Archive for April 3rd, 2020

April 3, 2020

The Calle Mayor of Alcalà de Henares!

So here I am on a sunny day, and remembering the places I have been and really not given them the full credit in my blog. This is one beautiful town of Alcalà de Henares which we have enjoyed over the years even from my eternal Madrid. Walking this rich architectural and historical town is a must even if not into walking. The main street here is the Calle Mayor and is gorgeous ; let me tell you a bit more on it ok. Hope you enjoy as we did.

The main street of Alcalá de Henares is the Calle Mayor, as said,  one of the most important in its historic quarter, both commercially and socially. It is a supported street, on both sides. It owes its origin to the old Jewish quarters of the city, around the 12C, which was built following the layout of the Caesar Augusta Roman road that passed through Complutum (Alcalà de Henares). Like today, it was the commercial street of Alcalá de Henares par excellence during the Middle Ages, so it was supported almost entirely, to locate the shops at street level, while the houses were on the upper floor with a gallery that communicated to the inhabitants of the different homes without having to descend onto public roads.

Alcala de HEnares

The archbishops Tenorio, Carrillo and Cisneros changed the wooden right feet for round stone columns between the 14C and 16C, of which there are still enough copies even with remains of the painting in red and blue colors, as they were decorated at parties during the Siglo de Oro (Golden Age). Most were replaced by square pillars in the 19C. Six peepholes are preserved above the entrance to old Jewish houses. Today, Calle Mayor has 242 free or isolated vertical supports with 29 been columns and 213 are pillars and three pilasters.

Alcala de Henares

With a rectilinear and flat layout it goes from one of the corners of Plaza de Cervantes to Plaza de los Santos Niños, site of the Cathedral of Santos Justo y Pastor. It is 396 meters long, the longest preserved in Europe and its width measures 8 meters. In 1986 the Calle Mayor became pedestrian and, among other transformations, the asphalt was changed to cobblestone.

Alcala de Henares

It is currently a pedestrian street, and remains one of the main axes of the city.  There you find from hospitality venues such as bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors, to bookstores, fashion stores, banks and real estate offices. The interesting monuments some of which have written in other posts are: Casa Natal y Museo of Cervantes (birthplace and museum): A reconstruction of a typical 17C house on the site where Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s birthplace was built. It is one of the most visited museums in the Community of Madrid for its representation of daily life and the high-value furniture it contains. The Antezana Hospital: Founded by order of the Antezana couple in 1483, it is one of the oldest operating hospitals in Europe. Having less than 20 beds they called it hospitalillo (little hospital). Since 2006 the nuns gave way to the NGO of the Messengers of Peace. The Corral de la Sinagoga: In medieval times, when the street was located in the Jewish quarter, a synagogue was built that was destroyed in a fire. Only two entrances were preserved, one facing Calle de la Imagen, which has the old door with which the inner courtyards and small squares were closed at night, and another entrance around number 37 of Calle Mayor that conserves the original floor. . These entrances end in the Plaza de los Irlandeses,(Irish square) which was the center of the synagogue and a place of prayer.

And there you go we did shopping here and eat out so much beautiful architecture and history all around you, a pleasant spot for a nice family walk in Calle Mayor at Alcalà de Henares, Comunidad de Madrid! Hope you enjoy the tour and see some nice webpages on it here

A great webpage in Spanich La Calle Mayor on the Calle MayorLa Calle Mayor on things to see at Calle Mayor

And of course, the tourist office of Alcalà de Henares on Calle Mayor in Spanish: Official tourist office of Alcala de Henares on Calle Mayor

The city of Alcalà de Henares on things to see in Spanish: City of Alcalà de Henares on tourism

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


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April 3, 2020

Some streets of Alcalà de Henares!

So here I am going back to my beloved Spain and memorable Comunidad de Madrid region, where i spent most of my time in Spain and even lived in Madrid! This is one of the historical cities and even thus written many posts on it left out the wonderful walks in it and some of its streets so therefore ,here are some streets of Alcalà de Henares!

Let me tell you a bit more on the Calle de los Colegios and Calle Libreros of Alcalà de Henares. Two wonderful streets for you to walk fully and see architecture and history before your eyes.

The Calle de los Colegios or colleges street came out from the story of two bishops. A young student at the Madre de Dios School of Theologians commented on this street: ‘Famous place to build schools’, to which a colleague replied: ‘In this place we have to found two, each one of them.’ So it was. They were Archbishop Loaysa and Bishop Moscoso. Once called calle de Roma for the belief that the old road that linked Emérita Augusta (Mérida) with Caesar Augusta (Zaragoza) ran through it ; the name de los Colegios (streets of colleges) is due to the many who were founded in this axis of the old university city. Some disappeared and have not reached us, such as that of Santiago or the Manriques, that of the Military Orders or of the Maltese, that of Mercedarios Calzados, that of Bernardos Cistercienses and that of Trinitarios Calzados ,later a nursing home. Others have resisted the passing of the centuries and offer a beautiful urban landscape.

Alcala de henares

Some of these monuments, I have written before ,but now they are on this street and they are the remains of the Church of Santa María la Mayor. From the 15C, it was destroyed in July 1936. In one of its chapels there is a replica, with some original fragments, of the font where Miguel de Cervantes was baptized on October 9, 1547. Old College of San Ciriaco and Santa Paula de Malaga. It was founded by Juan Alonso de Moscoso, Bishop of Málaga. After its closure, it was a San Bernardino asylum and the Nuestra Señora de la Paloma school. Currently it is a Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. The legend of the lion’s mouth is famous at the source of one of the two courtyards, which are separated by an imperial-type staircase. Old College of Santa Catalina or Los Físicos y Artistas. Located in the Callejon Santa María alley, it was founded by Cardinal Cisneros. It has a Castilian patio with Tuscan columns on the ground floor, and a wooden balustrade on the upper floor.   Old College of Theologians of La Madre de Dios. Founded by Cardinal Cisneros, it enjoyed great prestige. After its closure, it was the headquarters of the Civil Guard. It is currently the headquarters of the Bar Association. The testimony of the errata of the first edition of Don Quijote de la Mancha was made in this school in December 1604.   Former Royal College-Convent of Agustin Calzados de San Agustin. Current seat of the courts. The name of ‘Real’ is due to the patronage of Juana de Austria, sister of Felipe II. The cover preserves the image of Saint Augustine and coats of arms of the Order and the House of Austria. Old College of San Jerónimo or Trilingual. It was founded for the study of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. There may also have been an Arabic study. Its Renaissance cloister is the work of Pedro de la Cotera. On two of its sides is the Hostería del Student, the second oldest establishment in the network of hostels in Spain (it was created in 1929). On another side of the cloister is the entrance to the Auditorium, the place where the Cervantes Prize for Literature was presented.

A fine city webpage on the Calle de los Colegios in Spanish: LA Calle Mayor tourism on Calle de los Colegios

The Calle Libreros of Alcalá de Henares is a commercial street located in the historic center of the city. An important part of the Complutean history is reflected in its buildings. Its initial name was Calle de Guadalajara. But due to the large number of printers and bookstores that were installed in it from the 16C, it changed its name in the 17C. It is the extension of Calle Mayor. It begins in the northeast corner of the Plaza de Cervantes, and ends in the Plaza de Los Mártires or de los Cuatro Caños.

Alcala de henares

From the 16C, several minor colleges of the University of Alcalá were installed on this street. In 1551 the Colegio del Rey (current headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes) was founded, in 1563 the Colegio de los Vizcaínos, in 1567 the Colegio de los Jesuitas (current Faculty of Law), in 1568 the Colegio de Mena, in 1586 the Colegio de Leon y de los Verdes. This intense academic activity was accompanied by an important editorial activity, which was mainly located on this street. In 1585, La Galatea, the first novel by Miguel de Cervantes, was printed in Juan Gracián’s workshop. The decline of the University of Alcalá began in the 18C, an event that dragged the city’s publishing industry to the point that no original building that has been a typographic workshop is currently preserved.

Again have written before on some of these monuments but these are on this street and they are: Old College of León or Santa María de la Regla and of Saints Justo and Pastor. Founded in 1586 and closed in 1781.It is currently the Graduate School of the University of Alcalá. Old College of the King or of San Felipe and Santiago. Built during the reign of Felipe II, it was inaugurated in 1551. It was attended by the children of the employees of the Royal House, such as Francisco de Quevedo (son of the assistant to the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia). Since 1991 it has been one of the two main headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes. The Church of Santa María la Mayor. Parish located on the old chapel of the Jesuit College. Its granite façade features four sculptures carved in 1624 by Manuel Pereira. Inside, its baroque altarpiece, the work of Francisco Bautista, and the decoration of the vault of the chapel of the Santas Formas (Holy Forms) , painted by Juan Vicente Ribera in 1699, stand out. Former Máximo Colegio de la Compañía de Jesús or de los Jesuitas. Founded in 1545, and with that location since 1620. It highlights inside, the imperial-style staircase. After the confiscation of the University of Alcalá in 1836, it would eventually become the Mendigorría barracks. Since 1990 it houses the Law School of the University of Alcalá. Former Colegio Menor de San Cosme y San Damián, or Colegio de Mena, founded by the doctor Fernando de Mena in 1568 and closed in 1759. Today they are private homes.

A fine city webpage on Calle Libreros in Spanish: La Calle Mayor webpage on Calle LIbreros

The tourist office of Alcalà de Henares in English: Tourist office of Alcala de Henares

And this is the tourist office of the Comunidad de Madrid on Alcalà de Henares in Spanish: Todo Sobre Madrid tourist office on Alcala de Henares

There you go a wonderful way to get lost in history with beauty and old world charm all around you; this is Cervantes’s town, this is Alcalà de Henares! Hope you have enjoy the tour.

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

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April 3, 2020

Stop at Hong Kong!

Ok talking about airports, well been to a few. Some been not too long but are very memorable for x reasons, and I thought rather than just barely mentioned them in my blog giving it a bit more credit in a single post. This is the case of the Hong Kong International Airport. Here is all about it!

I first flew with Cathay Pacific for the first time; and it was a nice ride indeed. This is the airline of Hong Kong and I was going to the airport there for connection to a final destination. The Hong Kong International Airport was my first time too, but as connections were made tight, really had no time to see Hong Kong. Even if passed twice by it on two different trips! This will be for another time. OF course, with the times that will be a bit further away.

The Hong Kong International Airport is the airport of Hong Kong, about 30 km from the city center. Inaugurated on July 6, 1998, to replace the former Kai Tak International Airport. The current airport has become a major global center for freight transport, a connecting platform for passengers and a gateway to destinations in mainland China, east and southeast Asia. it is the first platform for the companies Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, but also for smaller companies like Hong Kong Express or Hong Kong Airlines. It also houses the Hong Kong Government Flying Service aircraft.

The airport was erected on a large artificial island called Huan Fu Zu, built from the mountainous islands of Chep Lap Kok and Lam Chau which were razed to the ground and joined together in part by their own embankments. It is connected to the north coast of Lantau Island near the historic village of Tung Chung, now in a new city. The construction of the new airport was part of a larger program which also included the construction of a new road and a railway connecting the city to the airport and comprising many bridges and tunnels. The airport is managed by the Airport Authority, which is controlled by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The airport has two parallel runways, each 3,800 meters long and 60 meters wide. The southern runway belongs to the “Category II Precision Approach”, while the northern runway belongs to the higher category (“Category IIIA”), which allows pilots to land with only 200 meters of visibility.

The Hong Kong International Airport has a total of 90 boarding gates,with 77 jet bridge gates (1–12, 23–36, 40–50, 60–71, 201–219, 501–506, 508–510) and 12 virtual gates (228–230, 511–513, 520–525) which are used as assembly points for passengers, who are then ferried to the aircraft by apron buses. Of the 66 jet bridges, five (Gates 5,23,60,62,64) are capable of handling the Airbus A380. Besides T2, the SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course has been opened in 2007 whereas the second airport hotel, the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel; and a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal, the Skypier, began operations in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Development around T2 also includes the AsiaWorld-Expo which has started operation in late 2005. A second passenger concourse, the North Satellite Concourse (NSC), opened in 2010, followed by the Midfield Concourse in December 2015.

hong kong

Hong kong

Terminal 1 of the Hong Kong International Airport is the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world. Terminal 2 together with the SkyPlaza, opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Airport Station’s Platform 3. It is only a check-in and processing facility for departing passengers with no gates or arrival facilities (passengers are transported underground to gates at Terminal 1) So far most low-cost carriers and some full-service carriers have relocated their check-in operations to T2. A two-storey North Satellite Concourse (NSC), this concourse was designed for narrow-body aircraft and is equipped with 10 jet bridges. There is a shuttle bus service between the NSC and Terminal 1 every four minutes. The midfield area is located to the west of Terminal 1 between the two existing runways This includes 20 aircraft parking stands, three of these are wide enough to serve the Airbus A380.   Passengers reach the concourse through an extension of the underground automated people mover On 31 March 2016, the Concourse was officially inaugurated.

hong kong

hong kong

The Hong Kong International Airport is renowned for its quality among tour operators and passengers. It is one of the three world airports to have received the 5 stars of the classification made by Skytrax. The airport is accessible with the Hong Kong Metro Airport station on the Airport Express line. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge arrives in Hong Kong near the airport island.

Hong Kong

On 2 July 1998, Air Force One, carrying United States President Bill Clinton, landed at the new airport and became the first foreign visitor to arrive at the new airport.

The official webpage of HKIA here: Official Hong Kong International Airport

The Airport Express Services here: Official Metro Airport Express Services

The Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao BridgeHong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge

The tourist office of Hong KongTourist office of Hong Kong

There you go all you need for a wonderful stop over or longer stay. I have done the first one;looking forward to do the second one. Enjoy the Hong Kong International Airport

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


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