Archive for August 7th, 2021

August 7, 2021

Tower Bridge of London!

I will continue on my ride to update older posts, it has been a blast with the past and more ideas for the future! This one is one those trips I made regularly on business and then decided to take the family there. We all got a blast of a trip and my boys especially love it. One spot that was impressive to us was the Tower Bridge of London! Therefore, let me tell you a bit more of it; hope you enjoy it too.

On our trips in Europe lucky we have been able to visit several countries and of course England would have been on the list and it was. I have visited many times on business trips but had one visit with the family.  One of the nice things to see there is the Tower Bridge, and like to give you a glimpse.

The Tower Bridge is a bascule bridge, located in London and in particular allowing the passage of the Thames river to motorized vehicles. It belongs to the class of suspension bridges and is composed of granite for its facade, steel for its structure and concrete for its foundations. It is located between the boroughs of Southwark and Tower Hamlets, near the Tower of London from which it takes its name. At the time of its construction, the Tower Bridge is the largest with 246 meters in length and 65 meters in height ; and the most sophisticated of the bascule bridges ever built.

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The bridge was officially opened on June 30, 1894 by the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII and his wife, the Princess of Wales, Alexandra of Denmark.

The Tower Bridge is nearly entirely decoration! Bright blues and gray colors the Bridge is topped with two neo-gothic towers with a covered walkway suspended between the two. This bridge is actually built to look even older than it is – the huge gray stones were selected to give the bridge a medieval feeling – which partially contributes to the fact that most people believe this is the centuries-old London Bridge.

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The Tower Hill Station is the closest tube/metro /subway station to the Tower Bridge.

The official webpage of the Tower Bridge of Londonhttps://www.towerbridge.org.uk/

The London tourist office on the Tower Bridgehttps://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/3901803-tower-bridge?ref=header

There you have it folks, enjoy it while you can , the Tower Bridge of London. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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August 7, 2021

Madrid Rio, Manzanares river that is!!

Well you know by now that every great city has a river! Yes , and Madrid is no exception even if not right down the middle is life to the city. It has been given more protagonism in the landscape of clean Madrid with the creation of Madrid Rio. Frankly, I was not too excited about it at first but by now its all welcome! Beautiful job and wonderful to be in walking it is sublime even in Summer! All along the Manzanares river of Madrid! Let me update this older post for you and me, and bear with me as try to put all in one post…

Madrid Río is a linear park of 1,210,881 square meters, yes all along the Manzanares river, where you will find gardens, sports activities, activities for children and even what they call the beach, with water jets. Through the Manzanares River and its 9 dams, by the margins of the Manzanares river for a good stretch is underground the beltway road M-30, from the south roundabout to the connection with the road   A-5. There are 33,623 new trees, 470,844 shrubs and 210,898 square meters of low grassland. Six landscaped areas: Gardens of Aniceto Marinas, Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto , Segovia Bridge, Toledo Bridge, Matadero and Arganzuela Park; The boulevard of the avenue of Portugal, 30 km of paths for cycling, 33 sports tracks for skating, skateboarding, climbing, football, futsal, paddle tennis, tennis and basketball. 17 playgrounds for children and Madrid Rio swings, 7 petanque courts, 12 game tables, 3 platforms for cultural events, 63 drinking fountains, 637 bicycle forks, 33 overpasses and bridges, 13 ornamental fountains, climbing wall and an urban beach with three water enclosures in the Arganzuela Park.

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From city center the Príncipe Pío metro station lines 6 and 10. Behind the Puerta de San Vicente there are some stairs that will take you to the Madrid Rio . Another option would be, once you leave the metro, walk along the Paseo de la Florida until you reach the Puente Reina Victoria Bridge and so you can see Madrid Rio from the beginning .We took it from Legazpi on bus 46 and walk all along the Manzanares river! Paseo de la Chopera and Paseo de las Yeserias to the  Glorieta de las Piramides to take metro line 5 back .Wonderful!!

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The Manzanares River sits on a 69-kilometer basin that begins at 2,258 meters of altitude in the Sierra de Guadarrama, and ends at the Jarama River at 527 meters above sea level. In its route it receives water from more than thirty streams and coexists with different types of infrastructure, some that are its own as bridges, dams and reservoirs, and others that cross or limit it, such as roads, railways and conduits.  What we liked most to discover were the bridges and viewpoints of the Madrid Rio, the vast majority with incredible views. Some examples are the Segovia Bridge or the Puente del Rey or King’s Bridge. The viewpoint of the Huerta de la Partida is also impressive, from where you can see a magnificent perspective of the historic sky line of Madrid, including monuments such as the Royal Palace or the Almudena Cathedral. Another is the viewpoint of the Glorieta de San Vicente, with its panoramic view of the Casa de Campo, the boulevard of the Avenida de Portugal, and the Sierra de Madrid itself. From the terrace viewpoint of the monumental bridge of Arganzuela you will see the Toledo bridge and the new Arganzuela park with the urban beach.  What they call the Playa del Madrid Rio is an aquatic space of more than 6,500 m2 where the small and not so small can be soaked with high-altitude water jets that are also capable of producing different effects and clouds of water spray .

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The linear superstructure of the Salon de Pinos is the element that organizes the continuity of routes along the right bank of the river. It is built on the tunnels in its entirety and has an average width of thirty meters. On the concrete slab that covers the passage of cars, more than 9,000 units of different pine species, of various sizes, shapes and clusters have been planted with a forest plantation framework. Two symbolic examples of this intersection are the historic bridges of Segovia (1582) and Toledo (1732).

The Puente de Segovia bridge was built at the end of the 16C, commissioned by king Felipe II. The landscaping project of its surroundings is an exception in the area of the Salon de Pinos or Pine Hall, constituting a widening of it and offering a different approach to the river. The gardens are arranged through a series of organic trace lines that model successive terraces that descend towards the river. Two clean water ponds have been built on which, on the one hand, a monumental fountain of 16 water jets with a cypress shape rises and on the other a small garden of water lilies. The ponds are accessible by stone steps that approach them until they submerge.

The gardens of the Puente de Toledo bridge constitute one of the most significant areas of the Madrid Río Project, since they are located in an enclave of exceptional importance in which the Salon de Pinos or Pine Hall meets one of the monumental bridges of Madrid, the Puente de Toledo, built between 1718 and 1732.

The Esplanade of the King, an open esplanade paved with a large figurative pattern and serves as a great atrium before the Casa de Campo. The Huerta de la Partida (orchard), which is a closed enclosure in which different reticles of fruit trees (pear, apple, mulberry, pomegranate, fig, walnut, hazelnut, etc.) have been planted host an extraordinary viewpoint of the cornice. The Avenidad de Portugal, turned into a boulevard paved by Portuguese bricks and populated by four cherry species  allows the contemplation of a spectacular flowering that It lasts more than a month in spring. Finally, the gardens of La Virgen del Puerto, on the other side of the river, structured through the arrangement of flower beds oriented along the axes of the main urban events in the area: the Segovia bridge, the Puente del Rey or King’s bridge, Avenida de Portugal and the Puerta del Rey (king’s gate) that has been restored.  The Esplanada del Rey or King’s esplanade, which is an open space with an area of approximately 14,000 m2 and a parallel front of the river of just under  250 meters. The destination of this space is to form a stage capable of hosting different civic manifestations (concerts, official celebrations, cultural activities, etc.) in an environment of extraordinary environmental quality, which allows all to contemplate the Historic center of Madrid. This place is connected to the Salon de Pinos and is part of it, although due to its use, it is an area almost devoid of trees.

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The Huerta de la Partida is again,  the planting of different fruit tree clusters (pomegranates, mulberry trees, apple trees, pear trees, hazelnuts, almond trees, fig trees, olive and walnut trees) that are incorporated into the environment subtle orientation variations. Finally, a wet estuary has been projected that describes the trajectory of the arroyo de Meaques stream, currently piped and hidden, since in the past, when king Felipe II acquired this farm after establishing the capital of Madrid, in this position some orchards were planted that produced the necessary food for the workers of the Casa de Campo. It is now canalised into the Casa de Campo.

The new Arganzuela Park, built on old pastures of grass for communal use. In this environment the Municipal Slaughterhouse was built (matadero see post), a notable example of post-industrial architecture of the second decade of the 20C. Among the existing bridges stands out the operation carried out with the seven dams that have been converted into pedestrian walkways through its integral restoration and the incorporation of an accessible wooden board. Secondly, in this series, the recycling of the M-30 road bridge that crossed the river south of the Segovia Bridge, converted into a pedestrian and cycling bridge that incorporates a slope planted with pine trees. Among the unique bridges it is worth mentioning the Y-shaped bridge built with metal profile drawers, which evokes the language of the railway bridges of the 19C hanging on the forest gorges and the twin concrete bridges that are given access to the Matadero complex (see post), projected as passage elements capable of also configuring a space that is entered, such as pavilions that gravitate on the river, but that truly belong to the park . It is worth mentioning the Pasarela de Almuñécar,  Puente Oblicuo (oblique),  Puente del Principado de Andorra, Puentes Cáscara (peels)  y Pasarela de la Princesa. The seven dams that regulate the river as it passes through the city have been restored and placed at the service of the new cross-pass system. Its mechanisms and levies have been repaired and an accessible wooden board and fish scale have been incorporated to favor the continuity of underwater fauna along the river. Incredibly beautiful!!! You can spent hours here and its all free.

The Madrid tourist office on Madrid Riohttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/madrid-rio-park

There you go folks, long but worth it me think.  Easily spent a day walking and seeing all in Madrid Rio; hope you enjoy it as from Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Madrid Rio is it, I shall return!

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

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August 7, 2021

Church Saint-Louis of Chambord!

This is a huge task to tell you about magical wonderful Chambord, and it does have a nice historical Saint Louis Church! I like to update this older post with fresh text and links, hope you enjoy it as I.

So most visitors rush to the Castle of Chambord (see posts) and there are several things to see around it especially wine producers and this wonderful archeturally and historically stunning little church. I like to tell you a bit and just a bit available of the Church of Saint Louis in the village of Chambord. The tour began with the Church of Saint Louis overlooking the castle on a small hill. In full view of the Château de Chambord.  Chambord is in department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the region of Centre-Val-de-Loire near the Castle you find the city/town hall  at Place de la Mairie.

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Although existing before the castle, the current Church of Saint Louis was built in 1666 under the name of St. Louis at the request of king Louis XIV. It is then enlarged in 1684. In the 19C, it is restored and remodeled for the Duchess of Berry and the Count of Chambord, ( grandson of king Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder French branch of the Bourbon House  could have been king Henri V ,if accepted the tricolor revolutionary French flag! He did not ,see post) the work lasted from 1830 to 1855. The bell tower was completed in 1855. The church was the property of the House of Bourbon-Parma until 1932 when the French State purchase it.

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Inside the Church of Saint Louis, you see the wooden altar in the left chapel comes from the private oratory of the Count of Chambord.  It is surmounted by a tapestry showing the wish of Louis XIII. In the choir, there is the prier-god and the armchairs with the letters of the count and the countess or H and M-T (for Henri and Marie-Thérèse). The central stone altar measures 3.55 meters 1.20 meters. It is surmounted by a painting of Saint Louis painted by Le Hénaff in 1854. The altar of the right chapel is dedicated to the Virgin. The font is made of Carrara marble recovered from some fountain, are remarkable.

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Its magnificent hexagonal bell tower lantern was built around 1855 was once a belfry and the sound of its bells warned villagers of the dangers . Built in a neo-renaissance style, the bell tower houses alcoves with shells of beauty and reveals its bell in the midst of fine and slender openings richly carved. The belfry counted a single bell of 1778, which would come from the tower of the bells of the castle of Chambord. The original 1778 bell was sold by Maître Savot by the Orléans sales gallery in 1996, to a private purchaser.

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The Church of Saint Louis is open every afternoon except Wednesday  from 14h30 to 17h30. Due to the highly royal ambiance there is little information on the church; my only recollection is to have visited and a brochure.

There is the tourist office of Blois-Chambord with some info on the town the Mairie is the city/town hall and the church is opposite this gate you see in the picture: https://www.bloischambord.co.uk/on-the-agenda/our-towns-villages/towns-and-villages/chambord-1538058

The Grand Chambord webpage on its heritage: https://www.grandchambord.fr/culture-et-tourisme/

There you go folks, hope you have enjoy it and do stop by when visiting the castle, another dandy off the beaten path of my belle France! The Church of Saint Louis is beautiful.

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

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