Some news from Spain CXXVII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it seems we will have a wonderful hot summer season. I am eagerly looking forward to that!! Even in the middle of a heat wave , deaths from the heat and fires all over, Spain rocks !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Galeria Jonica or Ionic Sculpture Gallery has been conceived as an exhibition space, but also as a rest area in which to enjoy the natural light that enters through its huge windows and the privileged views of the Paseo del Prado in the company of 56 sculptural pieces that range from Ancient Egypt, through the Greco-Roman period, to the Renaissance and Baroque. In this way, a privileged space is recovered that was closed to the public and that, in addition, takes up a project from 1881, More info at Prado museum : https://www.museodelprado.es/en/museum/ionic-gallery

Baptized by the Romans as Finis Terrae or end of the earth ; the cape of Fisterra is located in one of the westernmost points of Europe and the Camino de Santiago ends here. It is located on the Costa da Morte, this area is characterized by its spectacular landscapes that overlook the imposing Atlantic and its hidden beaches with calm waters, some and strong waves, others. But if something precisely characterizes the end of the world, it is its sunset, watching it plunge into the immensity of the ocean is a spectacle of nature and perhaps this is one of the reasons that lead many pilgrims to become known as the Camino de Fisterra and Muxía, which starts from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Fisterra. Arriving in Fisterra is almost synonymous with freedom. Here the pilgrim finds the Church of Santa María das Areas, which guards the Santo Cristo de Fisterra. Getting to the cape is enjoying the best views imaginable, impossible to describe in words. Come and see. Galicia Tourism on the Cabo Fisterra : https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/destacados/cabo-fisterra?langId=en_US

The Caixa Foundation inaugurates its ninth cultural container in the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, In a building that had been without function since construction began in 2006 , The Ágora reopened its doors as the ninth CaixaForum in Spain of the hand of the Caixa Foundation which, 16 years after the first stone was laid, has managed to reconcile Valencia with its Agora. Not because the Foundation expressly seeks it, but because it is located in the heart of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The building is, without a doubt, one of the most emblematic and visible in the area, webpage : https://www.cac.es/en/agora/Descubre-y-conoce-el-Agora/conoce-el-agora.html

As the official tourism organism ,and the one I always quote in my posts ; the World Tourism Organization (UN) embarks on the task of choosing the “Best Tourist Towns“. Three towns in Huesca, Barcelona and Cáceres could win the distinction this year. In specific, they are Alquézar (Huesca), Rupit (Barcelona) and Guadalupe (Cáceres), the three candidates that Spain has presented to the second edition of the Best Tourism Villages program, an initiative that seeks localities that are good example of rural tourism and commitment to sustainability.webpage : https://www.unwto.org/news/unwto-invites-applications-for-best-tourism-villages-2022

Something for the nature lover in all of us, The Cabo de Gata Natural Park , whether on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle or car, it allows you to explore the unusual landscapes of this corner of Spain marked by the profile of ancient volcanoes and aridity. The local star is, without a doubt, the Cortijo del Fraile. It was built in the 18C and is famous for many reasons. First, because the crime that the Almerian journalist Carmen de Burgos wrote about, in Colombine, and, later, Federico García Lorca in his Blood Weddings, took place there. And, second, because Sergio Leone chose it as the setting for films such as Death had a price or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with Clint Eastwood leaving the place after recovering from several days lost in the desert. Getting to it is not easy between the few indications and the poor conditions of the tracks. The best option is the small road that starts in Fernán Pérez between cereal fields and some olive groves. A rusty sign leads to the building, now by land through a huge orchard where fennel and celery scent the strange atmosphere. To the north, the same old sign that leads to the Cortijo del Fraile points to the Cortijo Higo Seco, a handful of abandoned houses, among which some survive, inhabited, and mailboxes at the foot of the road. Go ahead make my day ! The official Cabo de Gata on the Cortijo de Fraile available in Spanish : https://www.degata.com/cabo-de-gata/visitas/cortijo-del-fraile.html

When you open the door it gets cold, a cold like a church. It will be the figure of Jesus Christ that welcomes the visitor in the hall, raised on an inscription that reads ‘Kingdom of Spain’. Or maybe it’s just the magic (the science) of architecture. Who knows. In the hall there are many things. Two candlesticks made from grenades from the Whitworth cannon, those cucumber-shaped projectiles that gave rise to the famous ‘pepinazos’. A funeral mask of General Nicolás Ollo, killed by an explosion in 1874. A portrait of Carlos VII with his dog, León. A flag of the Barcelonan third of requetés of Santo Cristo de Lepanto. Cabrera’s face in oil. The one from Zumalacárregui. Two red berets. a white one And more. This is the entrance to a house that is not a house. To a museum that is not a museum. It is called the Carlist Museum of Madrid, but in reality it is a private collection (perhaps the largest of its kind) that can only be visited with the owner’s permission and accompaniment. Downstairs is the basement, the main part of the museum. Each room is a Carlist war, in perfect order: the first (1833-1840), the second (1846-1848), the third (1872-1876) and the Civil War bonus track with the searches, Just like a history book. The Museo Carlista de Madrid : https://www.museocarlistademadrid.com/

Some scary nice places full of history and anecdotes for your visiting pleasure, my favorites on this post are :

The Royal Palace of Olite (Navarra), It is clear that it was not conceived to wage war, an activity in which Carlos III the Noble never shone: his thing was art, luxury and having children, no less than 13. It is a castle, a romantic palace, in a gothic but romantic style, full of galleries, windows with exquisite tracery, hanging gardens and very high and tiny turrets, from which the king and queen, Doña Leonor de Trastámara, watched the tournaments, or so they said. Next to the New Palace, which is the part of the castle that is visited, is the Old Palace, which is the oldest (from the 13C, with Roman foundations) and the one that occupies the Parador de Olite lodging establishement now, webpage : https://palaciorealolite.com/en

The castle of Riba de Santiuste, near Sigüenza. It is planted on the crest of a hill full of folds and fractures, of layers of red and yellow sandstone, salt crystals and ripples, the waves drawn by the tide on a beach millions of years ago. Another castle in the province of Guadalajara that makes your hair stand on end is that of Zafra. In the high and desolate moor of Molina de Aragón, 6 km from Campillo de Dueñas, this red fortress is discovered balancing on a sharp rock of the same color. It’s like finding a castle on Mars. Or was it, because since it appeared in the sixth season of Game of Thrones, like the Tower of Joy, it appears every few minutes on a blog and there are always onlookers around.

Riba de Santiuste on Castilla La Mancha tourist office :http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/castillo-de-riba-de-santiuste-33464/descripcion/

Zafra castle on Castilla La Mancha tourist office : http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/castillo-de-zafra-33564/descripcion/

And of course, from the 12C, which is when the Alcáçar of Segovia (my favorite) is mentioned for the first time, it does not seem strange, be that as it may, this fairytale castle, bristling with turrets with pointed spiers, is one of those that inspired Cinderella’s at Disney World in Florida. You can visit 11 rooms: among them the oldest, that of the Old Palace, with its twin windows from the 12C, and the most important, that of the Kings, where the Cortes met under the gaze of all the sculpted monarchs in the frieze, from don Pelayo to Juana la Loca. In addition, you can climb the tower of Juan II, 152 steps that end at 80 meters high. Cinderella’s castle is only 57,,, The Castilla Y Léon tourist office on the Alcazar : https://www.turismocastillayleon.com/en/art-culture-heritage/castles/alcazar-segovia

The summer season for tourist railway trips through Galicia is already underway. You just have to choose the most desired route (there are 13 and two new ones, the Galician cheese route and the As Mariñas route) and get on the train. Some of my favorites are :

The Ribeira Sacra Route along the Sil River, The most popular route of all is this one aboard the Aba Sacra motorized train bound for the Regina Viarum winery. The Monforte Wine Interpretation Center is also known and the Sil River is crossed in a catamaran through the canyons, as well as a guided visit to the Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas, where a monk officiates the ceremony of the queimada with tasting. O Ribeiro and Rias Baixas Route, It is time to discover the Rías Baixas Designation of Origin in enclaves such as Señorío de Rubiós and O Ribeiro wineries, which includes a walk through the medieval town of Ribadavia and its castle, the Galician Wine Museum and the fort of San Cibrao de Las. There is also time to visit the Santa Crux de Arrabaldo railway station, rehabilitated as a museum complex. Rias Baixas Wine Route, The route goes into the interior of the Arousa estuary to visit the medieval Torres de Oeste, in Catoira, a strategic containment enclave for the barbarian hordes that tried to go up the river to plunder Santiago. It includes a visit to the Pazo de Baión wineries and the monumental town of Cambados, capital of Albariño, and the Pazo de Fefiñáns. The route concludes with a boat ride on the Vigo estuary and disembarkation on the island of San Simón. The Route through the paths of Santiago, Leaving La Coruña, within the English Way, the first stop is Sobrado dos Monxes to visit the Cistercian monastery of Santa María, already on the Northern Way. With a small section on foot passing by the Chapel of Santo Alberte, in the afternoon it continues through Samos, on the French Way, to stop at the Benedictine Monastery of San Julián. The trip ends at the wall of Lugo, on the Primitive Way, and returns to La Coruña. The Galicia Cheese Route, covers three of the four appellations of origin for Galician cheeses. The first stop is at Sobrado dos Monxes to enter the Casa do Queixo, with a tasting of Tetilla and Arzúa-Ulloa. The next visit is to the Don Crisanto cheese factory, in Vilalba, where you can meet the San Simón da Costa. In the afternoon, the Arqueixal eco-agrotourism project, in Albá (Palas de Rei), focused on Arzúa-Ulloa cheese, is known. All sublimes !

Something I learn to drink and enjoy as a child visiting my aunt in El Saler south of Valencia in the early 70’s and continue to this day each visit these regions and Madrid, A good balance of tiger nuts, water and sugar is the key to this summer drink that has its origin in the Valencian orchard ; this is the Horchata. Today it has a museum and there are unique places where you can taste it, the garden of Valencia became a place of pilgrimage. What would soon be known as Avenida de la Horchata, a road that connects Valencia with the town of Alboraia, came to house more than a dozen horchata shops that enlivened the Levantine summer nights. Today, however, less than half remain. of those premises, at the same time that the borders of white gold are blurred. The producers of 19 towns are struggling to value the denomination of origin of the Valencian tiger nut, a sweet tuber, introduced with the Arab conquest of the Peninsula and well adapted to the warm climate and sandy soils of this area I tried Daniel from Alboraia at the Colón market in Valencia, a modernist building that delights any traveler with an architectural sensibility. There you can now visit the Museum of Horchata and Chufa, located in the farmhouse El Machistre, a monumental mansion from the 12C that preserves the architectural remnants of its Arab origin. Located in the middle of the Alboraia orchard, it is one of the few stately farmhouses in good condition in Valencia. Inside, the decoration of the house of a family from the 18C is preserved, while the museum shows the different processes of traditional elaboration of this drink. The visits can also include a tasting and even a workshop to learn how to make it, since only you need tiger nuts, water and sugar to taste. Because, after all, horchata has always been the white gold of the families of the orchard, now the heritage of the entire world. Enjoy especially in Summer months!!!Remember, Horchata !!

The official Daniel horchata stores : https://horchateria-daniel.es/

The Community of Valencia on the museum : https://www.comunitatvalenciana.com/en/valencia/alboraia-alboraya/museums/museo-de-la-horchata

And last but not least for this post a wonderful historical anecdote of the history of modern Spain,La Barraca, and one of the greatest poets ever, Federico Garcia Lorca, (see post). Enjoy it as I.

They were on two vans, different sets, avant-garde costumes and even a female chaperone to quell the ardor of the young people and thus allow their companions to also undertake the trip, is all that La Barraca carried on their outings. They visited more than 70 locations where they performed up to 14 combinable repertoires from 1932 to 1936, all of them with a different repertoire. On July 10, 1932, their first performance took place in Burgo de Osma, Soria. There, Lorca, who had neither founded the improvised company nor named it, was already at the forefront of an experience in which he would give free rein to his imagination and form of regenerating the theater. La Barraca was much more avant-garde and they wanted to get away from the zarzuela theater, the bourgeois theater. They worked on the great classics in a very innovative way. Their first performance was the auto sacramental of “La vida es sueño”,or Life is a Dream, by Calderón de la Barca, something that the communist wing of the company did not like, enthusiastic about the project of a republic supposedly lay , The people of Catholic Action did not like it either, who came to destroy the works of the group led by Lorca and Eduardo Ugarte. After all, ‘La Barraca‘ was a microcosm of the society of the Second Republic in which communists and Falangists coexisted with a very advanced aesthetic ideology and with the aim of bringing culture to the people. This theatrical experience, brought to today, it would be like taking the opera to the streets, that everyone could enjoy the highest, most exquisite art, as part of a profoundly democratic project. In this way, in our streets we could see condensed the silver age of Spanish art, great painters of the time who dedicated themselves to designing the sets, such as Benjamín Palencia, José Caballero and Alfonso Ponce de León, a Falangist, who latter died in a Checa (communist raid gangs of executioners) in 1936. Thus, around 40 students turned into premature actors, actresses, musicians and painters, they toured the towns of the Spanish geography, especially in summer, on the back of the van they called the Bella Aurelia, because his driver was called Aurelio. La Barraca ended with many deaths in the Spanish Civil War, on both sides, but it was a fundamental moment in the history of Spain, like that utopia in which a national classical theater company could be created, La Barraca non-existent at the time. It was maintained long after the coup d’état, by the end of 1935 it was not the same as before and it came crashing down completely with the assassination of Lorca (by extreme right wing falangists) , The work of Lope de la Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderón de la Barca, also Cervantes, and Juan de la Encina and Lope de Rueda , all these consecrated authors passed through the hands of the fervent actors and actresses of La Barraca. Another era, innocent perhaps but much better than today, Spain Culture site on La Barraca : http://www.spainisculture.com/en/companias_artisticas/la_barraca.html

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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