Archive for February 18th, 2022

February 18, 2022

My restaurants of Cuenca!!

I have written plenty on this town in my blog, and have many memorable posts, Therefore, why not write about the restaurants we love and memories plenty of our Cuenca. I like to update this older post and ake you to my fav town of Cuenca in the province of Cuenca and the Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha of the kingdom of Spain. One of my most nostalgic towns having spent wonderful family vacations here and they last forever with my Martine; even one resto bears her name in Spanish!



Let’s start with a city center restaurant, the Cafe Bar la Martina , Calle Carreteria, 33You will find perfectly cooked tapas, jamon and pan con tomate on the menu. It’s a must while visiting Cafe Bar la Martina to order delicious beer. Get your meal ended with great coffee. The convenient location of this restaurant makes it easy to reach even in rush hours.  The fast service is something these restaurateurs care about.  Reasonable prices at this restaurant are good news for its visitors and the ambiance is pleasant.



So lunch we had at Bar Cafe Martina  each time in town or most, it was found as usual by walking around the town coming on its most pedestrian nice city center street of Calle Carreteria. This is a local joint very friendly nice and the price right. We had our usual beers under a umbrella canopy in the middle of the street,and had our omelettes, chorizos, and croquettes all good.  Calle Carretería had its great splendor when the city ended in La Ventilla and little more than Cuatro Caminos, along Calle de la Alameda, which led to the bullring and the avenue of the Reyes Càtolicos (Catholic Monarchs)  of scattered dwellings. It was  the real shopping center of the city , still partly today, for the purposes of the social life itself. There is no webpage but the restaurantguru site has nice pics and comments for reference : .


The Cafeteria Boni  at Av. de los Alfares, 48 with terrace sitting that is set up in the parque/Jardines de San Juliàn by Calle Caballeros entrance as well.  The service and food was good but it was the most expensive experience in the trip! Only 15.90€ per person for arroz a la Cubana, small  steaks, fries, omelettes, croquettes of ham and cheese, and beers for all ! Expensive for Cuenca area but still a good value compare to Madrid ; again good food and great local ambiance.Even thus lately they have been associated with the VIPS chain in Spain.  Another find by walking the beat of the town of Cuenca. Best of all, its terrace for a drink on the hot summer days under the shades of the imposing trees of Parque San Julian. Their attentive staff is very hard working, always has a positive attitude and makes this a great place. A wonderful memorable experience with the family. No webpage but again for reference the restaurantguru site :



There you go folks, two local restaurants to enjoy the visit to Cuenca any time, We will always have nice memories of Bar Cafe Martina and Cafeteria Boni-Vips, These are part of the nostalgic adventures we take when we travel even in very familiar places like me in my Spain. Enjoy my restaurants of Cuenca!!!

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

February 18, 2022

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport of Madrid!!

Wow need to update this older post on one of my favorite airports in the world. Even if done more by car to my beloved Madrid, had my share of flights and on business trips all of them! I know the Madrid airport is actually base in Barajas town , which later was annexed to Madrid, and now call the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport  after the prime minister hero of Spanish democracy. Now, a wonderful modern aiport indeed. Let me tell you a bit more on the popularly call the Madrid airport!!

The main airport of Spain is in Madrid name the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport located at about 12 km from city center. Most of my trips by plane there have landed at T4 on Iberia; sometimes on T4S and once at T3. Of course, I have gone in private trips by car, only once by plane. However, plenty of business trips done by air from Nantes or Roissy CDG flying from France. I have ,also, gone there by car to take folks to Madrid and it now has super highways.  There are tourist office in the airport at T1 and T4 open every day from 8h to 20h. The airport has consignment of luggage open 24/24h. They are between the passageways of terminals T2 and the metro entrance and on the arrivals level of T4.

A bit condense on the history I like

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport of Madrid is located in the district of Barajas, in Madrid, as said about 12 km from the center of Madrid. The airport changed its name from Madrid-Barajas to Adolfo Suárez Inter Airport in 2014. The reappointment sought to pay tribute to Adolfo Suárez, the first Prime Minister of Spain after the restoration of democracy and recognized as one of the architects of the Spanish Transition who died on March 23, 2014, a few days before the decision to change the name.

It has four passenger terminals, an Executive Terminal, an air cargo center and two main hangar areas, one in the Old Industrial Area, between T3 and T4, and another in the La Muñoza Industrial Area. On March 23, 1929, the specifications were published for a contest to choose the land to developped the Madrid civil airport. The wasteland meadow was selected in the town of Barajas with good communications with the city via the highway from France (the current A-2) and in an uninhabited area free of obstacles. The purchase of the land was signed on July 30, 1930. It was opened to national and international air traffic on April 22, 1931, although regular commercial operations took two more years to begin, as the airport was still under construction. The first regular line was established by the company Spanish Post Air Lines (LAPE) with its line to Barcelona. During the Spanish Civil War, military and civil transport services are carried out with Paris, Barcelona and the north. Once the war was over, Barajas regained its status as a civil airport, with the landing on April 12, 1939 of a German plane from the Lufthansa company. On May 1, 1939, Iberia moved its equipment from Matacán (Salamanca) to Madrid-Barajas. In July 1946, Barajas was opened to international traffic. In 1997 the North Dock was inaugurated, which is used as Iberia’s exclusive terminal for Schengen flights. In 1998 the new control tower, 71 meters high, was inaugurated and in 1999 the new South Dock, which represents an expansion of the international terminal. The south dock and most of the International Terminal are renamed T1; the rest of the International Terminal and the National Terminal are now called T2 and the north dock is called T3. The construction of the new T4 terminals and its satellite, T4S Terminal 4 , both buildings are 2.5 km apart. On February 4, 2006, Terminal 4 was opened. In 1999 the Madrid Metro links the airport with Mar de Cristal through Line 8, arriving at Nuevos Ministerios in 2002. In October 2006, the project to build a Renfe Cercanías line that linked the airport with the Chamartín stations and with it the Atocha-Cercanías station was finally inaugurated in 2011 as Line C-1.

The airport terminals are layout as such :

T1: Gates A, B and C, the latter up to C42. It has 170 check-in counters, including automatic ones, and has a total of 43 boarding gates. It also has two arrival halls, each with eight and seven baggage claim belts, respectively. It is made up of part of the old International Terminal and the new South Dock.

T2: Gates C, from C43 onwards, and D. In addition to the 99 check-in counters, it has a few more at the gateway to the airport, which have not been indicated. It has 20 gates for boarding and baggage claim from two arrival lounges with six baggage straps each. It corresponds to the old National Terminal plus part of the old International Terminal.

T3: Gates E and F. It has twenty check-in counters , five baggage claim belts (in a room attached to that of T2) and 21 boarding gates (from E68 to E82 and F90 to F94, the latter destined exclusively for regional flights). T3 corresponds to the North Dock.

T4: Gates H, J and K. On the first floor there are 22 baggage claim belts divided between 2 lounges, 10 and 11, the first for international arrival flights and the second for domestic arrival flights. It has 2 double straps and 2 straps for the collection of special luggage. The first floor has 76 boarding gates (from H1 to H37, from J40 to J59 and from K62 to K98). On the second floor are the billing desks and the main security filters.

T4-S: Gates M and S. It has 19 boarding gates (gates M22 to M48) in the Schengen area. The second floor is dedicated to international departures, with 48 boarding gates (gates S1 to S12 and S15 to S50). The third is dedicated to receiving international arrival flights, so it has the appropriate security filters for this purpose.



To get around routines , hope its clear,  if not let me know.

All terminals have taxi ranks outside the properly marked areas. Terminal 4 floor 0, Arrivals area,  Terminal 4 floor 2, Departures area,  Terminal 1 floor 0, Arrivals area,  Terminal 1 floor 1, Departures area,  Terminal 2 floor 0, Arrivals area,  Terminal 2 floor 2, Departures area,  Terminal 3 floor 0, Arrivals area. The rates are fixed for all journeys between the Airport and the city of Madrid, regardless of the number of passengers and the distance traveled. Thus, if the travel destination is within the M-30 (initial beltway of Madrid where visitors go anyway), the price is 30 euros, while if the destination is in the outer area of the M-30, the price is 20 euros for tours of up to 9, 5 km. After 9.5 km, the meter will continue to count at the corresponding rate. The official taxis are white with red bands and Madrid City Hall shields on the doors.


If coming by car, there are parkings. The P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal T1 building; P2 has 7 floors and is an indoor car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3. The P4 is in terminal T4, divided into floors and modules, connected trough a central corridor with the airport terminal T4. A  Parking ‘Express’ facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2 and dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces; a free shuttle operates between the long-stay car park and all terminals. Long-Stay parking and Vip Car Park. .You can book your parking space ahead of time for better availability and prices at AENA parkings :


Bus line 200 of the EMT city bus network, connects the Avenida de América Interchange (with metro/subway on lines 7,9,4, and circular line 6 ) with Canillejas and terminals T1-T2-T3 and T4, respectively. The buses that operate line 200 are specifically designed for this route, have luggage racks and operate between 05:00 and 24:00, a much longer schedule than the other EMT lines. Bus line 101 connects terminals 1,2 and 3 of the Airport with the Historic Center of Barajas on one end and with the Canillejas interchange on the other. You can connect with the center on metro line 5. The same can be done on bus 204 from T4 at ground level to intercambiador Avenida de America.

There is a nice Airport Express or bus 203 which have taken several times from T4 to Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha (tried and good to Cibeles). The Airport Express bus is a good alternative for getting around Madrid. From Madrid Airport T1 T2-T3 T4.  During the day, the bus runs every 15 to 20 minutes to Atocha station. From 23h30 to 6h, the Airport Express operates every 35 minutes as line N27 . The bus stops are Terminal 4, Terminal 2, Terminal 1, O’Donnell, Cibeles (great stop) and Atocha (train if continue traveling).  The Madrid EMT bus network on the Airport Express bus:

Mad airport express now at atocha aug16

The Madrid metro Line 8 goes from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios and connects the Nuevos Ministerios station with the airport terminals in 20 min. There are 2 stations at the airport, the one that serves the old terminals (T1-T2-T3, located in Terminal T3) and the one in the new terminal area (Airport T4) with a shuttle train connecting to T4S. To enter or exit any of the two stations a supplement of 3€ is required, which can be purchased separately or added to the corresponding cost of the single metro ticket. Bear in mind you can opt to go elsewhere in Madrid by connecting at Mar de Cristal with line 4 (taken to connect with line 5 Alonso Martinez) ,and Colombia with line 9 (taken from the airport to connect with Sainz de Baranda)  The official metro/subway/tube of Madrid :

Mad barajas airport T 2 metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios jan19

Terminal 4 has a Renfe commuter station or Cercanias C1 and C10  (floor -1). In the future, it is planned to take the AVE fast trains to the airport, for now you can connect using same AVE ticket for the local train connection. In this way, the  Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport  will be integrated, not only in the Madrid Cercanías network, but also in the AVE and Long Distance RENFE networks. The airport has available for the users a bus connecting for free 24/24 the terminals T1, T2, T3, and T4. The train C1 goes to Príncipe Pío in about 38 minutes, Atocha : 25 minutes, Nuevos Ministerios : 18 minutes, and Chamartín : 11 minutes. The train C10 goes to Príncipe Pío in about 41 minutes, Estación de Chamartín – 15 minutes, Estación de Nuevos Ministerios – 22 minutes, Estación de Atocha – 29 minutes, and Méndez Álvaro – 34 minutes. RENFE on Cercanias suburban trains ,see the C1 and C10 on the map:


Finally , some anecdotes , stories, figures that I like

On April 30, 1931, the newborn Madrid National Airport received its first plane, which came from the nearby town of Getafe (less than 30 km away). There is no record of how long this journey lasted, but it is known that the then superior chief of Aeronautics, Commander Franco, (as the later dictator) was on board.  In 1950,  it opened the symbolic direct line with New York. In 1965 it would be renamed Madrid-Barajas while in March 2014 the Ministry of Public Works gave it a noble name : Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas. However, for nomenclature purposes, it will remain MAD.   The tower of the popular parish Church of San Pedro Apóstol in the former town of Barajas had always been the architectural ceiling of this district of Madrid. No one could build over 50 meters high or mislead their storks… until 1998. In this year, the North Tower was inaugurated, the main control tower of the airport, which, with its 71 meters, surpassed the famous bell tower. However, as it is a necessary good, it is considered a justified exception to the rule, so San Pedro will continue to be the lighthouse of Barajas.  The large numbers of this airport are based on the fact that it is the great gateway to Latin America, (of course) concentrating on its runways the largest number of flights to and from this continent from all over the world.  With its 940,000 square meters, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas is the largest airport with the largest terminal area on the planet. The 18R-36L is the longest civil runway on Earth but because, being so long, many pilots get confused looking for the assigned gate. There is no scientific data to prove it, but it is very likely that this airport is the one where the planes wear out their tires the most while rolling until they reach the runway.Oh yes I believe it!!

The official AENA airports of Spain on the Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas Airport

The unofficial airport network on the Madrid airport :

The Madrid tourist office on the airport :

There you go folks, one big airport but easy to use me think!! Anyway I spent quite a bit of time on airport lately and think will reduce the trips in the future as we are now in telework, skype; webex, video conf etc etc etct, and the future is that I retired!!  Hope you enjoy the post and can find it useful. The Adolfo Suàrez Madrid international airport is a dandy indeed.

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

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February 18, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXI

And here I am back at you with my series of some news from Spain, already in its 221st edition thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain,and it seems we will have a wonderful spring/summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Let me tell you the latest on the things to see, do and enjoy in Spain, everything under the Sun!

The number of palaces,and old mansions in Madrid is enormous. Some remain private, while others have become the headquarters of public institutions. Many of them can be visited, I have told you on all of them in posts here is a recap for future visits, Enjoy them all !!!

Palacio de Liria. This magnificent 18C building is one of Madrid’s architectural gems. Also known as the “little brother of the Royal Palace”, the private residence where the 19th Duke of Alba, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, currently lives, has more than a dozen rooms that can be accessed, located on the first floors and downstairs from the neoclassical palace, calle de la Princesa, 20. webpage :

Palacio de Fernán-Núñez. This palace with a sober façade and neoclassical style from the mid-18C has a spectacular interior decorated with carpets and tapestries from the Royal Factory of Santa Bárbara, some based on Goya cartoons, Murano glass lamps and Baccarat , silks and other luxury items. It is currently the headquarters of the Spanish Railways Foundation, but it was one of the centers of Madrid’s social life in the mid-19C, when its then owners, the Dukes of Fernán-Núñez, decided to reform the mansion and turn it into the Romantic-style palace that is currently preserved, Calle Santa Isabel, 44. webpage :

Palacio de Cerralbo. This beautiful 17C mansion, belonging to the Marquis of Cerralbo, houses the homonymous museum, one of the most important in Madrid, with more than 50,000 pieces of great value that the family collected over the years, and including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, tapestries, furniture, coins, watches, weapons, armor, archaeological objects… In a classicist style, the interior of the building is decorated with neo-baroque and rococo elements and it preserves the original setting of the home, a reflection of the splendor and lifestyle of the Madrid aristocracy of the 19C. Calle Ventura Rodríguez, 17 . webpage :

Palacio de los Marqueses de Linares. In the heart of Madrid opposite the Palacio de Cibeles, this palace is one of the best preserved ensembles of 19C architecture in Spain, The elegant and pompous building is today Casa América, an institution that promotes Ibero-American culture, and was commissioned by the Marquises of Linares in 1877. Its four floors have a varied decoration inspired by different styles (including rococo). Tapestries from the Gobelins Factory, abundant gilding and mythological paintings, murals, exotic wood and marble floors, French lamps, rugs from the Royal Tapestry Factory or silks from China decorate its numerous halls, Plaza Cibeles, s/n webpage :

Palacio de Duques de Santoña. This small Madrid mansion, built in 1730, with a Baroque-style main portal carved in granite, stands out mainly for its interior, decorated in an eclectic style by the Dukes of Santoña, who acquired the property in 1874. The spectacular marble staircase,and the rooms on the main floor with mural paintings, in which mixed environments of the Italian Renaissance, French Rococo or Oriental style appear, are still impeccable. It is currently one of the headquarters of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, Calle Huertas, 13. guided visits webpage :

Palacio de Buenavista.This palace was built as the urban residence of the Dukes of Alba in 1777 in neoclassical style. However, since 1816 it has been linked to the Army: it is currently the headquarters of the General Headquarters of the Army. Among the personalities who have occupied this building are, apart from the 13th Duchess of Alba, are General Espartero, General Prim, Primo de Rivera and Manuel Azaña. Its halls are decorated with tapestries and rugs from the Santa Bárbara Tapestry Factory, as well as paintings by great masters, with lamps from the Royal Factory of La Granja and Louis XV, XVI and Empire style furniture. Also noteworthy is the impressive collection of watches. The visit is free, but it is necessary to apply with a waiting list, Plaza de Cibeles, s/n.webpage :

Palacio de Cibeles. It is one of the emblems of the capital. The iconic building, designed and built by Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi to house the Spanish Post and Telegraph Society in 1909, is today the seat of the City Council. Its spaces include the Operations Courtyard, the Auditorium, the exhibition halls, the Crystal Gallery, the Mirador… The guided tour consists of a tour of the rooms, emphasizing the original architecture of the early 20C, its old functions as Palace of Communications and the socio-historical context in which it was built. One of the biggest claims is to go up to the Mirador, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city. Visits are free, but it is essential to book in advance Plaza de Cibeles, s/n.webpage :

Palacio de Cristal. Located in the Retiro park, on the banks of a pond, this beautiful glass construction is one of the best examples of the so-called iron architecture in Madrid. It was built in 1887 as a gigantic greenhouse to house tropical plants for the Philippine Islands Flora Exposition, held that same year. It is currently one of the headquarters of the Reina Sofía Museum and hosts various temporary exhibitions. Free entrance. Paseo República de Cuba, 4. webpage :

Palacio Real. On a route of palaces in Madrid, you cannot miss the most beautiful and important in Spain: the Royal Palace. Ordered to be built by Felipe V (born in Versailles) in the French Baroque style in 1738 in a place where the city’s Alcázar used to be, it was lived there from Carlos III to Alfonso XIII. It is the largest royal palace in Western Europe (double the size of Buckingham Palace and Versailles), with more than 135,000 square meters and 3,418 rooms. Among the rooms that can be seen and amazed by the staff are the Throne Room, the Royal Armory (one of the most important collections of its kind), the Hall of Columns, the Royal Chapel and the kitchen. A must see are also the beautiful gardens, Calle Bailén, s/n. Webpage :

Pablo Picasso returns to the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts 125 years later, The institution exhibits drawings, prints and sculptures of who was its student. The exhibition has been carried out with the support of the Beyeler Foundation. Pablo Picasso was 16 years old when he decided to spend a course in Madrid studying at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts. It was 1897. The young man from Malaga was already an extraordinary draftsman and a mediocre student who enrolled in landscape and clothing. It is not known for sure what he learned. It is known that his attendance was irregular and that he preferred to be inspired by the classic looks of the masters of the Prado Museum. From that year his works are not preserved in the institution. webpage :

The collection of works by Goya in the Prado museum, the largest in the world, is now spread over the three floors of the museum. For now, and taking advantage of the fact that many of Goya’s works traveled to the Beyeler Foundation in Basel for a major monograph on the painter, part of the rooms that house the collections of the Aragonese master (specifically, from 34 to 38) in the building have been rearranged on the Villanueva building. The first thing that stands out is that it has gone from a chronological route to a thematic one. Thus, room 34 brings together Goya’s religious painting: seven works, made from 1772 to 1816. webpage :

It is the last chance in the world to buy a Velázquez”, warns Richard de Willermin, a specialist in ancient painting, enthusiastically, while holding a ‘Portrait of a Knight’ of the Sevillian genius. We are in the Abalarte gallery in Madrid, where this work will be auctioned on March 2 2022. Your starting price? In the catalog it appears: «Consult department». We consulted Gonzalo Mora, director of the room. Its estimated price is around 2.5-3 million euros. Do not loose pledge on the starting price. Already in 2017 Abalarte auctioned another Velázquez, ‘Portrait of a girl’ or ‘Young Immaculate’, from his Sevillian stage, which was auctioned off at 9.7 million euros (the starting price plus commissions).Webpage :

These days the famous Chueca neighborhood market, San Antón, shines more than ever and there are plenty of reasons for it, because it is brand new: the image has been renewed, the space has been renovated and new stalls have been added, 16 hoteliers/traders to be exact, some with a long history with Hevia, La Ancha or Café Comercial. the roots of this establishment that has had quite a few lives. The first, in its origins in the 19C, as an open-air market for boxes, next to the parish of San Antón. The second, in 1945, when the market was built. The third, in 2011, when it resurfaced ,after its demolition as a modern building with a supply and restoration area. And the one that concerns us now, with the modernized space without losing that classic and endearing air of the market and where granite, steel, striking and fun neon lights and 3D elements share existence with white tiles faithful to the tradition of a food market. Mercado San Anton, Calle Augusto Figueroa, 24. webpage :

The German supermarket chain Aldi today occupies the spaces left by some of the most emblematic theaters (cinemas) in Madrid. There was also a time when Fuencarral and Luchana streets were home to up to 14 cinemas. Today only three survive. The Cine Paz, in Calle Fuencarral, 125, is one of these last strongholds. Just a few steps away, an Aldi supermarket whose space was previously occupied by another cinema: the Roxy A. Its neighbor, the Roxy B, is now a BM supermarket. From the Glorieta de Quevedo roundabout to the Glorieta de Bilbao roundabout, in just 700 meters in a straight line, it is also possible to locate a Mercadona, a Carrefour and a Lidl, In addition to the Roxy, the now-defunct cinemas Lido (Calle Bravo Murillo, 200), Victoria (Calle Francisco Silvela , 48) and Canciller (Calle Mayor López Casero, 15) also today display an Aldi poster, I must add similar examples can be found in Barcelona, ​​Malaga or Granada. Currently, Aldi is carrying out a strong expansion plan in Spain and, among the strategic areas for the chain, the town centers and urban centers of the main Spanish cities stand out, such as the case of Madrid, where the availability of space for new openings is limited, Well, there you go from cinemas to supermarkets !!! What a mind !!! webpage Aldi with stores in Madrid city :

MAD Gourmets, located in the exclusive Food Hall macrospace of Galería Canalejas, 17 of its 20 stalls have already opened their doors with very different proposals: from the highest-end products to signature sandwiches or cuisines from half the world , First, the location , in what some are already calling Madrid’s new golden mile: next to Puerta del Sol next to the exclusive Four Seasons hotel; in Galería Canalejas (macrospace dedicated to haute cuisine and luxury shopping) and inside its Food Hall, called to be the gastro icon that opened its doors on December 1st 2021. 650 square meters, a capacity of 290 people and an interior design of an open and common space, an elegant cosmos where nothing is out of place and everything exudes a market air in a modern key. Third, a gastronomic offer that is always open (from appetizers to drinks) and with very different concepts, as many as there are stalls in this market: 20 stalls. And what can you try here, in the heart of Madrid? From top-of-the-range products such as caviar and champagne to signature sandwiches, pintxos and tapas, going through street food proposals and cuisines from around the world. MAD Gourmets: Calle de Alcalá, 12. Webpage :

Addresses specialized in rice dishes and paellas that bring novelties in Madrid. We have the Saint James in Galeria Canalejas as above, They have been working with rice for more than half a century. First in the Salamanca neighborhood (Calle Juan Bravo, 26), then in Chamartín (Calle Rosario Pino, 14-16) and, since December 1, 2021 ,in the very center of Madrid, in the luxurious Food Hall of Galería Canalejas, The backbone of the proposal is 17 classic-style dishes (from the abanda, the sweet and the black ones to the paellas) and four called 2.0, created exclusively for this new St. James and based on rice (bresse pigeon; matured cow steak, cod cheeks and scallops). Calle de Alcalá, 12 webpage :

Paellitas Tradicion. Behind this new banner in the Cuatro Caminos neighborhood, dry rice recipes are displayed on the tables of its charming dining room and terrace: vegetable, abanda, black, field, with cheeks and garlic sprouts, or the Valencian paella made with the rice from L’Albufera de Valencia and the Molino Roca brand . They have delivery in the Alcobendas area and within the M-30, and they are sent on the paella itself and in a box! Calle San Germán, 11. webpage :

Tria Restaurante Cuatro Caminos. Rice dishes are the great attraction of this dining room with Mediterranean cuisine and Asian winks that, after five years of success in Valencia, opens a branch in Madrid, at the foot of the iconic Cuatro Torres. Its menu includes 13 different preparations, all served for at least two people. The Valencian paella with rabbit and garrofó is essential; monkfish with artichokes and prawns; the abanda rice and the senyoret rice, .Paseo de la Castellana, 259B. The Fork webpage on the restaurant :

Vega Sicilia will build a new winery in Rías Baixas to produce Albariño wines, The great luxury brand in Spain, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the purchase of the winery by the Álvarez family, will produce two wines whose first vintage will come out in 2023 and will be for sale in 2025. It has recovered a large part of the vineyard that Eloy Lecanda ,founder of the winery in 1864 planted at the end of the 19C; he has created four wineries (Alión, Ribera de Duero; Oremus, Tokaj, Hungary; Pintia, Toro and Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia, Rioja)… And now he is founding a new one in Galicia, in Rías Baixas, with the idea of making Albariño wines. To do this, they will launch Bodega y Viñedos Deiva, which will be built in Crecente (Pontevedra) and will be finished in 2023. The new brand already has 24 hectares of old vineyards -the goal is to reach 55 or 60 hectares- and land mainly in the County of Tea (upper part of the Miño); in Salnés, around Cambados, O Grove and Sanxenxo, and also in Crecente itself, Today 70% of the group’s sales are made outside of Spain. webpage:

And last but not least on this post, another memorable area of my beloved Spain, to see it without moderation! The province of Soria in the autonomous region of Castilla y León,in the kingdom of Spain, It brings back a lot of memories as passing by it on my way to France and staying overnight there (see post).

Let me tell you a bit more to see here, The natural park of Laguna Negra and Circos Glaciares de Urbión, the landscape of forest and aborrascadas rocks from the romance La Tierra de Alvargonzález, by Antonio Machado: “The murderers arrived / as far as Laguna Negra, / transparent and mute water / what an enormous stone wall, / where the vultures nest / and the echo sleeps…”. It is always a good time to return to this Castilian-Leonese land, and for those who do not know it, these are just some of its wonders to discover. Caracena, a small town about 26 km from El Burgo de Osma, on which more than 30 villages depended at the beginning of the 12C. A quarter of an hour from Caracena, along the SO-135 road, are the ruins of Tiermes, a Celtiberian population that the Romans conquered in the year 98 BC, when Tito Didio was consul, and turned it into a lively city with a theatre, baths and multi-story houses. Move on to Medinaceli, with an arch from the 1C, the only one with a triple arcade that is preserved in the Iberian Peninsula, and from which a magnificent panoramic view of this town of less than 1,000 inhabitants can be seen, The Ruta del Cid and the Camino de Santiago are obtained, were scene of battles between the Christian and Muslim kingdoms. Impressive defensive complexes survive from that time, such as Berlanga de Duero, the Caracena castle or the 10C caliphal fortress in Gormaz, where El Cid was governor after reconquering it. 3 km from Calatañazor, where Almanzor fought more than a thousand years ago his last battle against the Christians, on the lonely road that goes to Muriel, a juniper forest is discovered with specimens over 300 years old that can measure 14 meters in height and up to five in diameter, Vinuesa is in the heart of in the Pinares region, in Soria Verde, highlights include the Casa de los Ramos, a building from 1778 that is one of the best examples of architecture, the palace of Don Pedro de Neyla from the 17C, the laundry from the 15C on the banks of the Remonicio river and the Roman bridge over the Duero river, most of the year submerged by the waters of the Cuerda del Pozo reservoir. On top of a hill near Casillas de Berlanga stands the marvelous Mozarabic hermitage of San Baudelio. It is believed that its austere quadrangular construction is what remains of an 11C monastery attached to a grotto that was a place of worship. From the center of the nave, barely 80 square meters in size and cube-shaped, a cylindrical column emerges from which eight palm-shaped ribs emerge that extend into the horseshoe arches that support the vault. Its paintings were removed using the rag technique in 1922. Its murals, including the famous camel that can be seen in The Cloisters, the Harlem headquarters of the New York Metropolitan, are spread across several American museums. In 1956, the MET gave six of these paintings to the Prado Museum, in exchange for the Romanesque apse of the Church of San Martín de Fuentidueña (Segovia). San Miguel, in the nearby Soria town of Gormaz, the first Romanesque construction to add the porticoed gallery, which preserves its traces of the 11C. Strange animals, warriors and dancers can be seen on its Arab-influenced capitals, and on the corbel of the door a monk holds an open book with the name of the stonemason and the engraved date: 1081. In 2009 the primitive plaster was recovered on its walls , painted with human figures, animals, stars and mysterious graffiti with dates and symbols. Nuestra Señora de la Asunción or Our Lady of the Assumption Church, in Castillejo de Robledo, narrates in her late-Gothic frescoes the episode of the Corpes Affront of the Cantar de Mio Cid and her corbels are carved with suggestive erotic scenes. In the city of Soria, the 12C Church of Santo Domingo stands out, with its great western façade, the most representative element of one of the most valuable monuments of the Castilian Romanesque.

Antonio Machado arrived in Soria on October 28, 1907 to occupy the chair of French at this old institute. Here in Campos de Castilla he wrote and met (and buried) his beloved Leonor, almost 20 years younger than him. “Five years in the land of Soria, today sacred to me,I got married there; there I lost my wife, whom I adored, they oriented my eyes and my heart towards the essential Castilian”, he would write much later in the prologue to La Tierra de Alvargonzález, The Calle Zapatería , in the center, to the arches of San Juan de Duero after crossing the bridge over the river, one of the author’s favorite walks and which inspired one of his best-known poems: “I have seen the golden poplars again, / poplars along the riverbank path / del Duero, between San Polo and San Saturio (…) Poplars of love that you had yesterday / your branches full of nightingales / poplars that you will be lyres tomorrow / of the scented wind in spring…”. Next to the hermitage of San Saturio is the Poet’s Corner, which the city dedicated to him in October 1932, shortly after granting him the title of adopted son. When Machado arrived in Soria, the German archaeologist Adolf Schulten was unearthing the ruins of Numancia. The site can be visited 10 km north of Soria, in the town of Garray. The Province of Soria tourist office :

There you go folks, another wonderful tour of my beloved Spain. Plenty of info for a great return to Spain everything under the Sun. Hope you enjoy the post ,and gave you ideas for future visits to enjoy.

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

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