Archive for December 16th, 2022

December 16, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXXVII

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are really already in Winter and it feld like it with the white one coming hope not by me stay away ! Most said winter will be harsh and already is doing that in mid December temperatures, we are now at 2C ! about 36F However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years , And for those non Roman CCCLXXVII is 377 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We will be tidy and drinking a nice glass of wine, coming inside our dining room! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Eight departments of the Grand-Est region remain on snow and ice orange vigilance this Thursday morning, while the Paris region returns to yellow, on the third day of a winter episode which caused some transport difficulties. In the East, snowfall is expected until the evening of Thursday. In Meurthe-et-Moselle, late night temperatures will be negative , The cold will remain sharp and freezing rain will also threaten the Nord and Pas-de-Calais. The sky will also be overcast in the morning with some light snowfall possible in the interior of Bretagne and Pays de la Loire, and rain near the ocean like me. In Île-de-France, the RN 118 road a major axis of access to Paris from the south , which had been cut off on Tuesday evening should reopen this Thursday, from 10h , problems in winter with snow avoid it !

In a press release relayed by BFMTV, the RATP announced last Tuesday that the metros and RER with an aerial part could run all night if the snow and ice plan is activated. The goal ? Avoid at all costs that frost forms on the rail network, which could seriously disrupt traffic. This decision will be made by the prefecture. The metro lines concerned are lines 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 13 as well as RER A and B. Stay put if possible,snow even if small compare to your area is always a serious problem here as roads and lines are not made to take even 4 inches of snow ! RATP webpage :

Her name, Line Renaud also lends to other fights as she is always doing for good. Especially the one against cancer, very dear to me, The tireless artist was this past Wednesday afternoon in Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine 92 ) where she inaugurated the Line-Renaud Institute, a kind of extension of the Hôpital Foch (Franco-American origins) for a time called Espace Serenity which includes a care center support for cancer patients, a pain management center and, finally, a prevention and work center, hospital webpage :

This coming Sunday,December 18 2022 , the World Cup final will oppose the Blues (France) to the Albiceleste(Argentina), four years after a stunning round of 16 in Russia, For the French the most beautiful World Cup final possible is coming up, 24 years after a France -Brazil in Saint-Denis at the Stade de France, mythical game. This time it is France-Argentina, the other most fascinating South American team, the greatest of all in the eyes of many, who have two stars like the Blues. It is the reigning world champion,(France) who defeated Morocco in the semi-finals (2-0), against the winner of the Copa America, as an explanation at the top between the most beautiful team in Europe, the most deserving, against the best of the American continent. Allez les Bleus bien sûr !!!FIFA webpage :

Installed in the Indigo car park at the Porte d’Italie, four terminals can be used to charge an electric vehicle in around twenty minutes ! As a bonus, three quarters of an hour of parking are deducted from the price. The slowness of recharging is one of the major obstacles , along with the price of vehicles to the democratization of the electric car. With the inauguration of a first fast charging station, Indigo and Electra promise to limit these difficulties, They need a whole lot more but its start,Info parking webpage :

320 new surveillance cameras in the streets of Paris by 2026 ! The new cameras that will be installed on 64 sites in the City, The objective is to have 34 operational before the 2024 Games,Paris now has 4,055 cameras deployed at 1,475 sites ! So watch out big brother is watching you, this will help catch the criminals ,but not stop them before they do harm, the real police is too expensive they think ! The news came from BFMTV webpage :

At Paris, Louis Vuitton puts itself forward in a gourmet universe, The historic Belle Jardinière, a store next to La Samaritaine, owned by LVMH (group that owns the Parisien newspaper on which this article came out), has just been completely redesigned into an exhibition space dedicated to Louis Vuitton and its history, as well as the pastries imagined by Maxime Frédéric, best pastry chef 2022 according to Gault & Millau, at work in the Cheval Blanc palace. Just opposite the Seine, the entrance to this ephemeral place located at 2, rue du Pont-Neuf will be via a path organized into an exhibition in nine rooms. Admission will be free, by reservation. After this unusual visit or by going directly upstairs, we will arrive in the second part of this completely revamped former Conforama store. A boutique with perfumes and small leather goods on one side. And in front, the tea room with lush vegetation of the star pastry chef of the Cheval Blanc . 2, rue du Pont Neuf. Open daily, except December 25 and January 1. From 11h to 20h, More info and reservation webpage :

In March 2022, Dior inaugurated a new 10,000 square meter store, located at 30 avenue Montaigne, its historic birthplace. The workshops, a restaurant, Monsieur Dior, whose menu is signed by chef Jean Imbert, a boutique, of course, as well as the Galerie Dior, a museum dedicated to the label and its history, are grouped under the same large roof., which can be visited by reservation, paying 12 euros. The Dior heritage is explored there from its beginnings, in 1947, to the current creations of Maria Grazia Chiuri, including those of John Galliano and Raf Simons. You can also see the original office of Christian Dior as well as the workshops, reproduced identically, all in woodwork, to best reflect the cozy atmosphere of the 1950s. Webpage :

The 4-star Double Tree hotel, a brand of the Hilton group, will be located in Colombes. It is scheduled to open in 2025. The Double Tree by Hilton will be built at the corner of Boulevard Charles-de-Gaulle and Rue Pierre-Brossolette, where the Hôtel de l’Etoile previously stood, since demolished, It is a stone’s throw from the Transilien train station in La Garenne-Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine 92) and therefore, a few minutes from Gare Saint-Lazare and the center of Paris, at the foot of the T2 tramway linking Bezons (Val-d’ Oise 95) in La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine 92) and a few hundred meters from the A86 highway. From the top of its 11 floors, it will have a total of 148 rooms distributed within a 4,700 m² building and will be equipped with event spaces open to external customers, as well as three meeting rooms. The icing on the cake or rather on the roof, the Double Tree by Hilton will offer a rooftop with swimming pool, wellness area and a bar-restaurant that can accommodate up to 170 people. Webpage :

In Éragny-sur-Oise,(Val d’Oise 95) , the Art de Vivre shopping center is looking for a new lease of life. Shop closings have multiplied in this rather upscale center in Val-d’Oise, to such an extent that shopkeepers and customers are worried. The large toy store, liquidated this summer, is lacking this holiday season. Sadly one of our shopping areas and pizza hut !which sadly has closed too now call La Capanna, shopping center for the memories of always, Webpage :

The town of Maisons-Laffitte (Yvelines 78) obtains the purchase of the racecourse and dreams of new races ! Significant work remains to be done so that the stadium, abandoned for three years, regains its vocation. The last races organized at the Maisons-Laffitte racecourse date back to October 2019 ! Work in progress to bring back to the City of the horse its racecourse ! You walk in and admire this historical beauty of many visits with the family ! Webpage :

At the Centre Pompidou-Metz, a design irrigated by nature, the exhibition “Mimèsis. A living design” traces a century of strong links between creators and nature , from the organic design of the Aalto couple to the innovations produced from algae and mycelium. until February 6, 2023. Deployed over 1,200 m2 on the second floor of the museum, 400 pieces (objects, models, drawings, photographs, films, etc.) trace the relationship between man and nature, from fascination and imitation to to the fusion and recreation of life in the digital age., More inf webpage :

Fans of animated film master Hayao Miyazaki (my boys are!) will be in heaven! 10 years after the release of his last film, the Japanese director has announced that he will be releasing a new little gem in the summer of 2023 (the date is rumored to be July 14)! Please note, this is the official theatrical release in Japan. You will have to be a little more patient to see the film in French cinemas (check your country for releases). His future animated film will be titled How do you live?. It is a free adaptation of Genzaburo Yoshino’s novel (published in 1937) where we follow the adventures of a 15-year-old boy. More info webpage :

Head to Dédale to experience Radium Girls, Deadly Beauties. Thanks to its new ambulatory play, Unlock Dreams Factory takes us on an immersive experience that traces the history of a scandal that marked the United States of the 1920s. We break down the fourth wall and we mingle with the performance unfolding before our eyes. A unique experience in which we converse with the 10 actors and interact with their environment. Radium Girls, Deadly Beauties, Le Dédale, 41, rue Saint-Blaise , 20éme, to December 23, 2022, webpage :

Coming to Madame Arthur is getting what you pay for. Once in the famous cabaret, we enjoy its unique show, played on the piano and sung live. This time, the disguised creatures of the mythical Pigalle cabaret are getting into English fashion. They will sing you all the French repertoire, but in English! An approximate English, very Parisian and ultra uninhibited. Together, they will light up the scene, but above all, make us die of laughter. Are you Madame Arthur? Madame Arthur, 75 bis, rue des Martyrs 18éme, From December 15 to 31, 2022, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 20h to 22h webpage :

Early on news : The Château de Fontainebleau is getting ready for December 31st for Stéphane Bern’s TV New Year’s Eve! For three days, the Seine-et-Marnais monument was in turmoil, with the arrival of many artists for the filming of the program which will be broadcast on December 31 on France 2 television ! Stéphane Bern will announce the passage in 2023 surrounded by the dancers of the Moulin-Rouge, at the foot of the castle’s horseshoe staircase Certainly the beauty of the horseshoe staircase, the magical setting of the castle of Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne 77), adorned with a thousand lights and sublimated by a subtle play of light, gives a little joy to the artists of the Folies Gruss, who have abandoned the down jackets of the rehearsals. During two takes, professionalism obliges, they will keep smiling in front of the cameras, bewitching those who watch them with their fiery juggling, their graceful pirouettes, the majestic steps of their horses, all in an impression of ease. And this is how they prepare it at Fontainebleau castle :

The most fascinating abandoned places (yes we have those too sadly) in France, me think, of course,

Aérocity, (Ardèche,07 region Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes), This is an abandoned amusement park on the hills of the Ardèche, in Lanas. Aérocity, the first name of the site before it was renamed Parc Avenue years later, entertained , a little the gallery for nearly 25 years, from 1990 to the beginning of the 2010s. Then it closed, victims of bankruptcies and failed restructurings. Today, the place displays its spectacle of desolation, blue slides delivered to the elements, carousels and abandoned water basins !

Domaine des Trois Colonnes, (Essonne,90 Île de-France region) , This is without doubt one of the most intriguing abandoned places in France. In Angervilliers, this Anglo-Norman style mansion built at the beginning of the 20C languishes for decades in an advanced state of disrepair, surrounded by a park returned to its full nature. The mansion has been taken over by street art artists (and taggers) and delivers its large rooms open to all winds. It is possible to go to the floors and the basement. A unique place, doubled, next to it, by a pink castle 19C, also very dilapidated.

Château Mennechet, (Oise 60, Haus-de-France region), You are no doubt familiar with these urban renovation sites where only the old facade is kept to rebuild the interior. This is what Château Mennechet, looks like: a facade… but without refurbishment behind! Built at the end of the 19C in Chiry-Ourscamp, near Compiègne, never completed, the building reveals its sections of dilapidated walls still imbued with their architectural majesty. Also bombed during the Great War (WWI), the building sits like an arty style figure in the middle of the countryside,

Bains Pommer, in Avignon (Vaucluse 47, PACA region) ,One day in 1972, the door was closed and nothing has changed since. This is how these public baths inaugurated in 1890 in the heart of Avignon are presented. At the time, they had a therapeutic function, with sulfur-based treatments. Since their shutdown, it’s been the status quo: yellowed receipts; antique advertisements on the walls; a Belle Epoque waiting room with a wooden bench, topped by a glass roof; treatment cabins on two levels… Frozen in their own juice! Bought by the city, they are intended to become a museum. Hopefully !

Oradour-sur-Glane, (Haute-Vienne 87, Nouvelle-Aquitaine region ), All but forgotten, these ruins bear witness to the atrocities of which man is capable. Total respect for the memory of the 643 victims of the massacre perpetrated on June 10, 1944 by soldiers of the Das Reich division. What remains of this drama are memories and a village in ruins, through which we walk with intense emotion,

Manoir Pavlovich, at Ecrennes,( Seine-et-Marne 77 Île-de-France region ), this manor exhales a disturbing perfume. A pleasure residence built under Napoleon III, it is steeped in the tragic history of a couple of owners, whose wife was disfigured for life after an accident. She would have let herself die here, abandoned to her torments. The mansion is now devastated but retains a dusty piano and an exterior awning on the ground floor. Wobbly shutters, curtains falling to dust, rusty ironwork… enigmatic atmosphere guaranteed!

The Church of Saint-Etienne-le-Vieux, (Calvados,14 Normandie region), Right in the center of Caen! Desacralized after the French revolution, the church, whose origins date back to the 10C had bad luck. Pounded during the English invasions in the 14-15C, rebuilt between the 15C and 17C. in flamboyant Gothic style, it was abandoned after 1789 then damaged again in WWII. However, its structure has resisted and is visible to tourists passing through Caen.

Now as usual to finish some foodie news of my belle France !

Venison terrine, haunch of venison… Ile-de-France game soon on our plates! Game processed and sold close to the hunting grounds. By the first half of 2024, the city of Rambouillet (Yvelines 78) will host the first venison and processing workshop in the region, on a 2,500 m2 site located rue Charles-Lindbergh, in the zone d’activités du  Bel- Air. Another should see the light of day in Seine-et-Marne (77) coming soon. Be ready for Rambouillet more info of park webpage :

To taste an excellent puccia in Paris, the famous focaccia from Puglia , All round, with natural homemade sourdough, it is garnished with a multitude of incredibly tasty products from which Italian cuisine holds its secret. The problem is finally solved: direction Naturale for a delicious puccia as if we were there. The spot, run by Italians Flavio, Francesco and Elio, opened two years ago and has never been empty since. Puccia, focaccia, Roman pizza alla pala with thin and crispy dough, lasagna, arancini and other homemade antipasti, a compendium of specialties from different regions visited by the three acolytes. Because to design the menu, the three friends embarked on a tour of Italy and went to meet all the producers, making it a point of honor to source the products, all of them of high quality. Naturale 40 bis Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière 10éme Paris, Open Monday to Saturday from 11h to 21h, Webpage :

And as we are in the season to be merrier what better than to have chocolates !! Some unsung heroes of my chocolate world in Paris !

Hugo and Victor on Boulevard Raspail. The creed? No dyes, no additives, no aromas… only fresh. We advise you to try one of the delicious spheres with each more enticing flavor than the other: passion fruit, salted butter caramel, pear, mandarin, hazelnut-vanilla praline… Pastry chef Hugues Pouget offers boxes that are as beautiful as they are good, at discover without delay. Hugo et Victor, 40, boulevard Raspail 7éme Open every day from 9h30 to 19h30 and until 20h on Friday and Saturday, More info :

More than just a chocolate maker, Patrick Roger is a real sculptor. Named Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2002, he continues to reinvent cocoa in his own way. Rare and design creations, such as its famous graphic half-spheres whose decorations are made by hand. In short, an ultimate tasting experience between visual and taste, to be tested urgently. Patrick Roger chocolatier, 108, boulevard Saint-Germain 6éme ,and 45, avenue Victor-Hugo 16éme, More info:

Undoubtedly the oldest chocolate factory in Paris, founded in 1761. Behind its old-fashioned storefront, the shop is full of chocolates and confectionery that will amaze you. Old-fashioned pralines, chocolate orangettes, snack foods, crispy almond and hazelnut truffles… Traditional and deliciously regressive creations, not to be missed. At La Mère de Famille, 35, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre 9éme, Open Monday to Saturday from 9h30 to 20h, Sunday from 10h to 19h30 p.m. More info:

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take the air of winter is already feld, and the white one well stay away better ,me think,,, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

PS/ I just got off the doctors who tells me my father Elio will not be able to recuparate from his sickness and will be kept in bed until the end. Sad news in a happy season again for me. I love you enormously Dad, took care of you at home and will continue the effort until the end as promise my dear late mother Gladys.

December 16, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXVIII

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is practically here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXVIII is old Roman for 138, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The rains that fell this past Wednesday afternoon in Madrid caused the partial cut of six Metro lines and flooding in various areas of the city and the south of the region. At 19h, Line 5 between Pirámides and Vistalegre, Line 6 between Lucero and Laguna and Line 7 between Gregorio Marañón and Alonso Cano were cut off due to rain. In addition, the trains did not stop at the Banco de España station either because of the falling water that also accumulated on the access stairs to the station ticket offices. Metro confirmed on its social networks that traffic was interrupted on Line 4 between Lista and Goya stations, in both directions, due to accumulation of water, and on Line 2 between Las Rosas and Elipa. There were also problems on Line 11 between La Peseta and La Fortuna. Outside Madrid ,the most affected areas were Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Coslada, Rivas and Leganés,

The deterioration of the Puerta de Alcalá requires an “immediate” intervention, the restoration will last one year and will cost three million euros. After carrying out these previous studies, it has been determined that the two types of stone that make up the monument show signs of deterioration. . Thus, the granite on the façade and cornice is sandblasted and shows displacement. On the other hand, the rods, staples and metallic reinforcements of the sculptures present a high degree of corrosion. These elements have diverse origins; some, in fact, belong to the date of construction of the monument, the work of Francesco Sabatini in 1778, and others have been incorporated in subsequent restorations, Work is ongoing lastly!

Under the motto Tu Navidad está en Madrid or Your Christmas is in Madrid, nativity scenes, music, theater, parades, markets, ice rinks, crafts and gastronomy, among other proposals, will take place these days in every corner of the city. Beginning with the Palacio de Cibeles, which will come to life again with a videomapping (December 17 and 18, at 20h30. and 21h in which the star of Bethlehem will tell the story of Christmas. The Plaza de la Armería will host the light and sound installation Evanescent (21, 22 and 23 December, from 12h to 23h, which will explore the concept of the ephemeral on gigantic spheres. And in the Sabatini gardens there will be Spark, a light show (January 3 and 4, from 19h to 23h) inspired by fireflies and the Estrella galaxy made up of biodegradable materials. Matadero will host the fourth edition of Madrid, Christmas Meeting with the intention of once again turning this cultural space into the meeting point par excellence of these festivities. As a novelty there will be located El Gran Laberinto,or the Great Laberinh an installation that combines mechanical challenges and visual enigmas, and the Feria de los Imposibles, or Fair of the Impossible, a 350 m2 assembly where nothing is what it seems. everything that will house the Nave 17, destined on this occasion to Italy, the guest country this Christmas. Through a Neapolitan nativity scene, concerts by voices such as Emilia Zamuner or Daniele Sepe, their most international and multi-award-winning show, La Casa del Panda, or their most popular character on these dates, La Befana, Italy will bring its traditions closer to Madrid. In addition, for all audiences there will be workshops, games, shows, musical proposals, food trucks and skating exhibitions in this enclave in the large 600 m2 ice rink that is installed there every year for the fun of young and old. It will be innovative also what hosts the Serrería Belga or Belgian Sawmill, the last cultural space of the City Council, which will bring free activities for the whole family (from December 26 to 30), such as musical concerts, Christmas recipe gastronomic workshops or an interactive installation. And special prominence will be played by music, which will reach streets, squares, churches and cultural centers. To begin with, the Madrid Zambombada (December 18, 12h30) will go from Plaza de la Villa to Plaza de Oriente with its traditional rounds and quadrilles. And it will continue with the Navidad Castellana  or Castilian Christmas (December 23, 19h30), which will perform Christmas songs at the Puerta de Toledo Cultural Center. The jardines del Cabo Noval or Cabo Noval Gardens, in Plaza de Oriente, will also host a concert of traditional Christmas carols (December 22, 13h) and Felipa del Moreno (December 23, 20h) will welcome Christmas Eve with her flamenco songs , The music will also go up to the most emblematic balconies of the city, such as the Teatro Español, with the group Gospel Factory and El Combo Batanga (December 27 and 28, 21h); or that of the Casa de la Villa, with the band The Clams or the Dimensión Vocal group (on December 29 and 30, at 20h). And it will also come to Condeduque, with a wide proposal that will feature Combo Paradiso, Sofía Gabanna, Vega Almohalla, Chill Chicos, Sr. Chinarro, Marilia Monzón, Calequi and Las Panteras as protagonists. Not missing will be music cycle in the churches or the districts, in the CentroCentro auditorium. Christmas in Madrid sublime, !!! webpage :

One of the great attractions of Madrid during Christmas is the Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor. Strolling through this square and getting lost among the many stalls where you can buy handmade figurines for the Nativity scene, decorations for the house or numerous joke items is a perfect plan, There are others such as the one in the Plaza de España, the one in the Plaza de Juan Goytisolo or the one in the Plaza Isabel II. Don’t miss them! If you want to know the charm of Madrid at Christmas, Webpage :

It has been in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest Nativity scene in the world since 2019. And this year, the nativity scene of the city of Alicante continues to lead the planetary ranking of Christmas figures due to its dimensions: the Child measures 3.25 meters, while that the Virgin reaches 10 meters and Saint Joseph 17. But there is more, since this year, the City Council of the Mediterranean city goes one step further by adding the figures of the three Wise Men plus six angels that are distributed in different points from the city. In this case, Melchor is 11 meters high and 3.5 meters wide, Gaspar does the same with his 15.6 meters and a width of 4.75 meters, while Baltasar is the tallest of the three, reaching up to 16 meters and 3.6 meters wide. The Nativity scene will once again be located at the intersection between the Explanada and the Rambla. As for the angels, they can be seen at the city train station, as well as access to the Patio del Sol in the Plaza de Toros, the avenues Federico Soto and Doctor Gadea, at the intersection between the Explanada and Puerta del Mar, and the roundabout located between Teulada street and Jaime I avenue. The Belén or Nativity scene is not the only festive entertainment in Alicante, but its special program for these dates also include the House of San Nicolás, installed in Plaza Seneca, markets, concerts, children’s attractions, fireworks display, children’s workshops… There will also be a parade of Moors and Christians, as well as a camp of Royal postmen in the Plaza de Gabriel Miró, a Christmas carol contest and the 75th edition of the traditional parade of the Three Kings, among other activities. More and better in Spanish webpage :

One of the oldest editions of Don Quijote de la Mancha had been in a private library since 1936, that of Jorge Ortiz Linares , former Bolivian ambassador to France. The two volumes of the masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes have been sold this past Wednesday in Paris for 504,000 euros at the Sotheby’s auction house. This is a third edition of the first part printed in 1608, and a first edition of the second part,printed in 1615. The first edition of his Novelas ejemplares or Exemplary Novels , from 1613, was also sold for 403,200 euros. The books were acquired on December 21, 1936 by the Bolivian diplomat Jorge Ortiz Linares, a fervent collector who lived with his family in a small palace in Paris. His wife, Graziella Patiño, was the daughter of one of the richest men of the 20C, the Bolivian magnate Simón Patiño, known as “the king of tin.” Ortiz Linares’s residence, located at number 34 Avenue Foch, was a true artistic center of the Parisian high society of the time. In his library there were not only copies of Cervantes, but also unique editions of the French Descartes, Corneille or Molière. The diplomat, appointed ambassador of France in 1947, was passionate about manuscripts and old books. the original edition of Cervantes’ Exemplary Novels, from 1613. The book had been bound for Jerôme Bignon, King Louis XIV’s first librarian. An original edition of one of the rarest texts by Cervantes and which belonged to an important person in France, The three books were part of a batch of 87 volumes from the Ortiz Linares library auctioned by Sotheby’s. Among them was also the first pirated edition of Don Quijote, printed in 1605 in Lisbon by Jorge Rodríguez and which sold for 56,700 euros. One of its particularities is that it contains the first graphic representation of the hidalgo and his squire. Other books auctioned were Francisco de Goya’s bullfighting illustration La Tauromaquia, from 1816. A copy that Valentín Calderera, a Spanish painter, gave to Théophile Gautier, one of the first French admirers of the famous artist. In addition, three copies of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the famous chronicler son of an Inca princess and a Spanish conquistador, were also sold. Awesome !!!

A pair of portraits of a mother and her daughter portrayed by Goya will go up for auction in a single lot at an auction at Christie’s in New York on January 27 2023. They start with an estimated price of between 15 and 20 million dollars. They are owned by a private collection in London. These oil paintings on canvas, dated 1805, could set a new record for Goya, thus exceeding the 7.9 million dollars paid for ‘Suerte de varas’. The ladies portrayed by Goya are 15-year-old María Vicenta Barruso Valdés and her mother, Leonora Antonia Valdés de Barruso. Both portraits were dated and signed by Goya in the lower right corner. In addition, they include inscriptions with the name of the portrayed. The two pose seated wearing empire-line dresses and flowers in their hair.

Only a month ago the first client entered the door of the UMusic Hotel Madrid. A few days later, on November 17, Antonio Banderas premiered ‘Company’ in this historic venue in the capital. A theater in a hotel or a hotel in a theater. The Albéniz Hotel and Theater, which has two entrances, one at number 11 on Calle de la Paz and the other at Calle de Carretas (where the Madrid hotel was), 230 meters from Puerta del Sol, is in any case a special place: a hotel in a historic theater. The Albéniz theater was built in the 1940s ;it opened in 1945, with the work Aquella noche azul’ or That Blue Night, by Alfonso Paso Jr., and houses an enormous architectural and cultural heritage inside. Actually, they are two united buildings: the one in Calle de la Paz, where the theater is, has six floors and a terrace; that of Calle Carretas, five. UMusic Hotels, who took over the management, a new brand linked to the Universal Music group that intends to recover buildings linked to the world of entertainment. For now, UMusic Hotel Madrid is its first property in operation. The two buildings that make up the new hotel occupy the site where the Royal Printing Office was once located. In 1867 it became the Post Office and Telegraph House. The Carretas property was the Poymar hotel (inaugurated in 1930), later baptized as Madrid. The one on Calle de la Paz would have its time as a theater, in October 1942. And then, in the 21C, its closure and abandonment. The rehabilitation has reached, of course, the theater, huge, for 898 spectators, the which is accessed from the lobby, a disconcerting experience in this century where the curtain falls on so many cinemas and theaters. From some meeting rooms and from the gym you can see the stalls and the stage. The Hotel is a five-star hotel with 130 rooms and suites. In the corridors there are photos of Spanish artists and works of art related to the world of music. And on the upper floors, two surprises: on the fourth, a tempting pool, a pronounced rectangle that on summer days is probably what is now called a ‘must’. And on the sixth, a large terrace with views to the back of the Puerta del Sol clock, webpage :

For the nature lover in all of us, something I have done several years back, Just saw an article to worth it to include in the series, The Senda del Oso or the Bear’s trail, Known for the rock located on the highest hill, where King Felipe II used to climb to see the progress of the works of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the forest of the Herrería The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Gracia , located at kilometer 30.3 of the M-600 highway, is the best starting point of this excursion. Locate to the left of the road that goes up to the Silla de Felipe II or Philip II Chair , a path marked with white and red marks. It is the most strenuous section, luckily also the shortest. Already in the Chair of Felipe II and after contemplating the panorama of San Lorenzo and the Carpetanos mountains, continue along the path located in front of the steps that lead to the monument. It also has a few steps, which allow you to reach the highest point of La Herrería. Here are the ruins of the Casa del Sordo, former forest guard of the place. Behind the building, continue along a wide path to the right, with the Las Machotas hills occupying the horizon. You reach a barrier and a track. Follow it a few meters to the left and downhill it joins a road, which you take to the left. Along the quiet road closed to traffic, you come to the Ecological Path, opened by National Heritage. It has rest areas, fountains and billboards with Braille writing. Barely after 300 meters, a sign indicates the objective of the walk: the Cueva del Oso or Bear’s Cave. This cave that opens under a pile of large stones is several meters deep and another spring is located nearby. Vale ! You have done a wonderful walk in the mountains, hope you enjoy it one day, Webpage:

Now here are two spots in my sentimental Tenerife that is worth visiting me think, Garachico On the northwest coast of the island lies this charming little town, shaped to the volcanic orography of the land. It was the first capital of Tenerife and its narrow streets flanked by picturesque white houses are part of its historical heritage, rebuilt in the early 1700s when a volcanic eruption devastated the population, La Orotava,located in the highest part of the beautiful valley of the same name, at the foot of Mount Teide and about 15 km from Puerto de la Cruz, the town is one of the most beautiful and most visited in Tenerife. Its elegant old town, full of palaces and mansions from the 17-18C with traditional Canarian architecture, Both worth a visit indeed !

The Tenerife tourist office on Garachico :

The Tenerife tourist office on La Orotava :

The legacy of Rome in Hispania (Spain) is overwhelming, I like to tell you about some of my favorites :

Roman villa of Almenara-Puras (Valladolid) Until in 1942 the area began to be excavated with scientific criteria. What was down there was a late Roman villa, inhabited between the 4C and 5C, with one of the best collections of mosaics in all of Hispania. Some 400 square meters of tiles in perfect condition that spoke of the opulence with which their owners lived. Today the Roman villa of Almenara-Puras has become the Museum of Roman Villas, a pioneering work in Spain, which recreates in situ and in a very didactic way what these agricultural factories of the Roman world were.

Roman Arch of Cáparra (Cáceres) a huge tetrapylon arch that rises in the middle of nowhere. It is the most striking vestige left to us by the Roman city of Cáparra, the fifth country house on Calzada XXIV (a road which linked Mérida with Astorga), which reached an area of 16 hectares, as well as notable buildings, including an amphitheater and two large temples. A bridge over the river Ambroz, still in use, linked it to the rest of the region with this magnificent quadriform arch or tetrapylon that gave access to the city and which has been miraculously preserved over time has become the emblem of the Vía de la Plata or Silver route,. It is almost nine meters high and has four pylons of granite ashlars that support as many semicircular arches covered by a groin vault. They have brought to light a good part of the Roman city and a section of the original Vía de la Plata as it passed under the arch, which coincided with the Decumanus, one of the two main arteries of every Roman city. On both sides of the road there were shops, taverns and businesses of all kinds, just as happens today with national highways. The Interpretation Center of the Roman City of Cáparra, open on one of the sides of the excavation, shows through panels, photographs and videos a virtual recreation of what was the City , take the A-66 Highway Exit 455 , the full address is Guijo de Granadilla ctra.- CC-13.3. Oliva de Plasencia, Cáceres.

Roman bridge of Alcántara (Cáceres) ford over the Tagus river, near the town of Alcántara . An inscription in a temple at the entrance to the bridge already says so:This bridge will remain perpetually for the centuries of the world. It is clear that the Romans also had no limits in terms of vanity. The Alcántara bridge has been in use for 2,000 years (it dates from the time of Trajan, 2C) and with a little love and a couple of coats of paint it can last another 20 centuries. There were partial demolitions of its arches in the Reconquista, in the wars between the Castilians and the Portuguese, in the War of Succession and in the War of Independence. And even today the traffic accessing the town via the EX-117 highway continues to pass over it. The Alcántara bridge is still there, elegant and slender, 57 meters high and 8 meters wide; Disproportionate dimensions for the time that seem to confirm that yes, the Romans had a vision of the future and used first qualities. It is 65 km from Cáceres on the road EX – 207.

Campo Valdés Roman Baths (Gijón) Beneath the most unique and traditional neighborhood of Gijón, Cimadevilla, the best evidence of the Roman occupation of this strategic peninsula that gave rise to the city is preserved. They are the Campo Valdés hot springs, Roman baths from the 3C that appeared by the sea and reveal the degree of development and well-being that the city reached at that time, despite being in the northwest corner of the empire. The first big surprise It was the enormous size of the complex for a lost city in the extreme north of the empire, which reveals that Gigia had to have some importance in that Romanized Hispania. You can see all the elements of Roman public baths, the frigidarium, the templarium, the caldarium, the saunas and changing rooms… There are areas, such as the hypocaust, with a unique degree of conservation among this type of building. One of the essential visits in the Asturian city. Campo Valdés, s/n., in the center of the city of Gijón.

Ruinas of Bilbilis (Zaragoza), Bilbilis Augusta, the embryo of present-day Calatayud, homeland of the Roman poet Marcial, was a large municipium of Roman Hispania that spread out in stages over several hills bathed by the Jalón river. It had a forum with a porticoed square, temples, theater, baths, a network of pipes for drinking water, large private mansions… We have learned of that splendor through excavations that since 1971 have been revealing part of the urban fabric that once existed here. private mansions, mosaics, temples, taverns, wall paintings, ceramics and all kinds of objects. Unfortunately, Bilbilis was used as a stone quarry for many of Calatayud’s churches and palaces and only a small part of its original splendor has survived to this day. You get there on Exit 237 of the A-2 highway from Madrid, continue on the N-234 to the destination.

Las Medulas (Leon). The area of Las Médulas is fascinating not because of what was built, but because of what was demolished. The combined action of man and nature in these old gold mines resulted in an unreal landscape of pinnacles and reddish mountains covered by an extensive chestnut forest. You have to climb up to the Orellana viewpoint, the last point that can be accessed in car, and then walk the last 600 meters on foot, before the sun disappears over the horizon. When you finally look over the railing of the viewpoint, the spectacle that unfolds before your eyes is unique and unrepeatable. It is 24 km southwest of Ponferrada on the N-536 and CV 191-2 roads.

This is something that came up in Spain, but good everywhere, and I follow it never a problem in 47 years of driving , According to the data handled by, the leading online insurance company for automobiles and motorcycles, around 9 million journeys are expected on the December long weekend and more than 20 million during the Christmas holidays in Spain. The most important thing when planning a trip is to make sure that the car is in optimal condition. It is essential not to stay up all night the night before, so it is better to have the luggage ready and everything that we are going to take with us a day in advance, a good list never fails, so we can go to bed early and be rested for the big trip , GPS are wonderful inventions that have made our lives so much easier, but that doesn’t mean we let technology decide for us. It is advisable to make a 20-minute stop every two hours of travel or when we have traveled between 150 and 200 km , Since fuel has risen so much, planning the trip allows us to search in advance for the cheapest gas stations on our route or at which we have more advantages if we have a loyalty card. Creating several playlists will help us stay clear (singing while driving is better than coffee to avoid drowsiness this I admit dont do !!!) and we will be able to keep all the passengers happy., There are few things more annoying on a long trip than spending several hours dizzy and nauseated so eat light and the most vulnerable person in the front seat. It should be reserved, if possible, for people prone to motion sickness ,Seek distractions ,Hydration Driving. Slowing down and trying to drive smooth and fluid will also help a lot for people who suffer from motion sickness. Good points indeed.

And to finish the French and Breton touch in Madrid ! In a small place on Calle Conde de Xiquena, 2 street, they only prepare two hamburgers, the Classic and the Pacifico, and fried jalapeños. His fame spread like wildfire inside and outside the Salesas neighborhood. Pierre Antoine Chevallier, a Frenchman from Brittany, came to Madrid for love. “My girlfriend was from here and you know…”. In Paris, where he lived, he ran the hotel business and, since he was clear about his transfer, he thought of taking advantage of his ‘savoir faire’ in the new stage. He found the place and, after an (eternal) year of renovation and paperwork, he opened Pacífico, a minimalist hamburger restaurant. Behind the bar, two cooks make sure that the hamburgers and jalapeño poppers -filled with cream cheese and breaded with panko- come out just right. The menu offers only two burgers (both with a vegan option), the Classic and the Pacific. The meat they use is from Grupo Los Norteños. They have also joined the ‘pet-friendly’ trend. Webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We have reach the practically Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear 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 !!!

December 16, 2022

The Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís of Tepatitlan de Morelos !!

So another dandy from my vault, After writing many posts on Mexico and several on the town of Tepatitlan de Morelos in the State of Jalisco; I left this one out ! I just realise it and found me a couple pictures to show in my blog,therefore, here is my take on the Parroquia San Francisco de Asis Church ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

In the town of Tepatitlan de Morelos you have the wonderful monument of the Parish of San Francisco de Asís Church undoubtedly one of the most representative sites of Tepatitlán, both for its architecture and for its historical value. Indeed !

The Franciscan friars evangelized the land and built the first church, which they dedicated to San Francisco de Asís, and thus the town took the name of San Francisco de Tecpatitlán. The Neoclassical style temple with Baroque reminiscences, built between 1742 and 1775. It is the only farm in Tepatitlán that dates from the Viceroyalty and remains to this day, and is built with braza stone ,which a man can transport without the need for equipment, It boasts two towers of elegant slenderness with 63 meters in height. Its main façade is located at the crossing of the streets of Samartín and Jesús Reynoso ,and occupies the north side of the Plaza de Armas. Inside, the main altar is made of white Carrara marble with four sculptures of the same material. In a side chapel is the sculptural group of La Piedad, which, keeping the proper proportions, is not far from the perfection of “La Pietá” in the Vatican. During the Cristero War from 1926 to 1929, from its towers that were carpentered by bullets, the federals answered the granada fire of the cristeros that sprouted from the temple of San Antonio and from the dome of the Hospital de Jesús. It has a two-section cover in a curious architectural aggregate in the shape of a half hexagon.

tepatitlan de morelos parroquia san francisco front night nov15

The main body of the parish of San Francisco, has a tower with two faces of Roman numerals, a clock measures the time of the locals since 1867, ln the interior of the main body is divided into five clauses with plateresque ornamentation and ribs in thevaults, the floor is made of mesquite staves and dates back to 1903, when the temple began to be renovated. The main altar with its cypress is made of white Carrara marble, adorned with statues of the four evangelists, also made of the same marble, the sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist stands out, carved with such perfection of the face, that it does not contradict the side of Michelangelo’s David, The pulpit, which is a combination of marbles, has three medallions in black marble with the images of as many Saints, hammered with such rare mastery, that they look like paintings, taking advantage of the natural veins of the noble material, The three domes deserve a separate line; one in the central nave and two in the transept or transverse nave that forms the arms of the Latin cross. Seen from the inside, the main dome rests on the four main arches, but the two lateral ones seem to “float” on the vaults, because they rise directly above them, in a true architectural display, despite their weight, which is estimated at around 30 tons. . In the lunettes of the arches of the transept, two murals have as their theme “the final judgment” and “the rebellion of the angels”, beautiful and exquisitely made paintings,At the foot of the latter there is a beautiful group of sculptures in wood, of “piedad”, worthy of appearing next to the best works of the great masters of the Renaissance.

tepatitlan de morelos parroquia san francisco side night nov15

The Tepatitlan de Morelos tourist office on the church :

The Jalisco State government on Tepatitlan de Morelos:

There you go folks, another wonderful off the beaten path of Mexico, in the State of Jalisco and the city of Tepatitlan de Morelos ! Hope you enjoy the post on the Parroquia San Francisco de Asis and see my other posts on the city.

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

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