Archive for November 25th, 2020

November 25, 2020

Chinchon, Colmenar de Oreja, and Villarejo de Salvanés, Comunidad de Madrid!

So this is a fun update as these are nice memorable towns in my road warrior ways in my beloved Spain. I am updating them with revised text and not repeated pictures. I have posted individually on the monuments.

I like to take you to the quant towns of Chinchon, Colmenar de Oreja, and Villarejo de Salvanés! All in the Comunidad de Madrid region.

And so we took off on a little tour of my beloved Spain, we took a day and made it long sort of. We move on by car on the road M305 to Chinchon , another wonderful old town. We followed up with Colmenar de Oreja and then Villarejo de Salvanés before getting back on the A3 /A40 back to home base.

Chinchon is a nice town famous for its wonderful anisette base liquor and its great Plaza Mayor square.  Here at the plaza mayor the first houses were built in the 15C and the square is used for many things not least the bullfight arena!

The Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was built in 1534 and finished in 1626; and the great belltower without a Church of the old Church of Nuestra Señora de Gracia, built in the 15C as well, now only see a clocktower or Torre del Reloj  over the plaza mayor.

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The castle of the Counts built in the 16C or Castillo de los Condes; its last used was a liquor factory, and now it is just there holding fairs and temporary events.  Entering town you see the Convento de las Clarisas built in 1653.

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We continue our journey on the M311 road , after doing some excellent foot work on the streets of Chinchon to reach our next town on the trailblazing sun of Spain; this town was Colmenar de Oreja.

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We quickly gather around the Plaza Mayor that has an overhanging house to get to on one side and opens up on the other side encircling a bulls arena as well. The  Plaza Mayor (Major Square), built on a cliff between 1676 and 1794, and we walk around the Church of Santa María la Mayor.

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I wanted to visit one more town before heading back home for the day, we are fast ::)  We continue the journey on the road M311 crossing over our expressway A3 to reach Villarejo de Salvanés.  I have read it has a nice tower and indeed it is. There you will see the wonderful  Torre del Homenaje  a part of the old Castle of Villarejo de Salvanés.  By here , passed the old road of Toledo as well as the Senda Galiana (Roman road that linked Galia (France) and Hispania (Spain) used during the Middle Ages.

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The wonderful Church of San Andrés the Apostle sit facing direct to the tower and castle ruins on a nice square or Plaza del Castillo.

A wonderful entry into the real Spain away from the crowds in a peaceful surrounding, at Villarejo we spoked with locals waiting for their bus which connects to the city of Madrid, got to know the bus routes and the Mercadona supermarket , my dear late wife Martine love it!!!

It was time to head back to our mountain retrieve in the Serrania de Cuenca along the A3 and then the A40. Enjoy it as much as we did. Spain is everything under the Sun, a slogan of the tourist office from the movida years of the 80’s and still holding true.

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Chinchonhttp://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/chinchon/11294-chinchon.html

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Colmenar de Orejahttps://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/colmenar-de-oreja/202-colmenar-de-oreja.html

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on Villarejo de Salvanéshttps://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/las-vegas-region/7368-villarejo-de-salvanes-1.html

You have a dandy trio to visit, you can hit all 3 in one day and eat out if get up early but all worth it. If need to pick one to stay longer would be Chinchon. Enjoy the region around the capital city of Madrid!!

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

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November 25, 2020

Aranjuez is more than a concerto !

So by now it has become a regular series of mine to look at my blog and go over old posts to update links, revise the text, and insert the pertinent pictures. It has been a wonderful route for me and I hope it has help my readers to get up to date information for a future travel plan.

I like to bring up to date my passage with my family to the city of Aranjuez in the comunidad de Madrid region last August 2016. Enjoy it!

And we came to the wonderful city of Aranjuez, a princely town made very famous by all Spaniards for the concerto created by Joaquin Rodrigo on an old story of love between a prince and princesse, hear it, sublime music of Aranjuez. My dear late mother Gladys made me come into it when a boy and it has always stay with me up to today.

We follow by car the A40 from Cuenca all the way to Aranjuez that is  just south of Madrid and closer to Toledo.

We came right into the the Church Chapel of San Antonio after passing the arches that hold the Church together on each side. This is right next to the Royal palace or Palacio Real. Here we took the chiquitren or litle train ride all over town for about 50 minutes; which we usually do not take but were in nostalgia land to take a quick trip around the city to start.

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We did thereafter, our usual walking around town soaking in the local life after the litle train ride into Calle Principe where we found free parking, and Calle Postas right by the Mercado del Abasto or food covered market.

The Calle Postas takes you right into the Plaza de Toros on your left at corner with calle Mirasierra. Its not a major arena so we just walk around it. We headed back walking to see the garden or Jardin de Isabel II and a nice statue of the Queen.

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The Palacio Real we did not go in as already seen lots of palaces including this one before, but for first timers is a must. We rather had some granizados crushed ice with flavored drinks for the heat and continue walking into the jardin del Principe and Parterre of the castle behind it. This is pristine beautiful natural area with lots of statues and fountains.

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The highlight for us is the local food and off tourist trails we headed for one closer to the plaza de Toros, the De Cañas en Fedario, at Calle Postas ,68. This was great menu for 7,50€ included a first plate of Arroz con Tres Delicias, Gazpacho, ensaladilla Rusa, and then second plate of chicken breasts, roasted pig a la plancha, or hake fish rounds in spices, all with french fries, dessert we had arroz con leche and flan, beers of mahou very cold , a great deal indeed. I cannot confirm if they are still open so check.

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While in town you notice a nice looking Church on end of calle Principe, this the Church of Alpajes (also known as the Señora de Angustias) and see the wonderful fountain of Apolo at Plaza de la Mariblanca right in front of the Palace.

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It was a quick visit that we combine with our next town, and of course we were back eventually . In the meantime, enjoy Aranjuez and its concerto !

The city of Aranjuez on tourist info in Spanish: https://www.aranjuez.es/turismo/

This is a private initiative with tourist information and can be seen in several languages, I find it very good: https://www.aranjuez.com/

And there you go folks, a quick introduction to a nice princely city of Spain, Aranjuez. Hope you get the taste and see my other posts on it, worth the detour.

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

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November 25, 2020

The mythical beautiful Toledo!

And I continue my hard head way to update revise and show new photos of older posts in my blog. A loving work and time well spend me think. Hope you are following along and I thank you.

This time will do the mythical city of Toledo in Castilla La Mancha! A city I came way back many years as had family living outside now they have passed away. I did took my family there for a family reunion and later to visit the mythical city of Toledo.

For those on public transports the train station is very nice and just on the outskirts of town with great bus service inward. We did try the bus no 61 to get us from the back of the Church of Santiago del Arrabal (puerta bisagra stop) back to the Plaza Zocodover after an exhaustive day of walking , the ride was nice.

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And I made it back to Toledo this time with the family and it was one of our best expériences from our trip to Spain. Believe or not , I have come here often on my rounds by Madrid , but this time came with the wife and kids!  Toledo is magical but been to many places and little time for it, this time with the family finally made it back and it was very special.

We came by car on the N400 after going most of the way on the A40 from the mountains north of Cuenca. The drive was easy with little or no traffic ,and the parking was easy to find and plenty of spaces available in the Corralillo de San Miguel just next to the Alcazar.

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Of course, the first building was the Alcazar and the museo del Ejercito or army museum.  We are not into muséums preferred the street walks and soaking in the local flavors of the gastronomy and shopping.  However, this is a must for museum goers. More on the museum in Spanish: https://turismo.toledo.es/museo-monumento-expo/museo-del-ejercito/

We quickly moved to wonderful Plaza del Zocodover, full of life and great eateries and shopping, we loaded up on Swords and pennants which the boys soaked up pretty quickly; even a musket pistol! The shop is just across from the entrance to the army museum, the name escapes me as usual on these things duh!

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We ,then, took the calle Comercio full of shops and restos very colorful, we love it came by here many times sometimes in circles so be it ,it is wonderful. I can stay here all day ,you walk. This street takes you on the back of the Catedral Primada. Now, again not into seeing buildings but if not been in it you should see it.  more in Spanish here: https://turismo.toledo.es/museo-monumento-expo/catedral-primada/

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In our walks, we passed by many Churches with lots of history but we just walk by them soaking in the architecture and the sights even of other tourists…. One that was worth it was the Church of del Salvador or Savior built on a mosque and Christian by the 12C. Of interest Queen Juana of Castile was baptised here, been the mother of Carlos V.   The Church of San Idelfonso an original Jesuit Church that took 150 years to built, following the example of  Il Gesú in Rome. Next we came to the Church of San Romàn, located on one of the 12 hills of Toledo! on the foundations of a Roman building, and Inside it has a Visigoth museum or museo de concilios. Another, was the Church of Santiago del Arrabal, considered one of the best example of Mudéjar style architecture in Toledo.

We came into a nice square Plaza de San Vicente where the Circulo del Arte building is located; this is a nice example of old, religious like building used to expose great works of arts in temporary and permanent expositions. More info here in Spanish: http://www.circuloartetoledo.org/circulo/presentacion

The nice  Convento de Santa Isabel de los Reyes, a convent where nuns sells the sweets of the area is quite nice and very inviting to eat even in the heat of 35C. An interesting building was the Posada de la Hermandad or brotherhood created to protect the farmers from bandits even if today is used for exhibitions by the city. The city hall or town hall (Ayuntamiento) is always attractive in many cities and one to look at its architecture, this one in Toledo is no exception.

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A super site just by the puerta de Valmardon is the Mezquita Cristo de la Luz.  The Cristo de la Luz mosque is the most perfect example of islamic art in Spain ,kept almost intact from the time of the Caliphs by around 999.  Another interesting gate is the puerta de Alcantara and the Puerta de Bisagra.

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There is a nice Teatro de Rojas in Toledo not stay overnight to try it but it looks very nice and good alternative for the day activities of anyone. From 1578 a comedy theater to the one now from 1878. More here in Spanish: http://www.teatroderojas.es/es/el-teatro

And of course, we did delves into ice creams and granizados or granitas best can translate, its syrup of different flavors to choose on crushed ice great for the heat of the day. However, for a formal lunch we could not resist the 6,95€ menu from Meson Palacios part of Hostal Palacios on Calle Alfonso XI El Sabio (the sage) no 5 corner with calle Navarro Ledesma. We had first plate arroz a la Cubana, judias blancas con panceta y rabo, croquetas Roquefort, then 2nd plate, bistec a las finas hierbas, hamburguesas con patatas, pollo en pepitoria, also bread, dessert like rice pudding, a glass of beer and coffee tax included all this for 6,95!!! The best bargain in our trip and all deliciously serve with great friendly funny service. A memorable family moment to last. Indeed we came back next year and by now a fond family spot in Spain. Webpage in Spanish: http://www.hostalpalacios.net/Inicio.17.0.html

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On the way back, we stop for more shopping and ice cream at the shopping center or centro comercial Luz del Tajo on the N400 road, follow centro comercial and then luz de tajo ,further there is Fusion shopping plaza but not as good. Something to use as a rest stop as well. The Luz del Tajo webpage: https://www.luzdeltajo.net/

And our first trip to Toledo with the family ended good. Memories for me and especially for the other half as 30 years ago I brought her here searching for a hotel and could not ,all booked, we end up back in Madrid where we found one, driving on the road with no réservations, never again. Toledo is now seen by our sons and we pass on the thirst for more in the future as they like it too !!! Enjoy it,  and may it bring you the thirst to come here too, Toledo is magical, mythical, beautiful.

The tourist office of Toledo: https://turismo.toledo.es/

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

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