Some news from Spain, CXLIII

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 already way into 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 CXLIII is old Roman for 143, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Corpus of Toledo already has protagonists. A stellar poster for one of the most important festivities in the bullfighting calendar. Julián López “El Juli”, returns to Toledo and Corpus to celebrate his 25 years as an alternative, an essential event in a square and a date where he has reaped great triumphs and which he could not miss in such a special year; Andrés Roca Rey as the world’s greatest indisputable figure and Tomás Rufo in his land defending his position as a new figure in bullfighting. A running of the bulls will be dealt with by the Toledo brand from Alcurrucén, a cattle ranch synonymous with the guarantee of great victories. the traditional date of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 8, at 19h30 Webpage :

Let me now take you on a long nostalgic tour of my dear Spain, On one time or another I have been to these places some lointime and some as recent as 2020, Hope you take them as material for your future visits as I.

The beautiful medieval town of Picasso’s barber was at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama ,Buitrago del Lozoya, The Picasso Museum-Eugenio Arias de Buitrago Collection is one of the oldest in Spain dedicated to the painter from Malaga. Arias was the personal barber of Pablo Ruiz Picasso in his exile in the South of France. Joined by a close friendship with the master, Arias decided to open a museum in which he would display all the gifts he received from the artist. Drawings, ceramics, posters, books and objects as singular as the box of hairdressing tools, with the lid pyrographed by the Andalusian with bullfighting motifs and a dedication: “For my friend Arias”. A must to visit if for this alone, When Enrique II granted the Mendoza family lordship of the town and the lands and towns that surrounded it. The robust double walled enclosure, the most important and best preserved in the Community of Madrid, dates from that period. The so-called high wall of Buitrago del Lozoya has been enabled on its south side for visits. The Two Millennia of Artillery exhibition is also on display here, which shows siege engines and medieval weapons in its environment. Inside the enclosure, which is accessed through an arch under the wall and the Clock Tower, the monumental Gothic-Mudejar castle of the Mendoza family and the slender Church of Santa María del Castillo stand out. The intramural fabric and farmhouse have not lost the medieval atmosphere of yesteryear. A fortified wonderful small town of the mountains outside Madrid City, Webpage :

Another beauty of old is San Lorenzo de El Escorial, heading directly to the Court of Felipe II, Sheltered by the last eastern foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the Madrid town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial did not achieve its independence until the 19C. Its importance shines from four centuries before. It began in 1558, when Felipe II appointed a commission to locate a place to erect a monastery, the monarch’s ‘excursions’ to the nearby area of La Silla de Felipe II, so called because of the seats carved into the rock, which tradition assures were for the king to settle down. From there he could see the progress of the works of what would be the largest building in Christendom, Above the historic houses stands the town of San Lorenzo, one of the liveliest in the Madrid mountains. The streets of Floridablanca and Reina Victoria and the Jacinto de Benavente and Constitución squares make up an obligatory tour in which the most difficult thing is to choose the place to stop for the inexcusable snack, the town treasures places that must be known. The first is the Bosque de la Herrería, at the top of which is the aforementioned Silla de Felipe II and which is reached by a path of just over a km, recommended hiking destinations. Like the climb to Rubens’ Cross, so called because the Flemish painter climbed up to where it rises to contemplate the Monastery and draw a picture of it. Sublime ! Webpage :

One of the jewels of the Comunidad de Madrid, Manzanares el Real between labyrinthine mountains and granite castles, Visit to the best-preserved medieval fortress in the Madrid region, hiking and climbing on the Pedriza cliffs and observation of aquatic birds in the Santillana reservoir, It is advisable to get up early, because the natural park, only 270 vehicles a day can enter and they immediately close the access barrier. A trick to avoid early mornings and queues is to forget about the car and walk from the same town of Manzanares el Real. You can visit the castle or the castles, because there are actually two: the new one, the palatial fortress that has presided over the town since the end of the 15C, and the old one, with whose stones the previous one was made and of which hardly anything remains, except for the vine that can be seen leaving towards Cerceda, just after crossing the medieval bridge over the Manzanares river. Of the first, what is most liked is the Paseador by Juan Guas, a loggia with lowered arches, with double pointed and lobed tracery, which is one of the most peaceful and beautiful galleries of Elizabethan Gothic, a viewpoint where one never tires of gazing the Santillana reservoir , From the second castle, the poetic memory of the Marquis of Santillana, who lived here and was inspired to write one of his famous serranillas: “For all these pine forests / nin in the Val de la Gamella, / I did not see a more beautiful mountain / that Menga de Mançanares”. Going down from the new castle to the old one, you pass through the Plaza del Pueblo where a craft market is held on the first weekend of the month. A few steps from the square are the tourist office and the Church of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, also the work of Juan Guas, in whose garden, a former cemetery, there are several discoid stelae, a sign that some of the first Christian settlers of Manzanares They came from the north of the peninsula, the Basque Country or Navarra, where they are abundant. A digestive walk along Calle de la Paz (the one with the cemetery) and along its extension, a road closed to traffic that borders the tail and the southern shore of the Santillana reservoir until reaching the closed gate of a private estate. In addition, on the opposite shore, a photo that is difficult to forget can be seen: the new castle standing out like one more rock on the bottom of La Pedriza, “castle dump by the hand of God” (as Unamuno called it) than the sun increasingly bass makes gold and the waters of the reservoir double as a mirror. Webpage :

A very culinary delight in my dear Madrid to get lost on its streets for the senses, The very particular gastronomic route begins next to the Plaza de la Villa , A few minutes later we are ringing the bell of the Convento de las Carboneras , Not far away, in the Pasajito de los Panecillos, bread was given to the poor in the 18C on condition that they went to Mass,. The Cuchilleros came almost all from Galicia, like the tradition of squid, although the term sandwich is already known to be Forgian vocabulary. In Botoneras is the bar of the generation of 27, The route passes by other hundred-year-old taverns such as Casa Paco and by inns where travelers arrived in horse-drawn carriages before the introduction of the railway , An important stop on this award-winning tour is the Museo de San Isidro tripe comes from the Romans and the Muslim invasion greatly enriched Iberian cuisine. The Patron Saint of Madrid (San Isidro) would know it very well because he grew up in Mozarabic Madrid. In front of the cenotaph of Beatriz Galindo, the finishing touch to a gastronomic tour , the mercado de la Cebada. Wonderful streets full of flavor,architecture and history, Sublime Madrid ! Webpage :

Let me tell you a bit about some incredible and tiny walled towns to travel back in time, Follow me if you like by car of course,

First, Ujué (Navarra) 53 km from Pamplona, located on top of the mountain range of the same name, dominating the land, this spectacular town of about 400 inhabitants preserves all the charm of its medieval legacy. The walls surround the old town, with steep cobbled streets and clustered houses that are arranged around and at the foot of the most emblematic enclave of the town, the Church-fortress of Santa María (11-14C), Webpage :

We go by near the Pyrénées to Roda de Isábena (Huesca), This medieval Aragonese jewel, with only 40 inhabitants, is located on a hillock in the Ribagorza region. Its wall still preserves arcades and ramps that give access to the old enclosure, drawn by alleys, squares and passageways. Among its most emblematic enclaves is the Cathedral of San Vicente, considered the oldest in Aragon (construction began in 956) and the smallest in Spain. Webpage :

Move down to Urueña (Valladolid), The spectacular walled enclosure (13C) of this town inhabited by almost 200 people has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site and is one of the best preserved in the province. The wall, most of which is still standing with two of its gates, is linked, at the southeast end, to the castle, built in the 11C on an old Roman stronghold. Its narrow medieval streets and its squares become spontaneous viewpoints from which to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Tierra de Campos. Webpage :

And going down to wonderful Maderuelo (Segovia) ,On a large hill, surrounded by the Linares reservoir next to the Hoces del río Riaza Natural Park, the 170 inhabitants of this walled medieval town, whose vestiges date back to the 10C, boast of having a declared urban area , Well of Cultural Interest, in which the Romanesque Church of Santa María del Castillo (former mosque) and the Hermitage of San Miguel stand out, noble stone houses and a tower that was the old castle. The Arco de la Villa is the emblematic entrance of its wall, which still preserves the locks, the postern and some thick wooden doors. Webpage :

And to finish this memorable post let me tell you a bit about my favorite centennial restaurants in my dear Madrid, Needless, to tell you over the years been to all of them, alone, married, with kids and with parents and friends,

The Botin Calle Cuchilleros, 17. The business founded in 1725 has an almost official certification as ‘the oldest restaurant in the world’, at least, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is a destination to eat Castilian cuisine,

The Lhardy, Carrera de San Jerónimo, 8. When it opened in 1839, as a project by Emilio Lhardy, it was surely one of the most modern restaurants of the moment, because, in reality, it implied installing in the capital the trends of luxury catering imported mainly from France. This restaurant, with halls that resemble a palace, is one of the undisputed icons of Madrid, fortunate that it continues to operate almost two centuries after it opened.

The Posada de la Villa Cava Baja, 9. The historical archives seem to point to the fact that the only flour mill in Madrid operated right here in the 17C, which in 1642 became the first Posada de la Corte.

The Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, 35. It is not exactly a business that reaches one hundred years of life, but it cannot be missing from this list, this business was Mesón El Segoviano (which was one hundred years old) Since 1974 Casa Lucio is a kind of icon of Madrid , beyond the gastronomic sense,

The Casa Ciriaco Calle Mayor, 84. It was born as a wine warehouse in 1887 to later become a tavern as Casa Baliñas until the Segovian brothers Pablo and Ciriaco Muñoz Sanz went from employees to owners in 1929, in a business that was renamed Casa Ciriaco you can have a snack at the bar and the tables around it,

The La Bola Calle de la Bola, 5.Opened in 1870 and endorsed by four generations, the name of the street baptizes this restaurant with an offer specialized in Castilian cuisine, within which the star recipe is, indisputably, its Cocido Madrileño or Madrid stew

The Casa Alberto Calle Huertas, 18, Opened in 1827, it was born as a tavern for some Segovian innkeepers. It is said that, in its beginnings, wines were served with hard-boiled eggs as a cover.

The La Ardosa Calle Colón, 13. An essential tavern that serves as a recommendation for locals and tourists, because it is a guarantee to meet several objectives: discover a historical place, try a 100% Spanish offer, Opened in 1892 and located in the Malasaña neighborhood, Bodega de La Ardosa allows many options under a wide schedule with which you can have breakfast, have an aperitif, a snack between meals, lunch or dinner, around a bar surrounded by high tables and barrels, as well as an area that is accessed going under the bar

The Jai Alai, Calle Balbina Valverde, 2, As Jai Alai, which adds three generations of the Bustingorri family in the 100 years just completed by this Basque house. Its first headquarters was in a pediment in Calle Alfonso XI. It moved in the mid-60s to Calle Balbina Valverde, the current space, where dishes that have been on the menu for decades are still served.

The La Ancha Calle Zorrilla, 7, Four generations account for the surname and what is now called the La Ancha Family, a hotel group with other businesses in Madrid such as Las Tortillas de Gabino, Fismuler, La Taberna de La Ancha (Mercado de San Antón), the delivery Armando, The Omar bistro-bakery at Hotel Thompson Madrid (where it also has the Hijos de Tomás cocktail bar) and, starting in April, the management of Club Financiero Génova, in alliance with Azotea Grupo. We have to go back to 1919, the year in which La Estrecha started as the first business in this saga, under a tavern format, on Madrid‘s Calle Los Madrazo. In 1928, Santiago Redruello, Benigno’s nephew, took over that place, renamed La Ancha and which moved to Calle Velázquez in 1957, to move again in 1969 to Calle Príncipe de Vergara, where today one of La Ancha’s headquarters operates. The second, opened in 1988, is on Calle Zorrilla with a nice terrace in a courtyard. Castilian cuisine, they usually define; and it is, but also with Basque and even Asturian influence

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are fully in Winter and cold weather is still around; 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 !!!

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