Archive for April 8th, 2020

April 8, 2020

A different mall shopping in Torrejon de Ardoz!

So here I am on a shopping spree! I did said that found interesting that each time in a country I had visited, the locals invited me to the shopping malls!!! Do not why, not considered myself a shopper but with small boys no escaping the malls and the toys stores with mom. Even while traveling! No different visiting my dear beloved Spain.

The city of Torrejon de Ardoz have mentioned before in my blog. One of those spots I have come since early teens first with my mother, then girlfriend, then wife, and the boys over the years. Why ? at Torrejon de Ardoz there used to be an old US Air Force base ,I used to go to play baseball while in Madrid and was one of the first to notice a huge shopping center opening there so once realised it had a Toys R Us store oh well, boys attack and pop and mom paid… The rest will be told in this post on the Centro Comercial Parque Corredor.

The Centro Comercial “Parque Corredor” has an hypermarket Alcampo (from the French chain Auchan), and more than 180 stores including the famous Toys R Us and a children playground!  Well we came back with them much older and it was a nice memorable trip. Of course,not all the time stop at Toys’R Us as kid do grow up, but it was a chance for them to now pay their own and buy us some drinks lol!!! The shopping center is loaded with stores and restaurants and a good stopping point out of Madrid as well to shop for better prices.

Torrejon de Ardoz

Of course, we came by car most of the time,  on the road M-108 Carretera or highway of Ajalvir-Torrejon between Km 2 and km 5 well posted  or the faster way on the highway A 2 direction Zaragoza and exit or salida 18 direction Ajalvir. The signs becomes all over to the shopping center.

Only one time took the bus from Madrid for the unique trip with the whole gang, lucky it was only once lol!  From Madrid, go to Avenida  America bus depot and  take bus 224  to Torrejon de Ardoz and there take the bus to the shopping center  Parque Corredor on No 252 or bus 4. The lines 224 and 252 to follow

CRTM bus network on bus 224

CRTM bus network on bus 252

You can there take the Cercanias train C2 and C7 ,these are like the RER in France , express suburbian trains taken from Atocha to Torrejon de Ardoz and then either walk 2 km or take a taxi. Never done it myself just for information.  The lines C2 and C7 to follow

CRTM network Cercanias C2 train

CRTM network Cercanias C7 train

Parque Corredor is a commercial and leisure center located in Torrejón de Ardoz, Comunidad de Madrid, about 19 km from Madrid city. It was built between 1995 and 1996 on the M-108 Torrejón-Ajalvir highway. With a surface gross leased of 123,000 square meters, is considered one of the largest shopping centers in the Comunidad de Madrid and is the largest in the eastern area and as well the Alcalà de Henares Corridor.

The Parque Corredor shopping center mall has 180 stores. The new Zara store, which will probably be inaugurated next fall 2020, will be with its 4,000 meters of surface, one of the largest in the group. Some of my favorites are Cerveceria 100 Montaditos, Alcampo (Auchan) C & A, Decimas, Dunkin Coffee (like dunkin donuts); Foster’s Hollywood, Game, H&M, La Tagliatella, New Yorker, Norauto, Orange, outlet El Corte Inglés, Perfumeria Primor, Ribs restaurant, Toys R Us, and VIP’s cafeterias.

Torrejon de Ardoz

Torrejon de Ardoz

Torrejon de Ardoz

It has a large commercial area as well as a leisure area with nine movie theaters managed by Yelmo Cines  next to the restaurant area. The Cinema is very nice too info here: Yelmo Cines on Parque Corredor Torrejon de Ardoz

Next to it has the 5,000 m2 “Jorge Garbajosa” Sports Pavilion that complements its great commercial offer, mainly fashion and leisure.  Jorge Garbajosa was born in Torrejon de Ardoz and a former basketball player for the Real Madrid amongst others and current President of the Spanish Basketball Association. More info on the sports area here: City of Torrejon de Ardoz on sports complex

Parque Corredor is currently under renovation since August 2019. But everything is still open. The official webpage for the shopping center mall Parque Corredor is here in Spanish: Official Parque Corredor shopping center mall

And there you go , another off the beaten path of my Madrid just out of the city and great shopping experience for the whole family. Always remembered, great memories and even if now my boys are older, won’t surprise you to find me there in the future too. Parque Corredor at Torrejon de Ardoz is all pleasant family memories. Hope you enjoy it too

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


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April 8, 2020

Shopping in Toledo, Spain!

Well hard to come up with titles always huh! Really is shopping near Toledo even if there is plenty to shop in my beloved city of many visits and family  nearby too, but however, for a big shopping center experience need to go out of course.

We went to Toledo from our base in Las Majadas getting on Cuenca then the A40 direction Toledo/Madrid before getting off on the N400 for Toledo. Passing we saw this big shopping center and caught my wife’s eye so of course ,on the way back, we stopped for more shopping and ice cream at the shopping center or Centro Comercial Luz del Tajo (as in the river).

We spent quite a bit of time here, and tried or saw many of our usual favorites from other parts of Spain. These are Cerveceria 100 Montaditos , AntiuXixona cafeteria, Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, Decimas sports store , Game store video games, Supermarkets Eroski, Orange telephone store, and Telepizza are our favorites here. And elsewhere too! There seems to be a nice Cinema Cine Sur ,but never try it.  Free WiFi and free parking as well as gas service station on site Eroski.

Generally, the shopping center Luz del Tajo is open Mondays to Thursdays from 9h to 01h (1am) Fridays from 9h to 03h (3 am) and Sundays from 11h to 01h. The stores are open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 22h , the supermarket opens at 9h Restaurants open at 12h (noon) and closed at 23h except Fridays/Saturday to 01h


The direction to get there from Toledo road N-400 direction Cuenca, between neighborhood Santa Bárbara and the Industrial park of Toledo. The shopping center can be seen from the N 400 coming into Toledo but the entrance is on the opposite way going to Cuenca. The panels will guide you entering Calle del Rio Sagreda , there is another shopping center (parque Fusion) there but hardly anything worth stopping me think. There is a bus service from Plaza Zocodovar in Toledo line 6.2 route Zocodover-Benquerencia.


The official webpage for Centro Comercial Luz del Tajo is here: Centro Comercial Luz del Tajo

Next door there is another shopping center Parque Comercial Fusion but only a VIPS cafeteria and a toy store are worth it me think.  We just went in and out. For info their webpage is here: Parque Comercial Fusion

And there you are a wholesome modern shopping experience near a very old city of Toledo. Choices choices for all. Hope you enjoy the tour and do indeed stop by for a breather from all the immertion found at Toledo.

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

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April 8, 2020

How about those double decker buses!

Ok this is a novelty me think. Used to see them a lot in the movies and promotional tourist office advertising. Finally , saw the proliferation of tourist buses using the double decker style, and finally had a ride in London UK. Just for the memories but not my way of travel , my opinion.

Nevertheless, here is a bit of history and trips taken with them in London and a bit of history in Paris.  Hope you enjoy it

A double-decker bus is a two level bus. These buses are very popular all over the world, either for tourism often in a convertible version, or for public transport with a bodied roof, but the latter use is less common. Among the most famous are those from London UK

The bright red London double-decker buses are among the most iconic symbols of London and England. The most common are the Routemaster type. These buses have the particularity of requiring two employees, a driver and a controller in uniform, responsible for issuing and punching tickets. A mirror periscope allows the driver to keep an eye on the passengers on the upper deck. They are also equipped with a cord to ring the driver to stop, as well as a rear platform that allows passengers in a hurry to jump on the sidewalk at their own risk. They were In circulation since 1956, they ceased their service in 2005. The Routemasters were gradually replaced from the 1970s onwards by more and more modern models of double-decker buses having nothing to do with the Routemaster. These new buses no longer have the rear platform open for safety reasons. Double-decker buses were replaced on many lines by Mercedes Citaro articulated buses in the 2000s. The govt in turn replaced these articulated buses by a new model of double-decker buses in neo-retro style evoking the Routemaster. They are more accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, with a hybrid motor and see the return of the open platform at the rear.

The company that started all this the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) started using motorized omnibuses in 1902, and manufactured them on their own in 1909. In London, a completely different model was put in place; the Transport Act led to the privatization of London buses, as well as the creation of a competing subsidiary of London Transport called London Buses, which however had responsibilities only in the choice of service levels, routes, frequencies, and tariffs, in partnership with the public service which managed the service proper.   This scheme is still in place today, and London buses compete with many private companies. In 2000, with the formation of the Greater London Autorithy, responsibility for London Buses shifted from the state-owned London Regional Transport company to a branch of the City of London, Transport for London. However, in December 2016, the new mayor of London Sadiq Khan decided that the orders would be stopped after only 805 copies delivered. they manage a total bus fleet of around 9,300 vehicles operating across 675 routes; the current managing entity is the London Bus Services Ltd.

The double decker bus, I have ridden on these areas mainly along Gloucester and Knightbridge (these area came on business trips)  to Earls Court (this area I have stayed with the family). Just for the experience only. The area is shown here: Travel Planner London on the double decker bus areas




And to trace any journey see the the official page here: Official Transport London

For the historical anecdote, let me give you a briefer on the Paris double decker history.

In 1853 in Paris, the first two-story bus, the Imperial bus, was invented. The first regular bus line was the AM line, which went from Montmartre to Saint-Germain-des-Prés on June 11, 1906. Soon, six lines were operated and 151 Brillié-Schneider P2s double decker buses crossed Paris, on the lines: C , departing from Porte de Neuilly to Palais-Royal, June 20, 1906 J, departing from Montmartre to Place Saint-Michel, November 1, 1906 I, departing from Place Pigalle to Halle-au-Vin, January 20, 1907 AL, which went from Porte d’Asnières to Gare Montparnasse, March 24, 1907 H, which went from Avenue de Clichy to Odéon, and A that went from Gobelins to Notre-Dame de Lorette, June 30, 1907.

In 1910, one of these vehicles overturned in the Place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) which caused the General Bus Company to challenge the double decker bus operation , the CGO then decided to suppress the imperial buses in 1911, and installed new rear axle and axle entry boxes, these buses taking the Brillé-Schneider P3 designation.   It took 1966 for the RATP to regain the experience of the double decker imperial bus in Paris, two lines were chosen: line 94 which went from Montparnasse Station to Levallois-Perret and line 53 which went from Opera to Porte d’Asnières. But for various reasons this formula was permanently abandoned at the RATP in 1977, this type of bus is not well suited to Parisian streets lined with trees. Since 1977, there is no longer any Parisian line using Imperial buses as a public transport. However, since 2001, four special lines, consisting of a fleet of imperial buses exclusively, and operated solely for tourist purposes by the RATP and Cityrama, have been put into service, the Paris L’OpenTour lines. The The Paris OpenTour, often abbreviated to the OpenTour, is a regular double decker bus line established on May 19, 1998 with a tourist vocation. Imperial buses run through four circuits allowing for the service of, among others, Notre-Dame, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the Montparnasse district. Of course these are tourist buses and never taken them. And voilà not even a photo!!

The official Open Tour bus webpage: Official Open Tour Paris

Tourist office of Paris on the double decker bus: Tourist office of Paris on the double decker Open Tour

And there is the bif of history of the double decker buses in London and Paris. My ride was uneventful along Gloucester Road and Knightbridge areas and just like a regular bus line. I think they have a place for tourist reason and tradition. Hope you have tried them and enjoy them as well.

For now, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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