Archive for August 23rd, 2019

August 23, 2019

And one more time in Auray!

As said, come here often and never tired of seeing this lovely town of Auray in the Morbihan breton of my Bretagne. The town itself is smallish and all can be done on foot, but it is full of wonderful architecture and history of three countries France, Canada ,and the USA. Just need to read my post on Auray to realise this.

This week is my last week here as will be going to my beloved and dear Madrid so no more posts for a while. Once back will be the rentrée or the re-entry period for French summer vacation to end and we all go back to the regular routine in September. One more year and will be retirement time in France for me yuppééé!!!

In my last walk around Auray before leaving I like to show you a beautiful small city with a huge history of the world that needs to be known better.


place de la République Auray


Place aux Roues Auray


rue jean marie barre to Keriolet parking! Auray


Rue du Belzic arts ménagers du Belzic Breton architecture


rue du Belzic quincaillerie or hardware store our favorite in town


Rue du Pére Eternel and the toilets can’t be far from them lol!

And there you go , another nice walking adventure in the lovely city of Auray in my Morbihan breton dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne! You can easily spent a day here walking, shopping and eating good ! Love it!! Hope you enjoy it. Until soon on my blog , thank you for visiting.

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

August 23, 2019

El Escorial: Infante and Principe!

And now that my time to Spain is approaching once again, and the libido is going out the window, looking back in my blog once again feel not given credit to this area enough. I like to tell you that I have several posts on San Lorenzo de El Escorial and its monuments, especially the monastery. However , not on the houses of the Infante and Principe.

This brief post will bring me up to date and hopefully remind you or tell you of the wonders to see there besides the main building. We love it as it is in the Comunidad de Madrid or the region of Madrid.

The Casita del Infante (also known as the Casita de Arriba) or small house of the sons of the king, but not the heir to the throne, is one of the residences of the Spanish Royal Family. It is a neoclassical building, built in the last third of the 18C, located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the Comunidad de Madrid region. It owes its name to the infante Gabriel de Borbón, son of Carlos III, who used it as a recreational and resting place.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo

This mansion is located on a promontory south of the Monastery of El Escorial and was conceived to host chamber music concerts, one of the great hobbies of Infante Gabriel de Borbón. It was carried out between 1771 and 1773, from a design by Juan de Villanueva, the same architect who drew the Casita del Príncipe or de Abajo (see below), which is located nearby.

San Lorenzo

It has Italian-style gardens on descending terraces and it was possible to listen to music from inside and outside. The original decoration was lost and the one that can be observed corresponds to the reigns of Carlos IV and Fernando VII. Vicente Gómez painted the vault with a fresco of the Four Seasons.

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo

King Juan Carlos I resided there during the time he attended college and before getting married. His bedroom and the furniture he used are preserved there. On October 19, 1988, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia held a lunch in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

San Lorenzo

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of San Lorenzo on the Casita del Infante

Tourist office Comunidad de Madrid on the Casita del Infante

Spain National Heritage on the Casita del infante

The Casita del Príncipe or Casita de Abajo is one of the residences of the Spanish Royal Family. It is an 18C building, located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Community of Madrid as well. It was built between 1771 and 1775, based on a design by Juan de Villanueva, one of the most important architects of Spanish neoclassicism.

San Lorenzo

It was chosen as a recreation pavilion for the use of Carlos IV, then Prince of Asturias, in a forest of oaks between the Monastery of El Escorial and the town urban nucleus. Not far from its enclave is the Casita del Infante or de Arriba (see above).

San Lorenzo

The Casita del Príncipe initially consisted of a single rectangular block, with a 27-meter façade, reminiscent of the Museo del Prado, Juan de Villanueva’s masterpiece. Between 1781 and 1784 it was enlarged with a rear wing. It has two floors.  It is surrounded by two gardens, one in the front and one in the rear, connected to each other by two Tuscan columns. The palatial taste of the time is present in its fountains, ponds, waterfalls, walks and boxwood hedges. To this is added the existence of an extensive park around it, populated by native species, such as oak and encina, local species like sequoi and pinsapo; and typical garden trees.

San Lorenzo

The Casita del Principe keeps in its interior a relevant 18C decoration, representative of the palatial art of the time, in good condition. Although much of the original elements were lost during the Napoleonic invasion, King Ferdinand VII returned to decorate it. In the 20C, the furniture was restored at the initiative of Alfonso XIII. On the ground floor, the Neoclassical Ferroni decorations of Pompeian and Etruscan style, silks, upholsteries, furniture, lamps and clocks stand out. The marble stucco and ceilings were painted by Vicente Gómez, Juan de Mata Duque, Luigi Japelli, Mariano Salvador Maella and Francisco Bayeu. On the upper floor, the vaults located at a much lower height than those on the lower floor are topped with stuccoes with reliefs. It has a room completely decorated with porcelain of Buen Retiro, with taste close to the Rococo style. This house has no bedrooms, since its use was limited to enjoy them and their surroundings during the day, and not to sleep in them.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of San Lorenzo on the Casita del Principe

Spain National Heritage on ticket info on the Casita del Principe

Tourist office Comunidad de Madrid on the Casita del Principe

These are two marvelous houses to see , the best way is to have a car , however, you can go on foot,  to the Casita del Principe  walk from the monastery in about 1.2 km. To the Casita del infante is about 1,8 km. They have good signage to lead you to them.  An opportunity to go into the wooded area and see something different from the Monastery and the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial not to leave with a great piece of history and wonderful architecture. Enjoy the  Casitas of the Infante and Principe!

Couple more webpages to give you a rounded information on the area as usual in my posts.

City of San Lorenzo on the history of the town in Spanish

Comunidad de Madrid govt culture on Juan de Villanueva in English

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




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August 23, 2019


Ok so let me go into something more personal , that is my playing career in soccer/football/balompie covering my time in New Jersey and Florida. I skip my time in Madrid as been a poor boy have no photos or news clips from that time while learning the sport in the Real Madrid organisation.


Hala Madrid!!!!

I am sure this will bring some memories to those that play or played the game, as to me it is just a way to keep my history in my blog for future generations. Hope you enjoy as much as I to write about it now.

I have posted in my blog my earlier history but let me shorten here for the sport’s sake. I came from Madrid Spain to Perth Amboy New Jersey USA in May 1972. I then, became an American ,learned English, got my driving license and graduated from high school.

While at Perth Amboy High School, i hook up with the latin american community there as well as the Portuguese. I played varsity soccer for Perth Amboy with ranking as high as No 1 in Middlesex County as per the News Tribune newspaper of New Brunswick, and No 6 in New Jersey as per the newspaper Star-Ledger of Newark. My position was central or libero defender at the varsity level, having been put there by the coach after playing mid midfielder in the Junior Varsity team for one year.

Perth Amboy

The Perth Amboy soccer program has been on a downhill ever since and today they lose more than win. The current team is feature here: Perth Amboy Public Schools on the soccer team

I did read up that the amateur team of Perth Amboy Portuguese club of which I played way back has re started the team as mention in the local Portuguese American newspaper El Lusoamericano. More in Portuguese here: Perth Amboy Portuguese soccer

I , then, went on to college/university in Daytona Beach, Florida with ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (founder in 1934 of American Airlines and in WWII train American and British pilots becoming a leading aviation university in the world). My dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away ,this was back in Augusut 1977 ::)

While hanging around a field that look like a soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and ask me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower kids divisions (alevin) , played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately sign me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

Daytona beach

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran,Portugal, Venezuela, Spain,etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played NCAA div 1 and 2 teams on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools.  The soccer/football continues at the club level in 1981  playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in FLorida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.

I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida ;Univ of Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!!

Playing with the Daytona Beach Eagles team in the amateur league in Central Florida as well. I became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed  (unisex men and women) indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986. I had girls playing for the University of Central Florida which in those years went to be rank no 10 in the NCAA division 1.

Daytona Beach

The current soccer program at ERAU has excellent modern facilities and great support.  The intercollegiate soccer stadium, located behind the ICI Center, is a meticulously maintained soccer facility that has hosted nationally televised playing events. The official webpage is here: ERAU Eagles on soccer

Hope it brings back memories to some, it does enormously for me and now feel good about leaving the legacy here in my blog for my sons and onwards. The football season has started in Europe and I will be soon in Madrid to get first hand news of my Real Madrid!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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