Some news from Spain XCVIIII

And this is my latest news from my beloved Spain. Still in the unfortunate situation of not traveling, and even if do most will be closed. Hopefully next summer all will be back to some normality everywhere. As for now, some items to help us plan for the future and enjoy Spain, everything under the sun!

The prettiest train stations in Spain me think

The Atocha Station of Madrid. Known as the Estacion del Mediodia ( midday station)  or Estacion del Sur (south station) in the mid-19C, as a result of a fire that ravaged the original building, the current Atocha station was built, made in 1892. It is a large 152 meter long nave with a curved roof and a glass facade. A classic see post.

Estacion del Norte in Bilbao (North station).  Also known as Abando Indalecio Prieto, inside the station stands out the large window with motifs from the life and customs of the town, which summarizes the history of Bilbao: it contains references to the Basilica of Begoña, the bridge of San Antón, the hamlets, the iron and steel industry, fishing, sports etc.

Canfranc Station, Huesca. Like a gigantic Titanic stranded in the mountains, with its more than 241 meters in length, its 365 windows and its 156 double doors, the Canfranc International Station was the second largest in Europe. To build this modernist-style pharaonic work, the workers removed millions of cubic meters of earth and planted thousands of Albares pines. They also channeled the Aragón river and made a tunnel almost six km long: the Somport.(see post) It has been closed for more than half a century. Passed by it crossing into Spain see several mentions of it in my blog.

Cartagena station, Murcia. The Cartagena train station dates back to the beginning of the 20C, when the city experienced a true boom in modernist architecture due to the Indianos (Spaniards coming back from the Americas) who returned with great fortunes from America. In the building as a whole, the columns and decorative ceramics stand out, as well as the large clock on the arch of the main facade. Currently on its four tracks, with three platforms in total, the Talgo and Altaria trains circulate, as well as medium-distance services.

France Station,(França)  Barcelona. Inaugurated in 1929 on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, the France station is one of the most important exponents of modernist iron architecture in Barcelona. Located in the Born neighborhood. The double metal canopy with stained glass windows that makes possible the spectacular effect of natural light on the twelve routes that compose it stands out. Walked by it but never inside

Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz. Its construction at the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the following decade recreate a neo-Renaissance Andalusian mansion, in a combination of Mudejar and Plateresque styles. Was by there but missed going in to see will have on my list.

Toledo station. This beautiful monumental station built at the request of king Alfonso XIII in 1917 on the old station of the city of 1858 stands out for its neo-Mudejar architecture and elements such as the clock tower. Inside, coffered ceilings, plasterwork and baseboards and the chiselled the locksmith, lamps and wall lights. In 2005 the station was restored on the occasion of the arrival of the high-speed train. Wonderful pretty station see post.

Estacion del Norte, (North) Valencia Inaugurated in 1917 after ten years of work, the Valencia station is one of the best examples of our civil architecture. Modernist in style, within the current Vienna Secession. See the numerous handcrafted details: the lobby with a meticulous design of the wooden lockers and wainscoting, mosaic inlays and ceramic decorations with an abundance of Trencadís, tiles … while the roof and the delicate geometric shapes of its façade show the effort so that all objects were a work of art in themselves. Very nice station see post.

Zamora Station. Considered one of the most beautiful stations in Spain, its works began in 1927 but due to successive interruptions it was not inaugurated until 1958, a year after the Medina del Campo-Zamora-Orense-Vigo line was put into service. Its façade hides a caricature of the Catholic Monarchs and is a jewel of Renaissance inspiration, whose arcades and openwork windows are reminiscent of the late Gothic style.

The tourist activities platform Musement has developed a ranking with the most popular towns in each Spanish province. All Spanish towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants were taken into consideration according to the INE and the data from the search volume in Google for the term “what to see in [town’s name]. A good idea to have in mind now for when will be possible to travel again.

For travelers who prefer to visit small towns but with much to offer, Guadalest (Alicante), Pedraza (Segovia), Miravet (Tarragona) and Medinaceli (Soria) are the ideal option, since they do not reach 1,000 inhabitants and have numerous places of interest.

Among the most popular towns, it is worth highlighting Peñíscola, the beautiful coastal town in the province of Castellón. Although it is not the only town by the sea that conquers hearts. Llanes, the beautiful fishing village of Asturias or Hondarribia (Guipúzcoa), with the colorful balconies of its typical houses, also triumph inside and outside its provinces.

Mountain and outdoor lovers will be happy to see on the map Jaca (Huesca), yes! Cervera de Pisuerga (Palencia), Albarracín (Teruel)  yes! or Cazorla (Jaén), destinations that allow combining cultural visits and activities in nature. Following in the footsteps of the ingenious gentleman Don Quijote de La Mancha in Consuegra (Toledo),yes!  discovering the Ruta de los Conquistadores in Trujillo (Cáceres) yes! or savoring the best wines in Cambados (Pontevedra), Haro (La Rioja) and Laguardia (Álava) are just some of the plans and experiences that can be enjoyed in the most popular towns of each Spanish province.

More on the Musement webpage here:

Some late wines to recommend and hopefully you can get where you are !

Juan Gil Etiqueta Plata 2018 (Jumilla, about 11 € in Spain). Viñas Familia Gil  in recent decades, it has been one of the main reasons that Jumilla has become a thriving appellation of origin, far from the days of bulk. El Nido is there to prove it, one of the best Mediterranean wines made in this country. And, playing in another league, that of the most affordable prices, Juan Gil Label Plata, an infallible monastrell monovarietal, balsamic and balanced, which is the perfect companion for any type of winter stew.

El Regajal Seleccion Especial 2018 (Vinos de Madrid,14,50 € in Spain) . The finca El Regajal, located in the historic Madrid province town of  Aranjuez, it is unique in the world, since enology and entomology coexist in it. As it sounds: its 14 hectares of vineyards inhabit 77 of the 225 species of butterflies identified in the Iberian Peninsula (hence its label, which represents a lepidopteran). It began to make wines in 1998 and this Special Selection is the crown jewel, with a coupage whose proportion varies depending on each vintage, which includes the five varieties grown on the estate, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot. and Syrah and it is perfect to accompany callos ( tripe) . He has a little brother, Las Retamas, less complex and cheaper (8 euros).

And now the modern version of tasting wines in restaurants. I admit my selection is a blend of the old and the new, taken the best from each in my opinion. Choosing the right wine for lunch or dinner in a restaurant can make the difference between success and failure. If you are in charge of doing it, the Metropolis section of El Mundo newspaper has some suggestions that do not fail and warn you against some very common mistakes to avoid.

Before launching into the wine menu selection, it is convenient to estimate a budget. Neither the cheapest wine is the worst nor the most expensive is the best. You always have to ask the rest of the guests about their tastes. If someone does not like white wine or red wine, as much as it is the one that best goes with the ordered dishes, there is no point in ordering it. The solution is to reach a consensus that each one takes the one they prefer. (yes we do from red to rose).

Don’t get obsessed with harmonies. The white with fish and red with meat is a thing of other times. The recommendation in these cases is to opt for a base wine to accompany the meal. (yes we do). That reds are drunk at room temperature is an outdated urban legend. If a red is too hot (which causes the alcohol to stand out and become unbalanced), there is no qualms about demanding that they be put to cool in an ice bucket. Similarly, an excessively cold white tastes practically nothing. (indeed)

Be careful with the glasses. One wrong glass can spoil a great wine. Refuse to be served in catavinos, flutes, pompadour, and the like. Do not be afraid to talk about prices. If the sommelier proposes a “great wine off the menu”, ask how much it costs. Then , there will be no surprises at the last minute. (we know our wines so no need to ask for the price ..)

Ask that they leave the bottle at hand to regulate consumption. If it could not be for reasons of local protocol, unless it is always in sight, to know how much is left and not be surprised that it has finished in the middle of a meal. Yes indeed anyway if order a bottle it will be in your table.

The experiments are done at home and with soda. Maybe you want to try an exotic wine that you do not know and have not even heard of, but even if your companions (unless they are also irreducible cenotaphs), for one day they go out, they prefer to play it safe. (we do tried by the glass first , and if good we ask for the rest of the bottle!) And most importantly: enjoy, enjoy and enjoy your meals.

There you go folks .something to think about from my beloved Spain; hope you enjoy the post as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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