Archive for April 21st, 2022

April 21, 2022

Memorable Paseo de la Reina Cristina of Madrid!!

So coming back to another street of my dear Madrid. I have many and several posts in my blog . However, one of the memorable streets I came into the city each time from our rental house in Cuenca was the memorable Paseo de la Reina Cristina of Madrid. I like to tell you more about it.

There is a Repsol gas/petrol station I have used repeately as is my in and out when visiting Madrid from Cuenca at Paseo de la Infanta Isabel, 2 ,closer to Atocha, The road is the A3 highway Madrid-Valencia that comes in on Avenida del Mediterraneo on same road continues to plaza del Conde de Casal on same avenue at Plaza de Mariano de Cavia it becomes the Paseo de la Reina Cristina ,right past the square on your left is the parking Garaje Maria Cristina ,at no 24, this is a 3 minutes walking from Parque del Retiro, and 8 minutes from the Atocha station , From here you can ,also, take the metro from Menéndez Pelayo station Line 1, and get to the centro of Madrid.


By Atocha there is a tunnel do not take it ,but instead continue on the right on Paseo de la Infanta Isabel until the Plaza del Emperador Carlos III (below is the metro station Estacion del Arte line 1 ) where there is a replica of the fountain de Alcachofa,(artichoke) on your left is the Atocha Renfe train station. And from here you have all of Madrid!!!

Let me tell you a bit on the history of Paseo de la Reina Cristina which I like

According to urban trends in the 1860’s, along the Paseo de la Reina Cristina and the avenues of the Ciudad de Barcelona, ​del Mediterraneo and Menéndez y Pelayo, no urban development was contemplated, except for the installation of a large racecourse next to the eastern part of the Retiro park. This was due to the fact that the Retiro belonged to the Crown, hence its old name of Real Sitio del Buen Retiro, and then its extension was much greater since it extended as far as Paseo del Prado and as far as the current avenue. of the Ciudad de Barcelona. It was not until 1865 that part of the Retiro grounds were segregated, through the opening of Calle Alfonso XII, to begin its urbanization, in Jéronimos barrio or neighborhood, district of Retiro). This precedent served so that during the First Spanish Republic (1873) the segregation of the land to the south of the Retiro, known as the Olivar de Atocha, was continued in order to create a new urban sector, then called the Pacifico barrio/neighborhood as today, in the district of Retiro, Over the years, this neighborhood spread and even occupied the land where the racecourse expansion was to be located.

The segregation of the Olivar de Atocha land was carried out by creating a new avenue, named after Reina Cristina, drawn tangentially to the Basilica of Atocha and, then, already planned as one of the great access roads to the city. Some historical and emblematic buildings of the city were saved in this urban operation, such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha, (see post) whose origin dates back to 1523 with the foundation of the convent dedicated to this virgin, although previously there was already a hermitage in this place where the Virgin of Atocha was venerated. In 1836, with the confiscation of Mendizábal,(separation of church and state), only the church remained of the original building and the Cuartel de Invalidos or Invalids barracks were built where the convent dependencies were located. In 1890, taking advantage of the fact that the basilica was going to be rebuilt, it was decided to place a Panteón de Hombres Ilustres or Pantheon of Illustrious Men on the site of the old barracks, with the intention that the mortal remains of the most famous Spaniards in history would rest there.

In 1891 the works of the new complex began but the continuous economic difficulties prolonged them until 1924, that is to say until 33 years later. Certainly the building seemed to be jinxed, as it was razed to the ground again during the Spanish Civil War and had to be rebuilt in the 1940s. Today you can visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha, where the remains of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas rest, protector of the Indians (of America), and the Pantheon of Illustrious Men, where, among others, the remains of Canovas del Castillo, Sagasta and Canalejas are found in beautiful tombs. Next to the Basilica of Atocha is the Real Fábrica de Tapices y Museo or Royal Tapestry Factory and its museum. The building where it is located was built between 1889 and 1891 but its antiquity dates back to 1720, and then it was in front of the Puerta de Santa Bárbara (today Plaza de Alonso Martínez) , hence it was called the Real Fábrica de Tapices de Santa Bárbara or the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara. In its museum you can see the works that Francisco de Goya carried out on behalf of Cornelio Vandergoten, a collection of 41 tapestries of incalculable value, as well as numerous cartoons, sketches, rugs and tapestries by other great masters.

Another wonderful street to walk in my dear Madrid. The Paseo de la Reina Cristina also has one of the highest real estate prices in Madrid, exclusive buildings of great architecture and renowned ,all set for a lovely family walk. A great idea while waiting or gazing at the Atocha transports hub. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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April 21, 2022

Las Ventas Monumental bullring of Madrid!!!

I will update this older post of a sentimental monument for me. I lived not to far from it and when a boy used to walked by and played on its vast esplanade without much attention to it. Little by little I was submerge into the history my grandparents told me, and now able to see first hand and it was sublime. Over my time there was able to come several times with friends of workers at the bullring and it was spectacular! Somehow it has stayed with me and passed by it every time in Madrid even doing lunch around it with my family. The Las Ventas Monumental bullring of Madrid is awesome!Let met tell you a bit more of it. Recall, Madrid to heaven and a hole on the sky to look down on it every day! You get here on foot best, but also Metro Ventas lines 2 and 5(mine!). Also, bus lines 21,38, 53,106 ,110,110, and more.


One of the cultural and historic icon of the city is the Las Ventas bullfight arena (aka Monumental)The inaugural poster dates back to 1931. A replica is found in the Puerta Grande ( big entrance gate). On that occasion, eight matadors took part in the first bullfight of Las Ventas on June 16. However, the official opening was in 1934. In 1947 Livinio Stuyck created the San Isidro Fair coinciding with the patron’s Saint day. It is, at present, the fair with the greatest number of celebrations.


In Madrid many bullrings have been built over the centuries. They were found at the Plaza Mayor, then at the Buen Retiro, then at the Puerta de Alcalá. A new bullring was built not far from the Las Ventas bullring in 1874 but from the beginning of the 20C, it was too small to accommodate fervent bullfighting enthusiasts. The arena that we know today was then built to allow as many people as possible to come and watch the bullfights.


The dimensions are impressive: the ruedo (the track) is 60 meters in diameter and the corridor that surrounds it, called the callejón, is 2.2 meters wide. It can accommodate precisely 23,798 people, making it the largest arena in Spain (by capacity and size), and the 3rd largest worldwide.  Las Ventas is the name given to the bullring in Madrid because it was called the area in which it is located ,the neighborhood of Ventas and in the district of Ciudad Lineal (same as mine). It was built in Neo-mudéjar style, with metal structure and brick façade. The locations are distributed in 10 lines, grouped into three zones: shadow zone, consisting of lines 9, 10, 1 and 2; sun zone, consisting of lines 4, 5, 6 and 7; zone of sun and shade, composed of lines 3 and 8. These lines are divided in turn into locations of high and low lines, stands and barrage. The most expensive and the cheapest are the shadow entrances, the price decreases as they move away from the ring. The building consists of four floors, with circular galleries that lead to the different locations.


There is also a nice ,and informative Museo Taurino or Bullfighting Museum at the back, inaugurated on May 15, 1951 coinciding with the festival of San Isidro Labrador, patron of the city. Located in the Patio de Caballos offers its visitors a coherent and attractive set of bullfighting history and its relevance in the history of Spain and its culture. Indeed for those confused it should be visited, and for the lovers is a must. The museum has a  chapel dedicated to the patron saints of Mexico (the Virgin of Guadalupe) and Madrid (the Virgin of Paloma), as well as an infirmary with two state-of-the-art operating rooms to treat wounds. immediately.  In addition, it has three cultural rooms: the Antonio Bienvenida Room, the Antoñete Room and the Cossío Room, which also houses a library with more than 2,000 volumes. In them exhibitions and informative acts take place throughout the season.


Las Ventas bullring can be visited every day from 10h to 17h30. Except for the days of celebration that the access is closed four hours before the celebration. The tour includes a visit to the Bullfighting Museum , the Grid Gate, Chapel, Nursing Hall, Alley and Arena. There is also an audio guide tour available in 8 languages (Spanish, Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese).

The Official Las Ventas bullring

The Official Las Ventas bullring tours guided visits

The Madrid tourist office on the museum :

The Madrid tourist office on the bullring

The Las Ventas Monumental bullring is an integral part of Spanish culture and Madrid history. This mythical place is an essential part of a visit to Madrid, whatever your opinion of bullfighting. There you go folks, another dandy and we came by to do some historical architectural educational talk with my sons. Hope you enjoy it as we do

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

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April 21, 2022

One two punch eateries in Barcelona!!!

As said visited the city several times and cannot get over the foodie as I am, No different in Barcelona and will like to update this older post for you and me, As often, the case, I come to discover these gems usually on business trips and then if worth it bring alone the family in subsequents trips ,and even sometimes do the opposite. The culinary, wine lover in me is well at home in Europe! One city that is rank right up there with the best is Barcelona, Spain. A blend of Catalan, Mediterranean and other Spanish dishes all in one city , sounds good , let me tell you a bit more ok.

You will have an authentic Catalan and Mediterranean experience at the L’Amfora. Enjoy a beautiful maritime environment with your family while you savor the tapas selection, traditional paellas, exquisite grilled meats and the most selected seafood from their tank. Obviously, do not miss the typical desserts and  popular  sangria of Cava Catalan. They have vegetarian and vegan multiple options and children menus. They are  located next to de crowded Plaça de Espanya square, The Fira Congress Palace and The Magic Fountain of Montjuic.



This is the L’Amfora restaurant that was first found with friends and then family. All worth it. Very centrally located and you must try their super Paella delicious!!!

The official Restaurant L’Amfora :

For an even local and good conversation topic meal head for the restaurante Casa de Tapas Cañota not far from Plaça de Espanya square and very nice place , friendly and a long football/soccer chat with the Argentinian server living there for more than 10 years! A nice place to come back, eat, drink and watch a game!


In the Eixample district you will find this gem Restaurant Casa de Tapas Cañota, a place where the classic spirit merges with a fabulous offer of tapas. Its renovated decoration, by the designer Ana Pujadas, turns this place into a casual and informal restaurant with striking graphic illustrations.  The menu is informal and economical and is based on excellent tapas of great variety for all tastes, without neglecting the quality that characterizes the products of this restaurant. In Casa de Tapas Cañota you can have a good time in the company of friends watching football and tasting some tapas; it also has a heated terrace with access to the disabled. You can not stop going to the place where the quality and the good price meet. Enjoy as I did on several times !!!


The official Casa de Tapas restaurant :

There you go folks, there are many more and even more popular and surely maybe good ones, I have tried others. However, these two are memorable that we will look after them to be back with the family or friends. Enjoy the one two punch of eateries in Barcelona!

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

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