Archive for February 15th, 2021

February 15, 2021

Museo Cerralbo , Madrid!!!

Here we all go to the big ones first, then we try the others, and many times the others look feel better. In my beloved Madrid, where I lived did not was into museums been a young men of other persuasions however with time continue visiting grew older and wiser me think and did get to see the museums of Madrid. This one is very nice and recommended and would like to update an older post on the Museo Cerralbo!

And here we have a museum a bit away from the mainstream but worth the detour. I must said the last time here was way back probably in the 1990’s. However, as visited wanted my boys to see it too and continue the family tradition.  We came to the Museo Cerralbo at Calle Ventura Rodriguez 17 right off the Plaza de España! yet on a small street Calle Ferraz. You can get here on the metro Ventura Rodríguez , line 3 or Plaza de España line 3 and 10Príncipe Pío  lines 6 and 10 as well as Cercanais trains at Príncipe Pío, lines C1, C7 , and C10.


The Museo Cerralbo is a Spanish national museum and it houses the old private collection of works of art, archaeological objects and other antiques gathered by Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, 17th Marquis de Cerralbo, who practiced politics, but, above all, is remembered for his role as historian and promoter of various archaeological excavations. The Cerralbo is considered an environment museum, that is, it presents the uniqueness of being one of the few 19C palaces of Madrid that still retains its original decoration.  The marquis died in 1922 and, in his will, bequeathed the vast majority of his archeology pieces to the National Archaeological Museum and the National Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as the rest of his collection and the palace built between 1883 and 1893 to the State, which accepted the testamentary legacy. The building, opened as a museum in 1944.


Inside, more than 50,000 objects are preserved, including antiques, sculptures, furniture, various decorative arts, drawings and prints or paintings, where great names such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Bronzino, Tintoretto or Van Dyck stand out. The garden, based on sketches by the Marquis himself, evokes the romantic English-style gardens. Nowadays, the decoration of the main floor is conserved almost completely which includes, among others, a sumptuous ballroom – while the most private rooms underwent successive changes due to use. They have finally been recovered with their original furniture and other antiques acquired recently.


Above all the schools, the Spanish painting collection stands out, since of the pictorial ensemble that is preserved in the museum, almost half corresponds to works due to Spanish artists. The Immaculate of Francisco de Zurbarán, La Piedad de Alonso Cano, a copy of an original by Van Dyck, or Jacob with Laban’s herd from the workshop of José de Ribera whose original is preserved in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, as well as, from the Renaissance, a San Francisco in ecstasy of El Greco.  Within the foreign collections, Italian painting has a special role, with relevant examples ranging from the 16C to the 18C. They highlight a portrait of Alejandro de Médici, revealed as an original by Bronzino or La Resurección de Cristo (resurrection of Christ) , an unpublished piece, to date, of Corrado Giaquinto. One of the most valuable pieces in the collection is precisely the Portrait of a Gentleman from Tintoretto, acquired by the marquis, probably, back in 1884. The other European schools have a practically testimonial presence. However, works such as La Virgen con el Niño, (the Virgin and the Child) the work of the Genoese school by Anton van Dyck stand out and were revealed, after a restoration process, as the painter’s original in December 2017.

The Cerralbo Museum also has a valuable set of drawings, which includes outstanding examples of the Spanish, Italian, Flemish and French schools. This museum houses sculptures from Roman times, Greek ceramics, Meissen porcelains, European and Eastern weapons and armor, numismatics from Greco-Roman times, etc.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Madrid tourist office on the Cerralbo Museum

The official Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain on the Cerralbo Museum

And voilà, you have another dandy monument to visit in Madrid. The city is awesome , always vibrant and plenty of architecture, history and the arts to keep you busy forever. Enjoy this Cerralbo Museum of Madrid

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

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February 15, 2021

Casa de America, Madrid!!

In my continuing saga of updating older posts in my blog I bring you back to my beloved Madrid! Yes culture and history are part of any society and without understand it, you are doom for errors or least more of them. This is a cultural center of the Americas in Madrid where all countries of Latin America can meet and exchange culture, arts, theater, and conditions; it is a must while in Madrid to understand the whole of the American conscience (American is the sense of the continent). Let me tell you a bit on the Casa de America of Madrid!


A place to visit for the culture and understanding  a lot more than just a tourist sight, even if many things will help you understand the things you see as a tourist/visitor of my Americas. I have touch briefly before, but I like to tell you a bit more on the Casa America.


The Casa de America is a consortium created in 1990 and integrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the community of Madrid and the city of Madrid. It is coordinated through the Governing Council, the upper management body of the Consortium and the delegated commission of that Governing Council formed by a representative of each of the three institutions plus the Director General or General Manager.


A bit of the history I like

This consortium has the headquarters of the Palacio de Linares in Madrid.  It is located in the district of Salamanca, in the northeast corner of Plaza de Cibeles, on which opens the main entrance, between the Paseo de Recoletos and the Calle de Alcalá (my street!).  The Murga family’s fortune declined after the Marquis ‘ death in 1902, and the palace, damaged during the Spanish Civil war, was about to be demolished when it was classified as a historic monument in 1976.  It escaped destruction but remains abandoned for many years.  This palace built in 1873 for the Murga family is impressive. Baroque style, it was completely renovated in 1992. One of the peculiarities of this palace is the Casa de Muñecas, or the house of dolls; located in the interior patio of the palace, it was built by the Marquis de Linares for his adopted daughter Raimondita.

Casa de America is a public consortium that aims to strengthen ties between Spain and the Americas, especially with Latin America. This approach is encouraged through the organization of seminars, conferences, roundtables, exhibitions, lectures, projections, concerts, symposia, presentations, workshops, etc.

The Casa de America Consortium was founded in 1990, on the occasion of the preparations for the celebrations of the 5th centenary of the discovery of the Americas (by Europeans)  by Columbus.  The headquarters of Casa de America hosted the 2nd Ibero-American Summit in July 1992. S.M. King Don Juan Carlos I and the Heads of State and Government who participated in the summit inaugurated the institution.  The Casa America has since received the most important personalities of the continent: leaders, politicians, economists, authors, sociologists, artists, etc

The activity of the institution is divided into two areas: American Tribune and American Athenaeum.  American Tribune: It focuses on the diplomatic and institutional sphere by emphasizing political-social, economic, scientific, technological and general thinking issues. American Athenaeum: Focuses on the cultural field, and its activities revolve around cinema, literature, music, the visual arts and scenic.

Some webpages to help you enjoy this place fully are:

The official webpage of Casa de America

The Madrid tourist office on Casa de America

During the visit you can see the different rooms of the palace accompanied by specialists in history and art, and you can, also discover the stories and legends related to the building. Visits can be made in English, Spanish and in mixed groups. Saturdays and Sundays at 11h, 12h ,13h. Buy your tickets directly at Casa de América information point from Monday to Friday from 11h30 to 14h30 and from 16h30 to 19h30.  General admission: 8€. There is now a nice Raimunda restaurant on site.

There you go another jewel in a very nice area of Madrid, not far from my old home when living there. Its a cultural center in a cultural city, enjoy it

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

February 15, 2021

Church of Our Lady of the Assomption, San Clemente!

And this was a wonderful experience and we came back. On my road warrior rides in the Province of Cuenca, Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain i came upon San Clemente! There are other posts on the town in my blog, this one is on one of its monuments from 2017. I like to update/revise text and links; hope you enjoy as I.

And I bring you down to my beloved Spain again, this is going south of Madrid of Don Quijote dreams and stories. The land is arid and long but the views natural and men made are spectacular. The area of San Clemente is sublime; with lots of memories of family visits, always to be remembered.  I like to tell you a bit more on a nice monument there ,that again needs more showing in my opinion. The Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption or Iglesia Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion in San Clemente!

San Clemente is a wonderful back door town ; the ones my grandparents told me and love to see them again all over Spain. Historically the region was known as the Mancha Alta, within the Mancha de Montearagón, a place name that would come from the fact that the Castilians who traveled to Valencia (which had already been conquered by Jaime I of Aragón in 1238) rode more so climbed  towards Aragón, when passing through this territory, located at a higher altitude. It is located at 110 km from Cuenca, and 80 km from Albacete, on the banks of the Rus River and at the convergence of the A-43 and AP-36 highways. You can get here on the A-3 (autovia de Valencia-Madrid) taking the regional road CM-3112 and crossing the villages of El Cañavate and Villar de Cantos until you reach the town. The national road N-310 crosses the urban nucleus, a link between the towns of Manzanares (Ciudad Real) and Villanueva de la Jara.(see post) All lovely country.

A bit of history I like on San Clemente

An important fact in the history of San Clemente lies in the war that the Catholic Monarchs maintained against the followers of Juana La Beltraneja, aspiring to the throne that Queen Isabel (I) la Católica held between the years 1476-1479, among whose followers was Don Diego Pacheco, Marquis de Villena  In this confrontation, the town of San Clemente decided to support Isabel the Catholic and reveals herself against the power of the Marquis of Villena. Once the war ended with victory for the Isabelite’s side, the support that San Clemente gave her helped the Catholic Monarchs to decide to incorporate the town of San Clemente into the crown, making it a kingdom and granting it independence from the town of Alarcón (see post) . It received the visit of the Catholic Monarchs on August 9, 1488, a visit in which, as a symbol of gratitude for the support given, they confirmed the privileges that had previously been granted to them, swearing to save and make order to keep all things and mercies and privileges that said town had .

During the War of Succession, it was the headquarters of General Duke of  Berwich, showing with remarkable armed help to show its loyalty to king Felipe V, who granted the town the title of Very Noble, Very Loyal and Faithful Villa. Already in the 19C, during the War of Independence (1808-1814), it was a town very worked by the French, since here Napoleon ordered the Frère division, with orders to reinforce the Moncey detachments that operated in Valencia and of Dupont, who was in Andalusia.  However, as several mails and offices intercepted by the French testify, the Frére division was unable to carry out its mission due to the magnitude of the routes and the difficulty of communications as well as the suffering inflicted by the inhabitants of San Clemente, among which the local hero Bibiano Hellín, whom  the writer Pérez Galdós cites in the National Episodes. During the Spanish Civil War, an airfield  was built in San Clemente. The 3rd squadron of Bombers group  12 of  Russians Tupolev SB-2 (katiuska) and some biplane fighters Polikarpov I-15, the flat ones were established there by the Republicans faction.

And now on the feature presentation! the Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption.

The Monastery Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion  was founded in 1523 as a convent belonging to the order of Santa Clara. The last Clarisse sisters left it at the beginning of the 21C. It is currently occupied by a small congregation of Carmelite sisters of the Sacred Family (Sagrada Familia). Its interior keeps the most beautiful cloister of all the convents of the town.


It has an irregular floor building consisting of church and convent around a high quality cloister, of which only two sides remain. The façade is composed of a large masonry factory where four ashlar buttresses are visible. The main doorway is a semicircular arch between pilasters that holds a niche. The most beautiful Cloister inside although only two lateral ones remain. Made in masonry, highlight the ashlars of its buttresses, as well as the cover, whose niche can be seen a carving of San Francisco de Asis.(St Francis of Assisi).


The Convent Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption was born of the devotion of a mysterious local  widow, known by Melchora, who was followed in her ministry by two devout women, called the Toledanas (of Toledo). It has been told of this adventure, with the support of the Provincial of the Franciscans, who sent a religious from Villanueva de los Infantes,  Ana Sánchez, to form the trio of the pious in the Franciscan Observance. The decision was wrong. Well because of differences in interests or because of temperament between the Melchora and the religious of Villanueva, the first cohabitation ended with the expulsion of Ana from the house of Melchora, the first place of residence of the Beatas. A new settlement was sought, this time, without the temperamental Melchora, in the houses ceded by Martín Ruiz de Villamediana, a knight who arrived from Tierra de Campos. In spite of this lodging and some income , the relationsjips in the convent was very difficult. The disagreements continued later; perhaps that was the reason for the departure twenty years after of Ana Sánchez to Villanueva de los Infantes. The convent would only be consolidated by the retirement and inheritance provided by Mrs. Isabel de Pedrola, which allowed the construction of the convent church in the last quarter of the 16C. Always a nice story behind these old wonderful monuments.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and its worth the detour are:

The tourist office of San Clemente on its heritage:

The tourist board of the region of Castilla La Mancha on the church:

There you go ,another dandy in my Castilla La ManchaKingdom of Spain, or Spain everything under the Sun. A nice stop at San Clemente indeed , more written in my blog on nice experiences here. Enjoy the Church Monastery of Our Lady of the Assomption.

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

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February 15, 2021

Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

So time to update/revise this old post from 2018 that I did with pictures from my last trip there in 2015. I never lived here but worked and lived in cities around them. This is the world renown Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale in the Sunshine State of Florida USA! Let me tell you a bit on them ok

Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France in 2003. I had not been back there since 2009 with the family in 2009, and now had 3 great days in the area. This is the South Florida area where I still have lots of family there!

I was lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines.

One of my cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so;but there for over 30, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer ::) webpage:


Afterward ,I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area. This was heavens of course, and this time at no cost! Sublime and I fully enjoyed walking my old area all over. OF course, the hotel was top luxury, the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service. Memories forever. Recommended, my family back in France were jealous! Hotel webpage:



The evening had the chance to eat dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

fort lauderdale canals from ritz carlton hotel nov15

Once the Finance conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. Chima’s has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::) Webpage:


The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a ride in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change felled big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)




The Florida Marlins baseball stadium on MLB webpage:

Open air Lincold Road Mall on Miami Beach

At Miami before the flight home…. had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs indeed. More on the resto here:

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delayed in an airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was asked to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passerelle to the plane we were asked to return back inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed my twins birthday outing and needed to catch up next day lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

The tourist office of Miami and the beaches

The tourist office of Fort Lauderdale area:

Hope you enjoy the short trip ,for me a memorable spot always will be. I am thankful of all my previous experiences no matter what, it always enrich your mind and soul! A wonderful one two combination Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas of Florida!

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

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