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November 7, 2018

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November 7, 2018

Some news from Spain LXX

So back to sunny Spain at least most of the time … we are still semi cloudy in my Breton Morbihan, light rain today but stop now, and temps in around last check 11C or about 52F.

So why not bring you up to some wonderful news from my beloved Spain ok

Three hundred record  covers, dozens of lysergic posters and a powerful catalogue with small essays on the time. They are the strong offering of the exhibition ‘ Psychodelia in the visual culture of the beat era  1962-1972 ‘, organized by the Circle of Fine Arts in Madrid and open until January 20, 2019

The book ‘Biografía de la humanidad‘, (human biography by ) José Antonio Marina and Javier Rambaud  We have come to the same conclusion, but with a cautious warning. One of the uncomfortable teachings of history is that advances that seemed safe can disappear. Modern democracy has expanded into three waves. From 1828 to 1926; From 1945 to 1960, and from 1974, with the revolution of the carnations. In this third wave there is the Spanish democracy. The first two stopped with the emergence of dictatorial and authoritarian movements in many countries, and begins to worry about the idea that the same could happen with the third. Many scientists are alarmed and think that the march towards democracy has stopped and we can go back to 1930.

The second book I want to comment on is ‘ Como mueren las Democracias ‘ (How the democracies die ), by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, recently published by Ariel. Their thesis is similar to that of the previous book. Democracies can end in two ways: by military coups or at the hands of elected leaders who subvert the same process that led them to power.

The title of the showing, Después del 68. Arte y prácticas artísticas en el País Vasco (After 68. Art and artistic practices in the Basque Country)’, would already be the obvious if you want to take a tour of the Basque artistic panorama of the last half century. Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao. In this case, about 150 creations of a hundred artists from different generations say, and much, in their different artistic expressions, be it painting, sculpture, photography, installations, video art and work on paper.

The mythical lands of Galicia;

Teixedal de Casaio . Enter the one that is possibly the oldest forest in Galicia has a deeply spiritual character. It is located in the depths of the already eccentric region of Valdeorras. A land of excellent wines but especially marked by its breathtaking slate mines. It is made up of three hundred yew trees, many of them centenarians, surrounded by rowans, ash and hazel trees.

Fragas do Eume with its 9000 hectares of surface, is not only the great Atlantic Forest of Galicia, but also the most sacred, as still attested by the impressive remains of the monastery of Aveiro, hidden in a meander of the river Eume, in the depths of this Natural Sanctuary. In addition to oaks, strawberries trees, holly and centenary chestnut trees, it includes more than 20 species of ferns and 200 of lichens.

Bosque de Santa Eulalia de Bovéda, between Lugo and Friol, in a very little busy area is hidden a beautiful carballeira or what is the same, a forest of oaks, framed by enigmatic stone walls covered with moss and lichen. Inside it is kept a secret, protected by one of the best preserved villages of Galicia, the sanctuary of Santa Eulalia de Boveda of Roman origin that still nobody has known to decipher but what marvel, with its paintings and engravings in stone, to all that it must be visit.

The World Cheese Awards, recognize every year the best cheeses in the world. The competition, held in Bergen, Norway, has valued 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries. This year’s winner was the Norwegian Fanaost (Gouda type). This is the Spanish cheeses included in the best 16 list.    Maxorata semicurado con Pimentón, Grupo Ganaderos de Fuerteventura, (semi cured cheese from Canary island of Fuerteventura) ,  La Reserva, Quesería Entrepinares , Formatge Madurat, Formatges Mas El Garet, queso de cabra , a goat cheese from Catalunya.

The chocolate hearts or palms are fashionable. This sweet of French origin, elaborated with puff pastry, a peculiar heart form  and covered only on one side of cocoa is long ago one of the most demanding pieces in the patisseries of Madrid

The secret of the palm tree produced by Ricardo Vélez in this pastry in front of the Retiro Park is chocolate. Instead of the traditional cover bath, we use a chocolate glaze Guanaja 70% that remains flux 12 hours after the coverage. Moulin Chocolat price  2.80 euros.located at calle de  Alcalá, 77.

La Duquesita is one of the oldest patisseries in Madrid. Crunchy puff pastry and black chocolate that melts in the mouth. price 2.95 euros.located at Calle Fernando VI, 2.

The classic El Horno de San Onofre is among the classics and, without a doubt, one of the best patisseries in Madrid. For the chocolate palm, we use chocolate Grand Crus. This tempered coverage is poured on the puff pastry, of first quality, tasty and with its just point of crisp the cocoa used was destined to the elaboration of chocolates candies and with a surplus was used for this sweet. Thus, we can say that this is the authentic palm-candy. Price: 2.50 euros.Located at Calle San Onofre, 3.

his historic Madrid house of the Calle Mayor, founded at the end of the 19C, reopens its doors maintaining its essence of an  illustrated tavern. Classics of the house, like the Pepitoria, had lost much of its luster, with a very aged staff and a routine kitchen, trend accentuated after the death in 2015 of its owner for half a century, the popular Godofredo Chicharro. The resurrection of the Casa Ciriaco is  great news for Madrid because this tavern, existing since the late 19C and renamed in 1929 by its owner then, Ciriaco Muñoz, is part of the history of this city and its modest but endearing form of gastronomy. Refuge of bullfighters, painters and literati, it hosted for many decades the meals with Tertulia of the Friends of Julio Camba, who was one of it loyal clients. The stamp of the dishes is Antonio Mingote, watercolor with the facade of the restaurant is of Grau Santos… An era of Madrid culture decorates the walls. Well, Casa Ciriaco has reopened and we owe it to two well merited partners who know what it is to keep alive the tradition of the Classic tavern of Madrid: Alfonso Delgado, and Daniel Waldburger, manager of the also historic Casa del Abuelo. Good dishes: endive salad, tomato, ajada and ham; The classic scrambled Julio Camba of potato and egg, the above hen and the asparagus Lope de Vega with paprika and egg. The dishes are even better: the mollejitas, the shoulder of lamb and the squid in its ink. It return to a better past than the one we have had before.  Casa Ciriaco, Calle Mayor 84 closed Sundays night and Mondays.

In 2015, the National Dance Company  premiered Don Quixote, the first classical ballet to be staged after 25 years, in the version of its director, José Carlos Martínez, following the classic of Marius Petipa. After his success, which led him to be spared in the next season and to refill the theaters, Martinez now dares with a new traditional ballet, The Nutcracker, which arrives at the Teatro Real with only six functions, after its absolute premiere in Pamplona. The creation and premiere of this piece, in 1892, at the Teatro Mariinsky in St. Petersburg, was due to the sum of authorship of great names of the moment and although it was the face B of a program of two compositions of Tchaikovsky, starring the opera Iolanta , surpassed it in success and transcendence. The story of The Nutcracker, in which its protagonist, the girl Clara, of the German family Stahlbaum, receives as Christmas gift from her mysterious godfather Herr Drosselmeyer a nutcracker doll, who becomes a handsome prince and takes her to a dream country. Starring in the premiere of the first dancers Cristina Casa, as Clara; Alessandro Riga, in the character of The Nutcracker Prince; Ion Aguirretxe, as Drosselmeyer; Haruhi Natoi, in the Sugar Fairy, and Angel Miller, as his knight, the ballet is shown as located in Germany of 1910, transcendental moment before WWI. Go see it at the Teatro Real, Plaza de Isabel II, s/n: until Saturday 10 November,sorry for the short notice.

Some of the cemeteries of Madrid as many of you are into visiting these places lol! I have been to San Isidro and Almudena ok;;; scary places indeed.

Cementerio de San Isidro , it is one of the most important and spectacular cemeteries of Spain, for its artistic value and the high number of elements existing in the funerary monuments. It is located in the district of Carabanchel  at Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, 78 and was built in 1811 (it is the oldest in Madrid). Located behind the hermitage of San Isidro on the so-called Cerro de las Animas, it gathers masterpieces of the most renowned artists of the architecture, of the sculpture and of the painting of Spain of the 19C and 20C.

Cementerio de La Almudena, It is the largest cemetery in Madrid by Avenida  de Daroca, 90, and is divided into three parts: the Necropolis, the original cemetery and the enlargement. The necropolis, surrounded by gardens, is accessed by the impressive portico of entrance, of modernist style with Neo-mudéjar influence. Inside you will find the chapel, a beautiful building with a basilica shape, of a Greek cross. To the east, the primitive cemetery is extended, inaugurated provisionally in 1884 on the occasion of the cholera epidemic, with capacity for 23,808 burials. An enlargement was approved in 1955.

Sacramental de San Justo, San Millán y Santa Cruz : Separated by a wall of the cemetery of San Isidro is located this cemetery , Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, 70, built in 1847 in the Cerro de las Animas. In 1902, the Association of Writers and Artists built the Pantheon where to guard and to gather the ashes of the most illustrious personages in the letters and the arts. There are José de Espronceda, Mariano José de Larra and Eduardo Rosales, among others. In addition, the remains of composers Federico Chueca and Ruperto Chapí and Vicente Palmaroli rest in this necropolis. Highlights are the graves of Ana Maria Delgado Briones, better known as Anita Delgado, who was Maharani of Kapurthala, and Pastora Imperio.

Panteón de los Hombres Ilustres (Pantheon of famous men) , Inside a beautiful building of Byzantine style, built between 1892 and 1899, next to the Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha, are the graves of personalities of Spanish political life from the late 19C and early 20C. They highlight the spectacular mausoleums and funerary monuments-erected by maestros such as Mariano Benlliure and Agustín Querol as well as by José Canalejas, Eduardo Dato, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo… Real works of art I am told. Calle Julián Gayarre, 3. Free admission. Open from 10h to 14h and from 16h to 18h30. Sundays and Public holidays, from 10h  to 15h. Mondays, closed.

Cementerios Civil y Hebreo , (Civil and Hebrew cemetery). A royal order of 1883 obliged all the deceased non-Catholics of the place to be buried in the Civil Cemetery, integrated Cemetery in that of the Almudena, on the other side of the avenue of Daroca. Its entrance is flanked by the graves of Dolores Ibárruri, Pasionaria, and the founder of the PSOE and the UGT, Pablo Iglesias, in a neoclassical and columnist pantheon. In front of them are buried in different mausoleums three presidents of the Ist Republic: Estanislao Figueras, Francisco Pi y Margall and Nicolás Salmerón. The remains of other illustrious people, such as Pío Baroja or Blas de Otero, also lie there. The various epitaphs and symbols that adorn some tombstones are very important. Free admission. Opens from 8h  to 19h30. Separated by a fence is the small Hebrew cemetery, of 1922. It crosses a central corridor covered with trees and on both sides are located the graves adorned with stars of David or the menorah (chandelier or seven-arm oil lamp). This one is also integrated in the Almudena. For visits to both you can call ahead at +34 915 108 464.

Cementerio Británico, (British cemetery).  Also called the English Cemetery, it is owned by the British government since 1854. Located in Carabanchel district at Calle Commander Fontanes, 7, it was built to bury individuals of British nationality who, when frequently belonging to another confession, could not be buried in Catholic cemeteries. It’s beautiful gardens and monuments are sufficient reasons to visit it ,so they tell me. It houses about 600 graves and the enclosure also has a small burial chapel and a Neo-egipcian style pantheon belonging to a family of bankers. Buried there are also famous restaurateurs from Madrid, such as the Boetticher or the Lhardy. Free admission. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 10h30 to 13h.

Cementerio de La Florida . Of small dimensions and surrounded by a masonry wall in Toledo rig, this cemetery is located on the Paseo del Rey, 3, southwest of the Parque del Oeste. In a mass grave, in a crypt under a small chapel, are buried the remains of the 43 victims shot in the early morning of May 3, 1808 by the soldiers of the French general Joseph Murat, at the foot of the mountain of Principe Pio. At the side, there is a commemorative column and three tombstones reminiscent of the shootings. In the Florida cemetery, in one of the columns on the tomb of the remains of those shot by the French in 1808, there is a reproduction in tiles of the painting of Goya “The shootings of May 3 “, inaugurated in 1982. The cemetery remains closed all year, except on May 2, the day of the community of Madrid. But you can see it from the outside.

And let’s close on a lighter fresh note, that is wines of Castilla y Léon and Galicia!

At Bierzo the wines without DO but with IGP such as the zone of Barbanza-Iria are coming out good indeed. The main one is the Estaladiña 2016 by Grégory Pérez. This is the winery Mengoba of Gregorio Pérez   ,the  Estaladiña 2016 about 27 euros, Region of Castilla Y Léon, Bierzo, avenida del Parque 7, San Juan de Carracedo, tel  +34 649 940 800 email : , webpage

After starting in El Bierzo in Luna Beberide, the Bordelais Grégory Pérez-attracted to the country of his ancestors by his fellow winemaker Eduardo García, became independent 10 years ago and created his small bodega Mengoba, with old vines in Espanillo. It has developed a great work recovering the native breed, and almost unknown, Estaladiña. Its traditional cut wines and elaborated with minimal manipulation have gained a growing reputation.

And the Adega Entre Os Rios, with its Vulpes Vulpes  2016 for 15.euros; From Galicia, Lugar de Entre os Rios, no 2, A Pobra do Caraminal, A Coruna, tel +34 607 81 78 76 ; email  and webpage:

And the Albaríno (locally call raposo, and in the north of Galicia, branco lexítimo),show another potential that expresses very well in the Vulpes Vulpes of  Adega Entre Os Rios(winery).  The winery is located in the geographic center of the Rías the IGP Viños da Terra do Barbanza e Iria; a very good White albarino wine área indeed.

And there you go another dandy week in Spain, everything under the Sun!! Enjoy it

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

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