Archive for September, 2019

September 23, 2019

Restaurant: Cerveceria Cervantes, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

This is a newish find. I have come to Madrid on business trip as well, and a couple years ago came in with a group staying at the Westin Palace hotel. After a long day of listening to speakers someone local recommended we walk to this brewery and it was great fun. After coming with my young men sons, decided to expose them to it as well and it was a hit especially with the pulpo a la Gallega or octopus Galicia style! and of course the Mahou 5 stars beer! It is recommended.


The Plaza de Jesus is the object of worship in this city due to the enormous quantity and quality of tapas bars and their cervecerias brasseries or breweries. In the middle of that reign, this excellent Cerveceria Cervantes stands out, not only for knowing how to properly throw the reeds but also for offering the best variants and, above all, for its top-notch seafood. Prawns, shrimps langostines , crayfish , etc: the family is whole and ready to choose. All very cool! A restaurant with a must visit.


They are at Calle Cervantes, 38 corner Plaza de Jesus 7 closest Metro is Anton Martin , but easy walk within the neighborhood or Barrio de las Letras! Enjoy it

Tourist office of Madrid on the Cerveceria Cervantes

No web but the Yelp site is one I am a contributor and on my blog roll below my main blog page, so here is an opinion site on the Cerveceria CervantesYelp reviews on Cerveceria Cervantes


There you go another dandy tapas and drinks place in lovely neighborhood of the muses or artists, Barrio de las Letras. Enjoy Cervantes, the watering hole that is !

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

September 22, 2019

Restaurant: Casa Mingo, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

Now this is one of the all time traditional restaurants of Madrid. I have come here for zillion times with the family as a young boy and then repeat visits. I took my sons as it would be a different place for them to soak up the Spanish cider tradition and the Asturians very popular around my previous places of living.  Enjoy it as we did with plenty of tortillas, chorizos, the great Mahou five stars beer , and cider!!! to finish!



Casa Mingo is a popular restaurant / tavern in Madrid famous for serving roast chicken along with bottles of cider (one of its specialties). The dishes offered correspond to traditional Madrid cuisine with trends in Asturian cuisine. It is located on the Paseo de la Florida on the banks of the Manzanares River, next to the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida.


This house was inaugurated by Domingo García González in 1888 in the space that extends the Campo del Moro, occupying the old materials warehouse. It was a place where Asturians worked in the old North Station (Principe Pio Station). This place gradually became a meeting point at the beginning of the 20C of Asturians who emigrated to Madrid. The splendor of the tavern is due to that time. It was customary at the beginning of the 20C to go as a family to eat at Casa Mingo, a tradition that continues today.


The tavern has two floors. The ground floor is very spacious. At the top there is a terrace with benches where you can eat. In the spring and summer months, terraces are installed to serve a large clientele. The tables are made of wood and tiled floors providing a traditional atmosphere maintained since its inauguration in the 19C


Official Casa Mingo

Tourist office of Madrid on Casa Mingo

There you go folks you want traditional ambiance and food then come to Casa Mingo and away from the Centro/center of Madrid! Enjoy it buen provecho!


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

September 22, 2019

Shopping: Casa Yustas, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

In the middle of Plaza Mayor at No 30, you will find a well-known centennial place, famous for its hats. Casa Yustas, perhaps you passed by without noticing after all the commotion in the square, but do really do go in. My grandparents shop for their hats here and now my sons buys caps!!


Its founder Leopoldo Yustas Ayuso, formed this store with the union of several small businesses that he had. The origins of the store date back to 1886, although its commercial activity with the current business began in 1894. The cap of King Felipe VI, for example, or many Royal Guard hats, have been made in the workshops of Casa Yustas!

It also has its own workshop for the manufacture of badges, flag assemblies, pennants and caps. In its current three exhibition floors where you can find gift items, souvenirs and porcelains, hats and military effects. Among the headgear we find traditional hats, made to measure and with a more modern line.


In 1993 José Yustas died. His heirs did not want to continue in the business and Francisco Corazóna, who had met him with a good friendship with the Yustas family, decided to buy it. In this way Casa Yustas changed family, although the Corazonas ‘ kept all the staff there. With him went our family connection with the José Yustas’s family.

One of the first changes was to open the line of women and little by little also that of children. They have more than 12,000 hat references. There are classic models that are for sale all year and depending on whether summer or winter adapt the rest of the article. They also perform gallons and military and civil decorations. The expansion of the business line meant opening to brands such as Majorica, Tous and Lladró. And among the surprises of this store is the basement, ancient caves that are said to be connected and during the civil war the family hid there. Now it has recovered and they have created a private sales space for tourists.


Official Casa Yustas

Tourist office of Madrid on Casa Yustas

There an institution at the Plaza Mayor itself one. Cannot missed it, and nice to stop by to see its creation or bring home a genuine Spanish hat or cap. Casa Yustas is Madrid!

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

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September 22, 2019

Shopping: El Corte Inglés and Fnac, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

I have written a post on El Corte Inglés so try not to repeat just posting here with new pictures from 2019.  My previous blog post on El Corte Inglés

The department stores El Corte Inglés was a small shop on Calle Preciados with a corner to Calle del Carmen and Calle de Rompelanzas dedicated to tailoring and clothing for children that had been founded in 1890. It has been our favorite shopping store in Madrid since 1995, and we do visit every time in the city as this 2019.

Official El Corte Inglés at Preciados


Now our all time favorite since 1971 to 1995 was Galerias Preciados another dept store chain founded in 1943. The group took its name from Calle Preciados , where the first store was located, founded by Pepín Fernández on his return from Cuba in 1934. To found it he was inspired by the style of the El Encanto (and my older family shop there too!!! In turn model after the Galeries Lafayette of Paris ) in Havana. The inauguration took place in 1943, and later more centers were opened in other cities in Spain. Unfortunately, in 1995, all the chain’s stores were closed,and during that same year the absorption of Galerias Preciado by the El Corte Inglés (English cut) was carried out, which remodeled and maintained the 22 establishments acquired then at Galerias. The original building on Calle Preciados has been home to a commercial center of the French chain Fnac since 1993 and several offices (and we shop here too as in France).

We have also shop at the El Corte Inglés at Calle Princesa and Calle Goya. Pictures of each



Fnac (Fédération Nationale d’Achats des Cadres); in Spanish Federación Nacional de Compras de los Ejecutivos is a French company, a subsidiary of Groupe Fnac Darty, specializing in the sale of electronic items, computers, photographic articles, books, music and video. It also offers Internet sales and is one of the pioneer groups in this format in their country of origin.

Official Fnac Callao

Fnac, since the inauguration of its first headquarters on Calle Preciados, reserves in several of its buildings a space called Forum, where literary events, workshops, concerts, talks and audiovisual projection are held, among others. The Callao building, which has access by Calle Preciados, the busiest commercial street in Spain and third in Europe, is a building dating from the 1940’s. It has 11,630 square meters of surface distributed over eleven floors. with Fnac, the flagship that this group has since 1994 . There is a remodelling programmed where it will be reduce its space and will occupy five floors compared to the current nine. The remodelling will be only on the inside as the outside features will remain on the building.


And they are in the tourist office of Madrid too!!

Tourist office of Madrid on El Corte Inglés Preciados

Tourist office of Madrid on Fnac Callao

There are many wonderful stores all over Madrid, and we have patronise a lot over the years, however, for a quick shopping of everything the El Corte Inglés and Fnac can’t be beaten. Enjoy the happy shopping in my beloved Madrid.

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



September 21, 2019

More streets of Madrid!!!

Well coming to the end on monuments of my last wonderful visit to my beloved city of Madrid. Never enough and already thinking of coming back lol!  As I left the shopping and restaurants for last will have several posts on them coming soon.

However, for now let me give you another look at my beloved Madrid and its streets, architecture ,history, briefly of course like me ::)

The first is the BBVA bank building on Calle de Alcalà,16  very near the Puerta del Sol. It was built between 1920 and 1923 as the seat of Banco de Bilbao.  In 1845 the Cafe Suizo (today gone but very popular) was inaugurated there, famous for its gatherings.  The quadrigas, which were covered in gilded brass and, therefore, could serve as a reference for Franco’s bombing of the city, during the Spanish Civil War, were painted black. After the end of the contest, it was decided that the new color be preserved. In the base of each tower, in front of the balustrade, there are two Italian marble atlantes. On each tower is a quadriga. The quadrigas were dragged each by four horses, whose legs protrude from the facade, flying over the sidewalk. The quadrigas were made of an alloy of bronze, lead and iron, with a golden brass coating. They were cast in the Madrid smelter Codina Hermanos and each of them weighs 12.5 tons and are four meters high. The charioteers are not inside the quadriga, but appear standing on a pedestal located on the carriage, so that they can be seen from the street. In 2010, and for a minimum period of ten years, the building is the headquarters of the Ministry of Environment and Land Management of the Community of Madrid (regional govt).


The Calle Cava Baja is a street in old Madrid, right in the La Latina neighborhood, that runs between the Puerta Cerrada square and the Humilladero square and has about 50 bars. Throughout history, countless establishments have been opened and closed on this street, almost all related to eating and drinking. For example, the Posada de la Villa dates from 1642, and in the place where Casa Lucio now opens its doors was the Posada de San Pedro, which already existed in 1720, and then the historic Mesón del Segoviano. The word cava comes from the fact that there was a moat that defended the wall of Madrid. Formerly this cava was a little beyond the Puerta de Moros, lower than the Cava Alta, hence its name. When the moat was filled, the road was renamed Cava Baja de San Francisco (in this area there are many references to this saint, such as the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande), and from 1835 simply Cava Baja.


The Calle de Toledo gave access of diverse merchandise and food coming from the province to the town. The street begins in the Plaza Mayor (in the arch of Cofreros), arrives until the Puerta de Toledo and continues until the Glorieta de Pirámides where it ends, linking with the Puente de Toledo bridge on the old road that led to the city of Toledo. It runs from its beginnings parallel to the Rastro of Madrid (flea market). The Portal de Cofreros, the Collegiate Church of San Isidro and the Royal Studios of San Isidro, which occupy the former offices of the Imperial College, are the only buildings of historical-artistic interest of the time of the Austrias that have been conserved.

The Plaza de los Carros is a square located in the Palacio neighborhood, belonging to the Centro district, in the set of open spaces that form the Plaza de la Cebada, Puerta de Moros and Calle de Humilladero, in the axis of the Carrera de San Francisco and surrounded by the Costanilla of San Andrés and the Calle de Don Pedro. It was until the beginning of the 20C a popular meeting point for transport in cars and carts due perhaps to its proximity to the old Cebada (barley) market. It is pedestrian since the last decade of the 20C, highlights the architecture of the dome of the Chapel of San Isidro and the facades of the house-palace of the Duke of the Infantado. During the Democratic Sexenio it took the name of Plaza de Aguirre and later, in 1931, it was Plaza de Julio Romero de Torres, a name that it maintained until 1965 when on the occasion of a remodeling of the urban environment it regained the traditional name of Plaza de los Carros.  In 1984 and following the works of pedestrian urbanization of the area a set of archaeological remains were unearthed, including various canvases of the Arab wall and a Muslim qanat dating from the 11C following the layout of the old Calle Alcantarilla (sewer) street. In 2018, remains of the 12C Christian wall were discovered.


The Calle de Cuchilleros street is located in the neighborhood of Embajadores, district of Centro , which runs,from the Cavas de San Miguel next to the Arco de Cuchilleros arch at the foot of the Plaza Mayor, to the Plaza de Puerta Cerrada It is part of the pit or closed door cellar that ran at the foot of the wall. It receives the name of the guild of knives in it established since the 17C. Known also as Calle de la Cuchillería for the abundance of stores of knives and cutlery established here for its proximity to the Casa de la Carniceria (Butcher Shop), on the south side of the Plaza Mayor, next to the Arcos de Cuchilleros

This street of little animation during the day, and during the night exploration field of the low gallantry. Of that cloudy splendor ,gates and buildings of singular antiquity are conserved with archaeological basements and medieval galleries, and the subsequent creation of some taverns, or wineries with the alleged solera such as La Daniela, La Traviesa, Asquiniña, Bodegas Ricla or Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas (taken family and dear late wife Martine here in 1990!, among which the Botín Restaurant can be found (considered the oldest restaurant in the world by Guinness without any interruption on the name)

In this Calle de Cuchilleros street the novelist Benito Pérez Galdós placed several passages of his contemporary Spanish novels, incorporating it into the map of the Galdosian territory in Madrid. This is how it appears frequently in Fortunata and Jacinta, as in the spooky and humorous night scene starring the character Placido Estupiñá:

The Arco de Cuchilleros is one of the ten accesses of the Plaza Mayor and was designed in 1617 the Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra and the Arco de Cuchilleros. However, the Arch as we know it today was the work of Juan de Villanueva, who remodeled the square after the fire of 1790. The peculiar Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra extends along the interior of the arch and nothing else. Start at the first step and end at the last. That is, it is a street of few meters and completely staggered. Under the stone stairs is the inn Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas! Lovely side of the Plaza Mayor!


The tourist office of Madrid: Tourist office of Madrid

And there you go a bit more of architecture and history wonders in my beloved Madrid. Hope you enjoy the ride , it was great having you along! And remember, this is not over yet lol! Madrid is forever! And walking is heavens in my beloved city of Madrid.

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

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September 20, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXXV

So not really totally out of my beloved Spain, even if some posts still pending from my last trip to sunny Spain. Let me bring you up to date with the fantastic cultural season coming up and some goodies! Right now I am sunny and windy at 16C or about 62F while my beloved Madrid is at 20C or about 70F and cloudy.  But let’s get in into the real deal !

The musical A Chorus Line, which will serve to inaugurate in a few weeks , they estimate it will be in November. The Soho Caixabank Theater, the project promoted by Antonio Banderas in Malaga, his hometown. The show can also be seen later in Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid. I saw him on the practice routines and shoud be wonderful lots of energy and choreography! He is involved personally in the theater with private funds! And ,also trying to bring more arts away from the better known cities in Spain. More here:

Just 200 years ago, Francisco de Goya gave the first strokes of his black paintings, a series of 14 murals among which are some of his best-known works: Saturno devorando a su hijo,( Saturn devouring his son ) Perro semihundido,( Semi-sunken dog)  Duelo a garrotazos (Duel with sticks), Dos viejos (Two old men) , El aquelarre (the Covern)… He painted them on the walls of his house, Quinta del Sordo, a farm he bought in 1819 on the outskirts of Madrid to escape social life, already completely deaf, sick and increasingly elusive of the convulsive political situation, presaging perhaps his future exile in Bordeaux.  Maybe that’s why they came out so dark and violent. There, in Bordeaux,  the painter died in 1828. At the Fernán Gómez Center ,Plaza de Colon, has built an ambitious project that includes the premiere of a theatrical piece by José Sanchis Sinisterra, written expressly for the commemoration, and a large exhibition with a hundred works by 58 contemporary artists in which the Aragonese (Goya) footprint is appreciated: Antonio Saura, Antoni Tàpies, Rafael and Daniel Canogar, Cristina Iglesias, Luis Gordillo, Carmen Calvo, Eva Lootz, William Kentridge, Jorge Galindo and Rogelio López Cuenca, among others. In the main one there are works that reinterpret Goya’s titles: there are some canvases of the famous series Goya de Saura’s dog; a Saturn by Pablo Serrano (1974) and another by Robert Longo (2012), as well as a Chronicle Team Leocadia and an installation by Pilar Albarracín that materializes the print 39 of Los Caprichos (whims) by placing a large donkey on a mountain of books. Goya’s imprint on contemporary art, which can be visited until November 24 2019. More info here:

Don Carlo, in the Teatro Real , Plaza de Isabel II ,in the last four years, the final operatic tetralogy of Giuseppe Verdi has been seen in the Teatro Real (Royal Theater), with leaps back and forth: two lucrative commissions from abroad and his two calm collaborations with Arrigo Boito inspired by Shakespeare. Music by Giuseppe Verdi. Maria Agresta, Marcelo Puente, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Dmitri Belosselskiy and Luca Salsi, among others. Royal Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real. Musical direction: Nicola Luisotti. Stage direction: David McVicar. Until October 6, 2019. More info here:

Theater companies such as Matarile, Mal Pelo or Imaginary Numbers will alternate in the next edition with great international figures such as Milo Rau, Alain Platel and Maja Kleczewska and the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne are some of the great names of the international theater that will participate in the 37th edition of the Fall Festival of the Community of Madrid, which will be held between November 15 and December 1 2019. Also, the Chilean company La Re-Sentida, which already performed last year at the Festival de Otoño (Autumn Festival), returns this year with Landscapes to avoid coloring. From Argentina come a unique performance by Fernando Rubio, entitled Everything that is next to me, in which viewers are invited to share a conversation in a bed with seven Spanish actresses: Susi Sánchez, María Morales, Nerea Barros, Mónica Bardem , Marta Poveda, Elena Seguí and Conchi Espejo. And also from Argentina, the well-known Claudio Tolcachir will present Proximo (Next). More info here:

CaixaForum  proposes a trip through more than 200 treasures from the Assyrian empire to that of Alexander the Great: the exhibition Lujos (Luxury). From the Assyrians to Alexander the Great. The 217 precious objects that are exhibited in CaixaForum ,Paseo del Prado, 36 from September 20 to January 12, 2020. From the Assyrians, through the Phoenicians, the exhibition discovers the luxuries of the Babylonians or the great influence of the Achaemenids. It ends with the arrival of Alexander the Great, who changed everything. All the objects in the exhibition, which belong to the British Museum, constitute a journey through the history of conquests, incessant struggles and looting; but they are also proof of the great commercial and cultural exchange of empires that occupied an area between the Iberian Peninsula and India. The oldest object dates from 1,000 B.C. It is a belt carved with such care that remembers the will of humans to create and possess beautiful things. Then and now. More info here:

The towers of the Evangelists of the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Barcelona, will be crowned by the four figures that represent them: an angel to Matthew; a lion to Marcos; an ox to Lucas, and an eagle to John, with sculptures by Xavier Medina Campeny that will measure about nine meters each. The tower of Mary will also end predictably in 2021, and that of Jesus will be the last to end, in 2022. The four Evangelists have reached 106 meters and are only one to match the towers that Gaudí built for the Nativity facade before he died in 1926. Yesterday the prototypes of the terminals of this tetramorphous were presented, which will have the shape of a man, Lion, bull and eagle. They will end up at 135 meters high, weigh 14 tons and measure nine meters high, 6.5 of them will be huge wings. The base of these figures will house powerful spotlights that will illuminate the tallest tower, that of Jesus Christ, of 172.5 meters.

The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has admitted for processing the appeal raised by the Platform of People Affected by the Sagrada Familia against the special urban plan approved by the City Council of Barcelona in February 2019 and promoted by the temple board. The approval of the aforementioned plan implies, de facto, the construction of a platform 57 meters long and five meters wide on the facade of  Calle Mallorca, a first part of a cantilever that would compromise the future of the houses located in that strip. The City Council undertook to summon the neighbors and all those interested in participating in that debate in which, among other things, the following should be addressed: the legitimacy of the stairway project that the Board assures was of Gaudí, how the expropriation of the floors and businesses affected, the quantification of what it would entail and, most importantly, who should face this millionaire expense.  So I guess to be continue… More on the renovation/construction in Spanish here:

Daniel Landi, member of Comando G ( G of Garnacha), is a master in the art of extracting the old Castilian Grenache from Gredos its glorious singularity. and it has been doing it for a few years in the designation of origin Vinos de Madrid. Always using surprising red names for its red wines, such as  La Mujer Cañón, Reina de los Deseos, Hombre Bala o este, La Bruja de Rozas,(the witch of Rozas)  por Rozas de Puerto Real, where its nine hectares are located with vineyards between 50 and 90 years old; settled on soils degraded granites that bring freshness and finesse. It is a forested enclave, on the slopes of the Sierra de Gredos, almost 900 meters high. Biodynamic philosophy and fermentations separately in wooden vats and aging for 10 months in French oak vats. They thus obtain a complex red wine, where the compiled wild fruit maintains its aromatic chromaticism, and the discreet imprint of the wood allows the presence of floral and spicy nuances, together with the dreamy memory of balsamic herbs. Long, fresh and tasty, it conquers you without boasting body and color.Another Spanish innovation in winemaking. More info on contact here:

And this on the wine La Bruja de Rozaz from one of my all time favorites Jancis Robinson:

Something exotic from the land of Quixote’s dreams Castilla La Mancha!  For millennia, the waters of this Xuq river have been scratching the ground of this part of the region of La Manchuela of Albacete creating an amazing vertical landscape of canyons of white and yellowish earth crossed by a green artery of poplars, ash trees, fig trees and willows, to those that were added productive orchards that take advantage of the rich silt left by the river course century after century. In that environment is XUQ, which takes its name, precisely, from the old Arabic denomination of Júcar: Xuquer.  Enterprises folks have turned these old cave-houses into tremendously attractive accommodations, mixing the exotic rusticity of the caves with design furniture and modern decorative elements, creating environments where traditional and artisanal coexist with industrial and avant-garde. The eight suites are different from each other. Its interior aspect has changed but they are still bioclimatic houses in which the temperature is constant throughout the year (between 18 and 20ºC). A great idea for a get away and dream on! More here:

And there you for this edition of Some news from Spain, which is everything under the Sun! or where La vida es chula (life is beautiful). Hope you have enjoy it. I will continue with Madrid!!

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

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September 19, 2019

Some news from France, CCXLV

So even thus not done with my beloved Madrid on my wonderfully enormous vacation back in August 2019; I need to switch gears and tell you something about my belle France! yes of course, we are all citizens of Planet Earth and Humans first of all! My weather here is sunny windy at 70F or about 21C while in my eternal Paris is sunny at 67F or about 18C. For kicks in my beloved Madrid is 87F or about 27C and cloudy right now.

Now let me tell you some bits of news from my belle France ok. Why not start with a bang on the 130th anniversary of the Eiffel tower!

The Tour Eiffel icone and symbol of Paris was built in two years, from 1887 to 1889,but it keeps a lot of secrets some will detail here briefly.

It could never have been born without the World Expo ; but the expiry of the 1889 World Expo, an exceptional showcase for all the discoveries of the time, forced the engineers to work twice as hard to built it.  Gustave Eiffel was not at the origin. It was two of his collaborators, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, who imagine and designed the Tower. Once convinced, Eiffel will take a patent, with his two engineers.  The artists of the time were opposed to the project published in the newspaper Le Temps, in February 1887. It is signed by Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Garnier, Victorien Sardou or Alexandre Dumas ,son. There was no death on the construction site, except … a worker, mounted outside working hours, to impress his girlfriend.  It must have been ephemeral. Eiffel first obtains a concession for twenty years. But in 1909, the engineer cannot bring himself to see his tower destroyed. It finances the first weather stations, installed at the top, makes tests with clocks and radio transmissions for the military authorities . Bet won. He obtained an extension of the concession until 1979.  It made it possible to foil a German attack in 1918. In the middle of World War I, the radio antennas of the Eiffel Tower capture an encrypted German message. It reveals that the imperial army is preparing to attack the French in the forest of Compiegne (Oise). The General Staff is warned and the assault foiled, in March 1918. It was from its summit that the first television programs were broadcast. In 1942, it broadcast live entertainment programs for troops, especially in hospitals where are treated wounded. There were then only a few hundred television sets throughout the country.  It is covered with 17 layers of paint. To protect the tower from corrosion, it must be painted. But painting is eroding and you have to go back every seven years on average. Problem: all this painting weighs 50 tons. A construction site should soon completely strip the monument, before repainting it with a lighter layer.Again!  It was assembled partly in Levallois-Perret. The Eiffel workshops were located in the city of dept 92 Hauts-de-Seine. The pieces were then placed on carts that crossed Paris to the Champ de Mars. A giant wind tunnel on the forecourt. Eiffel had a passion for aviation. He installs this device at the foot of the tower to test the resistance of aircraft structures. All the pioneers of the air force passed through this wind tunnel, transferred in 1912, in the 16éme of Paris.And voilà another angle on the lady of Paris, the Eiffel! More info here:

As mention briefly in previous post of a great discovered by luck, this painting of the 17C has been restored and now sits in the middle of the dresses of the first Parisian boutique of Oscar de la Renta, at 4, rue Marignan, just steps from the Champs-Elysees  8éme, which has just opened the first Parisian boutique Oscar de la Renta. On the floor of this luxury fashion house, where the welcome is particularly warm, you will discover in the living room of the wedding dresses the painting, dating from the 17C, one of the painters of the school of Charles-Le -Brun, close to the Sun King. A work of 6 meters long and 3 meters high, forgotten for a century behind a partition and found, by chance, on the site of restructuring of the premises.  The painting depicts Charles Marie François Olier, Marquis de Nointel, ambassador to Constantinople for Louis XIV. He had started a tour of the Middle East in 1673. He was then shown with his escort in front of Jerusalem. Riders are dressed in the fashion of the Grand Siècle. The walls, the mosque of Omar and the Wailing Wall are very distinctly visible in the distance. The spirit is orientalist and lush vegetation. The painter remains a scientific uncertainty. The mansion of 4, rue de Marignan would have belonged in 1850 to the banker Mosselman who installed the canvas in his living room. With time, the painting was walled up. But not miraculously destroyed. Today, it is visible to all … without any obligation to purchase one of Oscar de la Renta’s creations.! The store locator here:

The Opera Garnier ,9éme arrondissement has used the finest crafts to restore its original luster to the prestigious lodge. The Emperor’s lodge, built for Napoleon III, the patron of the prestigious Palais Garnier, located on the left of the stage and opposite that of the Empress, has regained its original brilliance. While “La Traviata” triumphs on the stage of the Paris Opera, the monumental lodge served by a staircase and preceded by a guard room, antechamber and lounges, proudly displays its magnificence. It was Mac Mahon who inaugurated it in 1875, Napoleon III had to go into exile five years before the end of the construction of the Palais Garnier. The project launched as part of a partnership for the 350th anniversary of the Opéra national de Paris. The original material chosen by Charles Garnier – in brocatelle, more precious than the damask reserved for other boxes – was reproduced identically by the Manufacture Prelle, silkers in Lyon since 1752. The curtains were sewn entirely by hand and the beech benches have been cleared, repaired and upholstered. The trimmings will be done in early 2020. To be seen next to my previous work office! More on the Opéra Garnier here:

Robbery at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte where Patrice and Cristina de Vogüé, a couple who restored the luster of the castle. The 91-year-old count has owned the place since 1967. With his wife Cristina, they opened the site to the public a year later. The perpetrators acted before dawn. This morning, shortly after 4h (4AM), six burglars, hooded and gloved, have entered the castle of Vaux-Le Vicomte, Seine-et-Marne dept 77  through a window. The thugs surprised in their sleep the couple, tied them up before forcing them to give them the code of the safe. They seized jewelry and cash. The damage, being consolidated, would be around two million euros The Castle, meanwhile, remains open despite the robbery having taken place in a private wing. The wonderfully gorgeous official site here:

In total, there are 23 sites in Ile-de-France that will received this past Wednesday the label Heritage of Regional Interest. A  Selection  of my favorite places.

Built in 1920 on the plans of Clamart train station in the Hauts-de-Seine (92), Villennes-sur-Seine  (78) train station is known for its decoration and its large glass roof. It is also one of the rare examples of Art Nouveau train station in Île-de-France. I have taken this line several time and the town is very nice indeed not just the station. Official Transilien here:

This small train station located on line H of the Transilien network ,built in 1926, the train station of Saint-Leu-la-Forêt  (95) has been the subject of major restoration projects for 4 years. The exterior facades have been restored, as are the exterior carpentry and the Marquise. Another good looking transportation site. Official Transilien here:

A secret Chapel in Taverny (95).  Built in the mid-19C on the site of a former priory, this hidden chapel shelters 16 burials two meters below ground. Hidden in the middle of the fir trees. See the Chapelle de  Rohan-Chabot Chapel ,9, rue Jean-XXIII ,  Taverny ,Val d’Oise dept  95. A bit more in French at the dept site here:

The city of artists of the 15éme arrondissement of Paris built in 1902 by the famous sculptor Alfred Boucher, La Ruche is the only unknown place in Paris to benefit from the Heritage of Interest label. Today, the city of artists on the southern edge of Paris has become the passage de Dantzig.  A private place in which no visit is organized. It will be necessary to count on the kindness of a inhabitant to be able to penetrate there. Worth the try and the walk is very nice indeed. La Ruche , Passage de Dantzig 2, 15éme arrondissement of Paris. Official La Ruche here :

A brand new food festival arrives. In the program ? The best specialties straight from the Philippines. And as had the opportunity to visit this nice country  several times (see my posts) it is a great idea to do a food festival. Which will be on  October 6th,at the Point Ephémère. This day will celebrate the culinary specialties of the Philippines for a food festival of the most original. The association La Petite Manille  (Little Manila association) decided to remedy this, by creating the first event of its kind. This big festival will be centered around the Philippine cuisine but also around its culture. There will be tastings and something to delight all gourmands, but also shows, creative workshops and discovery, as well as DJ sets to dance until the end of the night. The festival is free for all. Food Festival Philippines, Point Ephémère, 200, quai de Valmy , 10éme On  Sunday, October 6, 2019 from 12h to 23h. Free admission . Official Point Ephemere site here:

A nice combination idea me think.  At the entrance of the store you have a second-hand clothings. From 80s sequined jackets to polka dot dresses from the 60s to classics from the’ 90s, all the epochs go on to dress up the most nostalgic. In the middle, a mini-hair salon, straight out of a movie, for those who would indulge in a scissors, neither seen nor known. In the background, surprise: a kitchen transformed into a canine-like tea room. The student canteen, the little ones come to buy second-hand clothes while drinking tea after school. L’Atypique, Friperie et Cantine, 46, rue Chanzy, 11éme Tel. : 06 36 97 53 79; Open  Monday – Friday from 11h30 to 19h, Saturday from 14h30 to 18h30. Facebook page on it:

And last but not least my town is in the news!! A Belgian air force F16 airplane crash off the d16 road between Landaul and Pluvigner on a wheat field of the village of Le Guernic chopping some section of a roof with people in the house! The two pilots were save even if one landed on high tension electrical cables of 250K volts! The F16 was on a routine training flight un armed from Florennes , Belgium to the naval base of Lann-Bihoué near Lorient (which also serves as a commercial airport). There is a security perimeter under investigation and the road D16 direction Landevant is closed. Well I live in the other direction so we are safe and sound and ready lol! More in French with pictures here: F16 Belgian Air Force plane crash near Pluvigner

Hope you enjoy the Some news from France posts, and thank you for reading. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 18, 2019

Church of San Andrés, Madrid of course!

Back to monuments and Madrid has plenty to keep you busy for a year or more. So much beauty in architecture and history in addition to great ambiance. Let me tell you about an important monument that should be on your list of things to see while in my beloved Madrid. I will tell you a bit on the Church of San Andrés (St Andrews).

The Church of San Andrés is located in the Plaza de San Andrés, 1, in the central neighborhood of La Latina. It is one of the oldest parishes in the city. The Hermandad de las Tres Caídas or Brotherhood of the Three Falls is based in this temple.


Little can be said with certainty of the primitive church, existing already at the end of the 12C and built perhaps on a site previously occupied by the early Christian church of Islamic Madrid, since the jurisdiction of San Andrés extended by what was the former Mudejar neighborhood, later Moreria (mix moors Christians). This temple was very frequented by Saint Isidro Labrador (Patron Saint of Madrid!) and Santa Maria de la Cabeza (his wife), parishioners of the parish in which the Saint was buried. Next to him stood the house of his master Iván de Vargas, on which the palace of the Marquises de Paredes was then built, now rebuilt and converted into a municipally owned museum (see later post). In it was the well, protagonist of one of the saint’s miracles, and a small chapel in the place where it was said that San Isidro had lived. The current church occupies what was the Chapel of San Isidro and a section of the rebuilt in the 17C.


After the canonization of San Isidro in 1622, and seeing the modesty of the temple in which his remains were deposited, the possibility of building a new one or to attach a chapel that was worthy of the patron of Madrid until its completion in 1669 was considered. San Isidro, saint of doubtful chronology, was buried in the cemetery at the foot of the primitive church of San Andrés, until in 1212, growing his reputation for holiness, he was exhumed and visited by King Alfonso VIII, who seeing the body incorrupt he recognized in him the pastor who had guided him in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. For this reason the king himself would have built the famous wooden ark covered with leather with gothic paintings. In 1620 it was replaced by another of gold, silver and bronze, given by the guild of silversmiths. When the church was rebuilt in the mid-17C and changed its orientation, the primitive cemetery was under the presbytery, indicating the exact place where the patron of Madrid had been buried.


After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, the ark of San Isidro (replaced by an image of the Saint Isidro Carnicero) was transferred to what had been the church of the Imperial College, transformed into Collegiate Church of San Isidro, (see that post) and with it they took ten sculptures of holy laborers. It was set on fire in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (by Republicans troops), losing all its works of art and saving only the outside, except the image of the saint. Its interior was rebuilt between 1986-90. None of the works of art that were inside were preserved. It currently serves as the parish of San Andrés.

Tourist office of Madrid on Church San Andrés

And there you go another dandy to see huh! And the square is very quant and gorgeous architecture and history all around it as well as nice places for a drink or tapas! Enjoy the Plaza de San Andrés and the Church of San Andrés in my beloved Madrid!

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


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September 18, 2019

Cutural center and theater in Madrid!

Back on the trail in my walks of my beloved Madrid. So much to see but we are lugging alone to see as much as possible with my 3 young men sons in tow! This is a nice combination that I group in this post.  I like to tell you about an all time favorite theater and an off the beaten path cultural local center right by Madrid Rio (more of this later).

Let me tell you a bit on the Teatro de La Latina theater and the Casa del Reloj cultural center!  In Madrid, of course!!!

The theater or Teatro de La Latina is located in the Plaza de la Cebada ,in the neighborhood of the Barrio de La Latina. It has been one of the most important stages for the representation of comedy and reviews in the history of the theater of Spain throughout the 20C. It owes its name to Beatriz Galindo, la Latina, a 15C Castilian writer.


A bit of brief history of the long one of this wonderful theater one of the few that I have attended over the previous years.

This Madrid theater of La Latina was created in the first decade of the 20C by the Juan Lafora Calatayud antique dealer, from a cinema built on the grounds of an old hospital. In the theater, baptized under the pseudonym of Beatriz Galindo, La Latina.

At the time of Luis Díez, (1947-62), the author and entrepreneur, carried his Great reviews company, Head of the La Latina Theater. In 1964, the shrewd magazine entrepreneur Matías Colsada, who had since 1956 the Apollo Theater of Barcelona, ​​rents the Madrid Theater La Latina. Undoubtedly, Colsada, is the one who fully exploits the room and the billboard of one of the most popular theaters in Madrid. Until in 1977 it had become an old hut about to disappear.!

Lina Morgan, who triumphed at the Barceló in Madrid, aware of the resounding disappearance of the Theater of her dreams, that of her triumphs, that of her beginnings and the one who saw her be born, decides, with the help of her brother José Luis to buy that hut that was far from the palace of the reviews of Colsada. First they rented it and then bought it. It wouldn’t be until 1983 when they acquired it. After its restoration in 1984 of the whole Theater, where Lina Morgan demanded the architect that in the dressing rooms there were bathrooms, showers and sofas to rest, Comedy companies enter. In 2005, Lina Morgan, owner of the theater, associated with producer José Luis Moreno, to exploit and turn the Teatro de La Latina around as the theater of Madrid par excellence. A contract that lasts two years and where they schedule a Zarzuelas cycle. in La Latina it was the concert Fall in love with me by Isabel Pantoja (great Spanish singer one of my favorites!), who during the 13 only performances absolutely filled the theater, although she had to suspend the last three.

Since 2007, Lina Morgan has once again directed the theater and the shows. Great actors have passed through the Teatro de La Latina theater: almost the entire Spanish Theater of the 20C and 21C!!!. In June 2010 the actress sold the theater to the company Focus-Penta S.L formed by the Catalan Focus group and the Madrileña Pentación shows.

Official Teatro de La Latina

Tourist office of Madrid on Teatro de La Latina

The so-called Casa del Reloj  (clock house) was formerly the Pavilion of Central Services of the Slaughterhouse and Municipal Market of Livestock of Madrid. It is located in the district of Arganzuela on Paseo de la Chopera 6 to 10. It is currently the Casa del Reloj Cultural Center, as well as the Municipal Board of the District of Arganzuela.


The former slaughterhouse and cattle market was built between 1908 and 1928, commissioned by the City Council. In 1982, the headquarters of the Municipal Board of Arganzuela were transferred to La Casa del Reloj. Their dependencies are enabled to provide services for a nursing home. There are cultural events here of local interest in 2 exhibition halls Auditorium with capacity of 265 persons,  15 classrooms and the Nave de Terneras (big hall for exhibitions in the old calves warehouse) . You get here on Metro Legazpi  lines 3, and 6 and  Bus lines  62, 6, 78, and 148. We arrive walking along Madrid Rio (more later).


Tourist office of Madrid on the Casa del Reloj

And there you go two wonderful cultural centers to visit and soak the culture of my Madrid, Spain. Especially I must say you should not missed a show at the Teatro de La Latina! In Madrid of course!!!

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



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September 18, 2019

Cinemas, theater and Lottery! Madrid of course!

And moving right along on my sublime visit to my beloved Madrid and a supercharge charge for the rest of the year I come to you back with some artsy places of old that still looks good. I will go brief because the idea is for you to see them and enjoy them as much as my family has over the years. Let me tell you a bit on the Cines Callao, Cine Capitol, Theater Alcazar and the lottery master Doña Manolita!

The Cines Callao cinema is located in the Plaza del Callao, built in 1926. It is next to the Carrión building, separated from it by the Calle Jacometrezo street. The building was inaugurated as a movie theater on December 11, 1926, broadcasting the movie Luis Candelas, the bandit of Madrid. Together with the cinemas of the Palacio de la Prensa they form Callao City Lights. These cinemas host numerous premieres, and other events.

The building presents academic tendencies with a certain Spanish neo-baroque aftertaste and in its interior decoration Viennese and Art Deco suggestions. Its terrace is designed to broadcast outdoor film sessions. The basement of the building was thought to house a Café or Cabaret, although later it was adapted to the old Xenon nightclub, now closed.

Currently two large digital screens hide elements of its facades, such as three large windows and some oculus. Some sculptures and other original decorative elements, which can be seen in old photographs, have also disappeared. Its corner is crowned by a tower as a lighthouse. On June 13, 1929, the first sound and spoken film released in Spain was screened in this cinema: The jazz singer.

Official Cines Callao


The Cine Capitol cinema is a movie theater located on Gran Vía nº 41. Located in the Carrión building (sometimes called the Capitol building). It was inaugurated on December 2, 1933.

Inside, the marble elements stood out. Outside, the marble, the polished granite, the blue stone of Murcia are combined at the entrance. During the Spanish Civil War, Soviet films were distributed, the first Russian film distributed by Film Popular was The Sailors of Kronstadt (1936) by Russian director Yefim Dzigan, which was released in the rooms of the Capitol cinema on October 18, 1936.

Official Cine Capitol Gran Via


The  Teatro Alcazar theater (formerly called Palacio de los Recreos or recreation palace and Teatro Alkázar theater) is a theater hall on Calle de Alcalá 20 inaugurated in 1925, on the ruins of the old Trianón Palace.

The luxurious theater was inaugurated on January 27, 1925 with the performances of the operetta Madame Pompadour of Leo Fall and capacity for more than eight hundred spectators. Although much of its history has been linked to the genre of the Spanish music reviews (with divas such as Celia Gámez, Lina Morgan or Esperanza Roy), at the beginning of the thirties it functioned as a movie theater, being one of the first rooms that incorporated sound projector. In 2012, the Teatro Alcazar was renamed the Teatro Cofidis Alcazar for its sponsor.

Official Teatro Cofidis Alcazar

Tourist office of Madrid on the Teatro Cofidis Alcazar



Doña Manolita is a lottery management business (number 67) located now at Calle del Carmen 22, probably the most famous in all of Spain. Doña Manolita began her activity in 1904 on Calle de San Bernardo street . Her founders were Manuela de Pablo popularly known as Doña Manolita, who gave her name to the business, and her three sisters

The establishment soon gained enormous popularity, for the amount of awards distributed, among the students of the then neighboring Central University of Madrid. Her fame would spread later throughout the city and Doña Manolita became one of the most popular characters of the moment.

In July 1931 it moved to the Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía 31 after the death of Doña Manolita, the headquarters of the Puerta del Sol, on the corner of Calle del  Arenal street, with the name of Doña Manolita’s it passed to her sister Carmen, who in turn bequeathed to her son to be finally sold to another family in 1987. The headquarters of Gran Vía has been maintained until 2011, when the administration announced its transfer to neighboring Calle del Carmen.

Because it is based on superstition and popular culture, many consider it as a true symbol of the city of Madrid. It has even been mentioned in literary works and songs by famous Spanish performers such as Joaquín Sabina, in his theme A la sombra de un león or In the shadow of a lion (1986 ) or Concha Piquer, en Mañana sale or in Tomorrow it leaves (1958) and its name evokes Madrid’s Christmas parties The current owner is Juan Luis de Castillejo and Bermúdez de Castro, Conde de Cabrillas.

Official Dona Manolita Lottery

Tourist office of Madrid on the Dona Manolita lottery


And there you go plenty of places for fun no matter what your inclinations Madrid has it and has it good. Well we play the lottery but did not win again!!! You need to play to win so we will try again soon. Enjoy the Madrid scene and move on!

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

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