Some news from Spain CXXII

And here I am back at you with my series of some news from Spain, already in its 222nd 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!

Father’s Day March 19 (St Joseph of course) in Spain and June 19 in France for example, where to eat?
Atocha 107 at Calle Atocha ,107 even with a special gift: a bottle of Castelo de Medina Sauvignon Blanc Selected Harvest 2020 (DO Rueda) or Castelo Roble 2019 (a red with PGI Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León), and Hard Rock Hotel Madrid at Ronda de Atocha, 17.

Todos mienten  or everyone lies, the thriller created and directed by Pau Freixas that has become one of the most watched series in Spain in the last month and a half and with more than 70% loyalty. Starring Irene Arcos, Natalia Verbeke, Miren Ibarguren and Eva Santolaria, the original Movistar+ production presents the lives of several upper-class families in an exclusive urbanization, whose apparent tranquility is blown up when a video posted on social networks comes to light social events in which one of the neighbors is sleeping with her best friend’s son. From there, friends who hate each other, children with parallel lives, unexpected lovers, vital and marital crises and even a murder form part of a story in which nobody seems to tell the truth and which, as a rubric, has a peculiar soundtrack headed by the most emblematic themes of Spanish singing legends of the past such as Mari Trini, Marisol,(my favorites) María Jiménez, Karina or Paloma San Basilio. More on IMDB webpage :

Easter or Semana Santa is just around the corner and this year, more than ever, there is a desire for a getaway. The question is: what are the favorite destinations of the Spanish for these holidays? The answer: Sevilla, Madrid and Peñíscola. This is confirmed by a study carried out by the national company considered a benchmark in terms of online tourist accommodation reservations,, which has reviewed the places that travelers want to visit this Easter. 9.79% of the reservations for the week of April 11 to 17, 2022 are in Sevilla, In second place is Madrid, chosen by 4.2% of Spaniards; and, in third place, with 3.6%, Peñíscola, a destination in the province of Castellón that is part of the network of “The most beautiful towns in Spain”. In the ranking, cities such as Barcelona (3.5% of reservations), Granada (3%) stand out or Paris (2.8%), the only international destination. The other cities that complete the selection are San Sebastián, Santiago de Compostela and Córdoba.

Talavera de la Reina is known as the City of Ceramics, an art for which it was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2019. But today its name not only sounds because of its historical and landscape heritage or because of the manufacturing procedures, decoration and enameling of its handmade ceramics and identical to those practiced in the 16C. It also does so because it has been chosen as the Best National Tourist Destination for Traveling with Pets. The TravelGuau awards have become an institution for people traveling with pets. The TravelGuau awards seek to promote initiatives that encourage coexistence with pets within society and cover categories such as Destination, Accommodation, The best company or The most outstanding protector. Currently, it is estimated that 40% of households in Spain live with pets, which, in most cases, are considered another member of the family. After its premiere five years ago at Fitur (tourism fair) ,Viajar Juntos es Mejor or Traveling Together is Better , the first web search engine for pet-friendly travel agencies and operators in Spain created by Purina and the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies (CEAV), has become a benchmark when it comes to organizing trips with pets.

Vicente Aleixandre’s former home, located in the Chamberí district of Madrid, has been submerged in uncertainty for almost three decades, In Velintonia, Vicente Aleixandre’s former home, there are still some memories that threaten to become extinct. In the midst of that fog, Federico García Lorca reads in the Poeta room in New York. The poet also read his Sonnets of Dark Love there for the first time when they did not even have a name. It was Aleixandre himself who advised him on this title. Many were the members of the generation 27 who set foot in this home. That is why Velintonia must be defended, because it explains the generation of 27 and a large part of the cultural facts of Spain in the first half of the 20C. Hence, the project of a new House of Poetry is for them the natural destiny that should await Velintonia, A living center that, without becoming a museum for nostalgics, preserves certain spaces of the house, such as the bedroom in which Aleixandre conceived much of his work, without sacrificing dynamism. The idea of ​​a documentation and study center for poetry in the Spanish language of the 20C, which also serves as a meeting point in which to schedule presentations, workshops and conferences, is, the ideal one to preserve the work and the figure of Aleixandre and, of course, also his character. Velintonia, in which five generations of poets came together. And Aleixandre welcomed all kinds of friends there: From Gerardo Diego to Rafael Alberti If we lose it, we lose a part of our memory and our identity. In the end, what makes us universal is culture, Right on helping to preserve it.

It will be exhibited, in room 34 for a year, the first two preparatory sketches that Goya made for the altar painting The Preaching of Saint Bernardino of Siena before Alfonso V of Aragon for one of the chapels of the new Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande of Madrid. Owned by the Fundación Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno, the first of the sketches was last exhibited more than a hundred years ago, while the second is presented to the public for the first time. Both oil paintings have recently been restored at the Prado Restoration Workshop. In the new space that opens with the unification of the rooms, the nude Maja and the dressed Maja are exhibited, accompanied, for the first time, by the painting of Venus recreating herself with Love and Music painted by Titian around 1555. The exhibition of this work in room 37-38, from the Royal Collection, is a reflection of the decoration of one of the cabinets in the palace of the worthy Manuel Godoy, in which the Majas de Goya were found together with representations of the goddess of love, like the Venus of the mirror by Velázquez (National Gallery, London) and one by Titian in a small copy. All at the Prado museum :

A couple of mountain towns just outside Madrid, worth the detour for the adventurous in us, Olmeda de las Fuentes , Community of Madrid , and 53 km from Madrid, This is where the Jesuit Pedro Páez was born, discoverer of the sources of the Nile, and where many artists lived and still live, especially painters. The Church of San Pedro (where there are several portraits of artists who at some point lived in Olmeda), the route of the painters (they usually visit the house of the French painter and sculptor Lucie Geffré) or the panels where the life of the illustrious Jesuit and missionary Pedro Páez. One way to go is by the M-229 from Arganda del Rey, following all the signs to Valdilecha and Villar del Olmo, a town that you have to cross before taking the detour in Nuevo Baztán towards Olmeda de las Fuentes,

Puebla de la Sierra is 102 km from Madrid, At the end of the 1990s, three sculptors, among them Federico Eguía, born in Puebla de la Sierra , thought that art had to be taken out of museums and shown in nature. That was the beginning of the Valle de los Sueños or Valley of Dreams, a sculpture park that has been growing over the years, with donations from artists and with the celebration of seven biennials that have increased the interest and dissemination of the project , Today , this unique place in the northern mountains of Madrid brings together 115 sculptures, including some large ones, perhaps the ones preferred by the public, such as ‘Invocation of Selene’, by Joaquín Manzano, or the Giant Chair of Meira – by Xulio Lago and Roberto Brañas, This four-meter-high chair has a metal replica placed there, which has become a star on social networks over the years. Access to the sculpture park is free, You take the A1 out of Madrid and on exit 60 and get on the M127 ,and continue on the M130 direction Puebla de la Sierra.

When we came to Zamora to get to know the Toro Wine Route, we were never tired of looking from the Espolón, the edge of the hill on which the city of Toro (bull) is built. The Alcázar, a fortress that was part of the first walled enclosure of Toro and that witnessed important historical events (it welcomed, for example, Juana la Beltraneja when the city positioned itself alongside her in her fight with Isabel for the throne of Castile ), and ends at the other end, giving birth to the Collegiate Church, The Collegiate Church of Santa María La Mayor is the most unique and attractive building in Toro, If there is something not to be missed in this Collegiate Church, it is the north portal, as it is one of the few examples of Gothic portals that have survived to this day practically intact and with the original polychromy. We are not used to seeing them this way, of course, and when we are in front of this Pórtico de La Majestad or Majesty’s Porch, illuminated by the filtered light of the enormous adjoining alabaster window, we are as surprised as stupefied.

The best place to start learning about the history of wine in Toro is the Pagos del Rey Wine Museum. It is in Morales de Toro, in the production halls of the old Bodega Bajoz. The tour begins outside, where, among other things, we can see a small garden of varieties with all the types of grapes that are grown in the territory. But what is fascinating is inside, in the rooms where the old cement tanks have been transformed almost into an art gallery and in which, with the technique of three-dimensional mapping, we can see how the grapes ferment or how they were unraveled. The tour then takes us through the history of Toro and we discover dozens of anecdotes, We can start in Toro, visiting an underground one, like Bodegas Valdigal. As in many towns with a winemaking tradition, Toro’s subsoil is pierced by dozens of old wineries. There are also large, modern wineries such as Monte La Reina, which plays with architecture and, again, with colors and lights. We also find other wineries such as Elías Mora. It is in the town of San Román de Hornija and bears the name of the former farmer from whom the winemaker Victoria Benavides bought the vineyard. A pre-phylloxera vineyard that becomes the absolute protagonist of a visit that is completed with an excellent tasting of wines, oil and chocolate, in a glass enclosure surrounded by vines.

The Wine Route of Toro wines :

The Toro tourist office on wines :

The wine museum of Pagos del Rey :

The official Bodega Valdival wines :

The official Bodega Monte la Reina wines :

The official Bodega Elias Mora wines :

Alejandro Paz and Olga García belong to Generation Z. They are 23 and 25 years old, respectively, In mid-2019, when they decided to move to Olga’s town, Huerta del Marquesado (our vacation area in Castilla La Mancha, Province of Cuenca), in the Serranía de Cuenca, where her parents ran a small bar. Restaurante Fuentelgato have achieved a Sol Repsol ,they received it a few weeks ago, and are candidates for revelation chef at Madrid Fusión. They currently provide 12 services per shift. Mainly the food works. 95% of the people who book are from outside. The two and a half hours from Madrid are nothing for the faithful who visit them. Nice and a pretty mountain town indeed, Facebook page ;

There you go folks, another dandy some news from Spain, all ready to take off into a wonderful looking Summer! Hope you enjoy the ride with yours truly and already looking forward to my escapades in my dear Spain.

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

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