorca Center. It is located near the cathedral where Mariana Pineda is buried.  Federico was a perfect guide to his city and, as he did with so many friends, would lead us to the Puerta de las Granadas up the Cuesta de Gomerez from Plaza Nueva. There he  would show that “Alhambra, Jasmine of sorrow where the moon rests”. The Puerta del Vino (wine’s gate)  inspired Debussy and a lot of singing jondo, like the one that could be heard in the Plaza de los Aljibes (cisterns square) during the first festival dedicated to the most emotional side of flamenco; he helped organize it in 1922.

Before entering the Alhambra, we would discover other treasures such as the Carmen of the Martyrs, curdled with reminiscences of his very admired San Juan de la Cruz. The Church of Santa Maria, where he once came out as penitent, or the tavern of the Polina, today turned into the museum of the singer Antonio Barrios. There used to be the poet with many artists of Granada. Looking out from the windows, we would be surprised to see the Albaicín Hill transformed into that “wonderful Atlantis”.   The Rinconcillo del Alameda, in the Plaza Campillo, which is now part of the Chikito restaurant, or the sidewalk of the Darro, from where we would climb the Albaicín, entering in some of its most secret cármenes (flower streets). The next stop would be in the Sacromonte to listen to the genuine flamenco. And then you have to go to the hermitage of San Miguel, one of its favorite places and where Granada is contemplated in its splendor.  The end is the Huerta de  San Vicente (orchard of St Vincent), his last refuge, the site that possibly best represents it and has been preserved as he left it before going to the House of the Rosales, today converted into the Hotel Reina Cristina. There, a few days later, they would stop him in that fateful month of August of 1936 and then assassinate him, like so many others, in the vicinity of Viznar and Alfacar, about 10 km from Granada. More info here: Tourist office of Granada, Route of Federico Garcia Lorca

And Tourist office of Province of Granada on Route of Federico Garcia Lorca

The lauréates towns of my beloved Spain on the Unesco list of world heritage sites are Avila, Cáceres, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Segovia, Toledo, Córdoba, Cuenca, Alcalá de Henares, Ibiza, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Mérida, Tarragona, Baeza , and Úbeda. Out of the 16, I have visited 13 all except  Baeza, Ubeda, and Ibiza.

Race is the name of an auto drive cinema in Madrid, must see it. This is the largest auto cinema in Europe and the last inaugurated in Spain on February 24th, 2017. Its surface extends to 25,000 square meters and has 350 parking spaces. This open air cinema is located in the district of Chamartín-Fuencarral (Calle Isla de Java, 2) and proposes a mixed billboard that alternates author films with premieres. In summer it also offers 160 hammocks for those who prefer to leave the car at home. Popcorn, hot dogs, burgers… The restaurant has a menu with different options. All you have to do is book what you want and wait for it to be taken directly to the car. Of course, you need a car, but clostes cercanias is Fuente de la Mora C1, C7,and C10 and metro station Begona Line 10 than change to metro ligero or light train line 1. More information:   RACE Auto cinema of Madrid

Best Patatas (potatoes)  Bravas of Madrid; this is my old neighborhood in the old real Madrid of my teens years, and they are still kicking strong since 1963; this is Docamar, Calle Alcalá, 337 in the Quintana neighborhood of Ciudad Lineal district. Metro Quintana line 5.  The task is occupied by a single cook and by his hands where on a single day more than 2,000 kg ( 4408 lbs) of peeled potatoes are cut into quarters. The sauce, secret of course, has a taste of paprika and is quite hot  (also take out home in liter bottles). Many locals attest to the truth, they are the best in the city… Ration price: 4.20 euros. More info here: Docamar

The first edition of Duero International wine Fest, the wine-growing congress whose axis is the Duero river and its course ,influence by the different denominations of Castilla y León, which also add the appellation of Origin Bierzo, influenced by the Miño river basins. And the Sil, and the Portuguese appellations of Douro and Porto, whose vineyards and wineries are located in the basin of the last stretch of this wine-growing river, one of the most important in the world.  It will be held at the Evolution Forum in Burgos from Sept 7-8 ( a bit late I know but keep the dates for next year)  with a program of lectures and masterly tastings that are already depleting their time before the beginning of the meeting.  The meet will be attended by  Fernando Mora (MW) on the topic , the great wine-growing rivers of the world, exploring its geographical diversity and the peculiarity of its vineyards; Or the one that the winemaker Álvaro Palacios imparts with the critic of Elmundovino  Juancho Asenjo about the wine classifications of Villa, classified vineyard (Vina clasificada) or great wines of classified vine (Grandes vinos de vina clasificados). The critic for Spain of the influential publication the Wine Advocate, Luis Gutiérrez, will tour the Douro’s runway in its Portuguese part during a masterful wine tasting of Douro and Porto.  The program of this first edition is the work of an advisory committee chaired by Pablo Álvarez, CEO of Vega Sicilia, and coordinated by the journalist and director of Lavinia Spain, Juan Manuel Bellver. Among the members are also winemakers of prestige as José Manuel Pérez Ovejas, technical director of Viña Pedrosa, and characters with extensive experience in the world of wine as Berciano, founder of Alma Unique wines, journalist Pilar Molestina, Co-author of the Wine Yearbook of  El País newspaper or the winemaker and President of the regulating Council of Ribera del Duero, Enrique Pascual. More info here: Duero International Wine Fest

In addition, Burgos will reinforce its character as wine capital with two other initiatives between  September 6 and 9, namely , the International Wine Competition Zarcillo Awards, endorsed by the International organization of the Wine  (OIV) and with the participation of tasters from all over the world; And the above Duero Festival of Wine, which will open historic palaces and unique buildings that open their doors to the wineries and allow them to present their elaborations to the general public.

More on Zarcillo Awards: Premios Zarcillo 2018

Last leave you with a nice city that I like a lot for been there in the last few years and many friends both business and football/soccer that have kept up with each other for almost 20 years now. La Coruña: The star of the promenade is the imposing tower of Hercules (Avda. de Navarra, S/n). Built in the 1C, it is the only Roman lighthouse still in operation in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009. You can visit its interior and climb to the top of its 51 meters high, the views are worth it for only 3€. The elegant Marina area, which proudly exhibits its marina and its houses with white galleries. By one of its arcades access to the Plaza Maria Pita, where stands the impressive town hall, a modernist building built in 1918. From here, you ascend a staircase to the Old City, the oldest part of La Coruña, which can boast Romanesque churches such as the enchanting collegiate Church of Santa María del Campo or the Church of Santiago, which dates from the 12C and where you must admire the beautiful capitals of their columns. In this area, there are the houses-museums of two exemplary Galician, María Pita (Rúa de Herrerias , 28) and the writer Emilia Pardo Bazán (Rúa Tabernas, 11). Another fundamental stop; the Plaza Azcárraga square with its leafy trees. Getting lost in this maze of alleys and squares is a pleasant way to end the visit to this melancholy city open to the Atlantic. More on tourism there : Tourist office of La Coruna

And they you have it ,all ready for the Fall season! and visiting my beloved Spain is always a possibility. Enjoy it fully.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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