Archive for February 9th, 2023

February 9, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLII

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 middle of Winter ! 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 CXLII is old Roman for 142, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Blanca Paloma will defend Spain with the song Eaea in Eurovision 2023. The woman from Elche triumphed in the final of the Benidorm Fest 2023, a contest in which she had already participated a year earlier with Secreto de agua. The artist is not the only one in her family who has tried to represent Spain at the European festival. Her sister, Sara Ramos, is also a singer. When she was a child, she was part of the Trébol trio. This children’s group tried to reach Junior Eurovision 2003 with Navegando en Internet. However, the winner in this shortlist was Sergio García with the ballad Desde el cielo. Official webpage:

The gala of the 37th edition of the Goya Awards is approaching and continues to reveal some of its best kept secrets, After announcing that Clara Lago and Antonio de la Torre will be the presenters of the ceremony, which will be held next Saturday, February 11 in the Andalusia Auditorium in Seville, and it was revealed that Antonio Saura and Juliette Binoche will be awarded the Goya de Honor and the International respectively, the list of artists who will perform that night has just been announced. Among the best known are Natalia Lafourcade, Pablo López and Manuel Carrasco. For their part, Bely Basarte, Israel Fernández and Guitarricadelafuente will represent a new generation of artists who will give their touch of flamenco and contemporary music. Official webpage:

The Monumental de Las Ventas guards the memory of bullfighting through the 10,000 works that make up the Carriquiri Library that was inaugurated this past Tuesday February 7 2023 in the José María de Cossío Room and that the rancher Antonio Briones has donated. It is one of the most important bibliographic collections in the world, perhaps the most important in the world, due to its high specialization in bullfighting, with works that through those 10,000 works gathered in some 18,000 volumes between books, posters, postcards, photographs or press dossiers. Outstanding among the ensemble is a first edition of Goya’s Bullfighting, dated 1816; the Synodal Constitutions of Toledo from the 16C, where the complaint of the priests about the celebration of bullfights on Sundays is reflected; History of bullfighting and the main livestock farms in Spain by Fernando de Bedoya (1850); Bullfighting by Pablo Picasso (1959), edited by the prestigious publishing house Gustavo Gili; Hemingway’s bullfighting works translated into various languages, or the Genesis of a bullfighting by Eduardo Naranjo (2014), an art book with some very high-quality engravings, such as the four dedicated to Sánchez Mejías, Awesome !! official webpage:

The Parque del Capricho with the calm of paradises that are not very crowded and with the curiosity of little-known corners. We are at the entrance to the Alameda de Osuna, near the Juan Carlos I Park, in one of the most beautiful gardens in the City of Madrid, built between 1787 and 1839 for the Dukes of Osuna and preserved today as a snapshot of another era, of other modes. The park is a very interesting mixture of art (sculpture, architecture), landscaping and corners where you can spend a morning: small shrines, hermitages, fountains, small squares and the palace of the dukes. Near the entrance, on the north side of the garden, is the Casa de Cañas, where the Countess-Duchess had an artificial island with irregular edges built with a lake and a central island. She there she sailed with her guests in boats or pleasure boats. On the shore of the lake is the Casa de Cañas, with a small cabinet open to the water that served as an occasional gazebo. this walkway or small bridge that concerns us today. It was built in the 1930s. It has small dimensions and little technical complexity. In Madrid, for example, the next iron bridge valued by engineers did not arrive until 1861, over the Manzanares River, which replaced another wooden one that was destroyed by floods in the winter of 1855. Madrid tourism on the Capricho park:

The Playa de Malvarrosa beach, an iconic place that stages the gaze of the painter of light. Valencia is decked out to live with honors the centenary of the death of Joaquín Sorolla, its most universal painter and the most influential figure of national impressionism. See his birth house, the home where Sorolla was born is located in the center of Valencia, on Calle de las Mantas next to the Mercado Central market. It has a monument to commemorative carving is located in the Plaza de la Semana Santa Marinera. In the Museum of Fine Arts , there will be two large exhibitions on Sorolla with more than fifty canvases. Overlooking Malvarrosa beach, the place that inspired much of his prolific work. Valencia tourism on Sorolla:

Aranjuez, why it is one of the most visited towns in Madrid (and in Spain) ? Well amongst many there is the Strawberry Train, the exuberant gardens, the maestro Joaquín Rodrigo, the citizen riot that bears his name, the spectacular Royal Palace etc. The offer of the Comunidad de Madrid town of Aranjuez, (see posts) located in the south of the region, is so great and outstanding that it is difficult to choose the famous palace. Once again, it was Felipe II who began its construction in the 16C. It took three centuries to complete, already under the reign of Carlos III. The best thing to do is to take part in the official visit which, in a little less than an hour, will take you through places as incredible as the Ballroom, the Gala Dining Room, the royal rooms and, above all, the Porcelain Cabinet, a unique piece that It is the masterpiece of the Royal Porcelain Factory of Buen Retiro. The gardens ,most careful and ornamental is that of the Parterre, located next to the palace. It receives at its entrance the monumental fountain of Ceres. Neighboring the Parterre is the Jardín de Isabel II, the quietest and smallest of the four gardens. The Jardín del Príncipe is the largest, more than 30 times larger than El Retiro in Madrid. Banana trees that are over 200 years old stand out. One of them, the so-called Plátano de la Trinidad, is the tallest tree in the Community of Madrid with more than 48 meters. Along with such an exceptional forest, the Jardines del Príncipe house buildings such as the Casa del Labrador, the Chinese Garden, the royal jetty and the Falúas Museum, unique in the world and where the historic boats used by the kings for their walks around the world are preserved. the Tagus river. Cpmunidad de Madrid on Aranjuez:

Located between the Sierra del Espadán and the southeast coast of Castellón, in the so-called Plana Baja, the small town of Vall d’Uxió houses, in addition to an incredible monumental heritage, a unique natural treasure in the province, which attracts thousands of visitors along the whole year. These are the San José caves (Coves de Sant Josep), located on the outskirts of the urban area, a geological jewel through which the longest navigable underground river in Europe runs. includes a section of 800 meters by boat and another 250 meters on foot. Under careful lighting and a constant temperature of 20ºC throughout the year, the visit lasts approximately 50 minutes and passes through various galleries and narrow passages between spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites, archaeological remains and rocks that look like sculptures made by man. The town of Vall d’Uxió It is divided into two nuclei: the upper neighbourhood, made up of narrow streets of Arab origin and with enclaves such as the Ángel Custodio Church and the Poble de Dalt Parish Church, and the lower part or Poble de Baix , with historical places such as the Hermitage of Sant Vicent, the Church of Poble de Baix or the emblematic Fuente de los Chorros.Very nice indeed. Comunidad Valenciana on Vall d’Uxio:

The Burgalimar fortress ‘watches’ from above the beautiful town of Baños de la Encina, in the north of the province of Jaén. In the section that runs along the Autovía del Sur, or A-4, between the towns of Guarromán and Bailén, in the north of the province of Jaén, the imposing silhouette of a fortress that dominates the territory from above can be seen in the distance. It is the Castle of Burgalimar, an incredible Umayyad construction that, in addition to being one of the oldest in Spain, is also one of the best preserved in Europe. The castle is surrounded by a robust wall that includes 14 quadrangular Caliphate-style towers of the same height, as well as the rounded keep , which was added by the Christians in the 15C flanked by small stone houses. white facades, ancestral homes, palaces, hermitages and Gothic churches appear, as well as mills from the 18C and the City/Town Hall, in the Plaza de la Constitución, from the 16C. Next to the castle, another building that attracts attention and that draws the silhouette of the town is the Parish Church of San Mateo, in a Gothic style built in the last third of the 15C with a Gothic design. Its bell tower has Renaissance finishes. But, without a doubt, one of the local treasures is the Hermitage of Cristo del Llano. Despite the sobriety of the exterior, the interior of the temple houses the most expressive Baroque of the Cordovan subbética added in the 18C. The Camarín Tower is decorated with rich polychrome plasterwork with hundreds of allegorical figures, saints, angels, musicians and other natural motifs, such as exotic birds, fruits and vegetables. In the upper part of the town there remains an old windmill from the 18C built on ashlars, to which a few years ago some ornamental blades were added after rehabilitation. Inside it houses a small museum. official castle guides province of Jaén:

Located at one of the westernmost ends of the left bank of the Pontevedra estuary, Sanxenxo is, in many ways, to Galicia what Santander is to Cantabria or San Sebastián to the Basque Country: a coastal city, with a wonderful gastronomic offer and some magnificent beaches that, in summer, attract tourism avid for sun and sand. The route can start at the Sanxenxo marina and its well-known yacht club. Walking along the promenade that runs along the playa Silgar beach, the busiest in the town, to then resume the march until reaching Punta do Vicaño, a high promontory from whose viewpoint there are stupendous views of the Pontevedra estuary and the beaches of Silgar and Baltar, the latter already in the neighboring town of Portonovo. In the afternoon you can walk the Chanca river route in the heart of the O Salnés region, a path that, bordering a stream, ascends until you reach the Cistercian monastery of Santa María de Armenteira. Along the route, between vineyards and humid Atlantic forests, you can see more than 20 mills, some of them displaying the exceptional skill of ancient stonemasons. Before the sun sets we approach the Sanctuary of San Benito de Lores, a robust church perched on a hillock. In front of the temple esplanade, a viewpoint offers the best views over the Meaño valley, with the distant estuary in the background. official Galicia tourism on Sanxenxo:

The Art & Wine Madrid Tour program of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum combines an oenological tour of the art gallery with guided tastings by the best sommeliers in the Mercado de San Miguel. The still life Bottle and fruit bowl is one of the most famous by its author, José Victoriano González Pérez. Or rather, Juan Gris, as the cubist painter is known worldwide who, like all those of this trend, did cubism without having any intention of doing cubism, as pointed out by one of the fathers of the movement, Pablo Ruiz Picasso himself. Be that as it may, Gris drafted this work in 1919 in Paris during his time as a fugitive from Spanish justice (which lasted until his death in 1927…) for having refused to perform military service in his homeland. . Well, Bottle and Fruit Bowl is one of the works at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid that are part of The Culture of Wine, a thematic tour guided by a selection of 19 creations made between 1509 and 1919 linked to this liquid element that show its evolution in art throughout history. official Thyssen museum on the art wine tour:

The Taste of America and The Cookie Lab, where she triumphs with her carrot cake, Dana Knowles came to Spain for love. This American from Arkansas met her Spanish husband while studying for a master’s degree in Communication in Chicago. Time has passed, they have four children and her love for her country has made her a ‘foodie’ ambassador for the United States with the Taste of America stores first and, later, with The Cookie Lab stores. After founding Taste of America in 1995, Dana’s most recent success is called The Cookie Lab. There reign up to 16 varieties of cookies, some of them limited editions (such as the cappuccino), but also brownies, bagels or cakes as demanded as those of apple or carrot products consumed or shipped from the currently available stores, 6 of them in Madrid and another two in Las Rozas and Alcobendas. The official Taste of America stores in Spain:

The Cookie Lab stores in Madrid:

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in mid Winter and cold weather is coming back, and even snow are showing up; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from 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 !!!

February 9, 2023

A bit of Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon

This is one of those off the beaten path towns this road warrior passes by and once in a while stop in, I had lunch in town, (see post) and passed by this nice church and as usual could not leave without a picture and my footprint on my blog, Therefore, here is a bit on Saint Nicolas de Redon and its church, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The name of the town comes from Saint Nicolas de Rotono at the time of the dismemberment of the parish of Avessac. Among the sixteen old brotherhoods, four formed the town of Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon, During the French revolution, Saint-Nicolas-de-Redon was renamed “Union-sur-Vilaine”, of course..It is located in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region today , part of old Bretagne.

The Saint-Nicolas Church placed under the patronage of Saint Nicolas de Myra. This church replaces the chapel of the Saint-Sauveur de Redon abbey (see post). Built from October 15, 1847 on the site of the old cemetery, the church was finished and blessed on September 18, 1849 , The organ was started in 1968 it was finished in 1972. Initially installed in the Chapelle des Jésuites on rue Dugommie in Nantes , it was bought by the musical association of Une Rive à l’Autre in 2004 for its installation in the Saint-Nicolas-Church , Last restored in 2009.


For the active folks there is I am told great kayaking here at the nautical port of Saint Nicolas de Redon, Initiation kayak, sea kayak, 2 to 3 person canoe and 10 person canoe are available, more info :

And a great project turn towards the water for the area around Saint Nicolas de Redon, and Redon,(see posts) Confluences2030 is the name, 2023 will see the start of the development of the promenade of Quai Jean Bart and Quai Amiral de la Grandière and the first deconstruction work on the Garnier wasteland.The project in French :

With time, other monument to see here me think is the Sainte-Anne-de-Rotz Chapel built from the 17C to 1860, located at La Cour de Rotz village. This chapel, adjoining the Retz manor, once belonged to the monks of the Saint-Sauveur de Redon abbey. The chapel was restored in 1860 and mass was celebrated there until 1959.

The town of Saint Nicolas de Redon on its history/heritage

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior escapade into the off the beaten path of my lovely Bretagne. This is wonderful sea port, rivers territory for the nature lover in all of us. Again, hope you enjoy this brief introduction to Saint Nicolas de Redon and its church as I

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

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February 9, 2023

Curiosities of Mantes La Jolie !!!

This is going back to my former backyard in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region. I was several times in Mantes la Jolie as my oldest son went to specialized restaurant chef school there; once in the city walk around to see its monuments and found out this is also one of the Royal towns of France. I have found several photos not in my blog that needs to be in ;so therefore here are my curiosities of Mantes La Jolie !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

This is the farthest from Paris ,but also a Royal town of France. Why because king Henri IV in a letter to Gabrielle d’Estrées, his mistress, who resided in Mantes, the king wrote to her: “I come to Mantes, my Pretty” ,and so it stuck as Mantes-la-Jolie !  

The Collegiale Church  Notre-Dame de Mantes-la-Jolie is a gothic Church of the 12C and 13C. I have written plenty on it so just a brief introduction here with the new pictures. The total length is about 68 meters and the length of the nave and choir about 58 meters; the total height of the towers is 61 meters. The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame consists, beyond the massif  facade, of a nave of seven arched bays of  warheads flanked by collateral vaulted with quadripartite warheads. The high nave is on three levels with large arches in broken arcs resting on an alternation of weak buttresses and strong pylons, arched grandstands of quadripartite warheads and broken cradles, and finally broken arch windows. The bedside, which supplements the composition, was not originally gifted with any Chapel. The radiant chapels, as well as those of the aisles, are additions to the 13C and 14C. The western façade is pierced by three large carved portals surmounted by a rose, crowned by two towers, the appearance of which was profoundly altered by 19C restorations.

MLJ ch ND Seine side jun12

mlj ch ND saints stained glass jun12

MLJ ch ND baptism urn jun12

MLJ ch ND organ and ready for wedding jun12

Another interesting sight here is the Renaissance fountain by the church and old hospital, This is new in my blog. The current fountain is a reproduction of the one erected in 1526. It is the only known Renaissance fountain with two basins. In 1689, the basin was raised and the child who originally crowned the fountain was removed. In 1908, where it was completely restored, being in very poor condition. In August 1942, it was damaged by a drunkard who broke the upper basin. Severely damaged in 1944, it was no longer in a condition to be put back in place, so a reproduction was made and mounted in the rue de la Heuse, in view of the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame and the old Hôtel Dieu, probably because of the preserved historical setting on this side of the street. As for the original, it has been put away.

MLJ fontaine renaissance jun12

One place we ate often almost every time in town was the Pizzeria del Teatro and darn, could not see it mention in my previous posts on Mantes La Jolie ! Here is credit where credit is due on this fine resto, The Pizzeria Del Teatro has been officiating for more than thirty years in the city center of Mantes-La-Jolie, this is a real institution, which is difficult to miss, with its red storefront. In the three rooms and on the terrace open in the summer, totaling nearly 200 covers, an impressive variety of transalpine specialties are served. The beautiful terrace is perfect for sunny days.

mlj pizza del teatro 11 pl de la republique jun12

The official Pizzeria Del Teatro

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the pizzeria

More info webpages ,first from the city of Mantes La Jolie on the Collegiate Church Notre Dame

The city of Mantes La Jolie on its history/heritage

It is easy does it from Paris Saint Lazare to Mantes la Jolie station at  place du 8 mai 1945 (not to take the Mantes Ville station) ,there are two here. On the road ,take the A13 out of Paris direction Rouen (autoroute de Normandie) exit/sortie 11. Follow signs for city center (centre ville), and will come to it.

There you go folks , another gem of my belle France. Always memorable to come to nostalgic Mantes La Jolie. It is nice by City center all monuments are reach on foot, Hope you enjoy the post on the curiosities of Mantes La Jolie as I

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

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