Archive for ‘Madrid’

June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/13/tour-de-france-in-the-morbihan-bretagne/

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/26/a-new-city-on-my-map-dusseldorf-germany/

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-live-tv-guide-233516

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!

 

See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 23, 2017

Some news from Spain XLV

Here here this is Spain hot and beautiful. Temps are in heaven hot but so is the Spanish soul. this is the season and Summer is here, hear all about it, this is Spain. Some ramblings to tell you all.

Some of the best of the Valencia region: this is Alzira with its Arabic walls and part of the Route of Monasteries near the natural site  or Paraje Natural Municipal La Murta, previously known as the Valley or Valle de los Milagros.  This valley has medicinal properties due to its flora to make plant medicines. Now there is a walk path of about 9 kms that takes you to some of its better sites such as the monastery of  Santa María de la Murta, finished in 1401. More here: http://www.valenciaturisme.org/en/things-to-do/the-monastery-route/

You go to the fountain of the baths or Fuente de los Baños, in Montanejos, known since Arabic times. The Moorish king  Zeit-Abu-Zeit  was  aware of the medicinal properties of the waters of the river Mijares , and according to legend it ordered built the baths for the women in the harem to kept young and beautiful.  These properties of the waters keep a year round temperature of 25C and has been for centuries. Now it is part of health tourism. Up the waters at about 2,5 kms you arrive at the urban center and the dam of Arenoso, where you see one of the wonderful natural attraction of the region in the narrows or  Los Estrechos.  This is a canyon of about 25 meters wide and more than 100 meters high where you can practice the climbing and live water sports. More in Spanish here: http://www.visitmontanejos.com/fuente-de-banos/

Reaching Vilafamés, of Arabic origins where you still find some ruins such as the foundation of the castle on top of a hill where the town rises. Even if the early remains of the town goes back to Paleothic Superior, found in the cave or Cueva Matutano.  Also, in the cave cavity of  El Tossal de la Font you find remains of Homo Sapiens of  80.000 years old, while in the basement of the castle and the rocks or  Rocas de Mallasén you find remains of rustics paintings. More in Spanish here: http://vilafames.org/es/poble/patrimoni/

You continue on towards Villena old town is to go back to the Middle Ages. The Castle of Atalaya built by the Arabs in the 12C reign over the town. It is one of the oldest construction of its type in Spain with a tower of square ground and two bodies as well as Almohades tombs. More here http://www.turismovillena.com/?lang=en_EN

At the foot of a castle of the Arabic period that still conserve almost instact its towers and walls you come to Chulilla. A small town of middle ages and stone age time at the extreme of the river Turia with a deep ravine of 160 meters deep from which a castle rises overlooking the town with several hanging bridges. In the canyon of or barranco de Falfiguera, back in 1998  it was discovered rustic paintings of the Epipaleothic period  (3500-2000 AC.) with zoomorphic and antropomorfic drawings some of them not found in other parts of the Mediterránean.  In Chulilla, you can, also find remains of the Copper and Iron age belonging to the Iberian people. More in Spanish here :  http://www.chulilla.es/es/turismo/page/cultura-patrimonio

In the small coastal town of Canet d’en Berenguer just a few km from Valencia and next to Sagunto. You have some of the vestiges of the Roman period. In the 14C the town was known as Canet d’en Berenguer and went to the power of Francisco Berenguer, and his descendants from which the town takes its name. Here you find the beautiful beach of Raco de la Mar with a blue flag rating and a lighthouse of 30 meters high with a reach of 25 miles dating from 1904. The particularity of this lighthouse is that is located 300 meters inland surrounded by orange trees.  More here in Spanish: http://www.canetdenberenguer.es/turismo/playa

And the beach here ! https://www.playas-valencia.com/en/playas/raco-de-la-mar-beach-corner-of-sea/

Moving on the other side of Spain, to Galicia; we have in Ferrol of the finest and whitest beaches such as DoniñosEsmelleFragata , and San Jorge all rated blue flag safe and clean. From Ferrol you take the route in the direction of Cariño to reach Doniños.  Here you find all kinds of services such as small restos or chiringuitos, and bars, even Children playground, parkings, bus stop, showers, emergency post with 2 kms of fine sand , golden dunes and a great lake with great fauna. A paradise for surfers that for the second consecutive year host the national surfing championship or  Campeonato Nacional de Surf  from June 26 to July 2nd organized  by the Spanish surfing federation or Federación Española de Surf. More on the beach here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10112/doninos?langId=en_US

On the other hand the beach at Doñinos is a historic beach as this is the point the English navy pick to attack Ferrol in 1800 when it was made impossible to entered thru the harbor one of the best protected in the world with three castles and a huge underground chain amongst them.  The difficulty of the landing due to bad seas, the heavily guarded beach and the lake made it possible for the English defeat. You can reach it by Balon at 2 kms taken the route towards the beach of Doñinos.  It has two access one at  Outeiro, on the north with ample parking and the other at Punta Penencia,  to the south and less service.

Moving onwards to O-Vilar Cobas, this beach is in the form of a shell in a rural surrounding with some summer chalets.  To the right of the chalets there is a rocky entrance only on low tide to the beach of  Playa Os Botes (also known as beach playa Mourella). It is near the bus stop to Beceiro. More on the beaches in Spanish here: http://www.concellodevaldovino.com/?q=es/node/155

Between the beaches of  O Vilar and Esmelle, next to San Xurxo  that together form the natural bay of  San Xurxo, you find the beach of playa Fragata, known also by the name of  Porto Bello. A bit smaller than Esmelle. A bit more here in Spanish; http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10216/a-fragata?langId=es_ES

Continuing on our beach round of Galicia, and passing by the city center/downtown of Cobas in the direction of A Pedreira you reach to a magical spot where you have a chapel in the island or isla de Santa Comba (legend the image of the saint with her son arrive here by a stone boat and in its honor the romance chapel of Santa Comba was done in the 12C). Next to it you find the beach of the same name with white sands with some black gravel stone which is really magnetite a mineral derive from iron. The beach is isolated so need to reach it by car, worth the ride. From here along the littoral you have the protected areas  (EU) of the network Red Natura 2000. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10110/santa-comba?langId=en_US

We finished in the nearby town of  Valdoviño, on the beach or Playa de Pantín, to enjoy the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro along the world championship of surfing from August 28 to September 2nd next ; along its numerous surfing schools. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10105/pantin?langId=en_US

We finished the beaches and go inland to historic and vibrant Pamplona.

The old town is party time especially along the streets of Estafeta, San Nicolás, Calderería ,and Navarrería.  However, there is another historic area where you have artists shops  and designers next to bars such as the streets of  Curia, Compañía, Merced ,and  Dormitalería with its own bohemian style on the shadow of the gothic Cathedral of Pamplona. The fluvial park of Arga next to the old ramparts with green spaces such as those of  Vuelta del Castillo,and  Taconera,surrounding the defensive walls in the time of king Felipe II.  These spaces are the scene for the Marathon of San Fermin and the running of the popular running of the ramparts or  Las Murallas . More on tourism in Pamplona here: http://www.turismodepamplona.es/verpagina.aspx?idpag=1&idioma=5

Closing out with the ongoing Madrid Orgullo or World Pride 2017 with the LGBTIQ Pride festival ; the hotels are booked, the restos packed and the party is just beginning; so you either have it or just come in for a walk: More in English here:http://www.worldpridemadrid2017.com/en/

Cheers and enjoy your weekend wherever you are in our world.

 

 

 

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June 16, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIIII

On a hot day here and announcing 32C for the weekend , of course nothing to compare to the 40C been register in Madrid, we are moving on Friday, TGIF is here and the weekend is looking good.

Now for some of the latest from my beloved Spain, España, Espagne, here are the favorites places in Madrid to have a vermus that wonderful summer drink drank by all as with friends and family. A tradition of Madrid:

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos Calle Bailén, 19 , Metro: Ópera , Tel +34 91 559 53 32; open from 9h to 24h , closed Tuesdays. The magnificent across from the Cathedral or Catedral de la Almudena, and nearby the Royal Palace or Palacio Real. Many stories here since 1909, one of them is that King Alfonso XIII  arrived here by a secret tunnel that connect it to the Royal Palace.  Here the vermù is serve by draft and with hose serve on a short legged cup and with a tapa.  If you want something more hearty go for the regalito de torito ( a brick paste filled with oxtails of the toro and piquillo pimentos), ohh yummy! More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/el-anciano-rey-de-los-vinos

La Ardosa ,Calle Colón, 13, Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 521 49 79 ; open from 8h to 02H. (Saturdays and Sundays from 11h) ,it never closes! It opened it’s doors in 1892 as a wine store. Finally, in the 1870’s that it was a tasca or tavern. Here we have the vermù in draft of Reus served in a narrow glass. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/bodega-la-ardosa

Bodegas Ricla , calle Cuchilleros, 6, Metro La Latina , tel +34 91 365 20 69; from 12h30 to 15h30 and 19h to 24h closed Sundays nights and Tuesdays.  A bit narrow spaces and closed to the Plaza Mayor has a beautiful bar counter in Tin and drafts handles of  yellow brass   ; it opened the doors in 1867 .  Here you can try the wonderful  callos a la madrileña,  boquerones en vinagre, and  bacalao en aceite con pimientos; check out what they are ::) More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bodegas-ricla-madrid

Camacho  Calle San Andrés, 4; Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 531 35 98 ; open from 12h to 02H, closed Sundays.  The tavern is handle by three brothers who took over the business in 1980, when the family  Camacho  retired without descendants.  The vermú  draft as an iris served on a short glass and narrow with  cubes of ice, slice of orange, and straw.  You can have a media combinación this is with a gin and sprite type soda; to eat try the skew of tuna in tomato sauce. More here in the yelp recommended site on my blog:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-camacho-Madrid

Muñiz, Calle Calatrava, 3 , Metro  Puerta de Toledo; tel +34 91 365 66 47; open from 7h to 24h always open.  This is a good idea before going to the Rastro , the aperitif bar to be in. The vermù is from the barrel served in elongated glass, wider in the mouth. You munch away on small sardines or boquerones en vinagre,,,,croquettes and skews of  chitterslings. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mu%C3%B1iz-madrid-2

Stop Madrid Calle  Hortaleza, 11 , Metro Gran Vía; Tel +34 91 521 88 87 ; opened from 12h to 02h, always open. It has three locations in Madrid at  Atocha, Alberto Alcocer ,and León, but this one is the original ,opened from 1929.  It is loud and corner centro Madrid with a beautiful floor of mosaics ceramics and a bar counter is of marbre. The vermù from draft, reserve of the house and served on glass with short leg ice cubes and orange. Also, try the white drink in a bottle Nordesía. To munch try the hams, anchovies etc.. More here: http://www.stopmadrid.es/en/

Taberna de Antonio Sànchez , Mesón de Paredes, 13 ; Metro  Tirso de Molina ; Tel +34 91 539 78 26; open from 12h to 16h and 20h to 24h.  Closed Sunday nights.  It is named after the bullfighter that founded the tavern in 1830. It is decorated with heads of bulls and a wooden counter cover in zinc. At the extreme of the bar counter the brass drafts runs the vermù  a bit sweet taken with a tapa of anchovies  or sausages , croquette or oxtails bulls meats. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/taberna-de-antonio-sanchez

The mythical and come back favorite Café Comercial  ,Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro  Bilbao ; tel +34  91 088 25 25 ; from 8h to 02h always open.  This was the oldest café in Madrid and last March reopened the doors with new ownership.  The mythical bar counter in marbre stays here to try the vermù in draft done in Reus with ice cubes in an old fashioned glass; you can take a bottle home for 18€.  To munch potatoes in garlic sauce, olives, mussels, croquettes of ham ,salads and iberian ham sandwiches..More here:http://cafecomercialmadrid.com/

La Carmencita, Calle Libertad ,16, Metro Chueca, Tel +34 91 531 09 11 ; open 9h to 01H always open. A bar opened in 1854 and renovated recently . The vermù has about 20 different offers like the Virgen de Loreto, Valdepablo, Arlini, Perucchi, Luna Reserva, Carpano, Punt e Mes, and  Casa Mariol.  There are four ways to serve it, artesano, traditional, Americano with Campari and soda , the manhattan sweet or dry with bourbon or negroni with campari and gin. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/carmencita

Donde Sànchez Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside the Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro  Antón Martín ; tel +34 639 12 64 07 , open from 12h to 21h, Saturdays until 16H; Closed Saturday nights, Sundays and Mondays. The bar counter is a tasting place and offers a nice vermù served in martini glass with Burlador, Miró, San Bernabé, Amillo Reserva or  Petroni.  You can add a montadito sandwich of sardines in olive oil. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/donde-sanchez-cosas-ricas/

Latazo, Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro Antón martin ; tel +34 655 12 73 00; open from 9h to 21h, Saturdays until 23h, closed Sundays. This is a modern one and not visited but heard by my family there that is a good one too. The vermù of the Casa Mariol, Lacuesta Reserva, Domingo or Espinaler  while you enjoy a chunk of  red tuna in olive oil , mussels in hot tomato sauce or razor shells au naturel. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/latazo/

La Hora del Vermut Plaza San Miguel, s/n (inside Mercado de San Miguel) ; Metro Sol ; Tel +34  91 758 81 23 ; open from 10h to 24h, always open. Here you will find about 70 references of Vermus in draft, red, white, and rosé that rotates every week.  You can munch on the brochettes of cold cuts on the next side counter; you pay on the spot ; it has a branch at  Platea , Calle Goya, 5. More here: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/puestos/la-hora-del-vermut/

And out of food into theater work, the famous Carmen will be in the Teatros del Canal until June 25. A Spanish legend, created by the French with arrangement by a Russian, choreography by a Swedish that lives in Sevilla; this is Carmen : choreograph by  Johann Inger, music by  Marc Álvarez and arrangements of the Opera of Bizet of Rodion Shchedrin, produce for the version of Alberto Alonso of 1967, that started his wife Maya Plisetskaya.  More here: http://www.teatroscanal.com/espectaculo/carmen-compania-nacional-danza/

Music Festival of summer is here: See these!

Noches del Botànico, from June 22 to the 29Th, with Tony Bennett, Bryan Ferry,  Franco Battiato and Giorgio Moroder. Others are here too Rubén Blades, Ub40, Jamie Cullum, Pablo Milanés, Anastacia, Madeleine Peyroux, and José James etc. In the Real Jardin Botànico Alfonso XIII, admission 33-132€: more here: http://www.nochesdelbotanico.com/

Rock Fest Bcn, from June 30th to July 2nd, with artists such as Aerosmith, and Alice Cooper. Others here too Europe, Sepultura, Wasp, Saxon, Paradise Lost, Rosendo, Rage, Gotthard, Metalfall, Blue Öyster Cult, Airbourne, and Avantasia. At Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona (Can Zam) ;  daily admission from 110-130 euros. More here: http://rockfestbarcelona.com/

BBK in July 6-8 Bilbao, with artists such as  Depeche Mode, Phoenix, and The Killers. Others will be : Justice, Fleet Foxes, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Austra, Brian Wilson, Cage The Elephant, Primal Scream,  and Austra. At Kobetamendi, Bilbao  admission 55 euros. More here: http://bilbaobbklive.com/fr-fr/home-fr

Starlite from July 13 to August 26 , main features will be Elton John, Joaquín Sabina, Miguel Bosé, and  Eros Ramazzotti. Others will be Juan Magán, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Juan Luis Guerra, Manuel Carrasco, Pretenders, Luis Fonsi, Ben Harper, Malú, and The Cranberries. At  Marbella, Malaga, Auditorio la Cantera de Nagüeles; Admission from 25-1,155 euros. More here: https://starlitemarbella.koobin.com/?idioma=EN

One of my spots for this coming  summer will be at the Chateau or Castillo de Belmonte ; it is said that it took its name from the beauty of the countryside; for many years it was named Bellomonte,or beautiful forest. Here Don Juan Manuel, nephew of king Alfonso X El Sabio,ordered built in the 14C a palace and the first ramparts walls of the city.  It is right in the Route of Quijote and birthplace of the poet Fray Luis de León. At the extreme of the city you have the other important spot the Church collegiale of Colegiata de San Bartolomé  and the castle or Castillo de Belmonte. In between you have the nice architecture of the old town. Many movies were done here in the Castle such as El Cid, with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston in 1961. More on the castle here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/

The Colegiata de San Bartolomé, was built in the mid 15C on the site of a Visigoth parrish of the 5C in the style mostly gothic. It has two gates or puertas ;one of the Sun or Sol  oriented towards the midday and flanks by gothic peaks and that of the Pardon or Perdones to the orient and has a figure of the Saint or San Bartolomé.  Inside you will find the pulpits of Coro, that belongs to the Cathedral at Cuenca, the chapel of the assomption, chapel of St Peter, St Paul and the Main Altar chapel ; that of St James, and St John the Baptist (that preserves the baptismal stone of Fray Luis de León).  There are concerts of sacred arts held here with an organ from the 18C.  Inside you have also the tombs of the family of the Marquis or Marqués de Villena. Admission is 2€ . More in Spanish here: http://www.descubrecuenca.com/es/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-mancha/colegiata-de-san-bartolome-belmonte-69#ficha

From the Church in about 500 meters you will find the windmill or Molino de El Puntal, an impressive example that preserves all its machinery and open to the public with exhibitions of its work, and tiles . For visits call here Tel +34 635 41 10 43. From the windmill you can see wonderful views of Belmonte.

Aspalgatas shoes in Madrid, tradition obliges to go to my family all time favorite at Casa Hernanz, Calle Toledo, 18 ; Metro La Latina; Tel +34  91 366 54 50. The family here has been producing alpargatas for over 150 years! a Madrid tradition a must to visit even if not buying. You can choose from 50+ different colors done with cotton, linen, natural skin or velour in all kinds of sizes up to 50 and different heights until 15 cms ;also , do laces for shoes. More here: http://www.alpargateriahernanz.com/

Another coming along just fine is Calzados Lobo, Calle Toledo  ,30 Metro La latina ;; Tel +34 91 366 40 17. It was founded in 1897. It has a nice façade in red and inside there is the 4th generation of family. All kinds from flat to pointed with laces or not, many colors and from 6€. it has stores in Tenerife and Valladolid as well. More here: https://www.calzadoslobo.com/

Something unique to finish this post on my beloved Spain.

The museum or Museo Arqueologico Nacional (MAN) has revealed its secrets finally! The museum preserves four momies, three Egiptians and one Guanche (Tenerife my people!!!). They have undergone a strict studious tomographic that has allow to discovered more of them.  The main discovery is that one of the momies that of Nespamedu was indeed a  priest of Imhotep and doctor of the pharaoh that ruled in Saqqara or Alexandria and had about 50 yrs old when he died. The real surprise was what It had in the wrapping, it was shown to have decorations like collars, bracelets, pulses, and up to 16 plaques of charms that have been identify as sets of plaques of four sons of Horus  one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities ; thise momie came to Madrid from the Cairo museum in 1925 donated and was initially identify as a women. It was ,also ,reveal two other momies were women. The first one arrived in 1887, and it was a young women between 20-35 yrs old of the intermediate third period between the 9C and 7C BC. The other momie a women too was given in the same year of a women around 40 yrs old of the ptolemic period  who had Arthrosis and a bad dental health as well as remains of the heart, as the old Egyptians conserve the heart inside the momies as for them it was the organ where the  mind and feelings lie.

The Guanche momie is one of the best preserve of the ones still existing from the period. It comes from a funeral cave in the canyon or  Barranco de Herques in  Tenerife. It arrived in Madrid in 1764 and the new analysis have reveal that the Guanches did not extract the organs n the process of embalment of the dead as the Egyptians did. The Guanche momie preserve all its organs as well as a perfect denture. See them here http://www.man.es/man/en/museo/el-man

You all have a great weekend and until next time by Paris1972-Versailles2003 ::)

 

 

 

 

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June 9, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIII

And back to my beloved Spain. Fresh from that great Champions win of my beloved Real Madrid vs Juventus of Turin Italy 1×4!!! Our 12th Champions and first time repeat winner under the new format We have won 3 out of last 4 Champions !!! Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now what is going on in Spain and Madrid in particular. Here are the latest buzz news

How about a trip on the North, by  Galicia and Cantabria in my Spain. Driving a car of course ::)

Monforte de Lemos, capital of the Ribeira Sacra.  You see from afar the Torre del Homenaje, medieval tower. You go by the Roman bridge over the river  Cabe  as one of the symbols of the city together with the convent of the Clarisas , and the college of  Padres Escolapios, known as the El Escorial of Galicia Here ,it is grown the grapes mencía and godello very much appreciated since the time of the Romans.  You can get a mouthful at the bodega Regina Viarum, and call for the visit here +34  619 00 99 77; more here: http://www.reginaviarum.es/

Santiago de Compostela as a base to see the five denominations of wines of Galicia here. The most known is Rías Baixas of the Ribeira Sacra. To know it better go the town of  Salnés, by the Pontevedra coast and the municipality of  El Grove, known for its beaches and seafood as well. We cross the bridge that joins El Grove with the island of  Isla de La Toja, until you reach the ermite covered with shells of St James.  As you continue the trip you reach the town of Cambados, birthplace of the wine of Albariño the grape of excellence for the D.O Rías Baixas. You can get your mouthful at  Mar de Frades  one of the most popular bodegas of the area . It is located next to the beginning of a forest in front of the river Arosa. Mar de Frades you can reserve your visit here tel +34  986 68 09 11; more here: http://www.mardefrades.es/

Walking the streets of downtown/city center  Oviedo in Asturias you can arrive at the street Calle Gascona known as the boulevard of Cider.  Here you find the most emblematic of the town.  Only 36 km away you find the main bodega of the cider Trabanco .  You can visit and taste here and get to know all the different ciders  Driving a further 10 km you arrive in Gijón.  Take a walk on the quaint neighborhood of  Cimavilla, and the gardens of jardines de La Reina,  to finally admire the Cantabrian fury or furia del Cantábrico  walking by the promenade of the beach at  playa de San Lorenzo. Then, we set our car towards Covadonga, in the Natural Park of the peaks of Europe or  Picos de Europa.  You can visit the sanctuary of the monte Auseva  and the holy cave or Santa Cueva, where the Virgin patron saint of Asturias is since moorish times.  A few km away you come to the lake or Lagos de Covadonga, where the views are spectacular.  A bit of a half an hour driving and you reach the quaint Ribadesella. You can walk the beachfront boulevard climbing to the chapel of the  ermita de La Guía, to see a panorama of the town below. The  Casa Trabanco for info on visit is Tel +34 658 81 37 34. More info here:  http://www.casatrabanco.com/en/index.php

Bilbao  is one city that is cross by the route of  txacolí, the local wine that guides the visitor back to this area. You come to the area of the two denomination of it, the Txacolí de Álava , and the D.O Bizkaia.  As you continue walking you will find the city/town hall and nearby the theater or teatro Arriaga, next to it you will be in the old town or casco Viejo one of the best areas to taste the local gastronomy with the favorites pinxos and txacolí.  The local go from bar to bar in what is locally known as the «ir de poteo».  Under the beams of the square or Plaza Nueva you will find some of the bar of pinxhos best known and visit a bodega of Txacolí. The closest one to town is  Magalarte  and it is in the municipality of  Lezama offering guided tours and tastings while looking at the valley or valle de Asúa. For information of Magalarte Txacolina tel +34 636 62 14 55. More here:  http://magalartelezamatxakolina.com/

To go back to Madrid and enjoy the night and summer drinks in style, this is my kind of town. Some notables and visited here:

Amén Canalla at  calle Agustín de Foxá, s/n. Sundays from 15h to 24h.  The prices are 6-8 euros More info here: www.zielou.com

Atico 11  at the  6+1  of  Hotel Iberostar Las Letras de Gran Vía here you have  Marco Llorente, one of the most popular DJ and has every Sunday from 19h to 23h in calle Gran Vía, 11. Every other day is open from 18h to 02h; drinks from 10-14€ More info here: www.iberostar.com/hoteles/madrid/iberostar-las-letras-gran-via

Casa Corona  at calle Fortuny, 53 .Every Wednesdays and Thursdays from 18h to 24h ; Fridays from 15h to 24h and Saturdays/Sundays from 12h to 24h; beers from 2,50€ , drinks from 4€ sodas from 3€ and cocktails from 7,50€ . More info here:  www.cervezacorona.es/casa-corona

La Casa Encendida  at the  Ronda de Valencia, 2.  From Wednesdays to Sundays and from 17h30 to 21h30.  Drinks from 2€ the sodas, more info here: www.lacasaencendida.es

Dray martini in the  Meliá Fénix ,Plaza de Colón, with citric and fruity options without alcohol call the mocktail.  Very nice ambiance and lively. Located at Calle Hermosilla, 2. From Mondays to Sundays from 10h to 02h; cocktails from 4,50€.  The first hotel I stayed with my then girlfriend today wife just wonderful place still lol! More info here:  www.drymartiniorg.com

Florida Retiro (my place since early teen and now reopen again)  This is a great place for a happy hour ,after works, apéro or the first drinks of the night It has several terraces and one in the upper level ! with great cocktail presentation. It is inside the Retiro park by street or Paseo República de Panamá, 1. Open from 20h30 to 24h and drinks cost from 10-12€ . La Terraza. Located in the roofstop of El Pabellón, lower roof and surrounded by garden where one can enjoy the sunrise with drinks and the shades of the trees in the Retiro park. More info here: www.floridaretiro.com

The Hat, really baggy cocktails presented to you in a bag! like the  Mojitown or the Yellow Submarine. It is in calle Imperial, 9.From Fridays at  18h to 24h,and Saturdays/Sundays from 13h to 24h. Cocktails from 10€. More information here:  www.thehatmadrid.com

Me Roofstop bar  in the Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria has a great ludic space with shows in direct and thematic nights of rock, jazz and Caribbean music seven days a week.  Located at the Plaza Santa Ana, 14. From Mondays to Thursdays from 17h to 01h30 ,Fridays until 03h30 Saturdays from 12h to 03h30 and Sundays from 11h to 01h30. Cocktails between 15-18€. More info here:  www.melia.com

Sunset lookers  in the Plaza de Santo Domingo, 13. EVeryday from 20h to 02h, cost cocktails from 10-15€. More info here: www.sunsetlookers.es

Back to the arts, to see until July 9 in Granada ,Centro Cultural Caja, Puerta Real the show Maestros de la Pintura; or master painters.the jewels of the late renaissance and baroque of the historic collection of the family Lladro will be shown.  Some of the artists represented will be from the 16C to 17C such as Juan de Juanes, Alonso de Berruguete, El Greco, Herrera el Viejo, Sanchéz Cotàn, Juan Ribalta, Zurbaran, José de Ribera, Rubens, Valdés Leal ,and Claudio Coello. More on it in Spanish here: http://www.cajagranadafundacion.es/exposicion/expo-1/

The Pablo Picasso diferente, or a different Pablo Picasso will be shown in the Fundacion Canal on the exposition  Picasso y el Mediterràneo that allows to appreciate the influence of the sea from his childhood.  There are about 91 portraits coming from the Fundacion Picasso-Museo Casa Natal de Málaga  One example is the painting  El taller de Picasso (1955),  a lithograph of his working place in Cannes where you can see the palms thru windows that reminds him of his native Malaga and his youth in Barcelona, it has engraving done between December 1945 and January 1946 such as  El Toro or  Página de toros  . This shows the great international project of Picasso-Mediterràneo a wide network of expos where more than 60 museums from South Europe to the North of Africa promoted by the museum or Musée Picasso of París in which it has been added the Fundación Canal. Showing until August 15  More in Spanish here: http://www.fundacioncanal.com/17602/picasso-y-el-mediterraneo/

The museum of  Prado has added to its showing the work  ‘Retrato de Felipe III’, a portrait of Philip III recently credited to  Velázquez. The portrait was donated William Jordan to the institution American Friends of the Prado Museum ,and can be seen on a temporary collection with extention. This is a portrait in preparation of the corps of king Felipe III  that the artist did on the composition of the expulsion of the moors or  ‘La expulsión de los moriscos’, dated in 1627 , and that was destroyed in the fire on the  Real Alcázar de Madrid in 1734, only the written description was known  Again Velazquez  will be exhibit next to the painting of  Tiziano ‘Felipe II offering the heaven to the infant Don Fernando’,that was recently restored. More here: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/portrait-of-philip-iii-by-velazquez/ffa4a4ac-7001-4908-94bb-1aac7c2bdacf

Carlos Saura: España. Años 50, is about hundred photos that the filmmaker did to showcase the mosaic of the villages and people of that period. Photos done by him in the 50’s while traveling in the country Under PhotoEspaña2017  until September 3 2017 in the museum or Museo Cerralbo, calle Ventura Rodriguez 17 . More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/mcerralbo/en/actividades/exposiciones-temporales/PhotoEspa-a-2017.html

Something nice historical and seldom seen, in Toledo. The convent or Convento de Caballeros de Calatrava next to the synagogue or Sinagoga del Trànsito houses the Jewish history in Spain; the Museo Sefardî .The permanent exposition contains about 1253 works illustrating the origins of the Jewish people, its historical  and geographical context in the old Middle East as well as cultural items. You can see mesophotamic objects, coins, marriage contracts, judeo Arabic jewelry, coffins such as that of Pileta Trilingue of Tarragona, the box of Torah and items in gold ans silver. Also, an excavation in the patio of the convent . Opening hours in winter are varied so check the webpage.Admission is a very good 3€ adults. Located in the calle Samuel Levî, s/n, More here: http://www.mecd.gob.es/msefardi/en/visita.html

Enjoy Spain ,everything under the sun ::) Cheers and have a great weekend. I will see what I do lol!

 

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May 1, 2017

One more time, Retiro park, Madrid!

Again and again, the Retiro park is magical in Madrid. It is the place to be for visitors and locals alike and my childhood park par excellence. My mother will take me here for strolls and boat rides , that are still the norm of many families.

El Parque del Buen Retiro has been written before in my blog on several occasions so won’t dwell on it too long.  Just the tourist office of Madrid on it: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

There are many facets to the park, and even thus most guides tells you to see in one day, you really need two if wants to know all its history. The Retiro park is mythical, romantic, adorable, a big green space in the middle of Madrid, and a past time for many generations of families ,including mine.

I could not be by Madrid without stopping by at Retiro and see every corner of it if not in one passing on the next. The park has remained the same, like a photo of history, and that of Madrid.

You have the popular palaces of Velazquez and Cristal, the fisherman house, the gardens and the sports fields of Chopera as well as that lake full of boats. I visited some spots this time.

However, let me give you some anecdotes of the park. In 2001, the city hall of Madrid decided to empty the lake to fix a problem of water loss. They found 192 chairs, 40 small boats, 41 tables, 3 garbage containers, 50 mobile telephones, umbrellas, wallets, pairs of shoes, and many others!

In 2010, the underground works in the area known as the «las Estufas»  boilers,, it was discovered two tunnels of bricks of unknown origins; a canalization of water from Arabic time around the 10C, part of the installation of the Royal Factory of Porcelain of the reign of Carlos III and the trenches fortifications of the Napoleonic troops or of the Civil War are some of the thesis for these tunnels.

In the older days swimming was allowed now only boating is done, on water temperature of 4C at midday.  In the movie, the “Circus World” in 1963, the city empty the lake so the filming can be done in the middle of the lake. Actors John Wayne, Rita Hayworth ,and Claudia Cardinale.

The lake as was known as the Big lake of Retiro or the “Estanque Grande de El Retiro”, as the official name was built by king Felipe IV to recreate naval battles where he himself participated. The artificial lake is 280 meters long by 140 meters wide and a depth from 60 cm to 1,80 meters. Even with this depth many incidents of suicide were attempted.

It has ,also, an impressive tree such as the Ahuehuete also known as Mexican cypress ,planted in 1630. It is located in the Parterre section where you can see it going in by the calle Alfonso XII. the tree measures 25 meters and looks like a candelabra as from its base many branches very thick comes out.

You will see pictures of the Bosque del Recuerdo ,done in 2005  as a garden inside the park to remembered the victims of the terrorist attack of March 11 in Madrid.  It is a wonderful garden indeed and worth the detour in the park to see it.

You will see the Egyptian Fountain of the Canopian god  or better known as the Egyptian Fountain; this is the Fuente Egipcia del Dios Canopo,( Fuente Egipcia), a monumental fountain erected in the last part of the 19C to enhance the sides of the big lake in a neo Egyptian style with traces of neo classical.

You will find caves like buildings with a devilish figure on top or strange figures; these are several all around the old Casa de las Fieras or wild animal house which was part of the old zoo in the park;now it is a learning center keeping its wonderful ceramic tile work in the Jardines del Architecto Herrero Palacios or garden of architect Herrero Palacios.

There is a famous fountain to the devil there or Angel Caido, fallen angel, but the one I like is that of Alcachofas, or Fuente de la Alcachofa. This one was raised in the last part of the 18C  facing the old vallecas gate or Puerta de Vallecas, and passed on to the Retiro park in 1880; there is a replica in bronze in the Atocha square in 1986.

The boating in the lake is wonderful and very highly recommended to all visitors, and will have the opportunity to mingle with locals as it is very popular. In my days ,you could rent paddle boats, foot pedals and oar boats, today they are all oar boats for rent. There is a small house on the extreme left facing the lake to rent them; rentals 6€ weekdays,8€ weekends. And, the men do the oars ok ::)

Another wonderful garden inside the Retiro park is that of the Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez (for many years the park’s gardener) ;this is by Paseo Uruguay in the park. You will see here many things including the fuente de las Gaviotas,(seagulls fountain)  and the wonderful figure statue of Venus , and see the colony of Peacocks there.

The entrances by avenida Menendez Pelayo are very nice such as those by the Puerta del Niño Jésus or Puerta de Murillo as well as the Paseo del Duque Fernàn Nunez. The Paseo del Duque Fernàn Nunez is name after the first Duke who had a castle nearby there ,and gave the land for the the park was turn into a Royal grounds and finally made available to the public in 1868.  Right on this paseo or street you will see the before mentioned fountain of the Fallen Angel done in 1874 on request by the duke in turn.

The Puerta del Niño Jésus, is located on the square of the same name where you entered the Paseo de del Duque Fernàn Nunez  that takes you to the  Rosaleda (rosary garden). Before reaching the Rosaleda see an old building from 1850 with a tower that is the Castillete Metereológico (sort of meteorological  small castle) ,inside ,it was installed the first optic telegraph of which depended from the Real  Observatorio Astronómico (Royal Astronomic Observatory).

And ,you have the Puerta de Murillo, by the Calle de Alfonso XII; this is an access gate to the park  with an wrough iron gate that takes you to the municipal sports complex of La Chopera inside the Retiro park. This area is known as chopera for the black poplar trees found around it. At La Chopera sports complex you can practice Handball, Football, Indoor Football, Football 7, gym, paddle, Tennis, and Basketball. I played football. Soccer when a boy and could not find a better park for it.

In all , again, a magical place of my magical Madrid, a great city, great ambiance, very friendly, plenty of choices and great food. Not to mention, darn, the best park around, Retiro park. To many enjoy your Labor Day, May 1st ,off day for the workers. I go back tomorrow, but another 4 day weekend coming up lol!

Cheers y’all. Hasta pronto por Madrid.

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May 1, 2017

Madrid and my Bernabeu and Elipa!

Two memorable parks of my youth one and of always the other, without them Madrid will be just another city in my world map. I grew up there, playing baseball in the Elipa and part of the Real Madrid organization in Benjamin division at casa de Campo, the old training and field grounds ,then became a Madridista for life and Bernabeu is my second home.

Another chance to be by Madrid and of course, could not resist in stopping by even if there were no games just been around these places is special to me. Lucky enough to be able to be back and see them often.

The temperature was nice and sunny around the 23C (73F)  in the afternoons and going down to 10C  (50F) in the evenings. A nice way to walk the city.

I first went to the Elipa park or the Parque Municipal de la Elipa; this is part of my district where I used to lived in the 70’s. It is surrounded in the north by El Carmen (near mine in Quintana) neighborhood , east by the cementary La Almudena (of Cathedral fame)  , to the south by the neighborhood of Moratalaz, and to the west the avenida de la Paz (or the beltway M-30) . It is part of the neighborhood of Ventas (of the bullfight arena monumental fame),and the district is Ciudad Lineal (same as mine), in Madrid.

I always came here by bus in my times it was the P13 and with the new EMT Madrid transport of modern Spain, the numbers were change,and now is the line 113. In 2007, (finally) ,they open a metro line 2 La Elipa , that is at the intersection of the streets avenida del Marqués de Corbera and calle Santa Felicidad.

I played for a team sponsored by the Real Madrid FC organization with the same name in a league of about 8 teams, most of the equipement was provided by the US air force base at Torrejon de Ardoz. Some of the teams I remember other than mine were, the Rayo Vallecano, Atlético de Madrid, Condepols, Piratas, Abraham Lincoln school, and the US air base team. The Spanish were learning the sport of Baseball and it was fun to be able to teach as well as played.

Today the Madrid baseball/softball federation is base there with a training school and the sports field has been enlarged to offer programs in Basketball, Baseball, Football, indoor football, musculation and gym, swimming, padel, tennis, table tenis,and Volleyball. Also, a batting cage for practices batting the baseball,and nudist zone. More info here in Spanish from the city (sorry for the length) :  http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Deportes/Centro-Deportivo-Municipal-La-Elipa?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=f6b842be9971c010VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=cb1a171c30036010VgnVCM100000dc0ca8c0RCRD&idioma=es&idiomaPrevio=es

And the Madrid baseball and softball federation org is here: http://fmbs.org/

And in Spanish what the Real Madrid baseball club won, the best of its time as well ! https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secci%C3%B3n_de_B%C3%A9isbol_del_Real_Madrid_Club_de_F%C3%BAtbol

I walked from my hotel along calle del Pez Volador and calle del Dr Esquerdo along parque de Roma, you see the Spain tower of television and radio RTVE, a sight indeed, and then crossing the passarelle bridge over the beltway M-30 (that was just finished when I left Madrid in 1974 for good), and into the street on the other side turning left you go to a traffic circle and then see the signs for La Elipa ,follow it and you are there in 15 minutes! A memorable trip and photos that now I can show my sons until August which we will be back and can show in person. memories forever of my Madrid!!!

Of course, on the way back with time between flights, left Madrid T4 terminal to go and pay a visit to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and a chance to have lunch by there. The Real Café Bernabéu was closed for lunch already to headed for the restaurant TGIF in the La Esquina del Bernabeu building by the plaza del Sagrado Corazon,and avenida Concha Espina.

Real Café Bernabeu link: http://www.realcafebernabeu.es/

The restaurant was great as usual and I ask to hurry up as needed to get back to the airport and they did it very fast, my burger, bacon and fries and a jarra or pint of Mahou Cinco Estrellas Madrid beer; all with a nice view of the square or plaza Sagrado Corazon.

The TGIF link: http://www.tgifridays.es/restaurantes/fridays-bernabeu

Before,had my walk on the mythical stadium. The link: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

The tourist office link in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

I have been to the stadium several times over my life and never enough. I always dream of living not far from it and just spend my times there , around and inside…. It is what the true fan wish for all our lives.  Did you know that Don Santiago Bernabéu’s  mother was Cuban from Camagüey? And that he had no child from his wife(since 1940 who died in 1987) Maria Valenciano! http://www.corazonblanco.com/wiki/don_santiago_bernabeu

Why we name the stadium: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/about-real-madrid/history/presidents/santiago-bernabeu

History and description of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, http://stadiumdb.com/stadiums/esp/estadio_santiago_bernabeu

When I go , always go for the Fondo Sur (south) bleechers by the avenida Concha Espina, you can have the Fondo norte(north) by the calle Rafael Salgado, lateral Este (East) by calle Pedro Damiàn, and lateral Oeste (West) by Paseo de la Castellana. A quick walk around of the stadium before buying your ticket will give an idea.  There are four towers around the stadium with tower A between fondo sur and lateral este , tower B  between fondo sur and lateral oeste,tower C between lateral oeste and fondo norte and tower D between fondo norte and lateral este. You then have zones, in each section divided in six levels from those in the fondos closest to the field, to tribuna, and antitheater’s or theaters three laterals and four fondo with the fourth fondo the most far away from the field.

To read your ticket see the numbers : you have the puerta or gate to get in, then the color to show the section ,like mine are Red for fondo sur.Green is fondo norte, Purple for laterals and Blue for the tribunes and preferential seating.  Then the ticket show the vomitorios or exit lanes, this is the passage that takes you to the bleacher’s and tribunes, antitheater etc by which you walk to leave the stadium once the game is over.

Then, you go for your sector seating, this is a 3 digit number on your ticket usually with a letter. Once you reach inside passing before reaching the bleacher’s you need to go to your sector; these are divided in lanes or aisles so the even numbers are on your right and the odd numbers on your left; easy up to now ::) The first number means your level up the ladder in the stadium zone you purchase, the second number  and third pinpoint the seat so the first number may means high level, the second number tribune, and the third number a antitheater. If a first time, can be confusing but there is always personnel around to help you find your seat at all times.  Finally, there is your seat number indicated on the ticket and on each chair! easy I said.

Now arriving in Madrid ,how to get to the stadium? again easy all roads lead to Bernabéu! I have use them all and the car is still best ::) Only you need to be there early underground parking available or nearby. Then, you can walk from your hotel -2km is a good walking distance here go ahead! Then ,for the more social transport folks there is the cercanias or suburban trains, where you will reach the station Nuevos Ministerios from C-1, C-3, C-4, C-7  or C-10 trains. Afterward you can walk about 10 minutes or take the metro line 10 to Santiago Bernabéu stop . You have last I counted 7 bus lines passing by the stadium such as No. 14, 27, 40, 43, 120, 147 ,and  150. And of course, the metro/subway/tube on line 10 Santiago Bernabéu go up on the stadium exit (see picture) then once out turn to your right and see the Stadium!!! If you arrive from other city in Spain usually by Atocha then take line 1 metro to stop Tribunal, and the the above mentioned line 10.

Ahh tickets to the game , the official Real Madrid site is the best  and sure; see next game Champions league vs AM is from 80€ and up: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/tickets

Other reliable ticket places are ticketbureau here: http://www.ticketbureau.com/real-madrid-tickets/

or ticketmaster here: http://www.ticketmaster.es/artist/real-madrid-cf-tickets/28065?language=en-us

I have good experiences with ticketmaster and Real Madrid sites, never use ticketbureau but friends tells me is ok too.

By the way, I was in A Coruña in a bar (see previous post) where saw the Real Madrid winning 2×6! and now they have beaten Valencia 2×1, and tomorrow there is the first game of the Champions league vs Atlético de Madrid!!Hala Madrid!!! for all the glory in football/soccer and basketball we won the derby vs Estudiantes and in Final Four of Europa! Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you are looking for a hotel for a game there, or just to see Madrid away from the tourist hordes, than I recommend the one I have always use when in town for a game; Holiday Inn Plaza de Carlos Trias Bertrán, 4;link here: https://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/madrid/tojsp/hoteldetail?qAdlt=1&qBrs=6c.hi.ex.rs.ic.cp.in.sb.cw.cv.ul.vn.ki.sp.nd.ct&qChld=0&qFRA=1&qGRM=0&qIta=99600594&qPSt=0&qRRSrt=rt&qRef=df&qRms=1&qRpn=1&qRpp=20&qSHp=1&qSmP=3&qSrt=sBR&qWch=0&srb_u=1&icdv=99600594&siclientid=1964&sitrackingid=889438144&dp=true&glat=SEAR

sorry again for the long thread but I am not technical lol!!

To eat, there are plenty other than the above mentioned places you have the La Esquina Asador Sidreria and Zen Market in the Real Madrid complex. Also, Alduccio, Jose Luis ,Tony Roma’s, Gelateria La Romana dal 1947, Bar Campanoli, Lateral, and Restaurante L’Albufera to name a few walking distance that I had tried over the years.

In all, near the Nuevos Ministerios transports hub you have an El Corté Inglés department store and an FNAC electronics/books/cd store that is a good spot to be around these two for shopping. Closer to the stadium you have the AZCA  or Moda complex of stores. links here: http://www.modashopping.com/

In all, this is Madrid, and with the famous Bernabéu in tow and the true local Elipa to see the real living of the locals, you will have the best of both worlds and appreciate Madrid even more. I am enjoying my Labor Day May 1st off at home and now ready to go out for a spin.

Cheers y’all!

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April 30, 2017

And again Madrid, never enough, Madrid to heavens ….

I am lucky enough to come back to Madrid often in the last few years. I used to lived here for 4,and left an image in my mind of good times, never to forget, or as the saying goes Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! I was back in Madrid last week.

I arrived on Iberia from Nantes France very early and took advantage of some time off to walk the city and enjoy it fully; walking brings back many memories of youth, and my mother. You know the esmadrid tourist office so will skip that now.

I am very happy with Iberia, easy flights, good prices and on time, in addition to the Adolfo Suarez airport Madrid-Barajas has been name the best airport in 2017 by a survey of airport users which they proudly post it in the gate areas.  Here is their link: http://www.iberia.com/?language=en

I had some time before the hotel check in so decided to have lunch on the road. Headed straight for the Atocha area and El Brillante. A wonderful place with great views of the train station Atocha on one side and the Reina Sofia museum on the back. Great chorizo sandwiches and a Mahou 5stars beer and see the world go by you, superb.  More here: http://www.barelbrillante.es/

The Atocha was packed as always and so was the Reina Sofia museum with a line down the stairs all the way to the street at the Plaza Emperador Carlos V!  I did walk Paseo del Prado and saw the Caixa Forum which had some renovation done, as well as the Botanical garden with the entrance doing some work but all open.

The Reina Sofia was showing the great Guernica painting exhibition, so that is why was packed. More here: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en

Atocha train station here: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/info/ZonaEmbarqueAtocha.html

The Caixa Forum a great exhibition area right around the triangle of great museums is worth a detour; more here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/caixaforum-Madrid

And the Botanical gardens are one of my favorite spots in Madrid that I have come since a kid…. El Real Jardin Botànico de Madrid.  The official page in English here: http://www.rjb.csic.es/jardinbotanico/jardin/?len=en

You should take a look at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that conducts tours with the tourist office, this is a great architecture building and gorgeous rooms right around the Atocha train station. El Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca is located in the Palacio de Fomento from the 19C and gone thru many changes in name and uses until the current one. One of your off the beaten path sites in Madrid and worth the detour. More here on the guided visits in Spanish: http://www.mapama.gob.es/en/ministerio/palacio-de-fomento/visitas-guiadas/default.aspx

Up the road from the above and going by Calle  Dr Velasco, you reach the Real Observatorio Astronomico de Madrid or Royal Astronomic Observatory to see the sky!  This is another off the beaten path trips to Madrid and it should be encouraged more, I have come here since school age in Madrid!!! More here on visits in Spanish: http://contenido.ign.es/rom/visitas/reservas.html

You can go by the paseo way before the main entrance to the Prado museum and go by the Puerta de Murillo, the south door entrance of the Prado. The building dates from 1786,and you heard it here! And of course, in Spanish you have the information on it at the bottom of page, it disappear when you change to English ::) More here: https://www.museodelprado.es/visita-el-museo

Here you will see a statue of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo; from which the square and entrance is name after. Golden age of Spanish painting and he was one of the main one;living in the 17C.

See the great façade of the Chapel of the Children’s Hospital on the Avenida de  Menendez Pelayo facing the Retiro park. The hospital is Hospital de Niño Jésus; more info here in Spanish: http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1142401273116&language=es&pagename=HospitalNinoJesus%2FPage%2FHNIJ_contenidoFinal

And of course, I was able to check in to my usual hotel the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon on Calle del Pez Volador,1 and corner of Calle del Dr Esquerdo, metro Sainz de Baranda line 6 or 9, couple minutes from hotel. Great service, good prices and central to all my needs, very close to Retiro park. More here: http://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotels/ayre-gran-hotel-colon/

And just head out for the city on my again usual resto, why change when you found the best ::) Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, on Calle del Dr Esquerdo closer to Conde de Casal metro station but about 10 minutes walking from the hotel. And always the same guys,good service, good food and see the world go by on the inner courtyard facing the street or the terrace tables right on the street! They have another one on the other side of Retiro park on avda Menendez Pelayo that is great too as well as others in different parts of Spain. More info here in Spanish: https://cerveceriacruzblanca.es/local/cervecer%C3%ADa-cruz-blanca-esquerdo

I will stop here on the tour, there is more and more personal for me but Madrid is personal up close and wonderful, it really provides some extra to continue back new home.  And just to think about it, I will be back with the family in summer !!!

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are and happy travels, remember la vida es chula, la vie est belle, la dolce vita, life is beautiful, enjoy it now. Cheers

 Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid

 

 

 

 

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April 20, 2017

Some news from Spain XLII

Moving right along, and some sun but still cooler temps even this morning down to 3C and afternoon 14C or 37F to 58F.  However, in my beloved Spain the temps are high, evenings 63F or about 16C and mornings 71F during daytime or about 21C and sunny. La vida es chula ::)

And as I am getting ready to go back to Spain next week, and probably no internet…will be on the road in the countryside… Here are some interesting information me think to make your visit to Spain more enjoyable.

Just to make a nice walk , and yes we walk , you can get ready for that big Feast of San Isidro, the Patron Saint of Madrid with a visit to the Church, and museum/house of his beginnings.

San Isidro or Saint Isidore was a farmer, well maker, Mozarabic peasant and miraculous men. He was from Madrid and canonized in 1622. He was born in 1082AD before the territory came back to Christian hands with king Alfonso VI. San Isidro visited the current site of the Church with his wife, also, a Saint, Santa Maria de la Cabeza; here the roots of moors from the Madrid of the 11C blends in. Next door, is the home of his master, Juan de Vargas, where the Saint and his wife lived and died. It is now a house museum. The Saint is credited with many miracles most of them related to the water,and the city preserves most of the spots.One of the most representative is the Church or Iglesia de San Andrés; in its interiors you have a patio and renaissance well, from the same, he gave a miracle saving his own son according to legend. San Isidro saved his son from been drowned when he made the waters rise only to the mouth. His feast is coming in May ,all about it here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

And the Church here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/colegiata-de-san-isidro

Moving right along,  you can stop at the square or plaza de la Paja , here there was the city market on the one called the  plaza del Arrabal; the name given before to the now Plaza Mayor. The Plaza de la Cruz Verde ends at the  Calle de la Villa, Calle del Rollo, and the mounted Calle de Segovia, where it was the scene of public executions of the Holy See. The name  ‘Santa Cruz verde’ or Holy Green Cross was the symbol of the Spanish Inquisition and from that came its name.

Continue meandering along these gorgeous streets full of history and architecture and you come to the street or Calle de San Justo, where the wonderful Basilica Pontifical of Saint Michael or Basilica Pontifica de San Miguel. This is one of the oldest parishes and the one with more history in Madrid. A wonderful example of the Italian Baroque of the 18C ordered built by the queen Isabel de Farnesio. The old temple here was that of San Justo built in 1738 and later damaged by fire on the Parish Church of San Miguel. Today ,most know it by the wonderful market or Mercado de San Miguel here. The Basilica at Calle de San Justo keeps very nice historical persons buried inside, such as the father of Francisco de Quevedo as well as maternal grandparents, and a brother. In the parish archives it is kept the death certificate of  Rodrigo de Cervantes,the father of  Miguel de Cervantes. More here:  www.bsmiguel.es/esp-contenido/historia.html

You should not miss coming to the convent garden or El Jardín del Convento, a store selling all goodies done in the convents and monasteries from different parts of Spain. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/el-jardin-del-convento

You continue on the Madrid of the Austrias to the Catedral Castrense .  The previous monastery of the Bernadine monks founded in 1615.  Built by  Juan Gómez de Mora, one of the architect of the Plaza Mayor.  The Church belongs to the Armed Forces of Spain since 1980. More here:  http://www.arzobispadocastrense.com/index.php/arzobispado/iglesia-catedral-de-las-fas

You come to one of favorite spots lately. And not many know the underneath the Cathedral of the Almudena you have resting about 1500 souls, all in a gorgeous crypt supported by 558 columns, keeping the soul of many nobles and important families of the time. All at the feet of the Patron of Madrid, the Virgin of the Almudena or La Virgen de la Almudena ( ramparts in Arabic) ,and enclosed in 712AD upon the fall of the city to the moors. It was taken back by the Christians in 1085AD when  San Isidro only was 3 yrs old. The wall or ramparts fell apart and the Virgin was discovered; after many centuries later, She was put in the now gone Church or Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Almudena, the oldest temple in Madrid until it was demolished by 1868. From these ruins, the current Catedral de Santa Maria de la Almudena was built and finally consecrated in 1992. The crypt, that however,was done in 1911. Meanwhile the Almudena was built and consecrated , the Real Colegiata de San Isidro served as the provisional Cathedral of Madrid. More here:  http://www.catedraldelaalmudena.es/

And as we are now getting hungry ,why not stop in one of the classic restaurant of old and new  Madrid. La Bola, serving always the dishes of Madrid such as ropa vieja (old clothes), pisto manchego (ratatouille of the Mancha) , special croquettes, and bunûelos de manzana con helado ( bakers paste with apple and ice cream) ,and of course the cocido madrileño ;more here:  http://labola.es/

Where are buried the kings of Spain? Well studies have shown that even if they more or less know where the Visigoth, moors, and others are, they have no proof they were put there. However, we do know where the Christian kings are, and they are here:

Royal Pantheon of the Cathedral of Oviedo or Pantéon Real de la Catedral de Oviedo, where most at least 8 and their families are buried in six baroque niches in the new chapel of Our Lady of the King or Capilla de  Nuestra Señora del Rey Casto  that was built early on the 18C.  The great exception was king Pelayo who was buried in the Holy Cave of Covadonga or the  Santa Cueva de Covadonga. More here: http://www.oviedo.es/la-ciudad/cathedral

Royal Pantheon of San Juan de la Peña or Pantéon Real de San Juan de la Peña.  They are in the old sacristy of the high Church or Iglesia Alta  in the old monastery , where there is a reformed pantheon ordered by king Carlos III in 1770, lies the remains of some of the Navarrene kings of  Aragon , the first Aragonese counts and the three kings  of the ramirense dynasty such as Ramiro I, Sancho Ramírez, and Pedro I, together with their wives.  Then, in the Iglesia San Pedro el Viejo de Huesca you have the continuation in kings  Alfonso I el Batallador ,and Ramiro II el Monte (in a Roman coffin from the 2C). More here:  http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/real-monasterio.php  ;and the second Church here: http://www.huescaturismo.com/en/monumental-detalle/8/the-church-and-cloister-of-san-pedro-el-Viejo

Royal Pantheon of Royal Saint Mary of Nàjera or Pantéon Real de Santa Maria Real de Nàjera. In this Riojan monastery you have the burials of the kings of the kingdom of Nàjera-Pamplona; the predecessors of the Kingdom of Navarra that held power from 918AD to 1135AD. Some of these coffins are in Roman style. More here: http://www.santamarialareal.net/es

Royal Pantheon of San Isidore of Leon or Pantéon Real de San Isidoro de Léon. This is romance style that keeps the burials of the reign of king Fernando I in the 11C; the remains of the kings of Leon and their families from Alfonso IV  that reigned in the 10C to García, king of  Galicia who died in 1090AD. Nearby in the Cathedral of Léon you have the burial of king Ordoño II that lived until 924AD. More here:  http://www.museosanisidorodeleon.com/inicio-eng  ;and more on the Cathedral here: http://www.catedraldeleon.org/index.php/catedral-informacion/breve-resena-historica

The Cathedral of Toledo, also, has burials of six kings of Castille. Three in the old chapel or Capilla Vieja, including kings Alfonso VII El Emperador, and the first three Trastamaran kings in the chapel or Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos:such as kings  Enrique II, Juan I and Enrique III. More here: http://www.catedralprimada.es/

The Cathedral of Sevilla, in the Royal Chapel or  Capilla Real  houses the burials of three kings , the most charismatic of Spanish history such as  Fernando III El Santo, his son, Alfonso X El Sabio , and Pedro I El Cruel, as well as consorts and some family members.  On the other Church or Iglesia de San Hipólito de Córdoba , it keeps the burials of the successors kings such as Fernando IV ,and Alfonso XI. More here:  http://www.catedraldesevilla.es/  ;and more on the Church here: http://english.turismodecordoba.org/seccion/royal-collegiate-church-of-san-hipolito

The Monastery of Poblet or Monasterio de Poblet. A Cistercian temple in the province of Tarragona, was the Royal Pantheon of the crown of Aragon until the 15C. There you will see the burials of their principal kings; only kings Pedro III, and Jaime II rests on the nearby monastery or Monasterio de Santes Creus. More here: http://www.poblet.cat/index.php?&&&&ZW4%3D  ; and more here on the Santes Creus: http://patrimoni.gencat.cat/en/collection/royal-monastery-santes-creus

The Monastery of the Huelgas or Monasterio de las Huelgas. Mostly gothic temple has well preserved burials of the kings  Enrique I ,and Alfonso VIII as well as other members of Castilian Royal family of the 12C, 13C,and 14C.  Nearby, you can visit the chartreuse or  Cartuja de Miraflores , where Queen Isabel Católica, (the Catholic or I) ordered built a wonderful burial pantheon for her parents and brother Alfonso. More here:  http://www.monasteriodelashuelgas.org/  ; more on the chartreuse in Spanish here: http://www.cartujadeburgos.org/cartujos/historia-cartujos/

The Royal Chapel of Granada or Capilla Real de Granada. It was ordered built by the Catholic Kings (Fernando and Isabel ), and represented a trend in the architecture as well as funerary sculptures.  The burials of the Catholic kings were done by Domenico Fancelli,while those of daughter Juana together with that of Felipe El Hermoso were done by Bartolomé Ordoñez. They are all surrounded by exceptional works of arts of the times. More here:  http://www.capillarealgranada.com/

The Royal Crypt of the El Escorial monastery or la Cripta Real del Monasterio de El Escorial, built in the 17C a,and housing all the kings and many of their family members from king Carlos I  to Juan III (did not reign).  The only exception on this period were kings Fernando VI,and Barbara de Braganza that are in the convent at Madrid or Convento de las Salesas Reales (Iglesia de Santa Barbara); and king José I (Joseph Napoleon) whose remains are in the Les Invalides of París , as well as king  Amadeo I  that is with his wife at the basilica or Basílica de Superga de Turín (Torino, Italy). More here:  www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/palacios/6172

More on the convent Salesas Reales here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/iglesia-santa-Barbara

Invalides de Paris; http://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71310/Hotel-national-des-Invalides

And the basilica of Superga, Turin, http://www.basilicadisuperga.com/en/

A wonderful event not to missed if in Spain, the 80th anniversary of Guernica by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and the 25th anniversary of its arrival at the Museum or Museo de la Reina Sofía . It will have a momentous exposition and the exhibition of an interesting documentation that tells us how the portrait was ordered by the II Republic, and the trips the portrait took to raise funds for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War.  It shows the history of this portrait by showing an emblematic interpration of it thru a series of about 180 works by the master Picasso , many on special loans, that will help trace the history and execution of this master piece as we know it today; it will be exposed until September 4, 2017. More here:   http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/pity-and-terror-Picasso

I told you, Spain, everything under the Sun, and a lot more. Enjoy the post,and have a great end of week, tomorrow is TGIF ::) Cheers

 

 

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April 16, 2017

Why not the Temple of Debod, Egyptian and very much Madrid!

Thinking already on Spain which will be back last week of this month, I thought of something unique and semi hidden in Madrid, but a must to visit. This is the temple of Debod in the parque del Oeste and more precisely in the parque de la montaña (where an old Civil War hq was ).

It dates from the year 200 AD and known also as the temple of Amon a gift from Egypt to Spain for helping in the flooding of the Nile in the 1950’s.  I have written a bit on it way back in my early days of blogging. Here is that post:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/26/the-temple-of-debod-in-madrid/

The pieces of this temple were brought to Spain by boat over a long period finally reaching Spain by Valencia harbor; coming on the ship “Benisa”, a total of 90 trucks moved the 1356 blocks of stone to the current site but some stone from Villamayor in Salamanca was needed to filled in the missing parts lost on the retrieval of the stones in Egypt. It finally was assembled in its current location in July 18, 1972, while I was still living in Madrid.

From the exterior the best moment to see it is as the sun goes down in the evening, eerie nice silhouettes indeed. The interior is superb and a must see in Madrid like I said.

You must see inside the Capilla de Adijalamani or of the reliefs. It has scenes that represent the king adoring the gods and offering sacrifices.  The motifs are related to the cult of the gods in the area and link to the sacred monarchy. In it’s chapel you have the god Amon de Debod that received the cult with other divinities such as Isis, Hathor, Osiris, Horus, Apset, Mut, Satis, Anukis, and Horajty. Imhotep occupies a priviledge site in the access to the chapel.

You then, come to the room of  Mammisi.  The word Coptic signify “place of birth” and makes the point of the room where the goddess of the temple gave birth and celebrating the mystery of the divine birth.

There are other rooms below, these are:

The Vestibule ,decorated with Augusto and Tiberian today mostly erase due to the last earthquake of the 19C and stealing.

The antechamber de Naos, small room that allows you to wandered in the 3 chapels ,here the only light entered the temple that reach the main Chapel as above and the Naos

The room of Naoi, or central chapel has the only naos preserved. it is in ptolemic style and dedicated to gods Isis and Amon de Debod.

The south hallway on which in it’s wall you see a solar clock.

The Osiris chapel, relics of Osiris, in the terrace . It is a roofed chapel in the terrace of the sanctuary as in Egyptian temples. It was done to stop the rain water to entered the god Osiris that was not beneficial.

The Terrace, this is the place where important ceremonies were held, especially the ritual of the new year. The karma of the god Ra combine with the divine statues of the temple that were taken to the terrace by priests the night before the Egyptian new year.

The headroom Chapels, on each side of the Chapel of Naos you have two Chapels attributed to Osiris and Mahesa.

The Uabet, the purification site of the priests of the temple. Opens its doors to the Vestibule.  this area was damaged when the archeologist that worked here in the 20C saw it.

The Crypts, one of the few ptolemic temples that had crypts open in the Chapels. The main one is the treasure crypt that opens to the chapel of Mahesa , where the statues of the gods were kept. The other was probably a laboratory where the perfumes of the divinities were kept; this one, opens to the inferior chapel of Osiris.

You see several graffiti’s in the temple. Thanks to these graffiti’s we know the temple was visited by Barbarians, nomads or semi nomads that later could have been converted into a Christian Church or refuges of hermits. In the Muslim period it was ,also, occupied and was visited from the West. Amongst the graffiti’s in the Debod , it is found caravans and herds of camels, gazelles, a boat with oars, Coptic crosses, accounting symbols, Greek inscriptions, also Coptic, Arabic (religious characters),and several signatures from travelers!

In the terraces of the Temple of Debod you find several blocks these are:

The blocks of Apedemak, this is a monument that has three horizontal lines with ancient lettering  texts divided by a ankh (symbol of eternal life) entitled Adijalamani. In one of the lines you have the epitaph well like of Apedemak referring to the king been Apedemak the principal god of the temple.

You see the stalls in stone of a Lion and a Greek urinerium; it is very damaged but on the laterals you have an urinerium with the feet back of the lion. Difficult to understand today.

The Madrid tourist office here tells you more in English,on how to get there, free admission ,but limited numbers at one time allowed in, something like 60 at one time.  Also, depending on the weather as the temperature below can get really hot and the AC don’t always work. There has been episodes of high humidity as well that have created problems to keep it open. So my recommendation is to contact the tourist office and ask if open when you are there. email: templodebod@madrid.es

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/templo-de-debod

It tells you of a specialiased site for the Temple here in Spanish:  http://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/

Another view from the city of Madrid webpage in Spanish: http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Templo-de-Debod?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=46caa0d03aa8b010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=1251721

So enjoy this beauty now, it is old and you never know, but it is wonderful. I remember in my youth going around the park as kids playing and then going inside all sweaty so nothing feld on the heat hehehe! Then, have come back each time with my girlfriend , then wife, then the boys and again this summer always a nice stop in Madrid. Something awesome historical and beautiful in a very nice park as well, right there not far is the cable car to Casa de Campo or teleférico. Enjoy it, and Happy Easter y’all!! Cheers

Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid  Madrid

 

 

 

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April 14, 2017

And we have to settle for football/soccer at Vannes

It has been sunny and cool around here with temps in the 15C or about 62F; a lot warmer in Madrid!! My troubles with Orange and the internet made me fearful as come to realize the internet is everything or almost today lol!

My telephone cable that links to the house for internet, tv,and telephone service drop off the pole and we were with nothing… calling Orange was nothing, technician will come by April 19 not sooner. Call the Mayor’s office (Mairie)  as there is a cable down on the ground, and was told call the maintenance dept (service techiques) of the city, they in turn send a message to Orange. Call and write complaints to Orange and on the call was told call the firemen on the cable !!! At the end got from Orange a temporary airbus box to connect to the internet but no telephone line nor tv yet, we will have to be patient with the customer service here in boony land lol!

Ok so now settle into nicer things, the Champions of football.soccer are here on the quarter finals and my all time only team is playing; Real Madrid FC;yep the best ever by all accounts. More here: http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/index.html

http://www.realmadrid.com/en

They were playing the other historical club  named Bayern Munich at Allianz arena in Munich. Well we ran over them won 1×2 but we could have score more goals.

The best part is since no tv nor internet at home needed to go out and find me a bar showing the game.Not easy when you live in the countryside.

So we headed for Vannes,where I work,and more bars..and found one I have been just once for a drink during daytime, this is Skellig

Here is the area where they are Atlanville and more on them in French : http://www.atlanville.fr/le-skellig

And the dept 56 Morbihan tourist page : http://www.morbihan.com/vannes/pub-le-skellig/tabid/1564/offreid/f13f4fe2-f401-4858-a21d-722998438312

A bit more on them :  This is an Irish Pub style bar restaurant with lots of animations from live music to karaoke to live sporting events and arrows game. the concerts change every week . The main here for me is the Sports, TV screens on all walls and a big one in the center living room style !  You a simple menu for lunch and dinner of salads, burgers, steaks, etc  The service is nice and friendly and a well behave crowds unless a goal scored ::)

There is a small terrace outside the main entrance and once inside the bar area is to your left. ah the toilet is to your right ….

We are going back Sunday with my sons and friends from work to see the English Premier game Manchester United vs Chelsea; just to say one of my son’s likes MU but the rest are for the Real Madrid lol!!!

And we should be back for the return match at Bernabeu on April 18 20h45 or 8:45 pm French time.

And of course, we start today a long 3 day weekend, Happy Easter, Good Friday,and Monday of Easter to all. Cheers

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes