Some news from Spain CXV

And its time again to tell you some of the latest news and tips in my opinion on my regular series some news from Spain. This is the season to be merrier ,and want to wish all my readers/followers the very best Merry Christmas/Holiday or other you are celebrating and best wishes for 2022!!!

One town to visit and do so more, is Càdiz, in the province of Càdiz and the autonomous community of Andalucia of the Kingdom of Spain. Plenty of ideas to see here.

Cádiz treasures an epic past that culminates with the Constitution of 1812. On route through a historic center that smells of the sea and relives its history, Over the bay of Cádiz, this old part invites you to lose yourself in a legendary journey through its epic past sealed by the Constitution of 1812 or La Pepa. Six magnum letters and 209 years later, these days of celebration that celebrate the 43 years of the current Spanish Constitution revive that bittersweet symbol of independence, a dream of a lost revolution that did not prevent absolutism,

You have key sites such as the monument to the Cortes of Cádiz, crowned by allegorical figures that support the Magna Carta. Shaped like a hemicycle and facing the pier, it welcomes the city from the gardens of the Plaza de España, On one corner, in the Plaza de Argüelles next to the port, sits the Casa de las Cuatro Torres, a delightful 18C building converted into a boutique hotel with a neoclassical façade that was the lodging of porters from the Carrera de las Indias, the flow that established trade with America. It preserves four watchtowers, vaults, domes, skylights, cisterns and cladding of oyster stone, a conglomerate of marine fossils that also dot other walls of Cádiz.

The San Carlos walls, with a bastion, which baptize the neighborhood and show its military past, between Fernandino-style lampposts and views of Rota (friends at US Naval Base) and El Puerto de Santa María. Following the promenade over the sea, towards the west, you reach the Alameda de Apodaca, a pretty bougainvillea avenue, with giant centenary ficus trees and terraces. A little further on, you can see the Candelaria bastion, another key fort in the cannonball war against the French, which forced their withdrawal. Opposite, the baroque Church of Carmen incorporated two colonial towers-belfries and hosted readings from La Pepa. In the popular Plaza del Mentidero lived deputies of the extraordinary Courts meeting on March 19 1812. The neighboring San Antonio shows off her church and the bluish Casa de Aramburu (the first private bank), and hosted the Café Apolo, where enlightened, liberal and constitutionalists debated in gatherings and cenacles. Between the two, Calle de Veedor houses the mansion that the Duke of Wellington lived in, which today is the Tandem Palacio Veedor de Galeras, with 16 luxury apartments. In the Plaza de Mina we see the Museum of Cádiz and the House of Manuel de Falla. Returning to the commercial Calle Ancha , we end in the central Plaza del Palillero. We are opening our mouths towards the Central Market of Abastos, a true delirium of marine product, including tuna, in the Plaza de la Libertad. On the way, you can see the flowery Plaza de las Flores and the Torre Tavira, the highest viewpoint of a hundred in the city. The siesta time stops Cádiz, but the afternoon invites you to visit the famous Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, where La Pepa was approved and read. Annex is the Museum of the Cortes , and its model of the city. The culmination of this route is the Plaza de la Catédral of Santa Cruz and that of Plaza San Juan de Dios, seat of the City Council, which delimit the Pópulo neighborhood, with its Roman theater and three 13C arches.

And in the countryside, dreaming of the sea, Jerez de la Frontera, (see post) with its setting of vineyards on a white land of albarizas, a city where time does not seem to matter. Here sits one of the wineries with the greatest packaging and tradition in Spain: González Byass, (see post) which are seven production wineries signed by the best architects of each era, from Gustav Eiffel to Torroja Miret. The first, called La Concha, expresses the character of the founding family. And here, in 1844, the most universally renowned wine was born, the first Jerez fine wine and today the best-selling in the world: Tío Pepe. Walking through the winery is a gift for the senses: the chirping of the birds in Villa’s garden Victorina, heritage of Andalusia; the caressing humid wind from the albero soil that refreshes the environment around the criaderas; the deep aroma of woods and solera wines. A mini-city with surprising corners, trellised streets and Andalusian patios. In front of the Alcázar and the Cathedral, is its Sherry Hotel, a set of four houses, a former home for the workers restored maintaining the original aesthetics. In the Sala La Reservada the end of the year dinner will be held with a performance by the group Solera 60 and drinks until two in the morning. The Sherry Hotel, Calle Manuel María González, 12. Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). Dinner and hotel price: 325 euros per person; dinner: 175 euros. Webpage : https://tiopepe.com/es-es/hotel

The city of Madrid will enjoy this next January 5, 2022, the traditional Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes Magos or the Three Wise Kings parade after the previous one had to be suspended and located in Condeduque (see post) due to the advance of the covid virus pandemic. This has been advanced by the delegate of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Consistory, during the presentation of the Christmas program for the capital ,For the first time in many years, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar appeared in 2020 in the same float and without the accompaniment of others years, in which you could see horses, camels and many other floats. the traditional Cabalgata, whose route goes from Nuevos Ministerios to Cibeles, it has not yet been determined whether New Year’s Eve will be celebrated at Puerta del Sol with the twelve grapes (we still follow this family tradition). If carried out, it will be with a reduced capacity.

The Felipe II Train ! A journey in old wagons from the 40s takes passengers from the center of Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Sierra de Guadarrama. He had up to 23 diseases at the same time (from syphilis to swine flu or gout), four wives (he did not combine them), 11 recognized children (we must add another four bastards), a tremendous fondness for gardening and clocks and an unshakable Catholic faith that led him to have the one which is considered the eighth wonder of the world. We are talking about king Felipe II, the almighty king in whose dominions the sun never set, and about his great legacy, the Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial,(see post) built in honor of said martyr because, on the day of his name day (August 10) , the Spanish army defeated the French in the Battle of San Quentin. The year: 1557.

The Felipe II Train, takes you on a tourist journey aboard historic wagons from the 40s of the 20C that departs from the Príncipe Pío station and arrives at El Escorial, in the Sierra de Guadarrama, after 50 minutes. During the journey, which runs through the landscapes of towns such as Pozuelo, Las Rozas, Las Matas, Torrelodones, Galapagar or Villalba, characters from the Court of the monarch nicknamed El Prudente are making an appearance among the cars recounting their adventures during the Golden Age, The wagons are captained by a 2,180-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive capable of running at 120 km / h. The company responsible is Alsa, which has partnered for this experience of a tourist train with other entities such as the Spanish Railways Foundation, National Heritage, the Community of Madrid and the City Councils of El Escorial and San Lorenzo de El Escorial., There are three types of packages: Imperial (from 22.5 euros), Legends (from 18.75 euros) and Journey (from 15 euros), depending on the type of visit you want to make once in the mountains. It can be guided or free inside the Monastery or dramatized on board a panoramic bus first and then walking through the Casita del Príncipe (designed to house Carlos IV -see post) ), the palace gardens and the town of San Lorenzo itself. The Monastery, of course, is the epicenter of the routes. Considered a jewel of Spanish Renaissance architecture, it measures almost 34,000 m2 and includes inside it a royal palace, a basilica, a library, a school and a pantheon, as well as 4,000 rooms, 2,675 windows, 1,250 doors, 89 staircases, 88 fountains, 16 patios and 1,600 paintings (signed by Titian, Bosco and Tintoretto, among other authors). The Felipe II train webpage : https://www.trendefelipeii.com/en/

There are 104 in total and each one more beautiful. Hence, the number of towns that make up the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain ! One we like is Villanueva de los Infantes in Ciudad Lineal province ,This town of Castilla-La Mancha autonomous region has organized a full schedule of activities for infants and visitors until the 8th January, 2022, beginning with the lighting of the Christmas lighting every night, which will continue until the Three Kings parade. Calaceite in Teruel province, As is tradition, the town celebrates the Oil Fair these days, which this year has coincided with the second edition of the Christmas Fair. Nougat, gifts, Christmas decorations and, above all, olive oil, are the main protagonists. All this, enlivened with Christmas carols concerts. See , the arcaded Plaza de España; the City/Town Hall building and the archaeological sites. Another one is La Alberca in Salamanca province ; Castilla y Leon autonomous region, We jump to this little one in the heart of the Sierra de Francia in Salamanca. Its streets and squares take us directly to the classic tales of Hans Christian Andersen, with its low houses decorated with flowers. All the architecture of La Alberca is built with stone and wood, so it is impossible not to get intoxicated with the Christmas spirit. The smell of homemade sweets such as nougat, perrunillas and wafers, the artisan jewelry stores and the embroideries that are still woven today dot the streets of the town during these dates.

Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain : https://www.lospueblosmasbonitosdeespana.org/

The largest nativity scene in the world according to the Guinness Record is in … Alicante, the Sagrada Familia of the Mediterranean city measures 56,025 meters high, To get an idea, a person of 1.70 meters reaches the height of the ankle of San Joseph. And it is in the city of Alicante. Specific place: the Paseo de la Explanada de España at the confluence of the Rambla Méndez Nuñez. The monumental complex has broken a record in force for more than 20 years, since,1991 from the Bélen or Bethlehem of Monterrey (Mexico) with its 28.58 meters combining the figures of Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, almost half the size of the one from Alicante, In this way, Alicante joins the Comunidad de Madrid town of Torrejón de Ardoz (see post) in terms of Christmas display, since the latter is not only the European Capital of Christmas officially, but also has a theme park dedicated to these holidays largest in Spain. It was certified that the figures coincided and that San Joséph was 18.10 meters high; 5.32 wide, and 3.38 deep, while the Virgin Mary reached 10.58 meters in height; 3.47 meters wide and 4.45 meters deep and the Child Jesus (3.32 meters high, 3.32 meters wide and 4.08 deep).

In this sense, whoever visits this Sagrada Familia, inspired by Alicante Modernism at the beginning of the 20C, will be able to enjoy a light and sound show that illuminates the Nativity from the base to the top with 20,000 watts of sound amplitude. It can be seen and heard from 18h to midnight every day until January 6 2022. The celebration of Christmas in the city of Alicante does not end here, since the decoration with plant motifs continues in the Explanada, the Plaza del Mar, the City/Town Hall and the squares of Calvo Sotelo and Luceros. In addition, the Casa de San Nicolás, one of the versions of the most famous Santa Claus, has been installed in Seneca Square. To visit it, you must make an appointment. The bullring, for its part, hosts the Christmas in the Plaza event, with an ice skating rink in the Patio de Sol, inflatable structures, zip line, slingshots and a town that moves to the North Pole itself. The Christmas program from the Alicante tourist office: https://alicanteout.com/agenda-turismo-y-aire-libre/programa-de-navidad-alicante-2021-2022/

And this is bringing it to the blood…! In 1953, a group of Canarians (Canary Islands) decided to create a private institution in Madrid in order to promote the representation of the Canaries outside the Archipelago. This is how El Hogar Canario (was here when lived in Madrid!!) was born, which over time would change its name to La Casa de Canarias. But it has been its openness to Canarian gastronomy that has boosted its recognition in Madrid, yeah !!! At present, at its headquarters on Calle de Santa Cruz de Marcenado 13, islanders and foreigners from all over the Peninsula meet without distinction. Webpage of Casa de Canarias : https://www.casadecanarias.org/

A restaurant that now takes on its own identity has been renamed DeTenderete and apart from a restaurant service it offers different typical products, either in person or online: from Brumas de Ayoza Blanco Fruity wine to Arehucas Oro rum, passing through Majorero Maxorata semi-cured cheese with paprika or a packet of Munchitos potatoes , Webpage : https://www.detenderete.com/

Also, on Gofio by Cicero Canary , Calle Lope de Vega, 9, where chef Safe Cruz has created “the best Canarian restaurant that has ever existed outside the Archipelago.” Not for nothing, it is the only establishment that presents this type of food with a Michelin star ! Yes my people of the islands are happy of all this, webpage : https://gofiorestaurant.com/

ps. By the way the word Gofio above is for a purpose of representing authentic Guanche food, the original inhabitants of Tenerife and sometimes use to describe all the Canary Islands. Gofio means ‘heap’ as best as possible. This is a food made up of a non-sifted flour of toasted cereals, usually wheat or corn, used in different food preparations. I love the bread or liquified as a milkshake!

Thousands and thousands of people visit El Teide every year, the volcano located on the Canary Island of Tenerife, with an official altitude of 3,715 m, which makes it the highest peak in Spain. Protected natural area, is part of the Teide National Park, declared a World Heritage Site. And for good reason we descendants and natives need to climb it at least once in our life to be real Guanches, (see post) I did mine at 17 with my parents !!! There are several ways to climb the Teide: in the cable car whose base station is at an altitude of 2,356 meters and goes up to the upper station, known as La Rambleta, at 3,555 meters, or walk up to the summit by Montaña Blanca, with a total length of about nine kilometers (between 6 and 7 hours), something that requires a lot of physical effort. It is recommend a mixed option to climb to the top of Teide: take the cable car that takes you from the base station to La Rambleta (about eight minutes; price of one journey: 21 euros) and once there, walk up the path stony road from Telesforo Bravo (about 600 m and approximately 40 minutes) to the crater of the volcano. For this it is necessary to obtain a free permit.The road is well conditioned but the difficulty lies in the altitude (less oxygen) and the slope, which reaches 60%, although it will be worth it once at the top, with scandalous views .
permit webpage: https://www.reservasparquesnacionales.es/real/parquesnac/usu/html/listado-actividades-oapn.aspx?cen=2

If you do not have permission to climb to the top of the Teide, another beautiful path starts from the cable car station that, crossing a sea of lava, leads to the Mirador de La Fortaleza, from where you can also enjoy incredible panoramic views of the north slope of Tenerife. Enjoy it either way, its awesome !!!

In the heart of the Aragonese Pyrenees rises Monte Perdido (3,355 meters), the largest calcareous mountain massif in Western Europe and the greatest exponent of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Glaciers, beech and fir forests, waterfalls at the bottom of the valleys and high altitude deserts make up the impressive landscapes that surround this natural monument to which thousands of mountaineers approach each year to ascend to its great peaks or simply for the practice of hiking. .The best views of Monte Perdido (it is essential to check the weather conditions in advance): the one that reaches the Cola de Caballo waterfall. Suitable for all audiences (in good shape), the route leaves from the Pradera car park at the entrance to the National Park and runs along the course of the Arazas river.The end of the path continues through the flat and grassy area of ​​the Circo del Soaso , of glacial origin and from where you get a good panoramic view of the Monte Perdido massif. At the end of the journey, at the head of the valley, is the Cola de Caballo waterfall, surrounded by green meadows.(not done lol!) Gov site on walks in the Parque in pdf file type:  https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/red-parques-nacionales/nuestros-parques/ordesa/senderos-pnomp_tcm30-66636.pdf

There you go folks, a dandy look at my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I always do ::) Times are getting better can’t wait for the Bernabeu to be fully finish! in my dear Madrid!!! And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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