Archive for June 24th, 2019

June 24, 2019

The districts of Madrid!!!

I like to take very old posts yes going back to 2011 and bring them to life because they not only remind me of my good time in the city of Madrid but I think can be of curiosity and help on those traveling there now. You want to know where you are ok here is my run down on the districts of Madrid. I will try  to tell you a bit about the districts or neighborhoods of Madrid.

My beloved Madrid has 21 districts with names such as Arganzuela, Barajas, Carabanchel, Centro, Chamartín, Chamberí, Ciudad Lineal (mine), Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca, Moratalaz, Puente de Vallecas, Retiro, Barrio de Salamanca, San Blas, Tetuán, Usera, Vicálvaro, Villa de Vallecas, and Villaverde.

The visitor should have heard of Barajas as that’s where the airport is located now name the Adolfo Suarez International airport in Barajas.  Then the popular ones are Centro, Chamartin, Chamberi, Fuencarral-El Pardo, Hortaleza, Latina, Moncloa-Aravaca,Retiro, and Salamanca. My old district was/is Ciudad Lineal but no tourist there just working class Spaniards and plenty of local flavors in bars, restos. The real Madrid if you are into culture and traditions.  I will mention them all with highlighted the upper real estate value neighborhoods.

Some recaps for Arganzuela starts by the Puerta de Toledo and in it you find the Vicente Calderon stadium that was for the football/soccer club Atletico de Madrid (now in new stadium the Wanda) . Several suddivisions or barrios here are Acacias,Chopera, Imperial,Delicias, Legazpi, Moguer, and Atocha (the train station is here).

In Barajas, as mentioned you find the international airport for Madrid, you have here the Ermita de la Virgen de la Sociedad a church, and its suddivided into barrios or neighborhoods as Casco Viejo Barajas, Alameda de Osuna, Timon and Corralejos. The other that attaches to it is Valdebebas  where the Real Madrid FC has a training center and farm team site of Real Madrid-Castilla.

Carabanchel, it was once famous for a prison in the Franco dictatorship,now gone. Here you have the Church Ermita del Santo, San Isidro Labrador, the patron Saint of Madrid. The neighborhoods are Vista Alegre (old home at the arean of the Real Madrid basketball team!), Vista Bonita, Abrantes, Opañel, San Isidro, Comillas. In Vista Alegre was the old arena for the Real Madrid basketball team, 8 times European Champion.

Centro, this is where most visitors come as most attractions are in it or around it.  Puerta del Sol,Gran Via are all here, the IN place for the movida as well as Joy Eslava discotheque, Royal Palace, etc all guide books talks about it. The neighborhoods are Palacio,Embajadores,Corte,Justicia, Universidad,and Sol.

Chamartin, this is the other train station of Madrid; as well as the greatest Santiago Bernabeu Stadium home of Real Madrid CF, FIFA club of the 20C,and IFHHS European club of the 20C, 12 times European champions, simply the best!  You have plenty to shop and be merry here, a place that needs further research by visitors. Its like home to me ::) . the neighborhoods are El Viso,Prosperidad,and Ciudad JardinHispanoamericaCastilla ,and Nueva España.

Chamberi, a small neighborhood, and popular with students residencies, has neighborhoods such as Gaztampide, Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro,Rios Rosas,and Vallehermoso.

Ciudad Lineal, well this is my district where I lived  for four years in the 70’s and come back to it like a pilgrimage every year.  This was carved out in 1892, and the most prominent feature is the church Nuestra  Señora de la Concepción  ( Our Lady of the Conception).  Neighborhood here are Ventas (the bullfight arena is here),  Pueblo Nuevo, and my old nostalgic place Quintana right on Calle de Alcala Street; another barrio that most associates with the district is that of Arturo Soria, very nice.


Fuencarral-El Pardo; biggest district in part for the Monte del Pardo and Salto de Viñuelas forest parks. This is where the king has his residency. the nice neighborhoods are Barrio del Pilar, El PardoValverde, Peñagrande, la Paz, and Mirasierra amongst others; all very nice neighborhoods.

Hortaleza, with a nice mirador de sanchinaro or lookout tower just outside the M30 ring road. neighborhoods here are , Canillas,and Palomas amongst others.

Latina, this is a very popular district with lots of night action and tapas. From the river Manzanares all the way to the town of Alcorcon, this is a nice chuck of district.  You see the very nice Puente de Segovia or bridge of Segovia over the Manzanares river. Neighborhoods are Aluche (where have some good old friends), Cuatro Vientos, los Carmenes,and Campamento amongst others.

Moncloa-Aravaca, this is the University area, plenty of bars,restos and the Puerta de Hierro ,Casa de Campo and its attraction parks ,Palacio de la Moncloa, neighborhoods are Casa de CampoArgûelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdemartin, El Plantio and Aravaca.

Moratalaz, outskirts of the beltways road M30 and M40, out away from attractions. neighborhoods are Marroquina, Pavones, Vinoteros amongst others.

Puente de Vallecas, popular local district home of Rayo Vallecano, 2 division and sometimes  1 div football/soccer club. I used to come a lot by here in my youth. The end of year San Silvestre marathon race is run thru here! Neighborhoods are Numancia, Portavoz, and San Diego amongst others.

Retiro, this is another highly visited district around the Parque del Buen Retiro and the magnificent museums such as Prado! , and the botanical gardens. Neighborhood are PacificoEstrella,Jeronimo, ibiza,and Niño Jesus.

Barrio de Salamanca, the chic and trendy in Madrid along the Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano streets. The place to be and be known in town. Neighborhoods are RecoletosGoya,Fuente del BerroCastellana, and Lista amongst others.

San Blas, residential more and more from an industrial past, coming of a la mode. Neighborhoods are Simancas, Canillejas, Salvador amongst others. In Canillejas  (My aunt used to lived here when it was an electric tram that took us here before the metro lol) you can get the bus to airport 101/200 and other nearby cities like Torrejon de Ardoz and Alcala de Henares all linked with line 5 of metro my old line lol!

Tetuan, the Cuatro Caminos round point and the ave Asturias are very lively here, a must to find in Madrid. See older homes of Madrid by Bravo Murillo street. Neighborhoods are Bellas VistasCuatro Caminos, Castillejos, etc.

Usera, very residential and industrial north of Manzanares river, some neighborhoods are San Fermin, Almendrales, and Moscardo.

Vicalvaro, this is an university district and has the fabolous Faunia park of nature, good for the kids. Neighborhoods are casco historico (old center) and Ambroz .

Villa de Vallecas, very laidback parroquial and country area in southern part of Madrid, nice to see the real city away from tourists. Neighborhoods are Casco Historico(old center)  and Santa Eugenia.

Villaverde, in the south of city was industrial now becoming more residential, some neighborhoods here are Ciudad de los Angeles, San Cristobal,and San Andres. The newer autoroute A42 now passes nearby.

Hope it helps orient yourself next time looking for a rental or visiting the City of Madrid, and remember, “From Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day” 

One thing never to leave home without it. Tourist office of Madrid in English

And the city of course and its districts: City of Madrid on its districts in Spanish

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

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June 24, 2019

In Auray V&B on the beer run lol!!!

So we had a nice Saturday sunny warm and waiting for the announce canicule of next week; we headed to cool off. No, not the beach this time but getting to our hang out beer place for a nice cold one and pick up some more for the house.

I have written a couple…posts on beers in France and Brittany which unknown to many it is very popular. Especially here in Brittany the beers are more than wines and then we counter the ciders!

One of favorite hangout because it is family oriented and friendly folks whether at the V&B stores in Séné , or Vannes or Auray. Of course, we go more to the store in Auray in the porte Océane 9 rue d’Irlande; next to the expressway N165 and the point of depart for the beaches south.


Oh yes, the stores are the V&B vins et biéres or wine and beers stores. The concept is very nice as they have a package store for take home sales and a bar with TV screen for on the spot pleasures. They stock Breton beers, and French but mostly the popular are the Belgians and Germans. We drink all of course, but again generally we go for the Germans.


Their general webpage is here: V&B official webpage

The Auray store is here on same webpage: V&B store at Auray

From their franchise site I translate at best into their story.  The originality of the concept is design around a strong idea, anoblir the beer and democratise the wine. The DNA is expressed in store by a sale blend into a cellar of wines and beers and spirits, double from a bar space dedicated to the discovery and the tastings.  The concept is reinforced by the after-work or happy hour, this trend that pleases and brings together all generations at the end of the day after work around a drink. The stores close between 20h and 20h30. In this warm atmosphere, an important place is given to choice and advice.  They make sure to maintain conviviality in their stores by offering the customers many activities: themed evenings, sports broadcasts, concerts… V and B, it’s not really a bar and not really a store, it’s a place to live that allows you to discover carefully selected products.


A bit of history I like

V and B was born in 2001 at the opening of the first store in Chateau-Gontier , in the department of the Mayenne 53, in the region of Pays de la Loire, a place where a wine and beer cellar lives, as well as a tasting area. From its first steps, V and B builds an image of conviviality around its worlds produced thanks to this tasting space, now a key element of the store.  The concept thus drawn quickly proved its worth, and developed with the expectations of our customers.

In all, always a pleasant family place to have a cold one, watch some sports and just say cheers to the patrons and owners who are always very friendly and by now know us very well ho ho ho!!!

So if in the area and want some decent normal great place to have a beer or glass of wine or scotch feel free to stop by at Auray and you will be pleasantly welcome ::) Oh yes please know your intake and drink in moderation but drink !

Auray VB terrace jun19

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

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