Archive for April 20th, 2020

April 20, 2020

Parque de Atracciones ,Madrid!

Well going way back in these days of home living and memories come to mind perhaps otherwise not brought to your attention or mine. As said, Madrid is special for me, know the city like the palm of my hand. Been there since early teen and then more. One of the memorable moment is been able to bring my boys to the same places my mother took me. One of this was the amusement park or Parque de Atracciones de Madrid.


I like to take you on a guided tour of the amusement park. Hope you enjoy it as we did/do.

The Parque de Atracciones or amusement park, you will enjoy our favorites Nickelodeon Land, Lanzadera ,Tornado and Abismo that are rollercoasters, and the Walking Dead Experience rides. The Amusement Park in the Batán area of Casa de Campo. It has two entrance doors: by the Tranquility Zone and by Nickelodeonland, 50 meters from the Batan metro/subway station. The park can be accessed by car on the M30 beltway direction Badajoz exit/Salida Parque de Atracciones / Casa de Campo, although it is also connected to public transport by the Batán Metro station line 10 and by bus lines 33 (Principe Pio-Casa de Campo ), 55 (Atocha-Batàn) and 65 (Plaza Jacinto Benavente-Colonia Gran Capitàn. However, when I came with the family we went there by taking the cable car or téléferico de Madrid (see post) from Paseo del Pintor Rosales in Parque del Oeste.


The history of the Parque de Atracciones of Madrid began on May 15, 1969. And I first visited with Mom in 1972!!! Several attractions quickly became well known, such as El Tobogán, Los Coches de Shock, Labyrinth of Mirrors, 7 Picos, Enterprise, Los Piratas, El Valle de la Prehistory, El Pulpo or Jet Star. Over time, the park has undergone several renovations, in which they have been closing, opening and replacing attractions. In 1998 the most important renovation to date was carried out to remodel the park and convert it into a theme park. This complete remodeling consisted of dividing the park into 5 zones, adapting the visual appearance and name of the attractions to their corresponding zones, filling the pathways with decorations, and multiplying the number of souvenir shops, as well as increasing the number of performances. In that same year 1998, the Parque de Atracciones, together with the Zoo Aquarium, Aquópolis and the télferico of Madrid or cable car, joined the Parques Reunidos company. I brought my boys here in 2005.


The Parque de Atracciones or amusement park is today divided into four zones, in which the attractions are distributed. Until April 2012 it also had one more area, called La Gran Avenida,(too bad we love it)  which has now been framed within the Tranquility Zone. These four zones are describe as follows by yours truly.


Zona de Tranquilidad or tranquility zone: La Jungla or   Jungle Open Ride in which a boat goes through different scenarios pretending to be the jungle. In 2000 its route was reduced and they changed the way station to be able to install Río Encantado there. Zeppelin: It is a suspended monorail, whose gondolas are in the shape of zeppelins, which go around the park at a height of about 10 meters. Star Flyer :chains that rise to 81 meters high, being the highest attraction in the park. Virtual simulator : simulator in which a film is projected while the seats move according to the movements that take place in it to give the feeling that what is being simulated is real.


Zona del Maquinismo or Machinism Zone: Abismo or Abyss The climb is made on a 90º plane that finally ends with the cars upside down, while making a corkscrew. From there, the roller coaster begins at a speed of 105 km / h, going through all kinds of investments, corkscrews and banked curves. Tarantula: It is a long and intense roller coaster 25.5 meters high and 630 meters long in cars with capacity for four people, sitting in pairs and with their backs turned. Tornado: inverted roller coaster, The track is located at the top of the seats, unlike conventional roller coasters, allowing the public to enjoy the sensation of traveling hanging, seeing at all times the landscape that passes by their feet. La Lanzadera: A free fall of 63 meters at 80 km / h in 3 seconds, after a stop at the top of approximately 4 seconds, from where you can enjoy good views of Madrid. Cave of Tarantulas: the cars carry pistols that will be used throughout the trip to shoot all the targets that are in the cave. These targets are giant moving tarantulas.   Aserradero or sawmill: Mounted passengers in themed boats as if they were logs, they will go through up to two slopes: a small one practically as soon as they leave the station, and a larger one in the middle of the route. Sillas Voladoras or flying chairs: Consists of chairs hanging from a chain. The area above which the chains are hung rotates, giving the feeling that the chairs are flying. In addition, it will rise in height as it progresses. La Màquina or the Machine: The attraction is a circular platform, hanging from a central beam, with capacity for 40 people who will look inside. The beam will move in a pendular way from right to left, reaching movements of up to 180º. In turn, the platform rotates on the axis that joins it to the central beam. Top Spin: The only attraction that still exists that has kept its original name after the redevelopment of the park. Its operation is similar to a giant swing with two rows of seats with capacity for 40 people, first performing back and forth movements back and forth to finally spin, with a second axis of rotation where the rows of seats are held. Rotor: The attraction is formed by a 32-meter tower through which a structure that holds 28 gondolas ascends, distributed in 4 circles. Those 4 circles will go around as the structure ascends, placing the gondola horizontally in certain positions. Typhoon: Its operation is similar to the attraction La Maquina, being this one softer and oriented to a younger audience. Its biggest difference is that the seats are arranged outwards and that the nacelle moves on a track instead of making a pendulum movement, thus achieving a less dizzy feeling.

Zona de la Naturaleza  or nature zone: TNT – Tren de la Mina: mine train. Despite being an attraction also for children, it reaches 17.5 meters in height and 55 km / h. Vertigo: It is a wild mouse type roller coaster, which does not reach great speed but has very rapid and abrupt changes of direction. Los Rapidos or the Rapids: Mounted on a circular tire, 8 people will be navigating the river prepared to simulate a raft descent. Travelers will go through rapids, areas where there is no way to avoid water. Los Fiordos or the Fjords: After climbing a 15-meter slope and seeing the landscape, the boat falls down a ramp, landing in the water and creating a wave that drenches all the people who are in it. There is a bridge as a viewpoint, just in front of the descent ramp, where people also end up soaking wet after the boat fell. Tiovivo or merry-go-round: It is the classic carousel or merry-go-round of wheelies and other animals. It is the park’s longest running attraction (even older than the park, from 1927) that is still in operation. 4D Cinema: Cinema room where a film with holographic technology will be shown.

Nickelodeon Land: Splash Bash: Aquatic attraction consisting of six rotating gondolas on a rotating platform. Patrulla Canina or dog patrol: roller coaster themed in the television series Patrulla Canina. Hero Spin: Themed in the TV series SpongeBob, it is an attraction similar to the well-known octopus or grasshopper, with the difference that in this the gondolas are cars, which you control with a button inside each car. Nickelodeon Express: elevated train that travels throughout Nickelodeon Land. Al Bosque con Diego: bus-shaped cabin that makes 360-degree turns similar to the hands of a clock. Los Globos Locos or the crazy balloons: Eight hot air balloons on a rotating central axis. The circle above the axis that holds the balloons rotates at the same time as the axis, but with an undulating movement. Padrinos Voladores: the only suspended roller coaster in Spain, with a route similar to that of a wild mouse. Jimmy Neutron’s magneto: a drop tower like the one placed in the Zona del Maquinismo, only this differs in that its height is much lower and in which its route is motorized ; there is no free fall. Cazamedusas de Patricio: or Patrick’s jellyfish hunter: Similar to Splash Bash, but not aquatic. As in the classic attractions known as tazas locas or crazy cups, several rotating gondolas intermingle with others thanks to the rotating platforms on which they are located. La Aventura de Dora or Dora’s adventure: Tour on board a Jeep through a forest with characters from the animated series Dora the Explorer. Coches de Choque de Rugrats or Rugrats bumper cars: Classic bumper car attraction, but smaller, since it is childish. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles License: a children’s attraction in which to learn how to drive a small car on a tour set in a city. Water Games: aquatic attraction formed by different jets of water to cool off.

There are services and restaurants in each zone for your comfort and great lunch experience with the family. In all a great park right at the door of the city of Madrid. Wonderful family souvenirs at Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Hope you enjoy it as we did.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and a family must are

Official Parque de Atracciones de Madrid

Tourist office of Madrid on the Parque de Atracciones

And there you go another childhood memories of my Madrid. Never forgotten and now so lucky to be able to bring my boys on them too and relive again the joy of adolecent living in the movida city of Madrid, my Madrid. Hope you enjoy the Parque de Atracciones as I/we did/do.

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

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April 20, 2020

Some news from France, CCXCXIIII

Well it has been a while with all the sad news going around no will to write about positive things but hey life goes on , we all have gone thru difficult times before and we are here, me writing ,you reading! So life is beautiful and we go on for those who stay with us . Therefore, here is the continuation of my series and even if short one comes from the heart. Best wishes to all out there in our wonderful world. Stay strong and stay safe. And thank your much for reading me all these years.

The Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection. The future museum of contemporary art of Paris, installed in this old circular wheat hall, in the heart of the Marais will not finally open until spring 2021. This vast concrete cylinder, 9 meters high, which occupies the heart of the Stock Exchange, has taken its place superbly. The finishes are also perfect, with the old-fashioned lamps redone identically. The glass railings of this new passageway at the height of the restored frescoes, gives a modern aspect to this 18-19C building, conceded by the City for fifty years. The building covers more than 10,500 m2 of usable space, including 6,800 m2 for the 10 exhibition spaces. On each floor, there will be a lounge in which the public will find art magazines and Internet access. There will also be a restaurant on the third and last floor, on the Saint-Eustache side. Finally, an auditorium with 284 seats will allow for significant activity of film screenings, concerts and conferences. Worth the wait after the wuhan virus.

Parisians between worries and questions about deconfinement which for us should start from May 11th. Some of the doubts hopes expression share here from the Le Parisien newspaper. “No question that I resume public transport after deconfinement. And I no longer use my car in Paris. So for my next trips it will be a taxi … or nothing.” “The metro is over” will take the RER to get to Paris where I works … but will end her journey with the foldable electric scooter she bought in anticipation of the deconfinement. “The cycle paths are fine, but for Parisians far from any station, and working in the 19éùe If I have to go back to work after May 11, it will be by car, whatever it costs”. Yep I am sure things will never be same after the wuhan virus.

The laboratory of the municipal water authority Eau de Paris discovered in the last 24 hours the presence of Covid-19 in minute quantities in the city’s non-potable water network. In Paris, two independent networks coexist, that of drinking water, and that of non-drinking water, inherited from the end of the 19C. The non-drinking water network is supplied by so-called raw water, taken from the Seine. and the Ourcq canal, and routed without heavy treatment. So no longer carafe d’eau in restaurants you never know where it comes from lol!

Finally, some hope slowly, as  the markets of Oinville-sur-Montcient, Perdreauville, Poigny-la-Forêt and Aulnay-sur-Mauldre are to open in the Yvelines dept 78. Two unique market in Vert and Saint-Hilarion should also be part of the lot. To add Bullion, Clairefontaine and Montfort-l’Amaury. In Maule, the news is already causing a stir. It must be said that in 500 years of existence, the market has never known such a long period of closure. In this town of 6,000 inhabitants near Thoiry, outdoor sales were born in 1524 thanks to an edict by king François 1st!!! Still waiting for ok here.

The city of Versailles cancels the rents and taxes of the merchants in town , bravo!!!  The city/town hall has decided to cancel the rents of the shops it owns as well as the taxes collected on the terraces. At the head of four restaurants located on the Place des Manèges in Versailles, César Molina appreciates this gesture from the city hall even if, for him, the crisis will be very hard to bear.

The Grande Arche de la Défense told by its little stories. A virtual exhibition by the Hauts-de-Seine 92 departmental council retraces the astonishing history of a monument now emblematic of the region. The Arc de Triomphe of the 20C at La Défense.

Here is the recipe for these at home times. The galette complete: the recipe of Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance a son of Plougasnou, in the bay of Morlaix, Finistére dept 29 of Brittany!!!.

For a dozen galettes,the ingredients and recipe

Dough: 330 g of buckwheat flour. 10 g sea salt. 75 cl of water. 1 egg. Butter.

Filling: 10 thin slices of white ham. 100 to 150 g of grated Emmental, Comté or Cantal cheese. 1 egg per patty. Chopped chives. Pepper.

Preparation: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk the water with the egg. Form a well in the flour and pour the water-egg mixture, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon, until a smooth and fairly liquid dough is obtained. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes under a cloth.

Cooking: In a pancake pan (or a billig), over medium heat, melt a knob of butter then pour a small ladle of dough. Cook the patties for about 1 minute on each side and set aside.

You can also garnish the patties on the opposite side, and serve them immediately, they will be all the more crisp. Arrange the cheese on side 2 of the cake. Add a slice of ham, then break the egg. When the egg white is cooked, fold the edges of the patty. Add pepper and sprinkle with chives.

If many museums offer virtual tours directly on their website, Google Arts and Culture allows us to visit countless museums and collections around the world on the same principle as Street View. The Louvre museum site allows you (subject to using Flash) to visit the famous Apollo Gallery, the galleries of Egyptian antiquities and the foundations of the Louvre.

Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil , mostly save from the renovations to the Roland Garros stadium is worth visiting. Built under king Louis XV in 1761, these huge greenhouses are located in the Bois de Boulogne and as much to tell you directly: this is the place where nobody will come to pick you up. Composed of 5 main greenhouses, the largest of which even has a water point at the edge of which to sit quietly with your sketchbook or a good book, you can spend the afternoon there without anything coming to disturb you. It is located at 3, avenue de la Porte-d´Auteuil 16éme Paris !

Update on Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. When the fire happened two-thirds of the roof was destroyed, the frame nicknamed “The Forest” was devoured by the flames, part of the vault was hit, charred beams collapsed. Between 350 and 400 tonnes of lead which made up the roof and the spire were reduced to ashes. Fortunately, 1,300 works were sheltered during the evening, at the Louvre museum or in secure warehouses to be preserved and restored. But the Notre-Dame site promises to be colossal. Work began under the aegis of Louis Georgelin, the General responsible for piloting the cathedral’s five-year renaissance. The soldier commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron has indeed promised a Te Deum at Notre-Dame on April 16, 2024.  It was planned to start dismantling the scaffolding on March 23. A complex and spectacular operation which required a protocol. They were also installing a second scaffolding above the first to allow rope access technicians to hang on and descend on the damaged scaffolding and thus cut out the 40,000 tubes. We will have to resume this when the site will restart. For the moment, we maintain the objective of returning the Notre Dame Cathedral to worship and visitors on April 16, 2024 !! Good riddance soldier!!

Further, an investigation into the incident was opened by the head of “involuntary destruction by fire” and entrusted to the Regional Directorate of the Judicial Police. The Secretary of State for the Interior, Laurent Nunez, had previously announced that the origin of this fire, unprecedented in the history of the Cathedral, was still unknown. Is a tricky business of blame this might take longer…

And we continue on our 6th week of confinement and totally change of routine, life work etc. all essentials are taken care of in my department 56 Morbihan and we are the less hit by the wuhan virus. We are holding on as we have a nice property to move about with a huge patio. I am on telework and with missions pending once all is over but getting pay 100% so I am ok. Best of luck and best wishes to all. Stay safe!

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


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April 20, 2020

Trujillo, Extremadura. Birthplace of conquerors !!

I have been here! and have other posts on Trujillo in my blog. A wonderful souvenir because came here with friends still on board!  I ,of course, was in Madrid and had the grand opportunity to visit this wonderful town, Trujillo, in the Autonomous region of Extremadura in my kingdom of Spain. I recall was here so many years ago when a teenager, and now it was wonderful to come back as an adult. The city is compact ,and full of history all around you. I will just touch here on the souvenirs, the monuments are in other posts.

I was taken there by car, and given a short tour of the city that turn out very nice.  We stop along the road for gas at a Repsol service station at El Berrocal  Autovía del Suroeste, km182, 10300 Navalmoral de la Mata, province of Cáceres on the road A5. We arrive right into the plaza Mayor, full of historical buildings all around it, and the huge statue of conqueror of Peru Francisco Pizarro.  The best way here as always with my opinions is the car of course. Out of madrid on the A5 will get you here. They have a Facebook page! here: Facebook page of El Berrocal resto Repsol gas station


In the square or plaza Mayor you will see the many monuments I had mentioned in previous post but the square is loaded.  The tourist office of Trujillo with monuments links in Spanish is here: Tourist office of Trujillo on things to see


However, before reaching Trujillo ,we had a great lunch at Hotel Las Cigueñas, just before reaching the city center at Avenida de Madrid ,52. Its a complex hotel, restaurant,and events facilities. La Bodega restaurant inside is wonderful, we had tapas entrees of iberico ham, mollejas de cordero,a nice lubina fish dish, and red wine tayita from the region, all well serve, friendly efficient and well done.  For the gourmand in me, this was heavens and the hightlight of this trip. Always looking forward to stopping by again. Recommended.

The official webpage Hotel Las Cigueñas is here: Hotel Las Ciguenas


For info those without a car, there are bus service from Madrid by Avanzabus , webpage here Avanzabus destination Trujillo

By train is a bit longer about a bit over 2 hrs, from Madrid Atocha to Navalmoral de la Mata and then bus to Trujillo with the above firm. The Renfe trains is here Renfe schedules

Worth the trip for a day or better rent a car! Hope you enjoy the ride! Trujillo is full of architecture and history of the Americas! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 20, 2020

General George S. Patton Memorial Museum ,Ettelbruck!

And now let me tell you about a small historical museum tuck away in an off the beaten path town of Luxembourg. I have mentioned it in previous post but again feel that a more detail description is merited. We were in our road warrior trips all over Luxembourg, and notice after the Hamm cemetery there was a museum to Gen Patton,one of the heroes of WWII in my opinion. So we took to the roads again to see the General George S Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg.


The name of Ettelbruck comes from the German word Atilbriga which means fertile ground. In 1907 , Grand Duke William II gave it the status of City. The town suffers greatlty during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, finally liberated on Christmas Day, by the 80th US Infantry Division, part of the US 3rd Army led by Gen Patton. The city has been called “Pattonville” as well as the Gate to the Ardennes.

The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck honors the general who liberated the town. The museum exhibits photographs, uniforms (both military and prison camp), weapons and documents from the period of Nazi  occupation of Luxembourg (May 1940 to September 1944). The museum was opened on 7 July 1995 and represents a main tourist attraction in Ettelbruck.


In it is also, the oldest Ford dealer in continental Europe ,still there since 1926!

I change habits and tell you about the different webpages that will help you get here and enjoy it; for a stop over road trip it is worth the detour if you are into history as I am.

Official Patton Museum in English: Patton Museum in Ettlebruck

The city of Ettelbruck on the Patton museum in French: City of Ettelbruck on the Patton Museum

The tourist office of Luxembourg on the Patton museum in Ettelbruck in English: Tourist office of Luxembourg on the Patton museum in Ettelbruck

As said the Gen Patton Museum was inaugurated in 1995, the museum pays tribute to General George Patton, commander of the 3rd American army who liberated the city of Ettelbruck in December 1944. More than 1,000 photographs and documents related to the German occupation are exposed, to sides of weapons and pieces of equipment discovered on the battlefield of the Ardennes.


It is structured in three parts: German invasion, occupation and allied liberation; exhibition of weapons and military equipment; and air warfare.


The museum is dedicated to the American General Patton, the commander of the 3th Army, that liberated the city of Ettelbruck, it includes a biography of Gen Patton. A second part of the museum presents numerous weapons and pieces of equipment which have been discovered and searched in recent years on the Ardennes battlefield. Another section of the museum is devoted to air warfare and battles in the sky over Luxembourg.


In the museum, more than 1000 pictures are positioned to take a look at. They will tell you the story ever since the Nazi occupation in 1940 until the American liberation in 1944. The Patton museum give you a clear vision on the weapons used by both countries and the aerial warfare that took place in and above Luxemburg.  Various photographs, documents and authentic objects illustrate the Nazi invasion, repression and persecution, and the liberation of Luxembourg in September 1944.


There a very compact building museum loaded with WWII history artifacts/uniforms and weapons for a complete view of the events in the area of Ettelbruck. A nice family visit and very educational for future generations.

Hope you enjoy the tour of the Patton museum at Ettelbruck, Luxembourg. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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