Archive for ‘Madrid’

October 3, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is already here ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Eight festivities, five bullfights, two bullfights with bullfighters and the final of the Road to Las Ventas make up the Autumn Fair in the Madrid arena, which will be held from this past Saturday, October 1, until Wednesday October 12, 2022, the date on which the season will close. This cycle, which is dedicated to the figure of Antonio Bienvenida on the centenary of his birth, begins with two novelties: an increase in the number of subscribers and the opening of the Venta del Batán, closed for 18 years to the exhibition of cattle announced on the posters. During the fair, various cultural activities will also be held that revolve especially around the figure of the Madrid bullfighter Antonio Bienvenida. The room that bears his name will host an exhibition of historical posters by the collector Ángel Sonseca Rojas, who will offer an extensive tour of some of the afternoons that made history in the career of the bullfighter and members of the dynasty. On the other hand, the plastic artist Mariano Cobo will exhibit a monograph on some of the best works with Antonio Bienvenida in the Antoñete room. And until October 12 you can visit an exhibition of the plastic artist Jesús Solano on the ground floor,webpage :

The area of Sobrarbe ( province of Huesca) feeds its people and shapes the landscape of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the Huesca Pyrenees. A diverse place made up of ravines, canyons and glacial valleys that has attracted more and more visitors since the Bielsa parador was opened in 1968, the tunnel connecting France with Spain was built in 1976 and the protection of the national park was extended in 1982, The parador is located in the Pineta Valley, very close to the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, where you can see the calcareous massif of Monte Perdido at 3,335 meters. The HU-V-6402 road ends at the parador. Beyond there is nothing and that is everything ! An element of the landscape that has already disappeared are the iron mines The gates of the monastery of El Escorial were built with iron from Sobrarbe, You should stop by Aínsa, the largest city in Sobrarbe and one of the most touristic for its medieval quarter, Lovely region we road warrior so many times over the years. Tourism webpage:

As usual in these posts , let me give you a tour of my dear Spain with some excellent spots for visiting/vacationing many of which we have already.

Land of legends and impossible loves, the province of Teruel, a paradigm of empty Spain, makes up for its low population density with endless delights for the senses, which increase when the leaf begins to fall. I will take you first to Matarrañala served as a link since historical times with the Mediterranean coast and as a border between the neighboring communities of Catalonia and Valencia. The old house of the Marquis of Santa Coloma, built in 1703, is one of them. Unmoved by the passage of time, it was built on a 120-hectare farm in the middle of Mount Monroyo, a village of just 385 inhabitants that instantly invites you to disconnect. While the facade still resonates with its stately past with the original door of the time, the interior and surroundings reveal one of the hotel enclaves with the greatest projection in the area, the Torre del Marqués hotel. In this area you have the world emblem of Garnacha Tinta, a different grape varieties grown on its fertile lands, which are processed and marketed by a large number of family wineries in the area. Traveling the six round trip km of the Parrizal de Beceite natural route will be the best way to lighten the gastronomic days offered by the region. Recognizable by the wooden walkway that leads to the Matarraña River, the sound of its emerald waters serve as a guide between wooded paths and gouges, a needle-shaped geological formation resulting from erosion. After an approximate hour’s walk, Els Estrets del Parrissal rises up, a canyon about 200 meters long that takes your breath away due to the verticality of its walls. If you undertake the route on a hot day and its crystal clear waters, not suitable for swimming the desire to take a dip, one can recover in the nearby pools of Las Pesqueras. These natural pools of warm water are accompanied by viewpoints such as the Racó de Sant Antoni, where you can glimpse the beautiful landscape that the Ulldemó River fosters.

A few kms away awaits Valderrobres, a medieval jewel of Bajo Aragón that has earned its place on the list of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. When exploring its historic center, the best access is given by the Gothic bridge raised over the Matarraña River; without a doubt, the most characteristic photo of this villa. From there and between the remains of the urban wall, you can access the Plaza Mayor, presided over by the Renaissance-style City/Town Hall. The ascent to its monumental castle will reward you with a walk through narrow streets dotted with climbing plants, with houses dyed with an indigo pigment for its disinfectant effect.

On the hunt for the treasures of the Maestrazgo , entering this area bordering Castellón means stopping time suddenly, mimicking its stone villages and exploring its forests without telephone coverage in search of the great treasures of Teruel soil: mushrooms. Cantavieja, the capital of the Maestrazgo, with its intense aroma impregnated on the palate, it is time to explore the historical arteries of this town perched on a rock at 1,300 meters of altitude, with interesting examples of Aragonese architecture such as the exterior of the Casa de los Osset, the remains of the crenellated wall or the castle of Templar origin. About 13 kms by road, Mirambel competes in historical beauty, the town that served as the setting for the film Tierra y Libertad (land and liberty 1995), by Ken Loach. In memory of the filming of this film set in the Spanish Civil War, in which many neighbors acted as extra actors, a wide promenade bears the name of the British filmmaker. Barely altered since the Middle Ages, its town center is a delight for lovers of the past with a large succession of churches, convents such as that of the Augustinian Nuns ,with its fantastic portal with mud and plaster lattices, Renaissance palaces and popular houses not to be missed.

On the other side of Cantavieja, the small town of La Iglesuela del Cid has taken an unexpected turn in its morphology. It has an increase in travelers attracted by its hiking trails ,such as the Senda de la Piedra Seca or dry stone path that leads to the sanctuary of the Virgen del Cid, good food and good sleep, especially since the inauguration last June of the Palacio Matutano hotel- Daudén. This 18C building declared National Heritage symbolizes the union of the two richest families in Iglesuela, who amassed a great fortune from the wool trade with notorious clients such as the former King of Naples. This cozy palace has now been converted into accommodation with the luxury preserves part of its original structure and furniture , such as the rococo staircase where the town’s children used to played, while on the floor it replicates the original cobblestone floor through which the horses used to passed or the family’s private chapel is now an elegant living room. Through the main door you access Calle Ondevilla street, where the town was founded, bearer of some of the most beautiful stately homes. Our exit leads to the Plaza Iglesuela square, contained by the 17C parish church and the old dungeons , open for daily guided tours along with other buildings of interest such as the Casa Aliaga.

The province of Teruel tourist office:

The city of Teruel tourist office:

The richness and diversity of its landscapes make Burgos a travel attraction that redoubles its charm in autumn. We follow the course of the rivers to explore some of my favorite Burgos enclaves. Lovely indeed!

We come to Frias, next to the Ebro, although this time as it passes through the Merindades, Frías holds several titles to tempt the traveller, such as being one of the members of the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. Although technically it is not a town, but the smallest in Spain. Its strategic location makes it unique. Also the taste of its medieval streets, the set of hanging houses that defy gravity and its imposing rock castle, undoubtedly one of the most spectacular in all Castilla. Another of the most beautiful enclaves is found before reaching the town: a bridge with nine arches and 143 meters long over the Ebro of Roman origin although fortified in the 14C with a defensive tower used to collect the pontazgo.

We leave the Ebro and head for the Arlanza River, which runs through the south of the province, opening up a gap in that serene and essential landscape that we know of Castile. In fact, Covarrubias is the homeland of popular Castilian architecture thanks to its half-timbered houses and wide arcades. Doña Sancha’s house is possibly the best example. It has many other jewels. Walking through the historic center you can find up to seven monuments declared of Cultural Interest. An essential visit is the Torreón de Fernán González, the 10C fortification where, according to legend, the Infanta Doña Urraca was imprisoned. Another is the former Collegiate Church of San Cosme and San Damián. The temple hides, among other treasures, the oldest functioning organ in Castilla, tables by Berruguete and Van Eyck, and the valuable triptych of the Adoration of the Magi. Without forgetting the tombs of the counts and princesses of Castile, and that of the infanta Cristina of Norway.

In Lerma, we continue on the banks of the Arlanza. This villa with perfect baroque skyline is the product of one man’s ambition. You guessed it: the Duke of Lerma, the most powerful man in the court of Felipe (Philip) III. De Lerma wanted to do something like the first branch of the kingdom. Hence, he did not hesitate to build up to six convents, in addition to the collegiate church and the ducal palace with the invaluable help of the best Herrerian architects. As an example, the Parador Nacional or old palace, stationed on one of the flanks of the Plaza Mayor.

The province of Burgos tourist office:

The Community of Madrid town of Alcalá de Henares celebrates its Cervantes Week, a festival in honor of the author of Don Quixote with storytellers, sewing workshops, period costume contests, traditional music, recreations of the Campamentos de Tercio…The Cervantino Market: a six-day trip to the Golden Age between parades, knight tournaments and a prize for… Sabina. More than 350 artisan stalls, Cervantine sewing or historical dance workshops, period costume contests, parades inspired by the exemplary novel by the jealous Extremaduran, storytellers, cannon salvos… These are some of the proposals of the traditional Cervantino Market that next week (from October 7 to 12 2022) will transfer the Golden Age to the main streets of Alcalá de Henares. The Cervantes Week gives for more, since the Book Fair will also take place in parallel on Calle Libreros with 19 stands, as well as the VI Cervantino Poetry Encounter, the Cervantes train, the representation of hors d’oeuvres on the Escolapias staircase , the Alcalá Gastronómica and Ancient Music contests in Gilitos and the public reading of Don Quixote in the Corral de Comedias.

The city of Alcalà de Henares on the Cervantes Week:

Let me take you now to the walled cities of my dear Spain, my favorites of course. Travel to the past through the most beautiful, and best preserved, walled towns in my dear Spain.

I passed several times by Albarracin in the province of Teruel (see above for more) . Perched on a rock, almost entirely surrounded by the Guadalaviar river, to the south of the Sierra de Albarracín, its charming old quarter, whose origin dates back to the 11C, has the title of National Monument. The town, with an irregular layout adapted to the difficult topography of the land, is protected by well-preserved 14C walls, inside which are also the Alcázar (11C) and the Cathedral of El Salvador (16C).

Moving on to visit coming down as well from home. Alquézar in the province of Huesca. “The most beautiful town in Huesca”, as this town is known, which was born in the shadow of a castle of Islamic origin converted into the Collegiate Church of Santa María after the Reconquest. Declared the town a Historic-Artistic Site, the wall comes out of the fortification with some sections from the 11C are still standing , that surrounds the historic center of the town with luxury viewpoints, such as the Sonrisa del viento or smile of the wind. As important enclaves: the Albarrana tower, the ruins of a quadrangular tower and some fragment of the Romanesque church, integrated into the impressive 14C cloister.

We go to my childhood hangout with Mom. Buitrago del Lozoya in the province of Madrid. Located on a promontory on the banks of the Lozoya river, at the foot of Somosierra and 75 km from Madrid, the beautiful town is also known as “The Wall of Madrid”, due to the good degree of conservation of the wall, of Muslim origin (11C), which protects its historic center with a perimeter of more than 800 meters. Some sections of the wall, which contains numerous defensive elements, such as towers, a barbican, a moat, a corach, an albarrana tower and a fortress, reach 16 meters in height and 3.5 meters in thickness. Intramuros, you must not miss the castle, linked to the Mendoza family (14C), the Church of Santa María del Castillo (or castle 14C), the Clock Tower and the Picasso Museum, (another one !) in the square of the same name next to to City/Town Hall.

And I let you breathe by reaching Ciudad Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca. It is on the west side of the province of Salamanca, next to Portugal, and irrigated by the waters of the Agueda river. The city whose walls, witness to numerous sieges due to its strategic location, were built by order of the king Fernando (Ferdinand) II of León in 1160. The 2.5 km of wall perimeter, taking advantage of the remains of a Roman wall, enclose the town, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1944. Intramuros, you should not miss strolling through the medieval streets full of palaces and stately homes , such as the Marqués de Cerralbo, the Miranda and the beautiful Palacio del Águila, or the Plaza Mayor with the City/Town Hall , a Renaissance building from the 16C. In the highest part, the Castle of Enrique II de Trastámara (b.1372), with its three-story Homage Tower, today houses the Parador de Turismo. Another of the jewels of the town is the Cathedral of Santa María, from 1165.

Let me tell you extensively about a great region of my dear Spain, Galicia. And its most precious sights on the Way of Santiago de Compostela and two of its most emblematic Caminos. I have gone by here on my road warrior trips by car; anyway you come is most reassuring an enjoyable travel.

The Camino del Norte or way of the north route allows the pilgrim to cross the river Eo, the natural border with Asturias to the north, to get rid of everything that his senses have accumulated and fill himself with the purest Galicia. It enters through Ribadeo, on the coast of Lugo, but quickly plunges inland for almost 200 kms to Santiago de Compostela. Galicia is intertwined with corredoiras, deep and narrow paths whose tunnel-like shape derives from the continuous passage of cars, animals and people through them for centuries. Open between groves, fragas and old oak groves, covered with branches, stones and moss and varnished with shade, pilgrims on the Camino del Norte still have to pass through these paths today on their journey to Santiago. One of the most famous is the Corredoira de Cimadevila, deep and green, located in the parish of Castrofeito (province of A Coruña). A few meters from the Camino there is also another one that crosses the carballeira da Casa do Gado, a forest located in Sobrado dos Monxes. There is a voice timbre that all the residents of Mondoñedo recognize, that is the one from Paula, the main of the seven bells of the cathedral of this town of 3,500 inhabitants located in the Mariña Central de Lugo, 150 km from Santiago. Its touch, serious and profound, has been calling Mindonians to prayer for more than a century and a half, announcing the celebrations and informing of the deaths. The pilgrim who finishes the stage in Mondoñedo can get lost in this cobbled city, with white houses and slate roofs and one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, according to the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain, which evaluates the natural heritage and history of populations of less than 15,000 inhabitants. You will learn about the origin of this Jacobean route, as old as the Primitive and a World Heritage Site, at the Camino del Norte Interpretation Center, located in an old church, The statue of Álvaro Cunqueiro, who attentively observes the bell tower with a relaxed gesture , from his sculpture in the plaza de la catedral square. Next door, at number 13, stands the museum house of this writer, journalist, chronicler and indispensable figure of Galician and Castilian letters.

Its visitors say that the silence in the Monastery of Santa María de Sobrado is impressive, especially in the church ,occupied only by the benches and the altar and empty of images and altarpieces, and in its kitchen, in which only its columns remain. and its gothic ceilings. In the building, founded in 958 and abandoned from the beginning of the 19C to the last quarter of the 20C, you can also visit two of the cloisters and the chapter house. The soil of the parish of Argomoso, 5 kms from the city of Mondoñedo (Lugo), hides a set of intricate galleries of more than 6 kms that make up the Rei Cintolo cave, the largest in all of Galicia. Its name comes from the legend that once explained its origin, and that tells how the sorcerer Manilán, after not being able to marry the daughter of King Cintolo, condemned the kingdom to be devoured by the earth on the day of his death. On the banks of the Madalena River, passing through the town of Vilalba, ( Lugo) , runs a path drawn by nature and described in literature. A 3 km route between old mills and wooden bridges known as Paseo dos Soños or walk of dreams, with which the walker can discover other names of Galician literature. The end of the trail offers a gift: the river beach of the Madalena recreational area, a tiny island full of vegetation to cool off before continuing on the Camino. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela keeps in its main entrance, the Portico de la Gloria, sounds from almost a millennium ago. In the central tympanum, above Christ and the apostles, there is an orchestra made up of the 24 elders of the Apocalypse, representatives of the church, according to the Bible, of which 22 carry medieval musical instruments ,the other two carry flasks called phials. They prepare, according to tradition, to interpret with them the melody of the end of time. Sublime !!!

The Camino de Santiago on the Camino del Norte:

The Camino de Invierno or the way of winter is a telluric route: a route that adheres the pilgrim, like no other, to the earth. It does so through the epic of its vineyards, which cling to the ground hanging from the deep Sil and Miño canyons. They make up the wine territory of the Ribeira Sacra and deliver exclusive wines. A Camino dotted with museums, accommodation of all kinds, with authentic tributes to yeyé psychedelia, and pioneers who bring Galician olive oil, which seemed forgotten, back to life. Some of the largest chestnut trees in Europe grow here and it is the place that inspired Lorca’s poems that, immense in his talent as he was, he wrote in Galician. A journey of 239 kms, opened by the first pilgrims to avoid the icy peaks of the Camino Francés or French way, which crosses the most atavistic Galicia where the land is so alive that it feels. On this Camino, the pilgrim can savor a different wine from the moment the grapes are picked. Because the harvest can only be done manually, with hardly any mechanization, and it is a real effort given the conditions of the land where they are grown: the vertiginous walls of the Sil and Miño river canyons. A peculiarity that has earned it the name of heroic viticulture. The Sil river accompanies the pilgrim during the first 60 kms of the Camino de Invierno in Galicia, marking the route through villages, fields and forests and telling the story of the Ribeira Sacra not only from the water, but from its Roman origins , its illustrious characters and the tragic lyrics that it has inspired . A tragic event connects the Sil with the poetry of Federico García Lorca (see post) from Granada. In 1935, during a trip with his popular theater company La Barraca, one of the stagehands drowned in the river after the performance in Puente de Domingo Flórez, a Leonese border town. Three years later, the writer immortalized the event in Noiturnio do adoescente morto,( nocturne of the dead child) one of the six poems he wrote in Galician!

The pilgrim can turn the Camino de Invierno into a sensitive journey through art, astronomy or engineering if he decides to visit some of the museums that dot it. The Geological Museum, exhibits fossils of prehistoric mammoths and brown bears and a realistic reconstruction of the first Neolithic woman. When the pilgrim enters Quiroga (Lugo), he is entering one of the oldest places in Galicia. A privileged territory of almost 600 kms that makes up the Geoparque de las Montañas do Courel ,which has belonged, since 2019, to the UNESCO World Network of Geoparks due to its unique geology and biodiversity. Amenities, such as the first public hostel on this route, and accommodation with an extra in which to enjoy the best fusion cuisine or a psychedelic experience abound in this Camino de Invierno. An gustative way to Santiago indeed!

The Camino de Santiago Galicia on the Camino de Invierno:

And I finish as usual with some wine recommendation to get wherever you are and they are available these are great price/quality deals me think.

Blas Muñoz Chardonnay Vineyards and Bodegas Muñoz. Under the umbrella of the D.O. La Mancha make a chardonnay fermented and aged in French barrels that is elegant and powerful. A real treasure that comes from a small town in Toledo .Price in Spain 12.50€. webpage:
Malahierba the Malahierba Vinos winery, and the D.O. Sierra of Salamanca. Made with old vines from different towns in the Sierra de Salamanca, the diversity of the soil makes us find a fresh wine, easy to drink, but with an interesting complexity. It is very fruity with light touches of wood due to aging in 3,000-litre vats Price in Spain 12.90€ reference webpage:
Fuerza Bruta, a red wine from the Comunidad de Madrid from the A Pie de Tierra winery -obtained from a vineyard located in Aldea del Fresno and cultivated organically with vines between 50 and 90 years old. It is a light, fresh and mineral Garnacha, which comes from granite floors and rests 12 months in chestnut wood Price in Spain €13.50. webpage:

Albamar Albariño ,a white made in Rías Baixas by the Albamar winery with grapes from vineyards settled on sandy soils very close to the Ría de Arosa. It is an Albariño with a lot of identity, citrus and floral notes, whose acidity and salinity are reminiscent of the Galician coast. Price in Spain 14.80€. Best reference their Facebook page:

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is here with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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September 8, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXI

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Summer is slowly coming to an end with many visitors coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

An easy way to save money on flights is to drive across continental Europe, as you will enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Ruta de la Plata, which runs between Gijón and Seville, in western Spain. It will take you through the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site, and through other cities such as León. Although the original route is still done on foot and by bicycle, it can also be done by car on the road. Indeed great road warrior ride !!! One wonderful webpage to do it ! :

The site of Segóbriga (Province of Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, This archaeological site, is one of the best examples of urban development in Roman and Celtic Hispania. In addition to the houses, the remains of the necropolis and the wall, you can visit the theater, the baths, a Visigothic basilica, the circus or the acropolis. A wonderful experience !! More info here and my post :

The Volcàn Cerro Gordo (province of Ciudad Real), Castilla La Mancha, Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the geological secrets of the Earth. Located in Campo de Calatrava, we are facing the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand. More info here :

The Biblioteca Nacional or national library ,since it opened its doors in the 18C, this monumental building has accumulated all the publications made in Spain. Inside, limited to academics and specialists, you can enjoy a first-rate architectural gem. Something that is only possible with guided tours that take place, in the museum part, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 17h and Wednesday is and Thursday at 10h, And from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. to the building, in this case carried out by cultural volunteers. Webpage :

The Prado Museum has some twists. For those who prefer to save the general admission fee, there is a possibility. Every day, on its website, free tickets are made available to the public that require reservation and give free access to the interior of the Prado from Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h. More info official Prado webpage :

The CentroCentro in the Palacio de Cibeles has until October 2 2022, and within the PhotoEspaña program, the exhibition The Sixties offers a very visual overview of what that time was like through books, magazines, album covers and posters. Richard Avedon, Eduardo Ayrosa, David Bailey or Robert Davidson are some of the artists whose works can be seen on this journey to a time full of optimism and hope.Free admission more info official CentroCentro :

The Jardines de los Palacios de la Finca Vista Alegre or gardens of the palaces of finca vista alegre are not as well known as they should be Designed by architects and gardeners from different eras, a walk here is a visual and design pleasure, since it brings together spaces as significant as the Romantic Garden, the Plaza de the statues, the Ría and the Parterre. Madrid tourist office on the gardens :

Some ideas for visit of my dear Spain, all wonderful of course!

If you want to know what a medieval Castilian city was like, you have to visit Covarrubias: fortified wall, narrow cobbled streets, arcaded squares, double-height houses made of wood and stone. Founded by the Visigoth king Chindasvinto in the 7C on the remains that left by the turmódigos (pre-Roman tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula), the medieval vestiges coexist with the Herrerian style characteristic of King Felipe II in the 16C, a time of great splendor for the town and for Spain, which rose as a superpower, You can see the Bishop Peña’s House and Doña Sancha’s House , one of the most important figures in the town: daughter of Queen Urraca and Don Raimundo de Borgoña, she was the third Infanta of Covarrubias and became Queen of Castile . But if she is remembered for something is because she in 1148 granted the Fueros to the people, making her subjects stop being servants. Opposite stands the Torreón de Fernán González, the first count of Castile, a Mozarabic-style defensive construction that he himself ordered to be built in the 10C for the defense of Arlanza. Few know that it communicated with the House of Doña Sancha through an underground tunnel, and that it is also known as La Empedrada, because her sister, the Infanta Doña Urraca, was locked up here without any communication, by order of her father. The Archives of the Adelantado de Castilla (military and political chief of the province), a Herrerian-style building with Renaissance decoration that was built by order of King Felipe II in 1575 in honor of his chamber doctor, Francisco Valles, a native of the town. When the documents it contained were transferred to the General Archive of Simancas, in the 18C, it lost its function and today it is the tourist office and the municipal library, as well as one of the main entrance gates. Continuing along that street, you reach the Plaza de la Infanta Urraca, where the former Fernán González palace was located, now the City/Town Hall. And turning to the right, you reach the Church of Santo Tomás, a temple that was ordered to be built on top of another ruined Romanesque for all those who moved to the town after the charters were approved. A sober 12C parish whose interior has a fabulous 16C Plateresque staircase, considered the little sister of the one in Burgos Cathedral. The former collegiate church of San Cosme and San Damián hides authentic artistic gems within its walls. Seeing them all is only possible through a guided tour of just over an hour, something highly recommended. It is believed that the original church dates back to the 7C and was ordered to be built by King Chindasvinto, one of the founders of Covarrubias. The one we see today, in Gothic style, began to be built in the 15C and its main altar, with a golden baroque altarpiece, is a real wonder once we pass through the doors that lead to the small cloister from 1540 and which houses the tomb of Princess Kristina of Norway. Known as the Viking princess of Covarrubias, she arrived in Spain very young to marry the infant Don Felipe, brother of Alfonso X the Wise, who needed the support of the Norwegian king; her remains were found by chance, behind a wall, during some remodeling works in 1952. she died very young, aged 23, without offspring and only four years after setting foot on Spanish soil. A bronze statue in front of the former collegiate church pays homage to her, The museum is also located here, which has 150 pieces of art, including paintings and sculptures. The triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the miracle of S. Cosme and S. Damián, by Pedro Berruguete (Spanish painter of the 15C who represents that artistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance) stands out; and also The Virgin of the Book, attributed to Van Eyck (14C Belgian artist and father of the first wave of Dutch painting). Webpage :

The Basilica of San Juan de Baños, located in a small town near Palencia, from the 7C, is one of the most significant buildings of religious architecture from the Visigoth period, The Basilica of San Juan de Baños is on the outskirts of the town , Venta de Baños, surrounded by cereal land, near the Pisuerga riverbed, less than twenty minutes from Palencia. It is one of those temples where its dating date can be quoted with certainty, 661, as stated on a tombstone above the head. In any case, it is believed that this may be the oldest standing church in Spain, which is already a reason enough to organize a getaway to one of the most significant buildings of the religious architecture of the kingdom of the Visigoths. It has a basilica floor plan, with three naves ,the central one, wider and higher, and three apses. Eight marble columns , four on each side, probably taken from nearby Roman constructions support the horseshoe arches separating the naves, the oldest of this type known in Spain, with eight capitals. The presbytery or central part of the head is from the Visigoth period, although the gabled roof and the wall that supports them have been raised later. The exterior arch of the portico is also original, although the upper part of the wall and the belfry are from the 19C. In any case, the state of conservation is very good. Another example of a well-preserved Visigothic church is Santa María de Melque, located about 50 km from Toledo, in the town of San Martín de Montalbán, which was born as a monastic complex in the 7-8C in the vicinity of the one that It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom: Toledo !webpage :

In Lugo you have to start, of course, with its wall, the most complete and best preserved Roman wall in the world. Surrounding and closing the old town with its more than two km in length and a height of 10 to 15 meters , Inside old Lugo there are other important Roman remains, such as the House of Mosaics or Domus Oceani, at Rúa Doutor Castro 20, preserves the remains of a domus from the 3C. The entire area, up to the current Plaza Mayor, which occupies an area of ​​about 17,000 m², is the heart of Roman Lugo. In the Plaza Mayor is the Casa do Concello (City/Town Hall), an 18C building in the Galician civil baroque style, festooned with a group of eight arcades. At the opposite end are the statues of Emperor Augustus giving the magistrate Paulo Fabio Máximo the order to build the city. Nearby is the cathedral, built between 1129 and 1273, in which the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical lives together. If we want to have the best view of this temple we have to go to its rear, to the Plaza de Santa María, where the Episcopal Palace is located. A wide triangle with granite paving and a stone cross next to the Gothic apse of the cathedral. In the subsoil of one of the corners of the square, a Roman pool from the 4C was discovered in the 1970s, which was not visible to the public until 2011, when a glass cover was placed at ground level. Discover Lugo, to check that the Camino de Santiago passes through here, specifically the so-called Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo and is the first Jacobean route of which there are references. We can follow it passing through the metal plates strategically placed on the cobbled pavement of some streets. Awesome Lugo ! More on Galicia Tourism on Lugo :

Vinology is the sommelier Pilar Oltra ultimate, and worth the detour. This coming autumn 2022 they will expand the wine references on the menu to 200 and, in addition, they renew the wines by the glass. The seasonal artisan cheeses, the gratin ricotta and spinach cannelloni and the oxtail brioche with caramelized onions are included in the new seasonal menu. Soon they will launch the physical and online store and its tastings and courses. They are located at Conde de Aranda, 11, Webpage :

And to close this post, two simple local wines of my dear Castilla La Mancha which we can buy in my Morbihan France and really enjoy it, Here they cost less than 7 euros !!!

Bodega Volver, Paso a Paso cosecha Tierra de Castilla, 100% Tempranillo Intense ruby colour, aromas of mature red fruit, fresh in the mouth with lively tannins but mature enough to give a sweet, pleasant sensation in the mouth webpage :

Venta Morales ,Tierra De Castilla 100% Tempranillo, This riper version of Tempranillo shows black cherries and blueberries, along with sandalwood and sawdust from American oak. The finish reflects its warm region origins with some raisins and dusty earth lingering on the palate. Finca Las Cruces, Casa de los Pinos, Provincia de Cuenca , distributed by Bodega Volver as above.

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

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

September 8, 2022

The new Santiago Bernabeu stadium !!!

Well I have written several posts on my other love ,the Real Madrid CF and this is their stadium in Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is undergoing a complete renovation which at last news will be done by 2023. Nevertheless, the stadium is still been use for games. The La Liga has started and we already came out winning !!!

For the record, we have also won the UEFA European SuperCup beating Eientracht Frankfurt of Germany 2×0; it is our fifth supercup! The sad news historical players are leaving the newest the Brazilian Casemiro to England, well he has won everything with us and now seek more salary naturally. We wish him the best, always a Madridista! Hala Madrid !!!

I like to tell the latest news on the renovation of the stadium with older pictures of it not yet in my blog. I look forward to be there when the new stadium is completely finish. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be totally new !! More power to come back to see it and keeping the memories of the old. The following is a translation from the Real Madrid CF and stadium webpage.

madrid bernabeu arriving from metro ln 10 apr17

Despite its difficult urban integration, the Bernabéu has become part of the city as a symbol and monument, in the sense of a building whose history, emotional charge and uniqueness are capable of lasting over time and even imposing their own own laws. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium has been projected based on three strokes of light. The composition is generated by tense curves or trajectories drawn in the air, clearly betting on the curvature and complexity of the volume, the changing reflections and the metallic shine. The outer envelope of the stadium, the facades and the roof, will be covered with a new unitary skin of metal slats, which will form an iconic and avant-garde image of the stadium. The volume of the building will be adjusted with the demolition of the La Esquina del Bernabéu Shopping Center, (memories forever!) the extension of the virtual alignments necessary for the new facades, the reconfiguration of the Castellana towers and a 21-meter flight without structural supports to form a large entrance atrium to the Tour and the stadium on the west side.

madrid bernabeu real cafe bernabeu concha espina feb13


A new fixed cover will be installed to protect all seats from the rain, to which will be added a retractable cover for the pitch that can be deployed in 15 minutes, which will make it possible for all members and fans to be comfortable, as well as giving the stadium the possibility of hosting events 365 days a year.
The expansion of the stadium flight to the west, with the inclusion of an entrance atrium to the building, requires an expanding public space that can accommodate a large audience and provides perspective to the building from the main artery of Madrid. A suitable square is designed for specific events such as sports broadcasts or market on game days, but also for cultural events linked to the life of the city. In the east square, after the demolition of the existing shopping center, a park for recreation and rest is proposed, which is elevated taking advantage of the unevenness of Calle Padre Damián street.
A new stand will be built on the east side with a capacity of more than 3,000 spectators, which will be used for relocations of the rest of the stadium areas in which the comfort of accesses and seats will be increased, maintaining the same existing capacity.

Madrid bernabeu sta 07avr10

The VIP area will be restructured and expanded to generate new quality products and services.
The gallery catering spaces will be completely transformed, offering members and fans new services of higher quality and easier consumption. A new logistics ring will be created inside the stadium, underground loading and unloading operations, and construction of a new car tunnel to increase versatility and number of events. The most outstanding element of the new Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will be the installation of a 360-degree video scoreboard. This video scoreboard will be key together with the complete renovation of the technological architecture of the stadium to offer all the digital services to the sporting event and associated activities, with the application of the latest technological innovations in the communication and security systems of the stadium. The expansion and improvement of the complementary leisure and entertainment spaces within the new volume of the Stadium will be given by the expansion of the Tour Bernabéu space, which will be doubled with new content to live a unique experience. In addition, a panoramic tour will be created along the perimeter roof. New restaurants will be created with the aim of turning the stadium into a special dining destination in the city. In addition, two Real Madrid megastores will be implemented and other commercial spaces will be built in different areas of the stadium.


The urbanization will be conditioned to increase and improve the public spaces in the area, improving the landscaped and pedestrian areas, as well as the perimeter public road, to turn it into a unique space in the City. The quality of urbanization will be improved with new pavements, change of lighting, installation of new furniture and signage, and planting of new trees and landscaping throughout the area, whose surface is close to 50,000 m2. The adaptation of the urban environment of the Santiago Bernabéu charged to Real Madrid’s budgets will put an end to pedestrian coexistence on Calle Rafael Salgado street and the creation of public spaces with two new squares. In the Paseo de la Castellana, a square of more than 10,000 square meters will be adapted and a space for stays privately owned by Real Madrid but for public use and enjoyment will be created in the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones of more than 5,000 square meters.

The official Real Madrid CF on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium:

There you go folks, a wonderful work of love for the greatest club in the history of the game, so says FIFA and the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). It is worth the detour for its magnificent architecture and history even if not into football/soccer. Again, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the Real Madrid CF! Hope you enjoy the post and get you to see it

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

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August 27, 2022

The districts and neighborhoods of Madrid !!!

I like to update and bring back to life this older post because they not only remind me of my good time in the city of Madrid but I think can be of curiosity and help on those traveling there now. You want to know where you are ok here is my run down on the districts and neighborhoods of Madrid !!! Of course, this will be on my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I.

My dear Madrid has 21 districts that in turn are grouped into 129 barrios or neighborhoods.   These are with the name of district follow by the neighborhoods of each in no particular order.

Arganzuela Imperial, Acacias, Chopera, Legazpi, Delicias, Palos de la Frontera, Atocha.  Barajas Alameda de Osuna, Aeropuerto, Casco Histórico de Barajas, Timón, Corralejos.  Carabanchel Comillas, Opañel, San Isidro, Vista Alegre, Puerta Bonita, Buenavista, Abrantes. Centro Embajadores,  Cortes,  Justicia,  Universidad,  Sol. Chamartín El Viso, Prosperidad, Ciudad Jardín, Hispanoamérica, Nueva España, Pza. Castilla. Chamberí Arapiles, Trafalgar, Almagro, Vallehermoso, Ríos Rosas. Ciudad Lineal Ventas, Pueblo Nuevo, Quintana, La Concepción, San Pascual, San Juan Bautista, Colina, Atalaya, Costillares. Fuencarral – El pardo El Pardo, Fuentelarreina, Peñagrande, Barrio del Pilar, La Paz, Valverde, Mirasierra, El Goloso.  Hortaleza Palomas, Valdefuentes, Canillas, Pinar del Rey, Apóstol Santiago, Piover.  Latina Los Cármenes, Puerta del Ángel, Lucero, Aluche, Las Águilas, Campamento, Cuatro Vientos.  Moncloa – Aravaca Casa de Campo, Argüelles, Ciudad Universitaria, Valdezarza, Valdemarín, El Plantío, Aravaca.  Moratalaz Pavones, Horcajo, Marroquina, Media Legua, Fontarrón, Vinateros.  Puente de Vallecas Entrevías, San Diego, Palomeras Bajas, Palomeras Sureste, Portazgo, Numancia.  Retiro Pacífico , Adelfas, Estrella, Ibiza, Jerónimos, Niño Jesús.  Salamanca Recoletos, Goya, Fuente del Berro, Guindalera, Lista, Castellana.  San Blas Simancas, Hellín, Amposta, Arcos, Rosas, Rejas, Canillejas, Salvador.  Tetuán Bellas Vistas, Cuatro Caminos, Castillejos, Almenara, Valdeacederas, Berruguete.  Usera Orcasitas, Orcasur, San Fermín, Almendrales, Moscardó, Zofio, Pradolongo.  Vicálvaro Casco Histórico de Vicálvaro, Ambroz. Villa de Vallecas Casco Histórico de Vallecas, Santa Eugenia. Villaverde San Andrés, San Cristóbal, Butarque, Los Rosales, Los Ángeles (Villaverde).

Some of the more prominent ones from the tourist/visitor point of view are:

The Malasaña district is recognized as a hotspot for underground culture in Spain You go around Plaza de San Ildefonso and Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Also, do not miss the Mercado de San Ildefonso located on calle san Ildefonso, Not far from calle San Ildefonso is calle Fuencarral where you will find many shops and beautiful realistic frescoes on the walls of the buildings. It is notably served by lines 5, 7 and 10 of the metro. You can also get there by bus, using line 77.

The Chueca district, located in the heart of the city, is famous for its bars, clubs, nightlife and for its link with the LGBT community. Nice to see the Grand Museum of Romanticism, formerly Palace of the Marquis of Matallana. Just a few steps from this museum is the Longoria Palace, one of the few modernist buildings in Madrid. Its building clad in glass and iron now houses the headquarters of the General Society of Actors. Do your walks around Plaza de Vázquez de Milla or Plaza del Rey. And see the Madrid History Museum! This occupies the building of the Royal General Hospice for the Poor in Calle Fuencarral. Also, the Casa de las Siete Chimeneas, current headquarters of the Ministry of Culture, is another site not to be missed during your visit to the Chueca district. The metro line 5 and get off at the Chueca stop.

The historic center or Centro of Madrid is one of the best areas of Madrid to stay in during your visit in Madrid, You will find in the historic center of Madrid the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, the Madrid Opera House, the Plaza Mayor , Puerta del Sol and Plaza de España , The metro station Callao, Sol or Opéra will be ideal to find you in the historic center of Madrid gathering the oldest monuments of the city.

The Latina district is quite simply one of the best district in Madrid and also the most atypical neighborhood in Madrid. It is full of monuments to admire without moderation. Puerta de Toledo is one of the city’s oldest access points. Other monuments in the district include the Basilica of San Francesco the Great or the Church of San Pedro el Real. It is also very pleasant to rest for a few moments on the terrace on the heights of the Jardin de las Vistillas. You can admire the magnificent view of Moro Park and the Almuneda Cathedral. On Sundays, people from Madrid go to the Rastro by Plaza Cascorro, the main place of the market, to finish by strolling to the Puerta de Toledo. You can see vintage furniture shops in Calle San Cayetano , You will have the Mercado de la Cabada and many restaurants and tapas bars very close to you. You see the very nice Puente de Segovia or Segovia bridge over the Manzanares river

The Lavapies district is Madrid’s multicultural neighborhood that brings together a large number of communities. It is a popular district, it changes year after year and becomes a trendy and pleasant district to live in. Very well known in the world of graffiti, it is in this district that you will have the best works of street art in the city. The Tabacalera, a former tobacco factory converted into a cultural center. take metro line 3 and exit at Lavapies station. Visit the Lavapies district after visit to the Reina Sofia, the district is located south of the museum a few steps away.

The Salamanca district is Madrid’s most expensive district with a very high concentration of luxury stores. Take line 4 and exit at Serrano or Velasquez station, The Salamanca district is not very touristy but you will find some luxury hotels to spend your stay in Madrid. The chic and trendy along the Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano streets. It is very nice and we have stayed in hotels and eaten in restaurants here better deal than Paris for example.

The Retiro district is largely made up of the Retiro Park. The area behind Retiro Park is a residential area not far from Paseo del Prado, you can walk there from the Prado Museum or the Thyssen & Bornemisza Museum. If you want to go there by metro you will have to take line 2 and exit at Retiro station. Not lived in but close and is my favorite district other than the one I lived !

Located in the city center of Madrid very close to the Plaza de Espana, the Chamberi district is one of the new trendy areas of the city. Not very touristy, it is a district where the people of Madrid like to meet. Chamberí is a very traditional residential neighborhood, where the aristocracy of Madrid lived during the 19C and part of the 20C houses several places of interest such as the Sorolla Museum, the lively Plaza de Trafalgar, a perfect place to go to terraces and tapas. The neighborhood also has a great cultural atmosphere with the Teatros del Canal, the Teatro Quevedo and the Teatro Galileo.

The Moncloa – Aravaca district has the Cuidad Universitaria, or University City. The wonderful Paseo Rosales, the avenue bordering the Parque del Oeste. From here you can take the Teleférico or cable car that takes you on a superbe ride to the Casa de Campo, a vast green lung with fauna and flora of even rare species. In the Parque del Oeste is the temple of Debod, a nubian temple of the 2C donated by Egypt to Spain. And the Puerta de Hierro ,Casa de Campo and its attraction parks ,Palacio de la Moncloa (President of Spain home)

Charmartín, we especially know its train station which allows you to stay connected with all of Spain. It is also a very demanded area and sought after for its tranquility. It is home to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium of the best in history Real Madrid CF !

And some others for the story and memories!

The district of Hortaleza includes large apartment buildings, suburban shopping centers, golf courses and wooded areas on the outskirts of the city. The Valdebebas forest park is crisscrossed with cycle paths and has several lagoons. The Alfredo-Di-Stéfano stadium hosts matches for Castilla, the reserve team of Real Madrid football club. Nearby is the IFEMA exhibition center, where important trade fairs, food festivals and exhibitions are held. The district is also dotted with laid-back tapas bars. There is a nice mirador de sanchinaro or lookout tower just outside the M30 ring road.

Fuencarral-El Pardo; biggest district in part for the Monte del Pardo and Salto de Viñuelas forest parks. This is where the king has his residency.

Moratalaz, outskirts of the beltways road M30 and M40, out away from attractions.

Puente de Vallecas, popular local district home of Rayo Vallecano, 2 division and sometimes  1 div football/soccer club. I used to come a lot by here in my youth. The end of year San Silvestre marathon race is run thru here!

San Blas, residential more and more from an industrial past, coming of a la mode. In the neighborhood of Canillejas  (My maternal aunt used to lived here when it was an electric tram that took us here before the metro lol) you can get the bus to airport 101/200 and other nearby cities like Torrejon de Ardoz and Alcala de Henares all linked with line 5 of metro my old line lol!

Tetuan, the Cuatro Caminos round point and the ave Asturias are very lively here, a must to find in Madrid. See older homes of Madrid by Calle Bravo Murillo street.

Usera, very residential and industrial north of Manzanares river, lately not for the tourist/visitor.

Vicalvaro, this is an university district and has the fabolous Faunia park of nature, good for the kids.

Villa de Vallecas, very laid back parroquial and country area in southern part of Madrid, nice to see the real city , not for tourists/visitors

Villaverde, in the south of city was industrial now becoming more residential, not for the tourist/visitor. The newer autoroute A42 now passes nearby.

And last but not least, my home in Madrid with my dear late mom Gladys. It is a pilgrimage for me to stop by each time near it even on business trips. Encompassing several suburbs, the slender district of Ciudad Lineal sits on the edge of the sprawling Cuña Verde Forest Park, home to a mountain bike trail and an amphitheater hosting outdoor concerts. Nearby, La Almudena Cemetery features numerous graves where Spanish poets, rock stars and national leaders are buried. The Museo Africano exhibits musical instruments and tribal masks. The area is dotted with mainstream shopping malls, family restaurants and relaxed tapas bars. This was my district where I lived in Madrid and at the neighborhood of Quintana ! On the Calle de Alcalà !!! This was carved out in 1892, and the most prominent feature is the Church Nuestra  Señora de la Concepción  ( Our Lady of the Conception). 

The Madrid tourist office on popular neighborhood or barrios :

The City of Madrid on its districts with interactive map :

There you go folks, now you got Madrid covered and hope you can enjoy it more. If visiting the City of Madrid, and need more info let me know, “From Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day” 

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

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August 26, 2022

Some news from Spain  CXXX

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and it is summer awesome as folks are coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

In towns where I still have family Toledo,got hit about 36 degrees have been recorded (around 17h), while the minimum will continue to oscillate around 22 . In Madrid tomorrow Friday will be high 31 and low 21, Saturday 32 and 19, Sunday 32 and 22, Hot as in Spain !

It is the first time that the Prado Museum dedicates a monographic exhibition to Luis Paret, which traces his professional career, highlighting the excellent technical quality and unique originality with which the artist dealt with the issues addressed in his work. A total of 80 works make up the monographic exhibition that the Prado Museum has organized around the figure of Luis Paret . A contemporary of Francisco de Goya, he is considered the representative of French Rococo in Spain and his work is a true reflection of the society of the time. The exhibition is divided into nine sections to show an exhaustive journey through the career of this artist and discover his artistic conception and the keys to his technique that, without a doubt, place him next to his great contemporary Francisco de Goya. Prado webpage:

The race begins today to represent Spain in the 95th edition of the Oscars !! First, Alcarràs , the second feature film by filmmaker Carla Simón, winner of the Berlin Bear at this year’s festival; ‘Alcarràs’ has been sold to more than 50 countries, Simón “is considered a world director” and the idea is to release the film in the United States in commercial theaters in 2023 – it will also go to the New York Festival , The Solé family life is told. And there is the moment of a summer in which the grandfather stopped talking. What the Solé have cultivated for decades with no more agreement than the word of the owner, is now lost. The heirs claim what the property titles say is theirs. The old meets the new; progress, they say, does not understand verb tenses. The future of solar panels is bad with fruit trees. And with memory. Clean energy suddenly dirty. Next the Cinco Lobitos or five little wolves, it is Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s first film, tells the story of a new mother. And there, in that short and simple sentence, she lives the entire film from the first to the last frame. Surprise clarity and doubt; she excites faith, and convinces something as elemental as life. And we close the candidates with As Bestas, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, It is a film of revenge, but also of hope. It is a rural tragedy of deep anger from Spain, but without giving up the enlightened voice of what is just, what is desirable, what is correct, what is enlightened. What it is not in any case is a pastoral elegy. See them saw clips looks good indeed.

The Feria de Otoño or autumn fair, between October 1 and 12, 2022 will remember the figure of Antonio Bienvenida, on the centenary of his birth , Five bullfights are announced, two bullfights with picadores and the final of the Camino hacia Las Ventas or road to Las Ventas. Las Ventas webpage:

José María Fonollosa the centenary of the poet’s birth. A poet that a few people know as Pla, another few as Serrat, and whom most of Spain, Literature graduates included, do not like. Fonollosa was eluded by success throughout his life. For most of his life, he wrote a monumental work, ‘Ciudad del hombre‘, or City of men of which he only managed to publish a part the year before his death. Today he is considered by those who understand poetry as one of the greatest of the century. Without readers who has written the text is incomplete ,This was one of the problems of José María Fonollosa. I like Fonollosa for his amusing cruelty and his restrained sweetness. This is more than can be said for many writers of poetry. Maybe he committed the sin of being too ironic in a field that usually rewards intensity, I don’t know. Fonollosa even when he got intense, it was fun. It is not the same to say humor and humour, and seriousness is not the same as solemnity. Fonollosa was serious and humorous. I think he took poetry seriously enough not to cheapen it with blows to the chest. The problem, I guess, is that it seemed like he was writing minutiae that way. He was born in Barcelona in 1922, emigrated with his family to Cuba in 1951 and returned after the Cuban revolution, in 1961. His reluctance to participate in Havana’s literary circles, but above all his profound anti-communism, which, led him to denigrate figures such as Picasso and Sartre , may have contributed to the lack of recognition for his work by the Cuban cultural authorities after the 1959 revolution. He always lived alone, although he had a lot of dates, but he would only let a select few enter his studio, full of of books and disorder, Cruel and sweet, Fonollosa died in 1991. In many of his poems he says that he knows he will be read to in the future.He is,,,,A Zendalibros site with some further info and some of his poems:

Let me tell you about an area of my Madrid which is chic, archetucturally stunning and beautiful history,The Royal Palace and its surroundings,

This urban space constituted the primitive embryo of the city of Madrid. Here was that Muslim Mayrit that had been founded as a military fortress during the emirate of Mohammad ben Abd al-Rahmman, between the years 850 and 886. This Mayrit had unbeatable natural conditions for its defense and since the 10C with a wall of stonework that surrounded an urban perimeter of 1273 meters. On the Cuesta de la Vega some stretches of the Arab wall are still preserved in good condition. In the walled enclosure or citadel (al-mudayna), which would be more or less located where the Royal Palace and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Almudena are today, was the Alcázar or military castle. Outside the enclosure to the east and south were the Arab and Christian neighborhoods that constituted the so-called Medina. In short, it was a small city that did not exceed 17 hectares in size.

This whole place is very changed today. The continuous reforms in the Alcázar and its surroundings in times of the Habsburgs, was followed by the devastating fire of the same in 1734 and the construction of the new Royal Palace between 1738 and 1764. But it was during the brief reign of José Bonaparte (1808-1813) when the urban appearance changed the most with the scheduled demolition of a large number of houses that were next to the Royal Palace. Its land would be replaced by the current Plaza de Oriente and the Royal Theater ,but definitively completed in 1850 with notable differences from the original idea. The Plaza de Oriente is one of the most beautiful squares in the city, it preserves the original design of its gardens and enhances the monumentality of the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre.

But this environment contains other interesting corners such as the neighboring section of Calle Mayor (Palacio de los Consejos and Convento del Sacramento), Plaza de Ramales (Palace of Domingo Trespalacios and Casa Palacio de Ricardo Angustias), Plaza de la Encarnación (Convent of La Encarnación) and the Plaza de la Marina Española and its surroundings (Palace of the Senate, palace of the Marquis of Grimaldi and the Duke of Granada de Ega, building of the Royal Asturian Mining Company and, among others, the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Surgery and Medicine). Sublime a must to walk it all !!!

Some towns I like , and do think about visiting you will be glad !

Maderuelo, province of Segovia, This town stands on the banks of a reservoir making it a privileged place. The town sits between the Serrezuela de Sepúlveda and the Ayllón páramo, giving rise to one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Among its main attractions is the Arco de la Villa, the emblematic entrance of Maderuelo, which still retains the locks, the postern and some thick armored wooden doors, with decorations and polychrome armor from the 15C. Also noteworthy is the spectacular viewpoint that extends under the porticoed atrium of the Church of Santa María. The Plaza de San Miguel is surrounded by tall buildings that preserve the medieval atmosphere, highlighting two Romanesque portals and a Gothic one with a rococo-style shield. This historic town also preserves some unique architectural remains, in Segovia, from the Muslim era. On the outskirts, the grandiose Hermitage of Castroboda, where the patron saint of the town is venerated, and that of Vera Cruz from the end of the 11C, will not leave anyone indifferent. The Segovia province tourist office on Maderuelo:

Cudillero, Asturias, This town with its brightly colored houses perched on the mountain above the sea, is one of the most picturesque towns on the Asturian coast. Not only the Association of the most beautiful towns in Spain says so, but also the prestigious newspaper The New York Times. Undoubtedly, an unforgettable place to visit, where the fishing atmosphere is still alive and where gastronomy and landscape come together to form a unique image. Also known as Villa Pixueta, it exudes the sea and fishing on all four sides, and still preserves such unique traditions as that of the curadillo, a unique delicacy, invented by the pixueto fishermen in times past, when they left small sharks to dehydrate for months at the door of their houses. Among its obligatory stops is the port that dazzled Hollywood with the Oscar-winning film Start Again, and you can’t miss the opportunity to visit its lighthouse and the Humilladero Chapel, its charming Gothic jewel. The Cudillero tourist office:

Medina del Campo ,Province of Valladolid, has palaces, stately homes and what is known as ‘Plaza Mayor de la Hispanidad‘. What most impresses about the Plaza Mayor of Medina del Campo is its proportions. With more than 14,000 m², it is the largest square in Spain and it seems even bigger since the trees and fountain that adorned it were removed. The town of Medina del Campo, located 50 km from Valladolid, has always been a strategic point in Castilla y León The Rueda Wine Route is one of the 35 Wine Routes in Spain. The Rueda Designation of Origin was created in 1980 and was the first D.O. recognized in Castilla y León. Medina del Campo is located practically in the center of this area. In La Seca, 12 km from Medina del Campo and known as ‘La Cuna del Verdejo’, or the birthplace of Verdejo, the grape ; are the Campo Elíseo Wineries. Two French winegrowers have developed their business in a 17C manor house in which they recovered an impressive gallery of caves, ten meters below ground. There rest traditional Bordeaux barrels and modern concrete vats in the shape of eggs that allow a constant movement of the wine and its ‘lees’, which translates into a greater aroma. The Castillo de la Mota, which stands on a hill (mota), is the main monument of Medina del Campo. It is one of the first castles built almost entirely with bricks instead of ashlar masonry. It was finished at the end of the 15C and its nearly forty-metre homage tower stands out. Its main function was defensive, not palatial, it also served as a prison and housed prisoners such as Hernando Pizarro, brother of the conqueror of Peru; and César Borgia, who is said to have escaped by sliding down a rope. After the Spanish civil war it housed the Command School of the Women’s Section. It can be visited without a guide (exteriors and ground floor) and with a guide (4 euros last check). The Medina del Campo tourist office:

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

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

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August 19, 2022

Public transports in Madrid !!!

This is my Madrid , a city that I came to know in 1970 and have not stop visiting whenever and wherever I am, I first drove on the city in 1982 , and then with what would be my wife took her for a spin in 1990 to show off ! She was impressed ! . Yes you can drive in Madrid as in any other major city if you are used to coming from driving in big cities. Madrid is no different than any others. I have many posts on Madrid and different transport ways so this post will be on my black and white series, no pictures, Hope you enjoy it as I.

I had for a while in my other life in travel forums folks telling me of my fascination with driving, Needless to tell them ,that if you live in Europe, you will do a lot of public transports ! I fact, I was a Grand Voyageur train frequent travelers while in my working life ! While in Madrid, I have come by airplane and car, into the city ; thereafter I have used public transports and doing a lot of walking ; the best way to see a city, I said, However, let me tell you a bit more in a general way on public transports in Madrid !!!

The wonderful metro/tube/subway of Madrid, openned in 1919 and already with 301 stations and 13 lines. The network has 12 regular lines and the section Opera to Principe Pio as well as 3 lines of light metro with 38 additional stations. The beltway lines are MetroSur (Line 12) passing by Alcorcón, Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, and Leganés; MetroNorte (Line 10) passing Alcobendas and San Sebastián de los Reyes; MetroEste (Line 7) reaching to  Coslada and San Fernando de Henares; TFM (Line 9)  connecting  Rivas Vaciamadrid and Arganda del Rey, as well as Metro Ligero Oeste (Lines 2 and 3), there is a tramway network at Pozuelo to Boadilla del Monte.

The Madrid Metro lines in Madrid that I have used or/and are best for visitors are:

1 Pinar de Chamartín – Valdecarros
2 Las Rosas – Cuatro Caminos
3 Villaverde Alto – Moncloa
4 Pinar de Chamartín – Argüelles
5 Alameda de Osuna – Casa de Campo
6 Circular ,around circle line.
8 Nuevos Ministerios – Airport T4
9 Herrera Oria – Arganda del Rey
10 Infanta Sofia Hospital – Puerta del Sur
11 Plaza Eliptica – La Fortuna
R Opera – Principe Pio

The Madrid metro ligero or light rail lines in Madrid that I have used or/and best for visitors are:

ML1 Las Tablas – Pinar de Chamartín
ML2 Colonia Jardín – Estacion de Aravaca
ML3 Colonia Jardin – Puerta de Boadilla

The metro of Madrid:

It connects in 21 metro stations with the suburban train network Cercanicas of Madrid managed by RENFE. Cercanías is a suburbian train service having 10 lines . They connect all the lines by the Atocha train station that allows you to go to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Aranjuez, mountain towns in the Sierra de Guadarrama (C-8 and C9 to Cercedilla and Cotos) ,and Alcala de Henares  as well as reaching rapidly the T4 terminal at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport  The C-2 and C-7 to Alcala de Henares and C-3 to Aranjuez and El Escorial. The line C-1 is the one very fast from T4 to the city as well as connecting Atocha with Chamartin main train stations. 

The RENFE Cercanias Lines in Madrid that I have used o/and serve for visitors are!

C-1 Princepe Pio – Atocha – Recoletos – Chamartín – Airport T4
C-2 Guadalajara – Alcala de Henares – Atocha – Chamartín
C-3 Aranjuez – Atocha – Sol – Chamartín
C-3a Aranjuez – Atocha – Sol – Chamartín – El Escorial
C-4b Parla – Atocha – Sol – Chamartín – Cantoblanco – Colmenar Viejo
C-7 Alcala de Henares – Atocha – Chamartín – Principe Pio
C-8 Guadalajara – Alcalá de Henares – Atocha – Chamartín – Villalba – Cercedilla
C-10 Villalba – Principe Pio – Atocha – Recoletos – Chamartín – Airport T4

The RENFE Cercanias trains in Madrid:

There is a huge bus network runs by CRTM (comunidad de Madrid) and the EMT(Madrid city) with 2000 buses and 200 lines . The principal terminals are at Avenida de America, Mendez Alvaro, and Plaza de Castilla, there are other smaller ones such as Moncloa, Principe Pio, and Plaza Eliptica. There is a night bus or Bùhos lines known by their N number. There is a express bus line 203 from the airport T1, T2, and T4 terminals to stops in 0’Donnell, Cibeles, and Atocha (where I have taken it ) , There is a regular bus line 200 from T1, T2, and T4 to Avenida de America connect Canillejas on metro line 5 (my line!) and the interchange terminal at Avenida de America to connect with metro lines 4 6 7 and 9.

Madrid EMT Bus Lines in Madrid that I have used or/and they serve for tourists are: And visitors should use more, they are great above ground!!

2 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Avenida Reina Victoria

5 Puerta del Sol – Estacion de Chamartin
10 Plaza de Cibeles – Palomeras
14 Plaza Conde de Casal – Avenida Pío XII
15 Puerta del Sol – La Elipa
16 Moncloa – Avenida Pío XII
17 Plaza Mayor – Colonia Parque Europa
20 Puerta del Sol – Pavones
21 Paseo del Pintor Rosales – Barrio del Salvador
23 Plaza Mayor – El Espinillo
24 Atocha – Pozo del Tio Raimundo
25 Opera – Casa de Campo
26 Plaza Tirso de Molina – Diego de León
27 Glorieta de Embajadores – Plaza de Castilla
28 Puerta de Alcalá – Canillejas
33 Principe Pío – Casa de Campo
37 Glorieta Cuatro Caminos -Puente de Vallecas
38 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Las Rosas
40 Tribunal- Alfonso XIII
42 Plaza de Castilla – Peñagrande
44 Plaza del Callao- Marques de Viana
46 Gran Via – Moncloa
48 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Canillejas
49 Plaza de Castilla – Arroyo del Fresno
50 Puerta del Sol – Avenida Manzanares
51 Puerta del Sol – Plaza del Perú
52 Puerta del Sol – Santamarca
53 Puerta del Sol – Parque San Juan Bautista
55 Atocha – Batan
57 Atocha – Altos de Arenal
60 Plaza de la Cebada – Orcasitas
61 Moncloa – Narvaez
66 Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos- Fuencarral
71 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Puerta Arganda
72 Diego de Leon – Hortaleza
73 Diego de Leon – Canillas
74 Paseo del Pintor Rosales – Parque de las Avenidas
83 Moncloa – Pilar

85 Atocha – Barrio de los Rosales
101 Canillejas – Airport – Barajas
102 Atocha – Estacion El Pozo
104 Plaza Ciudad Lineal – Mar de Cristal
105 Plaza Ciudad Lineal – Barajas
106 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Vicálvaro
107 Plaza de Castilla – Hortaleza
110 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Cementerio Almudena
112 Mar de Cristal – Airport District
113 Méndez Álvaro – Plaza de Ciudad Lineal (My old line)
114 Avenida de América – Airport District
115 Avenida de America – Barajas
119 Atocha – Goya
120 Plaza Lima – Hortaleza
122 Avenida de America – Campo de Naciones
125 Mar de Cristal – Ramón y Cajal Hospital
126 Nuevos Ministerios – Pilar
128 Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos- Barrio del Pilar
129 Plaza de Castilla – Manoteras
132 Moncloa – Hospital de la Paz
133 Plaza Callao – Mirasierra
135 Plaza de Castilla – Ramón y Cajal Hospital
136 Pacifico – Madrid Sur
137 Ciudad Puerta de Hierro – Fuencarral
147 Plaza Callao – Pilar

148 Plaza Callao – Puente Vallecas
149 Tribunal- Plaza de Castilla
150 Puerta del Sol – Colonia Virgen del Cortijo
151 Canillejas – Barajas
152 Avenida Felipe II- Méndez Álvaro
153 Las Rosas – Mar de Cristal
156 Plaza Manuel Becerra – Plaza Legazpi
160 Moncloa – Aravaca
171 Mar de Cristal – Valdebebas
173 Plaza de Castilla – Sanchinarro
176 Plaza de Castilla – Las Tablas
177 Plaza de Castilla – Marques de Viana
180 Plaza Legazpi – Caja Magica
200 Avenida America – Barajas Airport
203 Barajas Airport Express
210 Plaza Manuel Becerra – La Elipa
215 Avenida Felipe -Parque Roma
001 Atocha – Moncloa
002 Puerta de Toledo – Argüelles
C1 Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos – Atocha -Glorieta de Embajadores
C2 Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos – Glorieta de Embajadores- Atocha
E1 Atocha – Glorieta de Embajadores- Plaza Eliptica
E2 Avenida Felipe II – Las Rosas
E3 Avenida Felipe II – Puerta de Arganda
F Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos – Ciudad Universitaria

G Moncloa – Ciudad Universidad
M1 Sevilla – Glorieta de Embajadores
N2 Plaza de Cibeles – Hortaleza buho
N3 Plaza de Cibeles – Canillas buho
N4 Plaza de Cibeles – Barajas buho
N6 Plaza de Cibeles – Las Rosas buho
N22 Plaza de Cibeles – Barrio del Pilar buho
N27 Barajas Airport Express buho
N28 Moncloa – Aravaca
S E Plaza Eliptica- Centro Comercial Islazul
S E Sol – Sevilla – Puerta deToledo
S E Canillejas – Estadio Metropolitano

T62 Plaza de Castilla – Estacion Chamartín

The EMT Madrid bus lines:

The Intercity Bus Lines of the Community of Madrid in Madrid that I have used or/and serve for visitors are:

151 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Alcobendas
153 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Alcobendas – Rosa de Luxemburgo
154 Madrid (Chamartin) – San Sebastian de los Reyes
154-C Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – San Sebastián de los Reyes
157 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Alcobendas (Paseo de la Chopera)
191 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Buitrago
194 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Rascafria
197 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Torrelaguna – Uceda
211 Madrid (Ciudad lineal) – Paracuellos – Belvis
223 Madrid (Avenida de America ) – Alcalá de Henares
224 Madrid (Avenida America) – Torrejón de Ardoz
227 Madrid (Avenida America ) – Alcalá de Henares (Espartales – University)
261 Madrid (Avenida America) – New Baztan – Villar del Olmo
280 Coslada (RENFE) – Hospital – Loeches
281 Madrid (Avenida America ) – San Fernando de Henares
283 Madrid (Avenida America- Coslada – San Fernando
284 Madrid (Avenida America) – Velilla – Loeches
285 Coslada (San Fernando RENFE) – Velilla – Arganda del Rey
286 Madrid (Ciudad Lineal) – Coslada
312 Madrid (Conde Casal) – Arganda (El Mirador)
332 Madrid (Conde Casal) – Rivas (Town)
337 Madrid (Conde Casal) – Chinchón – Valdelaguna
352 Madrid (Ronda Atocha) – Fuentidueña – Tarancon
421 Madrid (Legazpi) – Pinto
422 Madrid (Legazpi) – Valdemoro
423 Madrid (Estacion del Sur) – Aranjuez
461 Madrid (Plaza Eliptica) – Parla
481 Madrid (Plaza Eliptica) – Leganés (Parquesur – Hospital)
511 Madrid (Príncipe Pío) – Alcorcón (Parque de Lisboa)
516 Madrid (Príncipe Pío) – Alcorcón (Rey Juan Carlos University)
518 Madrid (Principe Pío) – Villaviciosa de Odon
521 Madrid (Principe Pío) – Móstoles
528 Madrid (Principe Pío) – Navalcarnero
581 Madrid (Principe Pio) – Brunete – Quijorna
601 Madrid (Moncloa) – El Pardo – Mingorrubio
611 Madrid (Moncloa) – Manzanares Hole
612 Madrid (Moncloa) – Torrelodones
621 Madrid (Moncloa) – Las Rozas
627 Madrid (Moncloa) – Villanueva de la Cañada – Brunete
651 Madrid (Moncloa) – Majadahonda (Spain Avenue)
653 Madrid (Moncloa) – Majadahonda (Hospital – RENFE)
656 Madrid (Moncloa) – Pozuelo de Alarcon
657-A Madrid (Moncloa) – Pozuelo (San Juan de la Cruz)
661 Madrid (Moncloa) – San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Galapagar)
673 Madrid (Moncloa) – Collado Villalba (El Valle)
682 Madrid (Moncloa) – Villalba – Guadarrama
684 Madrid (Moncloa) – Cercedilla (Guadarrama)
686 Madrid (Moncloa) – Torrelodones (Los Peñascales)
687 Madrid (Moncloa) – Collado Villalba
691 Madrid (Moncloa) – Becerril – Navacerrada – Valdesquí
712 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Tres Cantos (avenida Viñuelas)
716 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Tres Cantos (Soto de Viñuelas)
721 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Colmenar Viejo
722 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Colmenar Viejo (Glorieta del Mediterraneo)
815 Madrid (Chamartín) – Pozuelo de Alarcón
822 Madrid (Barajas Airport) – Coslada – San Fernando de Henares
824 Madrid (Barajas Airport) – Torrejón de Ardoz
827 Madrid (Canillejas) – Alcobendas – Autonomous University – Tres Cantos
876 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Moralzarzal – Collado Villalba
VAC-023 Madrid (Plaza Eliptica) – Toledo
VAC-243 Route 4: Madrid – Guadalajara (direct)

The CRTM Comunity of Madrid bus lines:

Night bus lines of the Community of Madrid in Madrid that I have used or/and they serve for visitors are:

N-101 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Alcobendas
N-102 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – San Sebastian de los Reyes
N-202 Madrid (Avenida America) – Torrejón – Alcalá
N-302 Madrid (Conde Casal) – Rivas Pueblo
N-303 Madrid (Conde Casal) – Arganda del Rey
N-401 Madrid (Atocha) – Pinto – Valdemoro
N-402 Madrid (Atocha) – Ciempozuelos – Aranjuez
N-403 Madrid (Atocha) – San Martin de la Vega
N-501 Madrid (Príncipe Pío) – Alcorcón – Móstoles
N-502 Madrid (Principe Pío) – Alcorcón
N-504 Madrid (Príncipe Pío) – Villaviciosa de Odon
N-505 Madrid (Príncipe Pío) – Navalcarnero
N-602 Madrid (Moncloa) – Torrelodones – Collado Villalba
N-604 Madrid (Moncloa) – El Escorial – San Lorenzo de El Escorial
N-701 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) -Tres Cantos
N-702 Madrid (Plaza Castilla) – Colmenar Viejo
N-802 Madrid (Atocha) – Leganés
N-803 Madrid (Atocha) – Fuenlabrada (Orange Tree District)
N-805 Madrid (Atocha) – Getafe (centro- Sector III)
N-806 Madrid (Atocha) – Parla
N-807 Madrid (Atocha) – Getafe – Humanes – Griñón
N-901 Madrid (Moncloa) – Pozuelo – Majadahonda
N-903 Madrid (Moncloa) – Las Rozas – Monte Rozas
N-905 Madrid (Moncloa) – Boadilla del Monte
N-906 Madrid (Moncloa) – Majadahonda – Pozuelo
N-907 Madrid (Moncloa) – Villanueva de la Cañada – Brunete

The list of bus companies that operate out of Madrid CRTM intercity in pdf file:

The Night bus lines of Madrid in Madrid in pdf file:

There you go folks, you now have a complete picture of the best lines in metro, cercanias and bus day and night of Madrid and surrounding areas. Of course, this is a huge task and impossible to tell much about each line, however, you have the official source and always can ask me too. Hope it helps your stay in the Comunity of Madrid and city of Madrid!

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

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August 19, 2022

The Palacio de Congresos de Madrid !

One of my icons of my dear Madrid and found me a picture ! Enough reason to have a post in my blog, This is part of my youth in the city and brings back many memories, read on, Ahh this is the Palacio de Congresos de Madrid ! Happy to have it in my blog, another spot in my life’s history and Madrid is big on that !

The Palace of Congresses is at Paseo de la Castellana 99 in the block formed by Avenida General Perón , Calle del Poeta Joan Maragall and Plaza Manolete.  It has a total area of ​​almost 40,000 m² and is intended for holding a wide variety of events. It was inaugurated on June 1, 1970 by the Prince of Spain, Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón (later king Juan Carlos I). The façade on Avenida General Perón has a large tile mural, the work of ceramist Llorens Artigas, according to an original design by Joan Miró, which was placed in 1980.

It has an Auditorium with stalls for up to 995 seats, and an amphitheater for 914. It also has several rooms: Sala Unesco Salas Goya, Salas Europa, Sala 9 and Sala 9 bis Six offices with 11 rooms, On November 25, 1972 it hosted the first OTI Festival. (where I sneak in to see it lol !!), OTI = The OTI Song Festival created by the Ibero-American Television Organization. During the 1982 World Cup in Spain, it was a press center. For this purpose, a walkway was built that connected the Palace over the Paseo de la Castellana to connect it with the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. This walkway was dismantled after the World Cup and a part was installed as a pedestrian bridge on the A-3 in Madrid linking Moratalaz with Villa de Vallecas and another part on the road to Colmenar Viejo (M-607) between the Ramón y Cajal Hospital. and the neighborhood of La Paz.

Madrid palacio de congresos aug05

The Real Madrid, together with IFEMA,(org of fairs and events) is interested in incorporating the Palacio de Congresos, which has been closed to the public since 2012, into the new Bernabéu. To the Santiago Bernabéu, with its new works, commerce, leisure and even the organization of events or congresses will be added, in which this building would play a very important role. The collaboration between Real Madrid and IFEMA would guarantee the organization of events in said building. Also, Real Madrid is interested in the palace car park, which would be added to the club’s two car parks near the stadium.In another extra news , almost at the time that the workers will consider the work of the new football stadium finished, it will be when the works of the Palacio de Congresos will start, which will house the new headquarters of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to be finish by from 2024, To be continue….

The Madrid tourist office on the Palacio de Congresos

There you go folks, to me it will remain an icon building of my Madrid, the one of my wonderful youthful times in the city and great anecdote of my famous family story sneaking into it to see the OTI event ! This is part of what Madrid is for me, Looking forward to its new configuration as above and a visit on my next time in the city, eventually, Hope you enjoy the trivia and do walk by it at least ,it is in a prime location.

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

August 19, 2022

The sierras , mountains around Madrid !!

One thing that escapes many is the sierras or mountain passes and outdoors available just outside the city of Madrid.  In my youth I used to come by Navacerrada, Cercecilla,Villalba, Guadarrama, and San Lorenzo a lot with my mother Gladys , cousins, and friends. I like to update this older post that brings me many memorable moments, Hope you enjoy the post and do visit for your memorable moments….

These were nice moment spent outside the grinder of the city, and especially in summer it was great. In Winter too, but my first encounter with the snow trails at Navacerrada turn into a twisting roll down the mountain that almost cost my life, luckily came out ok, but took me away from the slopes forever. Now my boys are into it, and they have been to the Alps in France , and summer to the Navacerrada, and I have gone back to drive thru and see the beautiful scenery.  The idea of this post is to let you know a bit more of the wonderful spots in the Comunidad de Madrid and its sierras.

First the Navacerrada mountain pass and ski resort is fantastic, and the only medal winner in the Olympics games of Sapporo 1972 came from here.  The Navacerrada is a complete resort nowdays with all modern facilities.  You have 4 stations” ,9 slopes in the zona alta or high hill and 7 slopes in the zona baja or low hill; the zona baja is for beginners and such and the zona alta is for pros. It has 7 lifts to carry you all over the mountain. At this moment the station is close for maintenance but its the end of the season, really, be ready for next winter. However for summer splurges and walks into the valleys or a ride by car it is still wonderful.

puerto de navacerrada N601 road aug17

Most folks visiting arrive here by train, leaving from Estación de Chamartín in Madrid you take the cercanias or suburbian train C-8b to Cercedilla ,and the the C-9 or train of Cotos to Puerto de Navacerrada. There is a bus service as alternative but never taken it,is every day from the  intercambiador de Moncloa in  Madrid on line  691 of the Larrea groupThen you have it by car, my way. You have two ways recommended, from Madrid on the A-6 to Collado Villalba and here take the road M-601 direccion Segovia until you reach Puerto de Navacerrada.  A better way off expressways is to take the road  M-607 (the ones from the north of Madrid direction  Colmenar Viejo, and follow the signs for Puerto de Navacerrada.

Puerto de Navacerrada

The official Puerto de Navacerrada:

The other towns are smaller , and less visited over the years, However, plenty of outdoor activities around the embalse or water reservoirs especially around Cercedilla (centro Joaquin Sorolla ,Ski museum , and many churches) as well as mirador or lookout points to see farther into the Sierra. You get there on the A6 out of Madrid to continue on the M601 ,take lighly left on the M 607 to Colmenar Viejo ,same road change to M 614 and then M 622 , always direction Cercedilla, On train cercanias C 8b as well, For the more experience and with good weather the 17 km of Puerto de Navacerrada to Manzanares El Real. Not to forget Collado Villalba, All of them with plenty other things to see other than nature trails !

Puerto de Navacerrada

The official sierra de Guadarrama and the towns to visit

If you like to go further north in the Sierra Norte and reach Buitrago del Lozoya, see here the museo Picasso, and the old quarter of the town, the Mendoza Castle, the Hospital and the Walled Enclosure ,which is the most unique and best preserved fortified complex in the Community of Madrid, dating from between the 11C and 12C in which the aforementioned Castle is located , the Church of Santa María del Castillo, the medieval wall and the Clock Tower. Rascafria, with the Bosque Finlandes or Finnish forest and the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular, the First Charterhouse of the kingdom of Castile, founded at the end of the 14C. You will be thrown back to medieval times in authentic Castilian towns , just perfect wonderful.

The best way to get here is by car on the highway A1 -Madrid-Burgos) out of Madrid direction Buitrago del Lozoya to the entrada 74, Also they mention a bus 191 from Plaza de Castilla in Madrid with 9 stops Buitrago is the 8th, To Rascafria you take the same A1 highway to entrada exit 69 with the M 604 road, Also, there is a bus no 194 from the Plaza de Castilla in Madrid, it is the last stop,

The official Sierra Norte and its towns:

You will have a wonderful open country forest, mountain, lakes, rivers, and plenty more here just as little as 25 minutes outside Madrid. The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office with info on all these towns :

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the openness and natural beauty of this region all now better than ever easily reach from my Madrid. Have fun with the views and rides of the Sierras mountains around Madrid. Any further question, ask me ,,, !

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

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August 18, 2022

My other parks of Madrid !!!

It’s time to update this older post and tell you again my other love, Madrid and it’s parks. Let’s take you on a brief tour of several parks, that I have been to, played in them, chase for my first love, and oh well many other things even introducing them to my dear late wife Martine and boys. Madrid is invigorating to the soul, active, modern, no taboos, free, open, lively, enthusiastic even in the worst economic situation, so what, its Madrid, all worth it a million times.  I will show you here the others parks in my dear Madrid. Hope you enjoy them as I.

The park closest to my old home in Madrid was the Parque El Calero, on Metro Line 5 Quintana or Carmen, it has nice promenade and an open air auditorium for concerts and cultural events. Also a petanque field and bike paths. You can easily go from the metro Quintana in Calle de Alcalà (where I lived) up avenida del Sagrado Corazon to it. My last trip the area has change ,but still a good walk into the real Madrid at day time….And no pictures for souvenirs but always remembered.

The Parque Roma is another of my memorable parks and one that have been several times, It is a large arch located on the edge of Calle 30 or the beltway M30.  A recreational area created in 1980 with an area of 11 hectares or about 112,052 m2 , It is ideal for strolling through its trails delimited by large trees. It has 4 playgrounds, a circuit for the elderly, a lake, sports facilities and a climbing wall. In it ,there is a garden for the blind and a large shield or coat of arms of Madrid made with seasonal flowers stand out as spaces. A hillside space that has views of the beltway M30. A 12-meter-high climbing wall with an integrated bouldering area completes the activities. The park main entrance is at Calle Juan Esplandiu, 4, in the barrio or neighborhood of Estrella, Retiro district, If far you can take metro lines 6 or 9 stop Saínz de Baranda or the Bus on lines 30, 56, 143,and 215, However, I always walked off Calle del Dr Esquerdo into Calle del Pez Volador, there is a street vendor kiosk and across there is an entrance to the park,yeah!!! And no webpage for it too bad!

madrid parque Roma jul15

The next park is the Parque Quinta de la Fuente del Berro. Early on it was a farm or Quinta de Miraflores ordered by king Felipe IV as a new royal site with more than 13 hectares (adding the gardens or Jardines Sancho Davila). It is on the limits of the Calle Enrique D’Almonte, Avenida de Alcalde Saenz de Baranda, and the M-30 (first beltway of Madrid) until reaching the Calle de Alcalà and the bridge or Puente de Ventas parallel to the M-30 to join up with the Jardines Sancho Davila; all total about 53K m2 of green. It is not far from the Monumental Ventas bullring (see post). The main entrance is by Calle Enrique D’Almonte with two small towers in brick; and you can see the old palace remaining of what it was before.  The park is well designed with several slopes with prairies and rustic stairs of stone. One of the things to see here is the Monument to Bécquer ,and the statue to the Russian writer Pushkin, a fountain with a stone jar next to the main entrance, a cascading waterfall, and two small lakes. You can see more on the Madrid tourist office on the Fuente del Berro:

This is a bit off the beaten path for most but it is Madrid at it local best. Come to the Parque del Cerro del Tío Pío in the neighborhood of Numancia, district of Puente de Vallecas, and extending over neighborhoods or colonies of residences  Colonia de Fontarrón, Colonia de Santa Ana , and Colonia de los taxistas.  It is locally known as the park of the seven tits or Parque de las Siete Tetas because of its peaks or hills.  You come here to see the city sunset or sunrise and see most of the city. The park is bordered by the Calle Benjamín Palencia, Calle Camino de Valderribas, Calle Sierra de Cuerda Larga , and Calle Maruja García Romero.  It is recommended for a panoramic view of the city from this park as well as the mountains outside of Madrid.  The park has 3 entrances and on the highest there is a lookout , bar, and game zone for children as well as machines to do outdoors sport.  There is ,also, a bike trail. On the lower part of the park you find sports complexes for indoor football/soccer, basketball, and ping pong. You reach here by metro light line 1 stations Portazgo and Buenos Aires as well as buses lines 54 , 141 , and 143 .   More from the Madrid tourist office on Parque del Cerro del Tio Pio:

Another park ,known later in life is the Parque Quinta de Torre Arias located in the neighborhood of Salvador, district of  San Blas-Canillejas; the old home of my maternal aunt !(which in those days we came by electric tramway!)  It is located between the Calle de Alcalà, Calle Rodríguez Ayuso,  Calle Eduardo Terán, Calle de Fernando Mijares , and Calle Marquesado de Sta. Marta. This was the old farm of Torre Arias with 17 hectares with very nice garden to find 51 species of trees some of more than 300 years old.  It belongs to the nobility of Madrid from 1600 until our days today.  The park is created after the passing of the last owner. In 1986, the owners signed an agreement to give it to the city as a donation that finally become owned in 2013 by the city of Madrid. You can reach here on metro line 5 Torre Arias, and buses lines 104, 77, 140, and 153. More from the Madrid tourist office on the Parque Quinta de Torre Arias

Another mythical park of Madrid for me is the Parque de la Quinta de los Molinos located in the neighborhood of Salvador, district of San Blas-Canillejas .  It is considered a historic park located in between my Calle de Alcalà , Calle Miami, Calle de Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena ,and the Avenida del Veinticinco de Septiembre.  It has 25 hectares and in the park includes great lawns and prairies of trees with lots of olives, pines eucaplyptus, and figs trees, even thus the start of the park of the almond trees that flowered every spring offering a wonderful spectacle.  You can find here at the extreme north of the park a palace from early 20C , gardens and lawns, there is ,also a lake, windmill (why the name of the park) and a building known as the watch house or Casa del Reloj.  The park has trails of dirt and pavement bordered by plantains trees from the main entrance  in my Calle de Alcalà to the palace.  During the summer, there are many activities here with concerts on the Summers of the city activity or Veranos de la Villa. Due to its location by Calle de Alcalà the access is easy from anywhere in the city; next to the main entrance there is the metro Suanzes, for line 5  (my line!) and also by Calle de Alcalà (my street !) you get the buses lines  77  and  104.  By the Calle Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena you can catch buses lines 114  and 146, where there are two entries to the park. Other access to the park are at the Calle Miami on metro line 6  O’Donnell , and buses lines  2, 56, 69, 71, 143, 15, and 28. The Madrid tourist office on the parque de la Quinta de los Molinos:

And last ,but not least for this post I like to tell you about the Parque de la Bombilla, on 13 hectares running parallel to the Parque del Oeste (see post) by which can communicate with Passarella’s trails. The park is located between the Avenida de Valladolid, Ciudad Universitaria, and the old North Station (see post principe pio) that is bisected by train of the cercanias lines C7  and C10. Each June 13 the park is host to the festivities of Saint Anthony  as well as the circus in winter and the summer cinema showing in summer.  It has a tracing from the Royal Palace (see post) where in the old days royal carriages took the nobility by the Calle Bailén, to the forest of  El Pardo. This tree lined road was given the name of the Senda del Rey  and part of it can still be done inside the park.  At the end of the 19C it was changed into municipals garden center and the tramway cars.  In the interior of the park there are benches, prairies, stair terraces where water runs,a lake and a fountain. You can reach it on metro lines 6 and 10  Príncipe Pío ,and buses lines 41, 46, 75,  and N20; also cercanias lines  C1, C7, C10 ,and regional at Principe Pio. The Madrid tourist office on parque de la Bombilla


There you go folks, wonderful walks and rides into my Madrid parks/gardens.A great memory lane post, hope you enjoy this ride into the other parks of Madrid, my favorites of course , and there are others parks of Madrid. Glorious awesome not enough words; my only regret not have taken more pictures; need to be back….. Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

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

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August 18, 2022

Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid !!

I have walked and stayed over the years alone and with the family in the Letras barrio (see post), and this is one memorable square of my dear Madrid. Let me update this older post for your and me and tell you a bit more on the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid!

The Plaza de las Cortes makes the junction between Sol and the Prado, along the Carrera de San Jerómino. The most notable building is the Congreso de los Diputados. On the main facade a staircase leads up to the neoclassical portico, with six imposing striated columns, of Corinthian order, on which rises the triangular pediment decorated with reliefs. The iconic lions flanking the entrance were cast with iron from cannons captured during the Moroccan War. The Congress of Deputies is the Spanish representative congress.

Here you see the imposing Palacio de las Cortes, the name of the building that houses the Congreso de los Diputados, that was built between the years 1843 and 1850. This is one of the two chambers of the Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament. It is very close to Paseo del Prado, and is one of the emblematic buildings of the 19C, in neoclassical style.  In this spot was before the Convent of the Holy Spirit, inside which, curiously, some sessions of the Cortes were held. The favorite of the Plaza de las Cortes, the great Miguel de Cervantes statue facing the Congress of Deputies. This sculpture, from the year 1834, keeps a curious fact and that is that it was the first public tribute that a person who did not belong to the field of politics or royalty or religion received in Spain !!



Also, down the street you will see the white facade of the Groupama building carillon (see post) that, thanks to its mechanism and automatons, piles up a huge handful of tourists every few hours. These figures represent king Carlos III, the Duchess of Alba together with her poodle, Goya, the bullfighter Pedro Romero and a ‘manola’, the typical Madrid castiza native woman. The five, dressed according to Goya’s paintings, have been greeting, at least twice a day, anyone who stands at the foot of the balcony since 1993.  You can see ,and I was lucky to stayed there once, the most illustrious Westin Palace Hotel (see post). This is one of the most famous and reputable hotels in Madrid. It was built in record time, between 1911 and 1912, taking advantage of the noble plot that previously inhabited the Palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli. World-class figures such as Picasso, Pavarotti, Orson Welles and Einstein have passed through its 400 rooms. Even a spy like Mata Hari. I encourage you to come in one day and admire its magnificent dome.

Advancing along it, looking at the Neptune Fountain (see post) and the Jerónimos Towers on the horizon invites all to continue walking through this city. Showing emphasis and willingness to continue reeling off the benefits of Madrid !! The best way to get here if far is on Metro line 2 Banco de España, and bus lines 14 and 27 as the closest. You ; also, can easily drive here as I have and use the wonderful Parking Las Cortes.



The Madrid tourist office on the Congress of Deputies

The official Congreso de los Diputados de España

There you go folks another dandy spot in my dear Madrid. Wonderful area in the Barrio de las Letras , and close to wonderful monuments many told in my blog already such as the Prado museum, the Puerta del Sol, and Neptuno fountain. Hope you enjoy the Plaza de las Cortes of Madrid !!

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

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