Archive for ‘Madrid’

November 28, 2020

Madrid: Teatro de La Comedia!

So again, going over some older posts for updates and revisions of text and proper pictures, my surprise is that I have found pieces missing from the blog on some of the nicest buildings encounter in my long list of travel sites. And, even more in my dear Madrid itself! Surprises indeed, and just love this time of updates as some gems do come out from the vault. One of this is the comedy theater or Teatro de La Comedia in Madrid!

Let me tell you a bit about it on one of the nicest streets of Madrid! Love the architecture and the history of it even if not been inside.

The Teatro de la Comedia or Comedy Theater was inaugurated on Calle del Príncipe,14 in 1875 and rebuilt in 1915 after a devastating fire. In 1986 it was designated the headquarters of the National Classical Theater Company and in 1999 it was acquired, with another five floors of the same building, by the Ministry of Culture of Spain. After this reform, the room has 630 seats; in addition, it has a new room with 100 seats, called “Tirso de Molina”.


It was inaugurated by king Alfonso XII on September 18, 1875 with a representation of the work El espejo de cuerpo entero or the full-length mirror, starring Emilio Mario. On March 23, 1914, a conference by José Ortega y Gasset called «Vieja y Nueva Política», or old and new politics took place in the theater, which served as a presentation ceremony for the League of Political Education. Between December 10 and 18, 1919, a congress of the National Labor Confederation was held, in which it was decided that the organization would join the Communist International. On October 29, 1933, José Antonio Primo de Rivera delivered the founding speech of the Spanish Falange, in which he established the bases of the Jose Antonio thoughts.


During the 20C, the Teatro de La Comedia represented the best classics of the Golden Age and of authors such as Benavente, Galdós, Dicenta, the Álvarez Quintero and Moratín. After a long spell of reconstruction after going thru a fire it was reopened for the 2015/2016 season, by the National Classical Theater Company. The result of the rehabilitation of the theater was spectacular. Improvements were made in the recovery of spaces and created new facilities. Especially shocking is the elevation of the stage. The most relevant of the interventions in the historic building have been the restoration of the canvas on the ceiling, the replacement of all the decorative paintings in the room, the restoration of all the balcony railings and stairways. The new chapter of the Teatro de la Comedia is made with the premiere of the emblematic work of Calderón, «El alcalde de Zalamea». Or the mayor of Zalamea. The theatre is located at Calle del Principe 14 .metro Sevilla line 2 or Sol line 1, 2, 3 ,and Cercanias trains C3 and C4.

Taken further information from the official webpage translated at best by yours truly we have a bit on the history I like

The Teatro de La Comedia was laid out on three floors and a stalls with a horseshoe-shaped floor plan, arranged in the Italian style, with entrance on Calle del Príncipe for spectators, and on Calle de la Gorguera (today Calle Núñez de Arce) for loading and unloading. The interior was built with wide corridors and two sections of stairs, to the right and left of the room, for access to the upper floors. It consists of twelve boxes per floor, six on each side, separated from each other by a partition with an Arabic arch and cast iron parapets. The greatest novelty in its decoration and structure was the abundant use of cast iron and wrought iron elements to replace wood, which provided a feeling of greater lightness to the whole.

The stage was small in size and without additional spaces for large assemblies, but it incorporated very important security measures for the time, which included a metal fire curtain and a lighting regulation system that was replaced in 1887 by electric lighting. The floor of the room, made of wood, had a curious mechanism that allowed the steepest part to be raised and aligned with the stage, so that it could also be used as a dance hall. The decoration, of Arabic inspiration, with certain reminiscences of the Alhambra, very much to the taste of the time, was made in white and gold, with the exception of the armchairs, upholstered in red velvet. The curtain that closed the stage that represented the Temple of Immortality and in which poets, actors and established playwrights appeared, such as Calderón, Cervantes, Moratín, Julián Romea and the Duke of Rivas, among others.

The official webpage of the Teatro de La Comedia:

The Madrid tourist office on the Teatro de La Comedia in English:

There you go folks another piece of my Madrid that I had left out for some reason unexplainable but finally given the credit it deserves in my blog. Hope you enjoy it and do wait for the arts in Madrid!

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

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November 24, 2020

Madrid and my Calle Alcalà!!!

Ok so this one I need to update and revise from 2017. I have been to this city well I used to lived in it. Always memorable for me in fact if in Spain and not passing by it at least , then  I have not been in Spain. Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!!!

And of course, what can I say about the street I lived in and is part of my mind, my heart, my life’s history. A very famous street from songs to movies in Spain! My Calle de Alcalà!

It must be the rainy cloudy foggy cold day we are having but I feel nostalgically mindless and thought of times in the past where I was enjoying one of the best countries in the world to live=Spain and the best capital city=Madrid.

My first entry and my first apartment or piso in Madrid was at Calle de Alcalà 331, 2do A , Buzon 67, right as you came up the metro station of Quintana in the line 5 of metro de Madrid! Memories that will never go away even if in those early days of the 1970’s with my Mom Gladys,so poor had no camera no photos to show; it is all in my mind.


And to go to Elipa to play baseball for the Real Madrid CF organisation!! I would take the bus P13 that after the EMT transport in Madrid was created it became the line 113, still running today! ok so here is the line today!

Lots of walking especially going to the back park of Parque El Calero!  This is a great blog like to give credit as essentially they talked about the old movie houses in Madrid now gone; mine was the cine Aragon (as Alcalà used to be called!) it was almost next to me lol The good of the blog story is that it shows how it looks in 2005 on the last year open and what the spot looks today wow!! Look down the page to cine Aragon ok  Here is the  cinedemadrid blog :

I still emotionally remember how my dear late mother Gladys took me to Calzados Victor Calle de Alcalà 278 to buy me my first shoes in Spain! and the immense joy to have my 3 boys going there and buy them shoes as well , really a great feeling would love to repeat this summer.  No webpage just a news journal Diario Abierto site with a write up on it  in Spanish, 90 years in the spot and about 52 now doing shoes. A real family tradition and we are glad to be part of it.

And well will need a book so many places there to remember and enjoy , even the wonderful Docamar in the sublime Plaza Quintana, the best patatas bravas in Madrid since 1963!  Our home away from home and do stop by now when visiting! Webpage:

Enough, what about Alcalà, the street that is.  Today the street is 10 200 meters long . It starts at the Puerta del Sol  and ends at the Avenida de América on the access road to the O’Donnell station. In the old days the street was named in different sections. The one between Sol and Cibeles was called Calle de los Olivares, between Cibeles and Puerta de Alcalà was named Posito (grain well of the mayor’s office had there) , and from Puerta de Alcalà to Ventas was called Carretera de Aragon and after Ventas was called Avenida de Aragon until 1992 where all became Calle de Alcalà. I left the city when the first beltway of Madrid was just about finish that is Avenida de la Paz or M-30 ! Today simply call Calle 30.

Some trivials anecdotes, you know that in 1754 there was a bull fighting arena here! spot hard to tell now ,  and it was on until 1874 after another was built on the same  carretera de Aragón (another name for avenida de Aragon) that works until 1934. When the Ventas Monumental was done in its first season in 1935 on the one we know today as Ventas Monumental!  An interesting house is at No 34 Calle de Alcalà built in 1779 and call the Casa de los Heros in honor of its builder ; the house became in succession the Real Fabrica de Cristales de la Granja, resident of the Infante de Borbon and painter José Madrazo,  later in 1914 it was host of the Council President or Palacio de la Presidencia, and currently is the home of the Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia or ministry of education and sciences.


Not to forget the Plaza de la independencia or independence square where the Puerta de Alcalà is located. The old Communication palace now call Palacio de Cibeles, and its Cibeles fountain (symbol of Real Madrid FC triumphs celebrations)  and the Circulo de Bellas Artes or fine arts circle with wonderful views of Madrid on its top floor café.


You continue to see wonderful architecture and beautiful buildings such as the Ministerio de Hacienda or ministry of the Treasury, built in 1796.  And what about the gorgeous Real Academia de Bellas Artes San Fernando! And of course the Casino de  Madrid : Calle Alcalà ,15 just gorgeous!   Across from the Casino you have the building call Banesto and here was installed the first American bank in Spain; it has deco of elephants big ears in the front façade.

And from 1623 the convent and Church or Iglesia de las Calatravas , even after destroyed the Queen Isabel II had it rebuilt in 1872. Very near the Puerta del Sol on Calle de Alcalà, of course. More on the Iglesia de San José and the Apolo theater. Continue on the Ministerio del Ejercito or army ministry with a nice garden on what it was the Palacio de Buenavista built in 1769 for the Duques de Alba, that never occupy it.

This is Alcalà, the street that is. My street my spot on another part of the world. Calle Alcalà, 331 where the world seems different and harder to understand from an early teen point of view. I have come many times, lucky call me!

The tourist office of Madrid

I feel better, filled to finish this post, thank you for reading it along with me. Madrid is more than just a city. Hope you enjoy the post as I did

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

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November 24, 2020

Madrid ,is more than a word for me!!!

So continuing my updates, refreshing text, and new links I bring you to one that I have many many posts in my blog. This is my wonderful city of Madrid. I will leave you the pictures for the specific posts and will only show here those that I could not find posted elsewhere. Hope you enjoy this wonderful city ,capital of the kingdom of Spain! My Madrid is more than a word for me!!

Well Madrid for me is everything to come back to Spain for it. If you have read my posts/blog you know I used to lived in Madrid and visit several times a year now usually alone. Later came with family on several occasions and show them my love for the city they later claim the same. As our vacation time in Spain began, there is no way I would skip Madrid and even arriving the first thought was to come here and visit again. Madrid I never get tired of visiting, long story going back to my early teen years living there. Lucky enough to visited several times even more than once in the year. This time with the entire family was even more memorable.

We drove from Las Majadas ,province of Cuenca , Castilla La Mancha region on the A40 connecting at Tarancon with the A3 to Madrid and parking on the Atocha train station Saba parking lot. Then, we were all over walking at first, from Atocha to calle Atocha to the Plaza Mayor and onwards to Calle Arenal, Preciados, Carmen and back to Calle Bailén and the Royal Palace and Cathedral of Almudena!!

By Calle Arenal we past the old archives building of Madrid dating from the 17C. The Palacio Real is always wonderful to see even if been there several times, the Cathedral of Almudena is a wonderful monument that was seen again, and onwards along calle Bailén on the other side to the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande.

On Calle Atocha got in finally into the Church parroquia Santa Cruz , a wonderful Church that in the past had been close when passing by , this time it was fully open and wonderful.  I took the kids to my all time favorite since even younger than they, Chocolateria San Ginés, in my youth used to come here after the dance club next door ; Joy Eslava, which at the time was a community dance hall and theater, later becoming a chic discothéque. I past by it too. San Ginés is the famous churros con chocolate racion or the porros a bigger size churro. A must in Madrid!  We did went shopping at El Corte Inglés by calle Preciados 3 and had our lunch in the 7th floor cafeteria ,and later stop by my favorite store, the official Real Madrid store at Calle Carmen off Sol. We did shopping here too and got a nice beer mug ::)


We came back to the Plaza Mayor a must to visit while in Madrid , always a happening ; see the Plaza del Callao and the famous cinema there, and got around the Teatro Real or royal theater, and the Puerta del Sol square.  We passed by the mercado de la Cebada market and the famous theater La Latina. A visit to the mercado San Miguel is a must and see the beautiful building of the museum of Anthropology and the Ministry of Agriculture. Down to the Puerta de Toledo where we took the C2 bus to get back after a long exhaustive day of walking to all the wonderful Madrid Streets always telling my sons where their Dad had walked before even younger than they! A nice neat family experience.



We came back next day, but this time we headed to Cibeles and found parking in Recoletos underground garage just next to Plaza de Cibeles, very central and nice. We then as usual set out on foot to see the city.

Of course, when we parked at Recoletos (Paseo de) , we immediately took a look at the Fuente de Cibeles that was undergoing renovation/cleaning and the Palacio de las Cibeles, the old city hall of Madrid and now a great place to see and climb to the top for great views of the city.  At the corner you can see the Casa de America a cultural center sharing the heritage of Spain and the Americas, all in the Plaza de la Cibeles.

Of course, we ate all sorts of ice creams and sodas along the way and water from mini grocery stores, but the nice sit in was near my old neighborhood on a new outfit call Audrey Brunch & Coffee, Calle Alcalà 183.  This is a new place, nice clean and friendly full of locals in non tourist area. We had our chorizo sandwich and fanta lemon here as well as coffees and sweets to load up on the sugar content and survive the 35C weather in the city.


A bit further walking and you reach my Puerta de Alcalà, the great gate of Madrid and I lived closed to it for four years! And from there, you go in to the fame Parque del Buen Retiro park another must and always a must for me, a wonderful memories of youth and still feeling Young just stepping into the park. ear here, in Calle Alcalà just across from the Retiro park before arriving at the Puerta de Alcalà lies the Church of San Manuel y San Benito where my mom used to take me as a boy. It is still nostalgic to see it and remind if need to of my mother again, always in my mind even if already 13 years of her passing.




One park that used to be my hangout and so far until now no pictures is the parque Eva Peron off the Plaza Manuel Becerra. There is a Church parroquia de la Covadonga right there too.  There is one by Doctor Esquerdo going towards Plaza Conde de Casal and another one by Menendez Pelayo and Calle del Alcalde Sainz de Baranda across from Retiro park, this is the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, is another of the typical one in my Madrid away from tourist central. Right diagonally from the brewery restaurant and before crossing the street to Retiro park there is a nice archicturally done Church the Parroquia del Santisimo Sacramento. 



In no particular order, we had to go see the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium of my lifetime team Real Madrid FC, and had a beer and tapas at the Real Café Bernabeu with wonderful views of the stadium field.

Of course , we walked a lot see Madrid soak up its air, feel the city , once again is beyond words for me. We took the metro this time from the fame  Plaza de España to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. line 10.

We had the opportunity to try the bus network taken bus 21 from Plaza de Toros (Ventas) to Paseo Rosales .This get you a nice overall view of the city and go from the wonderful historical Plaza de Toros very near of my old home to Paseo Rosales and the Teléferico (cable car) and the Temple of Debod Egyptian gift to Spain.

I used to hang around the Plaza de Toros when as an early teen lived here and always a pilgrimage to this cultural and historical mecca of Spain. The teléferico or cable car, my mother used to take me to the Casa de Campo attraction park and the temple de Debod a gift of Egypt to Spain for helping in the flooding of the Aswan Dam. The temple sits on the Cuartel  de la Montana park, and old establishement military base during the Spanish Civil War and now practically part of the Parque del Oeste along Paseo del Pintor Rosales.

And we took bus 14 from Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to paseo de Recoletos parking spot to recover our car.  Oh well once again, had to leave my Madrid. I never get tired of visiting even repeat places. I have lived/worked in 5 countries, visited 81 countries and countless cities of our world but Madrid is touching, virus like proportions, again I never get tired of visiting it.

The tourist office of Madrid for reference:

I have no words Madrid is more than a city to me, it is part of my life and a happy nice life indeed; always Madrid or From Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!!

Hope you enjoy the tour of my Madrid, and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 18, 2020

Once again Madrid ,always heaven on earth!!!

And I continue my zesty quest to update my older posts with revise up to date text and links. I will put pictures if not seen elsewhere in my blog, that is the idea. Hope you enjoy these old posts as much as I do writing them. And food for thought for my new readers. Thanks in advance !

And of course, once again Madrid, always heaven on earth ,yes indeed!

Madrid the city of my youthful movida and lucky enough to visit often nowdays; this time was a short 3 days but did I had fun as always!!

Landing in T4 Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas airport on Iberia; and taken that quick trip on the metro line 8 to Colombia connecting with the line 9 to Sanz de Baranda and my hotel as usual lately the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel. webpage:

It was a Saturday so the night of Bruce Springteen concert at the Bernabeu stadium, he was staying in the Westin Palace,the hotel of my business conference and all was busy trying to get a glimpse in vain. lol!!

I took the plunge to go out at night walked those wonderful lively great Madrid night time always busy never a dull moment. Madrid just breathing its air feels great, rejuvenating, stronger; I walked all over km after km it was fantastic. Stopping here and then for a caña or jarra (bigger glass of beer) looking for that Mahou or Meau!

Getting my typical real souvenirs at Arte Toledano in Paseo del Prado, you find the finest of Toledo and Madrid here with medieval armor museum and ceramics, portraits etc gifts for all tastes and genuine Spanish. Unfortunately, now closed! Here just for the memories.

Took a look at Atocha train station always imposing from the Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, and the many restaurants around it. It was the train station closest to my piso or apartment when living here and a must to stop by.

In my walks I past by the Fuente de las Cibeles and Fuente Neptuno the main venues in victory for the Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid, respectively. On Sunday took part in the outside festivities of the  King’s Cup or Copa del Rey, between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Calderon stadium. Sevilla maravilla was short and Barcelona won but the ambiance was great. A point to make is seeing all those Catalans taken pictures in front of the Congreso de los Diputados (Spanish parliament) lol! And the great statue to Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote!!! It shows you is not all what the media points out.

Moving along in my walks passing the Cine Ideal ,founded in 1916 in the site of the convent of the Footed Trinity  or Convento de los Trinitarios Calzados; later in 1932 was adapted to do teatrical shows and Spanish Zarzuelas theater plays , and finally in 1990 came back as a cinema. My mother used to bring me here as a kid !!! It is at calle del Doctor Cortezo, near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, but you can see it from Calle Mayor! Just for my memories webpage:

And walked by the Teatro Calderon who was built in 1917; before it was call Teatro Odéon,   located at Calle Atocha, 18 just in front of the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. Theater and Spanish Zarzuela with performers like Plàcido Domingo! webpage:

You see wonderful architecture and places to see Madrid from above and eating out right on Calle Alcalà like the Instituto Cervantes, a wonderful place to expose the Spanish language and culture all over the world; the building is a fantastic architecture marvel. For info webpage:

You go on to the Plaza de España and the complex in honor of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote and the elements of Sancho Panza on one side and Dulcinea on the other. The Plaza de Oriente with its marvelous Teatro Real; actually a bit further back in the Plaza de Isabel II.

Not to forget the small quaint medievel Plaza de la Villa off Calle Mayor, this is the govt city hall annex of the city of Madrid. You can see here the Casa Lujanes with its tower, Casa de Cisneros ,and Casa de la Villa where the city hall is located ,with the statue to Alvaro de Bazan, hero of Lepanto amongst others.

Just a wonderful town, a must to see in Europe, the No 2 most visited country in the world according to UN WTO statistics, and well deserved. See it to believe it. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

As an anecdote while doing this trip, my team the Real Madrid became last night the winner in penalties kicks of the 11th Champions league title, the most in history, the greatest of all time. Hala Madrid !!! for eternity. The French coach Zinadine Zidane became the first Frenchmen to ever won the Champions as player and coach! Real Madrid webpage for reference:

The city of Madrid tourist office

So now you have it and me updated on my beloved dear Madrid. Looking forward to be back once allowed by the virus. Stay safe you all and again thanks for reading me!

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

November 18, 2020

Madrid is like home!!!

I like that title, Madrid is like home!!! Really, each time I feel like a fish in the water… Wonderful memories, finding it meeting it and getting to know my future wife there, and my Mom showing me around the roots; yes Madrid is like home!!!

I am updating, revising these posts of old going to when I started my blog and bringing them to life pershaps to my new readers. Hope you enjoy it as I do doing it. Reminder, most if not all  of the monuments here I have photos in their individual posts.

In a way, I am very lucky to be able to visit Madrid often, couple times a year sometimes 3. For those new to my blog, I lived in Madrid in the 70’s in another era as a teenager, and it has impacted me greatly over the years. My Spanish from my grandparents of Tenerife, allows me to move easy in the city as well.  It’s a memorable event each time, like the first time.

I came from my adopted country of France, and as always in the last few years come out of Nantes Atlantique airport. This time came on Iberia to Adolfo Suàrez Madrid Barajas airport on terminal 4. Very easy trip going and coming. I had my usual rendering of Màs Q Menos resto in T4 and my usual turrones, chocolates ,and vinos of Spain to bring back. I had a drive to my hotel. The hotel is the by now my home away from home , good , they all know me there now lol!  Ayre hotels and the wonderful Gran Colon at 1 Calle Pez Volador corner with Calle del  Dr Esquerdo.  The metro station on line 6 or 9 is Sainz de Baranda or Conde de Casal. However, I do not need to go underground to see the city only use it to come in from airport when nobody can get met.

The first night had a mission to go out and walk to my old baseball playing field in the Polideportivo La Elipa, I walked over the passarelle of the beltway road M30. This road was built just as I was leaving Madrid with my dear mother, and now it’s a major road encircling Madrid on the first beltway, as by now there are several others! It took me about 20 minutes walking to reach La Elipa, and memories began to flash back. In previous trip, did not had time to stop by.. La Elipa back in 1971 was just a playing field that the US air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz had built so the kids of the servicemen could continue playing the American game of baseball.  It was just a playing field, couple of stands and period. I played for a team that was sponsoring the baseball initiative, the Real Madrid CF in a league of 8 teams that included the Rayo Vallecano, Atletico de Madrid, Condepols, Piratas, the school Abraham Lincoln, etc.Don’t remember them all. The ride was taken on the P13 that now is bus line 113, the same!!!,and subsequently took it. The Madrid baseball federation is now based there, and they still play baseball there!!! Now with a huge complex of 3 municipal pools, running trails, and a full cafeteria. It was a moment to reflect on those beautiful times of youth that just won’t or do not want to let it go away. Especially, seen my Mom sitting in the stand watching me played the feeling is awesome. Madrid is like home.


However, friends came to me to have lunch in their town of Rivas VaciaMadrid and we had lunch together at Palacio Criollo, an Argentinian steakhouse. I had my bife chorizo very good and tender, with the cruzcampo beers and coffee, great experience even if for most visitors this is a bit far off, line 9 of metro and then walking.  This is their webpage:

rivas vaciamadrid palacio criollo resto argentino setna jul15

By the way one of the top baseball teams in Spain today is from Rivas Vaciamadrid ,even if this year they are not doing well. Real Federacion Española de Béisbol y Sofbol or the Royal Federation of Baseball and Softball of Spain webpage:

I came back late at the hotel and decided after a full day running around to eat at the hotel restaurant which is nice and a view of the street Dr Esquerdo.

The second night there, decided to go back towards the  Retiro park, a wonderful park in the heart of the city and my hangout as a teen and still in love with it , or love all the things I see there ::)  I set out on foot as well best way to see any city and Madrid is no exception. This was my itinerary on foot. I left the hotel Gran Colon , and headed out to Dr Esquerdo street, walk towards conde de casal, but turn right on ave de Nazaret , this took me to plaza del Niño Jesus (square), here reach avenida de Menendez Pelayo and the Retiro park was on my right hand side. Flashes back already as every building every turn almost every house got to think, “I was here”.

I continue on Menendez Pelayo until the traffic circle of several streets but stayed on right hand side to hit Paseo de la Reina Cristina; this is a wonderful boulevard going down to Atocha, and of course passed by the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha Church, very nice At the end it joins avenida ciudad de Barcelona with a nice monument to the fallen, and you see the Repsol gas/petrol station and of course Atocha on the back cercanias trains entrance. Aand went inside, there had my soul searching boy mind and had my whopper at Burger King ! yes, can ‘t help it ok so what is good and from Florida another of my love spots in the world.


It was time to remember, to go back in my mind to those wonderful days of youth and see all the crowds in their routine of traveling in Spain by train. I too, went out of here many times since those days. After some soul searching, headed back to the hotel following the same route, took about 15 minutes. Time to rest and say one more time Adios Madrid, pero recuerden, Madrid al cielo y un hueco en él para mirarla todos los dias. Or Good bye Madrid, but remember, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

Madrid is like home!! Indeed. I hope you enjoy the post even if from a visiting point of view as to me is beyond the simple visit. Enjoy it live it share it and  maybe one day you can visit too.

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

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November 17, 2020

Some news from Spain XCVII

And why not my beloved Spain, things are moving there too due to the wuhan, covid19 or coronavirus as you wish. The euphoria is propped by the government and business and ambiance suffers, the economy will be in welfare status into 2021. My opinion of course.

Let me tell you some of my news from Spain ok

In 1764, almost three centuries after the Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands, Luis Román, infantry captain and alderman of Tenerife, decided to enter the Barranco de Erques. Certain locals had promised to take him to the Cave of a Thousand Mummies and they kept their word. After a narrow opening in the rock, they found dozens, perhaps hundreds, of perfectly preserved corpses. It was not a legend, El Dorado de los Xaxos existed.

These Guanche mummies (original inhabitants from where I come from by all four grandparents, and yes we had them too) were already known, but never before had irrefutable proof of the Cave been obtained, the location of which has vanished over the centuries. Roman decided to take with him the one that most caught his attention, the one that kept even the smallest detail. This today is in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid. It is 850 years old, a figure very similar to that obtained in other dating of Guanche mummies made in the last decade: 850 years for the mummy recovered from the Guayanje ravine, 940 for another from La Orotava and 830 for the mummy «NEC 2 » of the Archaeological Museum of Tenerife. This is an adult male who died between the ages of 35 and 40, 1.62 meters tall, with all his teeth preserved, without any wear or decay, with negroid features and hands that do not give away that he had done physical hard work. From the state of his teeth (which speaks of his good nutrition) and his hands, and especially the fact that he was subjected to a high-quality peering process, the researchers infer that he is a male with a preeminent position in the society.

The number of immigrants rescued in the Canary Islands this past Tuesday stands at around 584 people, after the location in the early afternoon of six new boats, all of them in Gran Canaria, according to figures provided to Efe by Salvamento Marítimo.or coast guard lifesavers organism. A pity they are coming to island who depends of tourism which is very little nowdays. But the EU is far away!!!

Jawlensky, Morandi, Miró and Winogrand, great protagonists of the Mapfre Foundation in 2021! The MAPFRE Foundation has presented its cultural program for 2021. In total, at its Madrid and Barcelona headquarters, it will organize twelve exhibitions in which some of the great names in contemporary painting and photography will meet: from Alekséi von Jawlensky to Giorgio Morandi, through Joan Miró, Garry Winogrand or Claudia Andujar, among others. The Foundation will open 2021 with the exhibitions «Jawlensky. The landscape of the face ”and an exhibition by the Japanese photographer Tomoko Yoneda, which can be visited at the Sala Recoletos in Madrid from 11 February 2021 . The first one covers the career of the Russian painter Alekséi von Jawlensky (1864-1941) from his origins and the beginning of his career in Munich to the transformation that his painting undergoes in Switzerland and his last years in the German city of Wiesbaden. As of June 4, the Sala Recoletos will host the exhibitions “Bill Brandt and Miró: Poem”, which shows, through twenty paintings, illustrated books and handwritten poems, the relationship that Joan Miró had with poetry.

And Madrid is shown well again, with a book. Madrid, by Andrés Trapiello, is the great book about the capital of Spain that few would have dared to write, and even less to propose as a journey between personal memory and the memory of those streets and those people. Madrid is the Aleph of the story, yes, the ineffable center of the more than five hundred pages in which the profiles and wonders of a geography are gathered and narrated. Strolling Madrid is living Madrid. Losing yourself in Madrid is finding yourself with the hidden Paradise of the secret. The hidden, what remains and lasts. Trapiello, like Galdós, makes Madrid a guide for the curious and an encyclopedia. From the sacred Rastro to the Costanilla de los Desamparados (what other city could I name a street with such melancholic meaning). The streets of Santa Isabel and Ave María. Madrid, like London, like Paris, like Rome is infinite for those who discover it. The description of Madrid de la Movida is already a novel within the book. Living a city is telling it. But tell it through one ,the city of each one. It will not be a secret city, but it will be discreet. Intimate. There are ten centuries of a city told through an innovative literary genre, in the final part of the book, the wonderful “Madrid Retales”, a historical journey with its kings, its architecture, its gastronomy, its music and theater, its characters, writers, politicians, their misunderstood cockiness, their chroniclers until they reached the unfortunate and humiliated Madrid of the coronavirus. A great book I ordered it. «Madrid» by Andrés Trapiello. Ensayo. Destino, 2020. 554 páges.Price: 24,90 euros.

The City Council of Madrid is given the Rebobinart project ‘Wallspot’ two spaces in Moratalaz and Puente de Vallecas so that urban artists can develop their work and plans to extend it if it is successful . This is not to my liking, it is graffiti. Madrid will join that list by making two municipal spaces available to the artistic collective on the avenue García Tapia -Moratalaz- and Calle Baltasar Santos -Puente de Vallecas- so that these artists can carry out activities and projects of an artistic and social nature that are linked to the territory, its inhabitants and local entities. The wall will be covered with bright paint!

For those joggers and walkers and I am not an expert just taken from my family and friends tells me and will let you know here.

In the Lozoya valley, offers you the ascent or descent from the Puerto de Cotos, border with the province of Segovia, until you reach the Monastery of El Paular . A marked path, in very good condition and over which black and griffon vultures fly all year round. The 14 km walk is of medium difficulty, with a moderate slope. Right!

Next to the car park by the city limits, the path begins, marked with white and red markings, which in a short distance reaches the Silla de Felipe II, from where the King contemplated the works of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. If you return at this point, the walk in total is 3 km and a drop of about 90 meters. Those who want more walking, from the Silla de Felipe II you can continue the trace of the marks and reach Las Machotas for about 3.8 km in addition, from whose top you get one of the most recommended views of this part of the region.Go for it!!

And one of my favorite spots in Madrid ,has sublime views. The Temple of Debod, on the Paseo de Rosales , very close to the Plaza de España, is one of the most magical and romantic places to walk, especially at sunset. If you stand in front of it, the red, yellow and blue tones of the Madrid sky at sunset melt with the stones of this Egyptian temple that is more than two thousand years old. If you approach the Mirador ( lookout behind the temple), you will be able to see how the star sets behind the mountains of the Madrid sierra while its last rays illuminate the Royal Palace (to the left of the balcony), the jardines de Sabatini gardens and the magnificent Casa de Campo.

The global vacation rental search engine Holidu has developed a ranking with the most voted Spanish sweets and photographed by Instagram users. I could not agree more with the first place, one of my favorites. From granma to mom to wife we love it .Torrijas, had 84,698 mentions on the social network, the typical dessert of Spanish Holy Week has become the favorite of the Spanish thanks to its simplicity and low price when preparing it. You get a loaf of dry bread, milk, eggs and sugar. Whether it’s the classic recipe, soaked in wine, syrup, honey or syrup, the result is always delicious. Indeed, try it!

The announcement,this past September, of the fortuitous discovery of a 1634 edition of the play The Two Noble Gentlemen, by Shakespeare, at the University of Salamanca, which until now was considered the oldest edition preserved in Spain by the great English playwright , raised the hare in a school in Seville. And its director, Luis Rey Goñi, went through the two security doors of the San Francisco de Paula library to check the date of the offprint of The famous story of the life of King Henry VIII, also by Shakespeare but published two years earlier: in 1632. Until then, the work had remained unnoticed among the numerous collections of the Seville college library. The work had been hidden from the public eye since its acquisition. The library of the Colegio Internacional San Francisco de Paula houses this piece, which is the second edition of The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII, a play in English published in 1632. It was carefully kept in the center, which has an old special archive, with documents from the 13C to 18C. The San Francisco de Paula collection has about 60,000 copies, distributed between the library area and another deposit located outside the center. The oldest print that is kept there is from 1472. But there are also earlier manuscripts, such as one of Alfonso X’s Rolled Privileges dated 1256. Most of the volumes are in Spanish, English, French and Latin; although there are oddities in other languages like a manuscript from Burma (present-day Myanmar). The San Francisco de Paula International School of Seville is a private center, located in the historic center of the city, and was founded in 1886.The library of the center, called Francisco Márquez Villanueva in honor of one of the former students, has 12 classrooms where the “Silence” sign can be dodged if the motive is to debate.

A sun of justice received the guests who attended the celebration of the awarding of the Cervantes Prize to Francisco Brines at the poet’s farmhouse in Oliva, where he was born 88 years ago. He assured that he continues to write and read and is working on a new book entitled Where Death Dies, on whose subject he said he did not want to talk. The work brings together lyrical prose and poetry and has been in the making for years. The author of The Autumn of the Roses (National Prize for Literature) and academic of the RAE responded that he does not know if he will go to Alcalá de Henares to collect the award for health reasons. He also explained that with his foundation, based in the Elca farmhouse, which holds a library of about 30,000 volumes, he wants to pay a “tribute to poetry, because poetry apart from the aesthetic is a very illustrative path.” And he stressed that the Cervantes Prize shows that its current readers are the same in Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Oliva, Valencia or Andalusia. And wherever a reader reads it and gets excited, his poetic voice will have arrived, and while that happens he will have a poetic voice in our world. Great poet indeed and well deserve.

I like to put his latest poetic work here in Spanish. “Donde muere la muerte, / porque en la vida tiene tan solo su existencia./ En ese punto oscuro de la nada/ que nace en el cerebro,/ cuando se acaba el aire que acariciaba el labio,/ ahora que la ceniza, como un cielo llagado,/ penetra en las costillas con silencio y dolor,/ y hay un adiós sin nadie, que se dirige a nadie,/ y un pañuelo mojado por las lágrimas se agita / hacia lo negro./ Beso tu carne aún tibia./ Fuera del hospital, como si fuera yo, recogido/ en tus brazos, / un niño de pañales mira caer la luz,/ sonríe, grita, y ya le hechiza el mundo/ que habrá de abandonarle./ Madre, devuélveme mi beso. »

And I will dare translate as best possible a poetry. Where death dies, / because in life it has only its existence / In that dark point of nothing / that is born in the mind, / when the caressing air that ends on the lip, / now that the ash, like a wounded sky, / penetrates the ribs with silence and pain, / and there is a goodbye with no one, which addresses no one, / and a handkerchief wet with tears is shaken / towards blackness / I kiss your still warm flesh / Outside the hospital, as if it were me, gathered / in your arms, / a child in diapers watches the light fall, / smiles, shouts, and the world is already enchanted / that will abandon him / Mother, give me my kiss back. Great me think.

And there you go folks, there is still Spain everything under the Sun. Ready to be back alive.

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

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November 13, 2020

Again,time to talk about Madrid!!!

Here I go again, sorry for the repetition but need to let you know, these are older posts already in my blog that I am revising, updating, with fresh text as the pictures are in the individual monument entry in my blog. I did not realise how many I had since I started blogging!!! Back on Nov 26 2010!

I like to bring you again to my beloved Madrid in my dear Spain. I had more description in another post but we came by car! from Versailles! , and had a rest stop at Pau and stayed on the one night at the Atlantic hotel. rue Jean Mermoz. now part of the Citotel chain (which I have use other properties too). We have made this hotel our road stop to Spain in subsequent trips too. webpage:

Madrid was a dream that became a reality several years back, and it has been a virus of love ever since that day on December 30 1970 that I landed at Barajas international airport Madrid (now Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas inter airport) . I lived for almost the next four years there ,and then visited often sometimes more than once a year. Its one of those cities you won’t feel tired of coming back for more.

I am Spanish by grandparents from Tenerife, and have the luck to live in Madrid when things were different. I used to visit after long intervals, and then luck have it came to France to live with my dear French wife. This was 2003, and since then, my trips to Madrid have been often twice a year and every year. Lucky me!!

The city has a lot of memories of trying times, living there with my mother, and sharing with strangers that over the years became like family. Nice to know the grandchildren of those even considered you family still today.

I first seek out friends met over the years and have a tapas and glass of beer of one of my favorites places there  ,the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca. Many branches so I had first at Menendez Pelayo 47 and then at Doctor Esquerdo 157. At first had me rice pilaf with squid in black sauce to kill for, and little fry fish boquerones, all wash down with cruzcampo beer and a nice cup of coffee. Then came back next day for the counter, beers of the same with an order of patatas revolconas or blended potatoes and bacon cornhusker, and torrejas (delicious old bread in cinnamon sauce) as well as that strong cup of expresso coffee. Sublime and nice to be there stop by once at least on subsequent trips! webpage:

I stayed as usual on business at the Ayre Gran Hotel Colon, Calle Pez Volador ,1 corner of Calle Dr Esquerdo near metro Sainz de Baranda lines 6 and 9; easy connection from Barajas airport. The service is always impeccable and clean nice spacious rooms including breakfast. I have stayed here several times over the years!

I took my scrolls around Retiro park , memories of youth and always supreme, grand beautiful, nostalgic, romantic, daring, just awesome. I used to lived not far from there in Quintana line 5 of Metro of Madrid.

I had the chance to visit my all time favorite store , El Corte Inglés, it has been a tradition of the family for years, going back back. This time I visit the nearest one to my beloved Santiago Bernabeu stadium at Paseo de la Castellana. 

I had an unusual call from a friend worked with me in the same chain in Paris and had big boss in Madrid so ask me if needed hotel, I told him was in Madrid already! And he said, would you like to be in the Intercontinental Castellana! Of course, i said yes and moved my family over for the rest of the vacation lol!! This is class and in Madrid sublime:

We had a suite for the family there and still nice to my ears. We walk all over, to the Prado museum and the Retiro park visiting the Palacio de Velázquez there.  In the old days they had temporary arts expo and exhibtions, now they are part of the Reina Sofia museum.

We took the boys to the Parque de Atracciones or amusement park in the Casa de Campo taken the cable car or teléferico from parque del oeste(paseo del pintor rosales).  I came here as a boy and now took my boys here too, lovely great times!

Next day ,for lunch i met my collègues from our office in Rivas Vaciamadrid and went to resto San Jordi (now closed) in a commercial center by the Conde de Casal metro stop at line 9, and we had morcilla with eggs, love it, and mero blanco fish with a nice house green salad, rose wine from Castilla and a local beer as apero, plus a delicious milk cream flan, that was recommended and it was great, then expresso coffee and again the locals show their color to pay for it.

And we came back by car as well with the family in tow! And another wonderful trip to my beloved Madrid. Hope you enjoy this black and white post and do see my individual posts on Madrid and the pictures!

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

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November 6, 2020

My nostalgic Madrid!!!

Again, this is my black and white series as I like to call them, revising and updating old posts in my blog for a new life. The pictures are in the individual posts on the things to see. I feel attach to them and need to bring them to the light. What better to do so than on my huge Madrid!!!

Yes, something I need to write about. I lived in Madrid from 1970-1974, there other times other periods, harder times for all. However, my love for the city has not waned in all these years. I am an appreciative person , and remember kindly all the good times of my life. Madrid is a big part of it.

When a young boy I had the inmense luck of playing for the Real Madrid organisation, first in baseball then in football/soccer. Real Madrid has remained my team of my life, Hala Madrid to all!!!  I used to lived at Calle de Alcalà ,331; 2do A, Buzon 67 Madrid 28027, right by the exit of metro line 5 Quintana corner with Calle de la Argentina. Many memories too intense to write all about it. I came from one dictatorship to another, and it was tough. We were dissidents in both right or left, they are not good.

This street or calle de Alcala has 10,5 km long from the Puerta del Sol to the Ave de la Hispanidad,passing by the best of Madrid. Yes, it was and always will be MY street. For those who knows,  I lived in working class Madrid away from tourist center, right in with the locals, and the experience was great, and is each time on the city. Thanks God it has been often after I left it in 1974. Who has not heard of this song Los Nardos from the movie Las Leandras with Rocio Durcal in 1969 “Por la calle de Alcalá…….”

While there, one of my anecdotes tells all was to go play baseball, we went to the field at the Parque de la Elipa, no metro then, just by bus, the P13, it was a glorious ride of youth chasing the girls going to the park as a means of entertainement in those days. (see post). I left Madrid for New Jersey, USA , and then Florida USA, where I spent most of my life. After many years, I try to remember the bus line and had in my mind the P13. However, Madrid and Spain had change since the 70’s , overall for the better. When I got back in 1990 , the bus line was no longer there,and could not find it. Then; one day trying to find information on the general strike in the city I stumbled into a wiki page that talk about a bus line 113. Well to my surprise this bus line 113 is the new number for the P13 after the creation of the Madrid bus system EMT!!! Amazing that I found it, after so many years, now that I know the numbers change, maybe I can have some fun looking up old bus lines while I was living there lol!! The P13 was nice, now the service of the 113 is even larger, and there is even a metro Elipa now there on line 2.  So glad Elipa is advancing, and glad the old P13 is still alive in the 113!

Madrid to heavens and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Hala Madrid!! We win most often the best football club in history with 13 Champions titles and 34 national titles most than anybody else. Club of the 20C by FIFA and European club of the 20C by IFFHS!!!

But wait a minute, not just my story! Calle de Alcalà has a long history and wonderful things to see along its long way. I love history, so will like to tell you a bit of history I like. Hope you enjoy it.

The street began in the early 15C on the old road to Alcalá de Henares ,and reaching to Aragón,and was call then calle de los  Olivares  (olive trees street) ,the street was started by masons, horseshoe artists, and carriage rentals with mules, and was the beginning of the diligences or people mover in the whole of Spain!! When Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561, more luxurious mansions and palaces were built on it.

Given way to the Puerta del Sol, until 1856  was the site of the Church and Hospital of  Buen Suceso, founded by king  Carlos I ;later it was the Hotel París, the most elegant of Madrid at that time, and on the bottom floor it was the venerable Café de la Montaña, now all gone. At the corner with the calle de Sevilla, it was La Equitativa insurance company building built between 1882-1891  you see the facade with heads of elephants under the balcony of the first floor  crown with a small tower and clock; in 1920 the Banco Español de Crédito purchase the building.

Continue on and see the old Customs or Aduanas building, and continue to see the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, built in 1724-1725; follow this up with the Casino de Madrid built in 1905-1910  in the old building of the palacio de Villarroel.  See the emblematic building of Madrid, in the corner with Caballero de Gracia,and beginning of the Gran Vía, see the French style palace of Union and Fénix, finished in 1910 . Its cupola a city landmark today ,used to be crowned with a ave fénix  symbolising the old company ,but in 1975, when the new company took over was change to a victoria style statue, this is the company or building  Metrópolis.

Moving right alont on old Madrid, as you crossed the Gran Vía and calle del Marqués de Valdeiglesias, you found the  Casa del Párroco, first building done between 1910-1912,as part of the public works to do the Gran Vía.  Just after you have the old theater or Teatro Apolo,considered a cathedral of the small art, capacity for 2,500 persons and built in 1873. Here was first played the greatest zarzuelas in history such as La verbena de la Paloma (1894), La Revoltosa (1898), and Doña Francisquita (1923). It closed in 1929, after being purchased by the bank Banco de Vizcaya for its headquarters in Madrid.  Going on the sidewalk to the right crossing the calle de Sevilla,you first see a building for the Banco de Bilbao built between 1920-1923.

You follow wandering the street and see the old Education ministry building or Ministerio de Educación, built in  1929 ,and it has a beautiful room or salon de Goya, and a completer gallery of pictures of all its ministries.  Another emblematic building and great for snack and coffee, is the El Círculo de Bellas Artes done in Calle de Alcalà by 1921-1926 You are about to reach Cibeles, and on the right you see the Banco de España built between  1882-1891. Right by the angle to  calle del Barquillo,in a former palace now you find the Instituto Cervantes. Right after at the old palace of Buenavista you now see the Cuartel General del Ejército de Tierra (headquarters of the Army).

You then reach the plaza de Cibeles, done under king Carlos III, with a nice perpective of the Puerta de Alcala. You have here the old Palacio de Linares built in 1873, today the wonderful Casa de América, to the left, and the palacio de Comunicaciones ,(old post office of Spain) today is the seat of the Mayor’s office to the right, built in 1905-1918. On the left sidewalk you see the reopen by 1994 and a different business there (El Secreto del Lobo resto) at the old  Cervecería de Correos, that have the peña or gathering group of  Federico García Lorca, and the Café Lión, with its famous crypt of La Ballena Alegre (happy whale) that have frequent visits by many  great names of Spain such as  Valle-Inclán, Penagos, Bergamín and Francisco Ayala;as well as politicals such as Azaña, Calvo Sotelo , José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and after the Civil War, such as  Dámaso Alonso and Vicente Aleixandre…It closed in 1993. And to the right you see the wonderful gardens Parque del Buen Retiro.

The Puerta de Alcalá, yes we arrive at the grand daddy for me, need to be here always visit by, the Church of San Manuel y San Benito, built in 1911.  The Puerta de Alcala was done under king Carlos III in 1778 by Sabatini. At the entrance to what today is calle de Serrano, an old execution site of the Holy Seat, was the old primitive first bullfight arena of Madrid done in 1799. The current plaza Monumental de Las Ventas,was built in neomudéjar style in 1931. Around it many wonderful bars such as La Tienta, La Divisa, La Monumental, Los Timbales(my all time favorite in the area), El Albero, and Los Tarantos. Awesome and more local away from the Centro!!!

A bit after by metro Quintana you have my hangout when in Madrid at Docamar, since 1963 ,the best patatas bravas in Madrid !!! And the calle de Alcalá continues it crosses the beltway road M-30, and goes across the districts of Ciudad Lineal (Quintana is one neighborhood) and San Blas ,finally ends running parallel to the avenida de América,in the interchange Eisenhower,where the road A-2 (carretera de Barcelona) and road  M-14 (avenida de la Hispanidad to the Aeropuerto Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas  crossed. And yes, you can link up to the airport or even to France from here. Awesome!!!!

The long link of the city of Madrid on transports:traffic in Spanish:

The much shorter tourist office of Madrid in English:

The tourist office of the Community of Madrid regional govt in Spanish:

You have the idea, Madrid is awesome and worth every centime/penny to come and see and see it again as there is a world there To Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Yes!

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

October 22, 2020

Some news from Spain XCVI

And things are moving right along with the new trend covid19 and the fears eminating from governments without telling you the real story. I have contracts but will tell you briefly as some information is already surfacing. Oh yes the weather is cloudy, cool in my neck of the woods and looming colder now at 12C or about 54F. In my beloved Madrid;;;; it is 13C or about 55F cloudy and raining.

In the Interterritorial Health Council today Thursday, the agreement has been clear: except for Madrid and the Basque Country, which have abstained, all communities want to restrict night mobility to stop the coronavirus, so they are in favor of the curfew, However, it is still necessary to clarify the legal instrument for its application, specifically if a state of alarm is necessary, so before the final approval of this measure (at a future meeting), a legal consultation will be made. In any case, the one who will finally decide whether to resort to the state of alarm will be the Government.  I just heard on Spanish TV, that Valencia community and Castilla y Leon have asked the rules to be enforce immediately. Of course a bit slower here…

You know it all started in Wuhan China? yes it seems many has already forgotten this small detail… The first news was that it came from an animal etc, and we /I saw the Chinese army forcing people into their homes there as well as initial doctors who spoked were taken off the radar never to be heard again. Well there is a biological warfare laboratory there P4 maximum security, it is said to be done with French technical help in 2015. There was a leak and the rest is the Wuhan virus oh no it was called coronavirus and then to be more politically correct its the covid19 now. Well one virologist from Qingdao (see my post ) did escape thru Hong Kong and now in the USA. Her name is Li-Meng Yan. More info:

I know this is not travel news but the situation is so critical now we need to speak up the truth. Hope it helps you understand.

We start the low cost route through Spain in Cáceres, which this autumn is positioned as one of the cities where it is cheaper to spend the night according to the ranking prepared by the Rumbo travel portal based on the offers available on its website.

The tour continues in Lugo, where the average cost of a hotel night for a couple is 57 euros. It is time to discover its Roman vestiges such as the wall, the bridge or the hot springs of this Galician city, as well as its Episcopal Pazo, its Cathedral or its Town Hall. We jump to Andalusia and, specifically, to the Cadiz province in  Jerez de la Frontera, where you can find offers like this one: 204 euros for four nights for two people. A perfect getaway to launch into wine tasting in its many wineries and enjoy a show at the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Jerez is known for a reason as ‘the city of the horse’. Of the Spanish cities on the beach where it is cheaper to spend the weekend, one is Cartagena, which offers packages of two nights for two people at a cost of 76 euros. The trip to the Murcian city has to include a visit to the Roman theater, as well as to the Sea Wall ordered by Carlos III or the National Museum of Underwater Archeology ARQUA.

The Castilla-La Mancha capital of Toledo is always a good destination, since in few places you can find the cultural richness it offers, having been the confluence of three religions, the Christian, the Muslim and the Jewish. Also, few people know that the Cathedral of Toledo is considered the second richest church in the world after the Vatican Cathedral. Spending a night in a hotel is around 93 euros. The list continues in Ávila to enjoy its medieval and Romanesque architecture this fall at a bargain price: 105 euros for two nights for two people. It is time to rediscover once again its walls, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, as well as the old town and its churches outside the walls. Aragon is also a good destination for an autumn getaway at a good price. And especially cities like Teruel, the city of famous lovers and Mudejar art par excellence with examples such as the church of San Pedro, which is well worth a visit. Beware of this offer: two hotel nights at 116 euros for three persons.

We follow the route in Valladolid, which was the capital of Spain for five years in the 17C and a stone’s throw away from cities like Madrid by AVE fast train. Anyone who wants to mark a gastronomic tribute based on garlic soup, roast lamb and chorizo omelette paired with the best wines of the land can do so by staying in a hotel at an average price of 240 euros for two nights for three people. The Valencian town of Gandía not only receives countless tourists during the summer, but its pleasant climate also allows you to enjoy it in autumn and winter. If it is also at an affordable price such as two nights at 132 euros for two people, the reasons to visit it multiply. Its beaches, its restaurants, its Doge’s Palace or its Archaeological Museum are waiting.

And affordable desserts not just for the Real Madrid CF team but for you too.  The tarta de queso or cheese cake that has conquered the Real Madrid CF dressing room. It goes that Alejandro González Cordobés always threw pastries, largely due to the influence of his English grandmother, who taught him to appreciate good sweet. Part of the success of his cake is in the ingredients: Pata Negra eggs from Cobardes y Gallinas, excellent butter and cheeses from small suppliers. Many clients repeat and that is always a pride. Among them, there are some Real Madrid players. Lucas Vázquez or Álvaro Arbeloa are some of those who have blown candles with it with their Instagram followers as witnesses. Free publicity for a project that starts. There are more teammembers in the list, but Alex prefers to be discreet. For now, the orders (26 cm of cake for 40 euros) are made by his instagram profil: @alexcordobess. Also from the traditional cheese, it also makes artisanal white chocolate and a mixture of milk and dark chocolate.

The Museo Picasso Málaga exhibits one of the lesser-known facets of Pablo Picasso: that of a ceramist. Until December 31, room XII of the Palacio de Buenavista hosts Dialogues with Picasso. Collection 2020-2023, a sample composed of 19 ceramics that the brilliant painter made between 1931 and 1962. Installed in the south of France, it was between 1946 and the end of the 60s when Picasso delved into the art of ceramics, which later It was a great artistic discovery. Among the exhibits are colorful clay plates illustrated with the heads of goats, human and faun faces, jugs in the shape of owls or insects, plates, tiles or bricks. The exhibition includes three paintings that he carried out during the same period ,and the La Californie Drawing Notebook, a publication with twenty-two drawings in Chinese ink, pencil, graphite, charcoal and gouache on vellum paper, made by Picasso at Cannes in 1956. This is exhibited in digital format and is mostly portraits taken in the La Californie studio or notes from nature. Museo Picasso Málaga; Palacio de Buenavista. Calle San Agustín, 8. More info here:

And about those octopus or pulpos or even better pulpitos! A Galician delight very much in vogue in Madrid. These are some good ones to recommend.

Lùa of Manuel Domínguez, chef from Orense ,the embassy of Galician cuisine in Madrid is from O Carballiño (where the best Galician octopuses are eaten), from a family of pulpeiros and pulpeiro himself. So with these wickers your octopus a Feira is one of the essentials in Madrid. It is made in a traditional way, with extra virgin olive oil, a mixture of spicy and sweet paprika and coarse salt. Price: 20 euros.

La Pulperia de Victoria is only a few meters from Puerta de Sol, in this modern establishment that, despite its urban air, does not lose the atmosphere of a Galician pulpería, the production of the pulpe is quite a spectacle. Following the original tradition of and it is served, on wooden boards, seasoned with La Vera Denomination of Origin paprika and virgin olive oil for16.50 euros. They also prepare it on the grill for 18.50 euros.

Without a doubt, octopus is one of the reference products of this house, known as La Troya, which after almost 55 years of history in Madrid continues with its commitment to traditional cuisine. And there they continue, unalterable to time and fashion, two of their hits: octopus a feira (you know, with oil, paprika and coarse salt) and Galician style. Price: 22 euros the ration.

When strikes out events you find a replacement of equal importance. Dance arrives this season at the Teatro Real by the hand of one of the greatest Spanish creators: Antonio Gades. The coronavirus has prevented the hosts of the Munich Ballet from traveling to Spain to offer their version of “Giselle”, as planned (as told in previus some news from Spain), and the Spanish company, which has been grounded for the same reason had to cancel a performance in Baden -Baden, will take its place with the lesser-known work of that fertile pairing that Antonio Gades and Carlos Saura made: «Fuego». It is a ballet created in 1989 from the film “El amor brujo”, signed by both four years earlier. “Fuego” was commissioned by the Châtelet theater in Paris, where the play premiered on January 26, 1989. Spanish audiences had to wait twenty-five years to see “Fuego.” The premiere took place in July 2014 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. More on the Teatro Real and Fuego here:

The ninth Caixaforum of Spain is progressing as planned within the huge Agora designed by Santiago Calatrava in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. With its 10,000 square meters, it will be one of the largest, together with Madrid, when it opens to the public in the first quarter of 2022, if the deadlines are met. And, probably, it will also be one of the most spectacular due to the size of the building, which reaches a height of 70 meters in height, and because of its whale skeleton shape. Official webpage waiting for Valencia to be added:

And there you go folks, short and hot just for your thinking mind. Hope it helps you understand and enjoy the news of Spain. Stay safe and best wishes for all.

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

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October 22, 2020

Madrid,the bulls of San Isidro!!!

Ok so this one is out of the cowwebs of my blog very early on. I decided to give it some fresh update as it is an important event in the life of Madrileños, the folks from Madrid. I love while living there and always try to catch it as much as I came.

I would like to tell you about an event in Madrid that is tops. The Feria de San Isidro, honors the city patron saint, with many activities not the least the corridas at Las Ventas Monumental plaza.

In my early teens, I lived not far from there, at Calle de Alcalà Street, and was a regular to all of them, even did some tries at rajonero, the man in the horse,but was too young and not enough time to pursue it, and my Mom was afraid….Metro lines 2 and 5 runs by it, and it is just next to the M-30 road.  Now I go at least once a year to Madrid, and it is always like the first, awesome! Waiting to be back!!!  The area is full of color, local ones, not too many tourist as they only if at all visit the plaza and leave. So much to soak in the real Madrileño spirit, and Spanish, to know the real Spain. This is my small five cents worth on it,hope you like it.

First of all, the Feria de San Isidro is already named of community interest meaning its part of the culture, and protected by government laws.  The conduit of the Feria and the participation of the bulls have rules established from the 18C very precise to avoid what some today might call animal abuse. However, the animal is the best protected of them all!!!  This is a favorite pastime in Spain dating back to the 15C, and Madrid has the most event of any region. The Madrid area counts with 90 bulls of Lidia race ranches with 14000 hectares or about 34580 acres. The locaties in the community of Madrid with the most activities are  Colmenar Viejo, El Escorial, Guadalix de la Sierra, Aranjuez ,and  Soto del Real.

A bit about San Isidro, he was born in Madrid in 1082 and died there in 1172, tradition tells us that San Isidro made a spring gush out water while ploughing the land, at the same spot, a  chapel was built ordered by Empress Isabel in 1528, after Prince Felipe drank water from the well and was cure. Later , Baltasar de Zúñiga, Marquess of Valero, built the current day hermitage, with a single nave and a dome. San Isidro was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, at the same time as Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri. In 1811 the Sacramental Cemetery San Isidro was built on the apse, the cementary is located at paseo Ermita del Santo, 78 in Carabanchel just across river manzanares from the former Vicente Calderon Stadium, nearest metro is at Marques de Vadillo,line 5.

On May 15 the patron’s day, at the La Pradera de San Isidro (or san isidro meadows) a pilgrimage is done which dates back to shortly after the death of the Saint. By noon, the Royal Collegiate Church of San Isidro host the Grand Mass ,after the Eucharist the bishop of Madrid makes his way to the meadow,and blessed the water from the well.  In the afternoon, the image of San Isidro and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza (also, a Saint) , are paraded through the streets, from Calle del Sacramento to the Plaza de la Villa, via Calle del Cordon. Nowdays the procession is change a bit as from the 19C on many buildings are done by the river Manzanares, and today there is the Madrid Rio promenade. The pilgrims would leave the city via Cuesta de la Vega and Calle de Segovia singing and praying along the way.  On arrival at the chapel, they would attend mass and kiss the remains of the saint, contained in an 18C shrine. They would then drink water from the spring as tradition still holds true today.

You can visit and already posts in my blog on them the favorites of mine

You can then visit the Museum or Museo of San Isidro (see post), popularly known as the Casa de San Isidro or house of San Isidro; located at Plaza de San Andrés, 2;  metro Latina,line 5 or Tirso de Molina ,line 1. Tradition has it that this was the house of the Vargas, gentlemen of San Isidro, and the saint lived and died here. The building was constructed in the 16C, and you can see the original water well there.

To visit the Church or Basilica of San Isidro,(see post) also, known as La Colegiata from its early days as part of a Jesuit college acted as a substitute cathedral from 1885 until the completion of the Almudena. Designed in the style of the Gesu in Rome, and built in the 17C, it shelters the remains of Saint San Isidro and his wife, Saint, Santa María de la Cabeza. Located at Calle Toledo,37, same metro connection as museum Latina or Tirso de Molina.

Then, we move to the bulls, the Monumental at Las Ventas  (see post) is Spain most important bull ring (with some contest from Maestranza in Sevilla), built in 1931  for 25 000 spectator capacity of mudejar moorish architecture. Located at Calle Alcala, 237 metro Ventas line 5; there is a small museum in the back very interesting history of bullfighting. Museo Taurino is the name. The first corrida for the Feria of San Isidro took place on May 15,1947!

Mad plaza de toros monumental aug16

There you go folks, a brief overlook at this wonderful monument and great history of Madrid. Hope you have read my posts on them and do come in for a visit when in my beloved Madrid.

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

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