Archive for January 21st, 2020

January 21, 2020

Some news from Spain LXXXIX

Well I have beena  bit away , a pity , of my beloved Spain. However, always in my mind. Let me catch up and tell you a bit of what is going on in my country down south! Enjoy it and Feliz Año Nuevo 2020!

The 34th Goya Awards (Spanish equivalents of the Oscars). From the headquarters of the Film Academy, applicants to the 28 categories that include the awards. The 146 Spanish films premiered in this country have been presented to the screening, of which 88 are fiction films, 55 are documentaries and 3 are animated. There are also 53 European films, 15 Latin American films and 35 short films. Of the total number of applications, 56 are raw operas. As for the scripts, 112 are original and 29, adapted. The film with the most nominations are Mientras dure la Guerra (While the war lasts), of Alejandro Amenábar,with 17 nominations. Dolor y gloria,(pain and glory) from Pedro Almodóvar, with 16 and La trinchera infinita, (the Infinite Trench ) of Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga with 15 nominations.

The gala, which will be held on January 25, 2020 in Malaga, will be presented by the actors Andreu Buenafuente and Silvia Abril, The 2020 Goya of Honor has fallen to actress Pepa Flores. More info here:

The exhibition Extra Moda! (extra fashion) will be on in Madrid until March 1st 2020 at the Museo del Traje or Costume museum . What is considered the first publication with fashion content Mercure Galant, founded in 1672 in the France of Louis XIV, already speaks of what is carried and what is not.   Harper’s which first appears in November 1867, and Vogue, whose number one dates from December 17, 1892 They are not far from other periodicals such as The New York Times, founded in 1851. A century after the creation of Mercure Galant, The Pensadora Gaditana or Thinker from Cádiz (1763-1764) is published, which was born in Cádiz with fashion content. While in France, the cradle and still today the center and axis of the fashion industry and everything that it drags, the Paris brand was exported from the beginning, in Spain, Cádiz plays an important role that currently sounds strange. It is the moment of the Enlightenment, the diffusion of thoughts and a cosmopolitan city that is the entrance and exit of ideas and merchandise that come from America and the United Kingdom, among other places. With respect to the press, everything changes from 1791, when under the reign of Carlos IV, the Count of Floridablanca prohibits the publication of any type of newspaper in fear of the entry of revolutionary ideas from France!!. More info here:

Something that we love and eat in all its variation is rabbit meat. The conejo in Spanish or lapin in French. Here is some interesting facts about them.

Rabbit meat is, along with chicken and turkey, a healthy white meat alternative. It is soft, pink, easy to digest and good for low-calorie and fat diets. It can come from small game or farm. The meat of the latter is more fat, pink and tender. The younger, the better for stew. The oldest usually end up as pâte or terrines. Those from the bush, also called field or wild rabbits, have a harder, reddish, tasty meat with a lower fat intake. The mountain rabbit can only be tasted during the hunting season, which covers autumn and winter. The farm is available all year.  In the market, rabbits are usually sold without skin, but whole. Before buying, check that the leg joints have some mobility. It is an indication that the meat is fresh. See also the color: the better the pinker. When you get home, keep it in the refrigerator. Frozen whole hold a year. Nine months if you do it in pieces. The more time passes, the quality will fall. To defrost it, it is best to let it take a temperature slowly in the fridge.

Every 100 grams provide 20.7 grams of high quality protein and superior to that of other animals, such as chicken. And that with only 132 cal / 100 grams, a perfect claim if you have declared war on the scale. It is a meat with only 5.3 grams of fat per 100 grams. In addition, it is low in saturated fat and sodium. About 100 g of rabbit meat cover, in a healthy adult, 54% of the RDA of vitamin B3 or niacin (8.6 mg), necessary for the normal functioning of energy metabolism, the nervous system and mucous membranes. They also provide 400% of the recommendations of vitamin B12 (10 mcg), necessary for the creation of normal red blood cells and key to the process of cell division; and 30% of the recommendations of vitamin B6 (0.42 mg), which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune and nervous system. Also its high phosphorus content (220 mg / 100 g), essential for the normal functioning of bones and teeth, potassium (360 mg / 100 g), which contributes to the normal functioning of muscles and selenium (17 mcg / 100 g ), a mineral with antioxidant qualities that protects cells from oxidative damage. There you go we knew it!!!

The “escape room”is a game in which a series of players are locked in a room and have to solve different puzzles   to get out of there before the set time. The plot of «Escape Room», arrives in Madrid with a cast made up of Antonio Molero, Leo Rivera, Kira Miró and Marina San José. The work tells the story of four friends -two couples- who go, with the intention of having a good time, to an «escape room» located in the neighborhood of Lavapies despite the fact that the dismembered corpse of a man has appeared very close . Once they are inside,the room becomes a pressure cooker and to get out of it they will not only have to solve puzzles or tests as in any” escape room “, but they will have to face to some truths that in another situation, if their lives were not at stake, they would not face. See it at the Teatro Figaro, Calle Doctor Cortezo, 5 Madrid, more info here:

A new statue is erected in Madrid at 121 years of the commemorating deed: the one that took place during 337 days in the town of Baler, Philippines. Where a church was erected (and still stands today) in which 60 soldiers resisted against almost a thousand adversaries. The last news they had been able to certify was the defeat of the Spanish army in Cavite against the powerful North American forces of Commodore George Dewey. And, presenting battle, they ended up retreating to a position where they would end up starring in a memorable place. They were the last in the Philippines. Calle Alberto Aguilera at the height of Valle Suchil, in the Jardines del Almirante Cervera, stands on a granite and spectacular pedestal, the representation of that moment in our history, in the figure of Lieutenant Saturnino Martín Cerezo The last officer in command of some soldiers who, after their suffering, were at least recognized and honored by the country, with medals in retirement for the last private soldier. Well worth the recognition. More info on the story and on lt Saturnino Martin Cerezo here in English:

The cheeses of Spain in Protected Designations of Origin. In total there are 26 cheeses with D.O. my favourites are

The milk used for its production is obtained exclusively from the herds of cows, sheep and goats registered in the Cabrales Protected Designation of Origin and controlled by the Regulatory Council. It will be whole and clean milk, without any preservative and with a balanced composition in fat and proteins according to the different seasonal productive characteristics

The milk to make the cheeses with Denomination of Origin Idiazábal comes mainly from the sheep of the Latxa breed, which is a small and rustic animal. It is a sheep that produces a limited amount of milk. About one hundred liters per season, mainly from February to June, but large sheep of the Latxacalidad breed.

The cheese with Protected Designation of Origin Cebreiro is a fresh cheese of white, soft and grainy pasta, made with cow’s milk from the Rubia Gallega, Alpine Parda, Frisona and their crosses. It is made without any additive or preservative, in a completely natural way. It is shaped like a mushroom or chef’s hat, composed of two parts: A cylindrical base, of variable diameter and with a height not exceeding 12 cm. A hat that is between 1 and 2 cm more in diameter than the base and a height not exceeding 3 cm. Weight: between 0.3 and 2 Kg.

The Galician cheese covered by the Denomination of Origin Tetilla Cheese is made with cow’s milk from the Frisona, Alpine Brown and Galician breeds. It is one of the most representative Galician cheeses and the most international. It is necessary to emphasize its typical form of «tetilla» that is formed by the funnels in which the milk is allowed to curdle at the beginning of its elaboration. Another Galician cheese that has the same shape is San Simón Cheese. Shape: conical, concave-convex. Weight: from 0.5 to 1.5 Kg. Dimensions: The height will be greater than the base radius and less than the diameter.

It is called Manchego Cheese made in the natural region of La Mancha , from Manchego Cheese with Designation of Origin of sheep from the Manchego breed, with a minimum maturity period of 70 days. Manchego cheese is made with pasteurized sheep’s milk and artisan Manchego cheese, with unpasteurized sheep’s milk, from livestock registered in the Manchego Cheese Designation of Origin. My tops and lucky to be able to find it in my current living area in the Morbihan Breton of France.

More info on the Spanish cheeses here:

 Something good to save our bookstores/libraries in Madrid. The scene is becoming increasingly common in the streets of Madrid. Lowered blinds, curtains thrown in shop windows and posters that are repeated as a constant: “Closed for cessation of activity”, “closed for retirement” … And always the word “closed” as core. That is the scenario that the bookstores of the capital’s neighborhoods live. The Culture Commission of the City Council of Madrid and the Consistory to deepen a plan of shock against this phenomenon. Two main issues: financing and collaboration with the city’s public library network. That is why the municipal government has opened a call in free competition for bookstores in Madrid that develop activities to promote reading so that they receive direct aid,said sources from the area of Culture.

A line of financing that was 65,000 euros in 2019 and 80,000 euros in 2020 and from which 8 libraries have benefited from Madrid, which are those that have applied for such aid and will begin to receive these subsidies soon, after the period of justification of expenses. The second pillar on which the project will be based will be public libraries. The Culture Area works on a framework agreement for the maintenance and updating of collections and the formation of foundational funds for new libraries To this end, the number of suppliers, which so far stood at seven with only three from Madrid-, up to 25, all of them bookstores in the capital. Bookstores have always been more than a trade, they are part of the cultural fabric of a city, highlighting that these points of sale provide other intangible assets such as the valuable recommendation of booksellers or   experience staff visiting a bookstore.

Some wonderful beaches to have in mind when visiting Spain at the right time !

Located in Galicia, the Playa de las Catedrales has been chosen several times as the best in Spain and has come to sneak among the best in the world. Its bath is not the most pleasant, but the unique views of the natural monument that erosion has created cause this Galician corner to attract tourists all year round. You just have to wait at low tide, take off your shoes and start walking to dazzle with the 30-meter high buttresses and the unusual prospects of arches inside other arches that are born as you move forward. More info on the beach here:

La Concha Beach San Sébastian: The San Sebastián Bay is a symbol in itself. Captured in so many snapshots, the beach of the most aristocratic city in Spain is perfect to enjoy any time of the year. And both from the bay’s own sand and from one of its elevated sides, either from Mount Urgull or Igueldo, which also houses an amusement park of the 20s. A unique postcard that is perfect to capture with the camera in these months, with the winter haze giving it a mysterious touch and fewer umbrellas. In addition, its bar gastronomy is perfect to get warm later. More info here:

At the foot of the Pyrenees of Huesca, in the Sobrarbe region, little Aínsa is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is indeed , we passed by it on our way to Spain from France for many years. The medieval village, belonging to the former Kingdom or County of Sobrarbe, emerged more than a thousand years ago at the confluence of the Cinca and Ara rivers, on a promontory at 589 meters of altitude, from where the surroundings dominate, has all the ingredients to enjoy a complete weekend in which to practice both active and cultural tourism. It houses a huge heritage with medieval flavor, in which the wall, the castle, the old cobbled streets and its main square stand out. On the other hand, its strategic location, between the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido (to the north), the Natural Park of the Sierra and the Canyons of Guara (to the south) and the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta (to the east), tha it becomes a perfect destination for lovers of nature and mountain sports, both in summer and winter.

The nerve center of the town is its arcaded Plaza Mayor, full of restaurants, small shops and bars that take their terraces outside in good weather; in January 17 there will be bonfires there in honor of San Antón and San Sebastián January 19, and on the first Sunday of February it will host the agricultural and livestock fair that has been held since the Middle Ages. Of enormous dimensions and trapezoidal plant, it is believed that it dates from the 12-13C, the largest in the town. It is surrounded by perfectly preserved original stone buildings, including that of the City/Town Hall or Ayuntamiento, and surrounded by two of its most important monuments: the Romanesque Church of Santa María, 12C, and considered one of the best examples of Romanesque Alto Aragón (upper Aragon) ,the visit is free and includes the crypt and the cloister.

And the Castle, initially built in the 11C and renovated and expanded in the 17C. It has two access gates and a moat, and concerts and festivals, such as the Castillo de Aínsa Music, are held in the Plaza del Castillo in summer.  The castle is linked to the imposing walls that surround the old town of Aínsa, which in some sections reach 14 meters high and still retain five of the seven gates that existed, such as Portal de Abajo, Portal de Afuera, Portal Alto, Portal de Tierra Glera and Portal del Callizo. The wall is passable from the top, so one of the obligatory walks is the one that surrounds the villa walking on the walls enjoying the fantastic views. The facades of houses such as Arnal 16C, Bielsa 16-17C or of Latorre, as well as the Cruz Cubierta or Covered Cross 16C, symbol of the legendary origins of the town, commemorating the victory in 724 of Christian troops on the Muslim army, thanks to the miraculous appearance of a cross of fire next to an oak tree, are some clear examples. Enjoy it , a car is needed of course.

Tourist office in Spanish of AinsaTourist office Valle de Ainsa on Ainsa

Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa: Tourist office of region of Aragon on Ainsa in English

And last but not least on the wine wars between the EU and the USA

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has released in a statement the main data extracted from the statements submitted by the operators in November through the Market Information System of the Wine Sector (Infovi). The provisional production of wine and must in the 2019/2020 campaign reaches 37.2 million hectoliters, as of November 30, representing a decrease of 26% compared to the last and 14% to the average of the previous four . By autonomous communities, Castilla-La Mancha appears as the largest producer, with 54% of the total, followed by Catalonia (9%), Extremadura (8%), Valencian Community (7%), Castilla y León (5%), La Rioja (5%) and Andalusia (3%).

The European Commission has approved two legislative proposals aimed at easing measures to promote the export of wine, including those of the Spanish Wine Sector Support Program (PASVE). This measure is part of the requests made by Spain to Brussels in a common position with France and will allow EU funding to be extended to wine promotion programs from 50% to 60%, modify their destination and extend the duration of those approved for third countries.

This measure responds to the decision of the United States, on October 18, to start applying additional tariffs as a result of the Airbus case to certain products, including agrifoods worth 764 million euros. With regard to wine, the additional tariffs applied do not affect all Spanish exports. It is proposed for still wines packaged in volumes less than 2 liters and with a graduation not exceeding 14% by volume, so its impact is especially significant for wines that are protected by protected designations of origin (DOP) and protected geographical indications (IGP), of higher quality and added value.

The additional wine tariff applies exclusively to the countries of the Airbus Consortium: Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It does not apply to wines from other European Union countries such as Italy or Greece, among others. The United States market is the third destination of Spanish wine exports in value, with an average of 283 million euros in the 2014-2018 period. With regard to wines affected by retaliatory measures, they represent 62.46% of the volume of wine exported to the US. and 69.26% of its value. In any case, Spain has requested the European Commission to carry out a detailed monitoring of the markets of the products concerned in order that, if necessary, other mechanisms of the Common Organization of the Agricultural Markets are put in place and even resorted to tools outside the PAC, to minimize the impact on the agri-food sector. Trade wars lose at the end and the most affected is the people. Me think.

There you go  ,now can rest at ease, giving you something from my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy the series of Some News from Spain.

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


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January 21, 2020

Jardin Royal of Toulouse!

Well if you walk, then gardens are a must, and they are all beautiful! Often overlook by visitors because they want to see monuments but here are a wonderful part of any city and gorgeous statues fountains etc as well. A great way to rest amongst this beauty after a long city walk.

Toulouse has some that I like and will tell you here and the next posts. Let me tell you a bit on the Jardin Royal of Toulouse!

The Jardin Royal is an English public garden located in the Busca-Montplaisir district, southeast of the hypercenter of Toulouse. Created by Louis de Mondran in 1754, the Jardin Royal or Royal Garden was the first public garden in the city. Like the Grand-Rond, it was laid out as an English garden between 1861 and 1863. It covers an area of about 1.7 hectares.


First named the public garden of Toulouse, it took the name of Royal Garden with the creation of the Grand-Rond garden. Obviously, during the French revolution, the garden changed its name. During the 19C, following the political orientations of the leaders of Toulouse, the park oscillated between Public and Royal. It was in 1886 that it definitively took the name of the Royal Garden.


Several statues adorn the garden, paying particular tribute to Déodat de Séverac, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the pioneers of the Aéropostale. The Royal Garden is connected to the Grand-Rond garden by a footbridge passing over the allées Jules Guedes and is decorated with numerous statues. There are tree species such as ginkgo biloba, hackberry, Lebanon cedars, a tulip tree, an Osage orange tree and magnolias.


It is a very quiet place, conducive to meditative walks, to poetic reverie. Enter the garden through the west gate, between a hackberry from Provence and a ginkgo biloba. In the alley on the left, before arriving in front of the great cedars of Lebanon, there is a persimmon of Virginia with a blackish trunk deeply cracked. Its orange-yellow fruits, placed on a chalice with four sepals arranged in a cross, are edible after the first frosts, like meddlers. Beside it there is an Osage orange tree with its leaves grouped in small rosettes and twigs armed with thorns. Opposite, just after the group of cedars, grow a large magnolia and a ginkgo biloba in front of a huge hackberry tree. Very picturesque, it offers a romantic setting for lovers with very nice urban furniture in wrought iron. Children have fun with the little duck pond! Indeed can say romantic place.


More info at the tourist office here: Tourist office of Toulouse on the Royal Garden

City of Toulouse on its gardens in French

There you go another wonderful place small but quant and very nicely maintained like royalty… Fun for the whole family and it has sort of a theme on aviation as you are in Toulouse,you know…see my posts on that. For now enjoy the Jardin Royal or Royal Garden of Toulouse.

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


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