Archive for ‘Madrid’

January 29, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLI

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLI is old Roman for 141, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

‘La Dolores‘ sings 100 years without Tomàs Bretón, After the success of ‘La verbena de la Paloma’, Bizet from Salamanca, he elevated Spanish opera to the altars with ‘La Dolores’, which returns to the Teatro de la Zarzuela on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s death, Between January 27 and February 12, 2023 the Theater will offer thirteen performances of La Dolores, an opera that was premiered in the same room in 1895 and that since then has remained a symbol of the best of the Spanish opera. Theater webpage : https://teatrodelazarzuela.mcu.es/es/temporada/lirica-2022-2023/la-dolores-2022-2023

The San Isidro Fair 2023, the earliest in history, already has posters with the presence of the main figures hired for three afternoons -Morante de la Puebla, El Juli in his 25th anniversary of alternative, Alejandro Talavante and Roca Rey- and the quadruple presence of Emilio de Justo, who adds his fourth appointment as head of the Charity series, The fair will start on May 10 with two very strong posters, breaking the tradition of starting from less to more, The very early preparation of San Isidro 2023, with the intention of of better marketing. It will be the first fair, by the way, with the release of prices for single tickets, out of subscription, that is. Webpage mundotoro (Spanish): https://www.mundotoro.com/noticia/recta-final-en-la-confeccion-de-un-gran-san-isidro/1670820

Emeritus King Juan Carlos I plans to be in Paris on February 9, 2023 where he will attend the ceremony of access to the Académie Française or French Academy of Mario Vargas Llosa as a guest. It should be remembered that Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded a marquisate by Don Juan Carlos in 2011, Don Juan Carlos was the first person who called him when he received Spanish nationality in 1993, as Vargas Llosa recalls , Vargas Llosa, lived for a few years in Paris, The academy (French) webpage : https://www.academie-francaise.fr/les-immortels/mario-vargas-llosa

The new house of Ortega y Gasset and Gregorio Marañón, after six years of construction, goes forward to open, The José Ortega y Gasset-Gregorio Marañón Foundation can now boast its renovated headquarters. The 1847 mansion on Calle Fortuny, 53, which has a window from which it is easy to dream of a better world, same house as the foundation, Webpage foundation : https://ortegaygasset.edu/

The Royal Collections Gallery, built in the Royal Palace complex in Madrid, will open next summer 2023. For now, the process of assembling the museographic elements that will house the 650 pieces of the inaugural exhibition continues, a third of which will rotate continuously. From what is known so far, the main access will be through the Plaza de la Almudena, (by the cathedral) although it will also be possible to enter from the Campo del Moro, National heritage webpage : https://www.patrimonionacional.es/en/future-museum-royal-collections

The great hotel of Canfranc train station. There is no official opening date yet, but Barceló is already selling rooms at Canfranc Estación hotel , a Royal Hideaway Hotel 5*, for February 1 2023. This station was inaugurated in 1928 , and railroad and history buffs know that the Canfranc International Station (Huesca) was one of the most important railway complexes in Europe in the first part of the 20C. The railroad is open up to here, from Zaragoza awaiting ok between France and Spain to continue into Pau as before Stay tune, Webpage : https://www.barcelo.com/en-es/canfranc-estacion-a-royal-hideaway-hotel/

The Best European Destinations association, dependent on the EU, has drawn up a list of the most beautiful places in Spain preferred by foreigners, I just pick my favorites ok, Their webpage : https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/

RONDA (province of Màlaga), The New Bridge is the main protagonist of this Malaga town, as it is prodigiously raised over the Guadalevín river, saving the so-called Ronda pit, a spectacular gorge. Built in the 18C, the bridge was considered the highest in the world (it measures 98 meters) until 1839. You should also visit the town for its taverns, its ancestral homes, its palaces, its gardens, its museums, its bullring and its literary corners that writers such as Ernest Hemingway or Rainer Maria Rilke fell in love with.,

CUDILLERO (Principality of Asturias), It is one of the most beautiful towns in Spain and also one of the favorites for foreign tourists. Its hanging houses, its cozy port, its seafood taverns, its intricate alleyways… Everything in Cudillero is a fairy tale.

AGÜERO (province of Huesca), Located just 40 kilometers from the Huesca capital, this beautiful mountain town stands out for its imposing rock formation known as Los Mallos,(saw them many times passing by!) some stone monoliths attached to the old town. One of them, Peña Sola, exceeds 200 meters on its western slope. To get here you have to go through a lush forest and a winding road.

SAN ANDRÉS (Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife), The town of San Andrés, was founded in the 15C, making it one of the oldest on the island, which can be seen in its architecture, of colonial court. Its colorful houses and its Teresitas beach are two of the hallmarks of the largest town in the Anaga district.

PEÑÍSCOLA (province of Castellon), One of the hidden jewels for the Best European Destinations association due to its monumental castle of Papa Luna, its beaches, its charming streets and its privileged climate, which makes the sun rise 300 days a year !

Born in the 13C to serve the nearby Monastery of Santa María la Real, today the town of San Martín de Valdeiglesias is a prosperous town located at the western end of the Community of Madrid, where it borders the Castilian provinces of Ávila. and Toledo. For its part, the aforementioned monastery located next to the nearby and well-known San Juan swamp, is undergoing a slow and laborious restoration after decades submerged in abandonment and ruin. The castle of La Coracera is the emblem of this town. It was built in the 15C by Don Álvaro de Luna, a patron of King Juan II, father of Enrique IV and his sister, the all-powerful Queen Isabel la Católica. Not surprisingly, the castle functioned as the monarch’s chamber during her proclamation as Queen of Castile in the nearby town of El Tiemblo in Avila. We must not forget that it was even the headquarters of dictator Napoleon’s French troops during the War of Independence (peninsular wars). Close to the castle is the Enchanted Forest, another of the essentials of the town. It is a well-kept botanical garden that integrates more than 500 plant species. More than this, it stands out because more than three hundred sculptures have been created inside it from plants. Bordering the San Juan swamp, at other times of the year it would be obligatory to go to the so-called Madrid beach to take a bath and sunbathe on the shores of this enclave in the Sierra Oeste of the Comunidad de Madrid. Even so, there is always some adventurer who does not hesitate to enter its waters in the middle of the winter months to practice kayaking, wakeboarding or paddle-surfing, some of the water activities most frequented in these parts. You can also sail, paraglide or mark a hiking route in its surroundings. The town on tourism: https://www.sanmartindevaldeiglesias.es/municipio/turismo/

Guadalajara can boast of being the second Spanish province with the most castles in the country behind Jaén. In total, this corner of my nostalgic Castilla La Mancha has 198 fortresses spread throughout its territory, many of which are in an admirable state of preservation. The Torija castle is located in a privileged area as a crossroads and natural transit to Aragon. The origin of its current plan dates from the 15C and was the work of the Mendonza family. Since the end of the 16C it has ceased to be inhabited and only on exceptional occasions was it used to house kings such as Carlos V or Felipe II and other distinguished visitors. In the 19C it would be occupied by the French occupying troops of General Hugo and later by Juan Martín el Empecinado who blew it up, leaving it in ruins. The current restoration was carried out in 1962., The castle of Sigüenza, erected in the 12C on top of a pronounced hill in this town, was used continuously as the residence of the bishops until the middle of the 19C. In the 15C it served as a refuge against the raids carried out by the Navarrese during the war of the Infantes of Aragon. During the Napoleonic occupation, the castle abandoned its character as a bishop’s residence to be the headquarters of the occupying French troops from 1808. In 1827 it returned to being the residence of bishops. It served as a fortress in the Carlist Wars for the last time, suffering extensive damage, a ruin that was completed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). One visited recently briefly see post is the Molina de Aragón castle located in the north of the province, perched on the slopes of the mountain that rises above the town and the valley of the River Gallo, the Molina de Aragón castle is the largest and most monumental of all that remain today in Guadalajara, The set consists of a first walled belt known as albacara that has numerous defensive towers and whose main access is the Puerta del Reloj. (clock gate) The interior is made up of the fortress itself, with six towers of which the remains of two remain and another four in good condition and which are connected by a crenellated wall walk, and by a large space , In this flat interior terrain are also the remains of the Romanesque church of Santa María del Collado and a natural chasm known as Cueva de la Mora. From the castle you can also reach what is known as the Torre de Aragón, a three-story pentagonal tower surrounded by a wall with battlements. It is a reconstruction from the 19C, although an Arab fortress was located here, which in turn was built on a Celtiberian castro.!Awesome !

The Exit Alcalá cocido roll, prepared by the chef Roseny Brito and stuffed with the traditional meats of the Madrid stew, has been the winning tapa in the final of the 1st Official Championship of Tapas and Skewers of the Community of Madrid, organized by the Higher School of Hospitality and Tourism of Madrid. In the final, the cocido roll from Exit Alcalá faced the bola de cocido from Taberna Casa Maravillas, the Madrid chotis from Welkhome Club (also made with stew) and the Asian reinterpretation of the squid sandwich from BLT. The winner Exit Alcalà from Alcalà de Henares webpage : http://www.restaurantesexit.com/cgi-bin/area_alcala.asp

And finally, my rant of the month or year . I do not know if just me but I have been noticing many folks trying to follow my blog giving a few likes and once ok the « friend » contact they just disappears ! I do not know why people follow , but to me , me think, you follow me because you like my content lol ! Just goes without saying that once in a while you should stop by to say Hi ,give a « like » and so on, I have taken many down from as much as 3000 followers to just over a thousand, Still a lot with hardly any real following, Is it me ? Or is just my mind ? What do you think ?

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

January 18, 2023

Wines news of Spain V

We are in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you mywines news of Spain V !!

The Riojan winery Bodega Marqués de Murrieta has managed to position one of its wines, Marqués de Murrieta Reserva, in fourth place in its Top 10 Wine Values of 2022 ranking prepared by Wine Spectator magazine, recognized for being one of the most influential in the industry, and which usually drink French, American and Italian wines. This recognition of Marqués de Murrieta Reserva comes months after the pioneering Rioja winery was recognized in November last year with the Best Of 2023 award, which ranks it as the best winery in the world and was awarded by the World Network of Large Wine Capitals. In 2020, Wine Spectator had already chosen another of the Marqués de Murrieta wines as the best wine in the world, on this occasion Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. Webpage : https://marquesdemurrieta.com/en/

The Familia Fernández Rivera, a family wine group led by women, whose iconic Tinto Pesquera winery celebrates 50 years of history. The Fernández Rivera family includes the Hotel AF Pesquera and the Condado de Haza wineries; Dehesa La Granja; El Vínculo y Tinto Pesquera, promoter of the DO Ribera del Duero and flagship that celebrates 50 years of history. Lucía Fernández Rivera, daughter of the founder, Alejandro and Esperanza, who I met them ! The work soon paid off, because in the 80s they began to export Tinto Pesquera. “That the first country we sent wines to was the US meant everything, it opened doors for us; also Robert Parker’s points, although no one around here knew him…”, Lucia says with a smile. Indeed I was there when it poured in Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel Fl USA !! Memories forever !!! webpage : https://familiafernandezrivera.com/en/history/#

The Remírez de Ganuza’s Reserva 2009 has been chosen as one of the best wines of 2022 by the prestigious wine magazine The Drinks Business. The news serves to highlight the great moment the winery is experiencing, which in 2022 has managed to reach the goal of selling 50,000 bottles over €50. Until now Vega Sicilia was the only Spanish winery to achieve this. Located in the small town of Samaniego in Alava, it was founded in 1989 by Fernando Remírez de Ganuza. In 2010, his Gran Reserva 2004 obtained the coveted 100 Parker points. That same year, the Urtasun family became part of the winery, first as Fernando’s partners but since 2019 they own the entirety. Of its Reserva 2009, it stands out that with more than ten years of age, it is at its best moment, with ripe notes, leather and sweet balsamic, along with stewed fruit. Complementing these aromas is a touch of cedar, dark chocolate and spices, as well as a lovely texture, which starts out meaty, ending chewy and fresh. With a price of 90 euros, some bottles can still be found in specialized points of sale ! Webpage : https://www.remirezdeganuza.com/eng-vinos-remirez-ganuza.html

The prestige and recognition achieved by Bodega Fillaboa and its elaborations follow one another without rest. It is one of the three spirits and Orujo that the brand makes that is now attracting attention. The Spanish Association of Wine Journalists and Writers (AEPEV) awards in its XIV edition of Best Wines and Spirits of Spain 2022 the Aged Orujo Fillaboa in the category of Orujos Spirits, Grape Spirits and Liqueurs. The Aged Fillaboa Orujo of the I.G. Orujo de Galicia has been presented since last year 2022 in a new and stylish bottle. This brandy is obtained from the aging of the Orujo Blanco. The brandy ages for at least seven years in 225L French Limousine oak barrels. located in the warehouse. Of an amber color, this distillate is clean and bright. On the nose it gives off aromas of vanilla, toast and hints of French oak. It has notes of orange peel, dried fruit and hints of toffee. On the palate it is complex, unctuous and soft. It is recommended to serve at a temperature of 15-18º and it has a potential aging of 20 years. Fillaboa is a historic estate that has remained indivisible throughout the centuries, being one of the largest, most beautiful and oldest in Galicia and the only one that, due to its special characteristics, it belongs to Grandes Pagos de España. Behind the 1,600 meter thick stone wall that protects the property, in addition to the vineyards, the winery and a spectacular rebuilt manor house are hidden. 50 hectares of Albariño grape vineyards planted on undulating slopes make up the Fillaboa estate, which is located in Salvaterra do Miño, on the natural border with Portugal, next to the Tea and Miño rivers, and comprises a total of 74 hectares spread over 12 different pagos, Webpage Fillaboa with the orujo : https://bodegasfillaboa.com/fillaboa-aged-brandy/?lang=en

The Orujo the skin of the grape, after it has been pressed and all its substance has been removed, A sort of aguardiente from grapes, Aguardiente is an alcoholic beverage distilled from an alcoholic fermentation. It can be sugar cane etc, The orujo is very popular in Galicia which my friends always offered ! To explain a bit on the above words, let me tell you a pagos is a word coming from the Latin pagus, which the Romans used to designate a geographical and territorial unit into which a city was divided and which formed part of the land cadastral organization. However, obtaining great wines associated with specific places was already present in ancient Greece where the pagos of the mountain of Tmolos, those of Fanes or those of Plentia (in Alexandria) were famous. The Great Pagos of Spain are here with Fillaboa : https://grandespagos.com/en/vineyards-and-wineries/

It is known in the DO Toro and elsewhere as Tinto Aragones. It is Garnacha, a variety that has coexisted there with tinta de toro in unequal conditions. Its always interesting participation in coupages was limited to 25% , Now the situation is very different. Not only is the door open to the creation of Garnacha monovarietals protected by the denomination of origin, but a greater pride is perceived among those who use this grape, The tinta de toro in Prima 2020. Abundant fruity memories, finesse and restrained strength -softly wrapped in oak- stand out in this wine. It is made with the youngest vines (although some have exceeded half a century) from his Toro winery. It is easy and comfortable to drink without giving up its seriousness and character. A successful approach to the greatness of a terroir, also present in this brand, which has the blessing of a few drops of Garnacha. Webpage : https://www.bodegasanroman.com/vinos/

Vega Sicilia expanded its legend with a historic tasting in which it quoted the best of the sector’s press and where it honored those present with eight decades of its best vintages. With the act, It celebrated the 40th anniversary since the Álvarez saga acquired the best winery in Spain for around 300 million pesetas and whose origins date back to 1848 when Toribio Lecanda acquired a 2,000-hectare estate from the Marquis of Valbuena. The winery, based in Valbuena de Duero (province of Valladolid, Castilla y Léon) tasted at the Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Vizcaya) , two Valbuenas (2018 and 2005 magnum) to give way to a collection of unforgettable Único vintages, some relics that would make more than one collector lose their heads: 2013, 2010, 2009, 2004, 1999 , 1996, 1994, 1991, 1990 magnum, 1989, 1986, 1981 magnum, 1980, 1975, 1974, 1970, 1968, 1962, 1960, 1957, 1953 and 1942. The vineyard has been our obsession for 40 years. And it still is. The vineyard is the biggest and most beautiful thing we have”, endorsed Álvarez. Amen ! Webpage : https://www.temposvegasicilia.com/en/wines

And I cannot leave this post without again mentioning Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, my first taste ever of wine given by my dear maternal grandmother Amparo of Pajarà, Tenerife always remembered abuela Amparo, Her favorite words was in those earlier days , the wine may be sour but is our wine ! (Spain of course), The Marqués de Riscal is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja, founded in Elciego ( province of Álava) in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga. Since its inception it has been a benchmark in the wine industry, being the first Rioja winery to produce wines according to Bordeaux methods (first winemaker was Jean Pineau of Bordeaux). In 1972 it became the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin ,where its famous white wines are made ,and in 1991 it launched Barón de Chirel, the first “high expression wine”. In 2006, the Ciudad del Vino or City of wine was inaugurated, with a hotel designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, which is the most avant-garde work carried out to date by a Spanish winery. Marqués de Riscal has always had a clear export vocation. Today it is present in more than 110 countries to which it exports more than 60% of its production. In 2021 Marqués de Riscal has been named the second best vineyard in the world and the first in Europe in the World’s Best Vineyards 2021 contest. The Ciudad del Vino de Marqués de Riscal offers the experience of going through the history of the winery from its foundation in 1858 to the present day with the possibility of enjoying wine through the five senses: guided tours with which the visitor will visit the most and you will be able to see first-hand how they make their wines. All tours include tasting of their wines and appetizers. Hotel Marqués de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel, designed by Frank O. Gehry. Center for meetings, conventions and events. Caudalie wine therapy spa. Wide gastronomic offer, Gastronomic Restaurant, with a Michelin Star and the advice of the La Rioja chef Francis Paniego, 1860 Tradición Restaurant, Vinoteca y Bistró, Asador Torrea and bar and cafeteria. Sublime ! Webpage : https://www.marquesderiscal.com/en/our-wines

The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja or Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin will become the epicenter of national and international wine tourism activity by being chosen as the venue for the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 convention, an annual event famous for revealing the ranking of the best experiences offered by vineyards and wineries, enjoyed by of enormous prestige and great worldwide media coverage. The contest, which will take place from July 10 to 13 ,2023, offers the opportunity to show the potential of Rioja before the eyes of the delegation, made up of more than a hundred people including the organization, the jury, national and international journalists, as well as great exponents and experts from the sector, who will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the Denomination through an extensive program with different itineraries, which will include tastings, visits to wineries and leisure activities, among others, to enjoy the rich diversity of the Region so that they can appreciate all the elements that make Rioja a unique place , Within the program of visits organized in collaboration with the Regulatory Council of the DOCa, the announcement of the 50 Best Vineyards and Wineries occupies a prominent place of the World (World’s Best Vineyards) of 2023, which will take place on July 12, at which time the global ranking will be announced. Rioja, is the oldest Qualified Designation of Origin in Spain, dating back to 1925, and the first to receive Qualified certification in 1991, is positioned as one of the Designations of Origin in the world that offers the best guarantees regarding quality and authenticity. of its wines, thanks to the demanding regulations and self-control developed by its Regulatory Council. With more than 66,000 hectares, the DOCa Rioja is made up of three zones with different wine-growing characteristics ,Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental , which cover 144 towns through which the Denomination extends, with 600 wineries and more than 14,000 winegrowers. Rioja wines webpage : https://www.riojawine.com/en/home-en/

As far as Decanter magazine ( me a former subscriber for many years of learning) the best wines for winter, and my favorites are : R Lopez de Heredia, Viña Gravonia Blanco, Crianza, 2014, La Rioja Alta, Gran Reserva 890, 2005, Remírez de Ganuza, Reserva, 2006,  Bodegas Ramón Bilbao, Límite Sur, 2017, Bodegas Riojanas, Monte Real Gran Reserva, 2014 , CVNE, Cune Reserva, 2017, and Faustino, I Gran Reserva, 2011 , You won’t go wrong with any of these fyi, Decanter webpage: https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/top-riojas-to-enjoy-this-winter-495443/

And why not leave you with a nice recipe of my dear Spain, this time from Burgos, The Cobo Vintage style roast lamb in a convection oven. This roast chooses a piece of Arce Carne IGP, from La Bureba in Burgos, which is macerated with garlic, lemon, salt and white vinegar before being subjected to the most traditional and avant-garde cuisine by Miguel Cobo.

The Ingredients : Piece of Arce lamb Meat IGP 5 liters of water, 1 head of garlic, 150 ml of white vinegar, 1 lemon ,and Salt, The making of it: We put the piece to soak in the water for 12 hours with the garlic, lemon, salt and vinegar. Then we will roast the piece in a convection oven subjecting it to three round and round maneuvers every 40, 30 and 15 minutes, at 160º or 180º., This is the mythical Vallés, in Briviesca; Cobo Vintage opened in 2014, in Burgos; He achieved his Michelin star in 2016 and in 2020 he undertook the ambitious Cobo Estratos project, with two restaurants that share access and two different culinary styles: traditional Burgos and cosmopolitan avant-garde. Now, the new project is called Cobo Evolución, and it is a gastronomic restaurant that is located within the Cobo Estratos space of almost 1,500 square meters. It is located in Plaza de la Libertad ,9, in the historic center of Burgos. Buen provecho ! His webpage : https://coboestratos.com/nosotros/

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain as I

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

January 13, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXL

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXL is old Roman for 140, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Ian Gibson wins the 2023 Comillas Award, with the work ‘Carmen in Granada. Memoirs of an Irishman’, in which the historian tells how the city has conquered him, has been chosen by the jury, Born into a Methodist family in very Catholic Dublin in the forties, he tells of the tensions and frustrations of a home marked by puritanism, as well as his sentimental education in various boarding schools, where he dealt with colorful characters who over time became relevant in the Anglo-Saxon world. In addition, he has also highlighted the role of restoring Spanish history. He had an unwavering commitment to the recovery of decisive figures in Spanish culture of the 20C. One of these characters is Federico García Lorca, (see post) whose tragedy fascinated the Hispanist. In these memoirs, which will be published next March by Tusquets publishing house, Gibson narrates the life of a wealthy Irish family, with its advantages and its demons, especially in the emotional field of jealousy, countless disagreements between a bitter mother and a self-conscious father, distrust and a frustrating repression due to the Methodist religion, Gibson traveled to Spain in 1965 with the mission of finishing his doctoral thesis on the roots of the work of Federico García Lorca, of whom he has written an endless number of works. . The text became a book in 1971, although the Franco regime banned it in Spain. For this work he received the International Press Prize in Nice. Dedicated to remembering and recounting the lives of others from that moment on, he obtained Spanish nationality in 1984. Over the years, the historian has published numerous books, including The Night They Killed Calvo Sotelo (1982), Paracuellos, how it was (1983), I, Rubén Darío (2002) and the novel La berlina de Prim (2012). I read them all !! webpage : https://www.planetadelibros.com/autor/ian-gibson/000001740

Twenty years after the Picasso Museum, the art gallery that sparked cultural tourism in Malaga, the doors of the Picasso Museum in Malaga opened for the first time to change the city from top to bottom. It is now all over on his 50th anniversary, See it at its best in Malaga : webpage : https://www.museopicassomalaga.org/en/exposiciones/dialogues-with-picasso

The Fallas bullfighting fair returns to normality in Valencia, From Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 March, 2023 , there will be six bullfights, two bullfights with picadors, a bullfighting celebration and a bullfight without horses with students from different bullfighting schools. Webpage : https://www.entradastorosvalencia.com/en/valencia-bullring/

The Cirque du Soleil breaks the ice with ‘Crystal’, The Canadian company is set up in Barcelona until January 22 2023 with its first show on the frozen rink of the Palau Sant Jordi , At its feet, the 25 by 15 meters ice rink begins to fill up of filigrees and arabesques, of tiny grooves generated by the constant friction of the blades, while a small army of Cirque du Soleil workers adjust pulleys and check gears. If there were a thermometer handy, I’m sure it would confirm that the track remains at 11 degrees below zero. A risky stunt that mobilizes a hundred people, including 43 artists, to explore the artistic limits of ice and expand the company’s repertoire of acrobatics and stunts with new milestones such as extreme skating and ice juggling. The production, which premiered in 2017 only in the United States, now says goodbye to Spain after passing through Malaga and Pamplona, webpage : https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/spain/barcelona/shows

Announcing Irene Pardo, until now director of the Spanish Network of Public Theatres, Auditoriums, Circuits and Festivals, has been chosen as the new director of the Almagro International Classical Theater Festival. Webpage : https://www.festivaldealmagro.com/en/the-festival/

Some numbers as Spain is the 2nd most visited country in the world (UN-WTO),

The Prado museum received 2,427,718 visitors last year, 115.43% more than in 2021, when there were 1,126,897. If we compare it with 2019 (3,203,417) it is below, but it must be taken into account that that year it celebrated its bicentennial, with a record number of audiences. The origin by nationality of the visitors to the Prado changed in 2022: there was a majority of foreigners (50.2 compared to 26% last year). On the other hand, the national visitor decreased. The Reina Sofía museum, during 2022 received 1,171,367 visitors at its headquarters in Sabatini and Nouvel, 86% more than in 2021. Figures still far from the 1,714,049 it had in 2019 and the 1,694,296 in 2018. add the 1,318,823 visitors to the Palacio de Cristal and the 491,086 to the Palacio de Velázquez in 2022, headquarters of the art gallery in the Retiro Park. In total, 3,063,092, far from the figures for 2019 (4.4 million) and 2018 (3.9 million). As for foreigners, those who have come to the museum the most are, in this order, French, Italian and North American. For its part, the Thyssen Museum closed 2022, the year of its 30th anniversary, with 1,072,003 visitors, a figure that represents an increase of 59.7% compared to 2021, with 671,078, and 3.6% compared to 2019, in which 1,034,873 were counted. On the other hand, more than 7.2 million people visited the centers and exhibitions of the Foundation La Caixa during 2022, which represents an increase of 1.18% compared to 2019, before the pandemic. CaixaForum Madrid reached 695,797 visitors, more than double that of 2021 , the Guggenheim Bilbao had a total number of visitors in 2022 was 1,289,147, making it the third best year in its history, behind 2017 (20th anniversary celebration) and 1998 (first year of activity). It represents an increase of 43% compared to the previous year (still affected by the pandemic) and an increase of 10% compared to 2019. The royal palaces, monasteries and green spaces managed by National Heritage received 5,232,728 visitors during 2022, 36% more than in 2021. Some Royal Sites such as the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the Monastery de Yuste exceeded the pre-pandemic figures for 2019. The most popular monument was again the Royal Palace of Madrid (1,092,978 people), followed by the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (374,775 people) and the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (206,149 people). A bit lagging but catching up should be big in 2023 !

The Prado museum is organizing the largest Guido Reni exhibition to date and will exhibit works from the Frick Collection that are returning to Spain for the first time, works that will be shown to the Spanish public for the first time along with other iconic ones such as the recently restored ‘Hippomenes and Atalanta’ or the version of San Sebastián that has influenced subsequent art so much will be exhibited this spring at the Museo del Prado..More info webpage: https://www.museodelprado.es/actualidad/exposicion/guido-reni/44974f9e-306b-8657-d8f4-59f0bb98ee15

The castle of Baños de la Encina, in the province of Jaén, was built in the 10C and the Council of Europe recognizes it as one of the best-preserved Muslim fortresses in Europe by maintaining its original outer enclosure, just 9 km from Bailén and a little less from the southern highway, the Bury Al Hamman Castle, also known by the name of Burgalimar Castle, stands on the rocky Cerro del Cueto hill, which is one of the best-preserved military fortresses on the peninsula.to admire one of the best works of military architecture in Muslim times, dating from the 10C, and be amazed at the perfect condition of its walls that were built using adobe, lime, small stones, water and straw dried in the sun. You can still see on these walls the squared traces that were used to install the scaffolding of the time and build walls still protected by 15 square towers that form almost a perfect oval in this unique watchtower. It was Caliph Al-Hakam II, son of Abderramán III, who ordered the construction of this Muslim fortress, but much earlier, in the Copper Age, the first traces of occupation of this site appear. Inside you can see some walls of Iberian origin and a Roman mausoleum of a sacred nature, but it is the passage of the Almohads that determines the stability of the building by providing it with very high protection, an entrance door with two Caliphate horseshoe arches and a large cistern, rectangular in plan. This cistern or well was used to store water and was divided into two separate rooms and covered by a barrel vault. The Castilians conquered it for the first time in 1147 by Alfonso VII, it was recovered by the Almohads and won again by the troops of Alfonso VIII and Alfonso IX, the latter in 1189. Finally, the fortress was taken three days after the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212) and finally conquered in 1225 by Fernando III the Saint who incorporated it into the city of Baeza, on which it depended until 1626, the year in which Felipe IV granted Baños the title of town. Andalucia tourism webpage : https://www.andalucia.org/en/banos-de-la-encina-cultural-tourism-castillo-de-banos

More in Spanish on El Encina town : https://www.bdelaencinaturismo.com/rutas/ruta-guiada-castillo-de-banos-de-la-encina/

Sadly, part of the wall of Toledo collapses at dawn. The causes of the collapse of this area of the wall located a few meters above the Puerta de Bisagra and next to the Puerta del Sol on Calle Real, below the Puerta de Alarcones, are unknown. The wall has collapsed at dawn this past Tuesday January 10th 2023, without causing damage and for reasons that are being analyzed. To be continue ,,,

And there is now 100 years with the eternal light of Joaquín Sorolla,2023 marks the centenary of the painter’s death and several exhibitions will vindicate his legacy. Valencia will be the epicenter (despite the forgetfulness of the IVAM) and the Royal Palace of Madrid is preparing a surprising anthology. The French have Claude Monet, the English have John Singer Sargent and the Spanish have Joaquín Sorolla, the painter of the Mediterranean. None stood out as much in his time as Sorolla, who conquered the United States in his 1909 retrospective More in Madrid tourist office : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sorolla-through-light-royal-palace

Go up to Cercedilla, the ‘capital’ of Madrid’s Sierra de Guadarrama,The beautiful valley of La Fuenfría is the entrance to the heart of the sierra from its southern slope. Something that has been going on for two millennia. This is demonstrated by the layout of the Roman road that runs through it, one of the best preserved in the Iberian Peninsula. Another road was built on part of the Roman road in the 13C. It was the path of the Bourbon kings from Madrid to La Granja de San Ildefonso, where they spent the summer. The routes of both roads, Romanesque and Bourbon, make up an extraordinary route that gives walkers a return that is difficult to forget. The most comfortable can choose to get on the Eléctrico del Guadarrama, the rack railway has been happily recovered today, after three seasons in dry dock. It leads to the port of Navacerrada, a historic mountain place that was the first place to ski in Spain. From there you can go down the best route in the mountains: the Schmid path, which leads to Fuenfría and Cercedilla. In its Plaza Mayor stands the statue of the town’s most distinguished son: Francisco Fernández Ochoa, winner of the first Olympic gold medal in Spanish sports, at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics. It is at the gates of the Ski Museum, which despite its small dimensions offers a complete journey through the history of skiing and mountaineering in the mountains. The Luis Rosales cultural center, dedicated to the poet of the Generation of 1936, winner of the Cervantes Prize and who spent part of his life in Cercedilla, is another landmark in the town. The Fàbrica de la Luz or Light Factory shows the facilities of the old hydroelectric power station from 1925 ; a jewel of industrial architecture, it supplied energy and light to this town for more than half a century. City webpage : https://cercedilla.es/como-llegar/

For a few weeks now, the small town of Alquézar, perched at an altitude of about 660 meters on a hill in the Pre-Pyrenees mountains, in the Somontano of Huesca, has added another more international one to its well-deserved title of one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. The World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) has designated it as one of the best towns for tourism in 2022. The beauty of this quiet medieval town, with about 300 inhabitants, whose origins seem to date back to the 9C with the construction of an Arab fortification (current Collegiate Church) that dominates the landscape, is indisputable and a claim for everyone who comes to the area. From the road that leads to the town, its perfect integration into the limestone environment can be seen, and the canyons, cliffs and caves modeled by the Vero river that surround it are a statement of intent for hikers and lovers of active tourism. At the top of the town is the majestic Castle-Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, built in the Romanesque style in the 12C on top of the old Arab fortress under the auspices of the kings of León. From it comes a double wall with battlements, a watchtower and other towers that protect the historic center of the town The cloister (16C-18C), which houses the Museum of Sacred Art, with pieces from the 12C to the 15C, and the main altarpiece and a magnificent Romanesque Christ from the 13C inside the temple are worth a stop. The porticoed Plaza Mayor (today called Plaza Rafael Ayerbe), Plaza Cruz de Buil, through which the walled enclosure of the castle-collegiate church is accessed, through an emblazoned door built between the 15C and 17C, and the Mirador Sonrisa al viento or smile to the wind lookout, with incredible panoramic views of the town and the deep canyon of the Vero river, are other places of interest in Alquézar. Another beauty up my road warrior roads between France and Spain, More info from Aragon tourism : https://www.turismodearagon.com/en/ficha/alquezar/

From hundred-year-old shops to luxury brands, craft workshops or alternative venues. Madrid attracts all audiences and budgets. There is a reason why it holds first place among the best cities on the planet to go shopping. And much better, on sale.OF course, but I told you so in several posts, now here is more of my dear Madrid,

For a reason this year it has been chosen the best city in the world to go shopping, according to the prestigious British consultancy Wethrift, ahead of others such as Paris, London, Tokyo or New York. With a score of 75.89 out of 100, among the reasons its “safety index” stands out, in addition to the good quality/price ratio, the attractive discounts, the ease of getting around on public transport, the climate to walk along the main roads commercial or the great variety of options. Other aspects such as the presence of international firms, sales campaigns or service are also taken into account by The Globe Shopper City Index, a study carried out by the research unit of the English publication The Economist, which also always ranks the Spanish capital in the top positions of its annual rankings of the best cities to burn the bank card. From hundred-year-old businesses to artisan workshops, luxury product boutiques or alternative venues only suitable for modern people. There is everything until reaching the figure of more than 76,000 retail commercial establishments throughout the community of Madrid.

Now here are some and some are my favorites told you so in my posts on shopping in Madrid ! These are : The Casa de Diego, in the heart of Puerta del Sol. It began its journey as a shop-workshop of fans, umbrellas, parasols, parasols and walking sticks in 1858. And the successors of Don Manuel de Diego, the founder, continue with their “royal fans”. Even Queen Letizia wore one of them at her own wedding. Other hundred-year-old businesses are Guantes Luque (Espoz y Mina, 3), opened in 1886; Guitarras Ramírez (at Calle de la Paz, 8, since 1882) or the bookstores Casa Vales (at Fernando VI, 14, since 1909) and San Ginés (in the alleyway of the same name since 1650!). La Favorita continues, the hat shop that has been dressing the heads of Madrid residents and visitors, as the fourth generation of the Enguitas, the owners, points out, with top hats, caps or bowlers in the Plaza Mayor since 1894. The list of shops continues with Capes Seseña (calle de la Cruz, 23), where characters such as Pablo Picasso, Luis Buñuel, Rodolfo Valentino, Ernest Hemingway, Gary Cooper, Bruce Springsteen or Hillary Clinton have passed since 1901 in search of the perfect cape. Sublime !!!

Camilo de Blas, the favorite confectionery of chef José Andrés (fame chef) who invented the ‘carbayones’, Founded in 1914 and run by the fourth and fifth generations of the same family, it is a benchmark for traditional Asturian confectionery. But before José Andrés, this pastry shop -next to the old El Vasco train station- was already an obligatory gourmet stop in Oviedo (and also in the rest of Spain, because through its online store they ship to the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands). In it was born, in 1924, one of the emblems of traditional Asturian confectionery: the carbayones.(how the local Oviedo folks are colloquially known) It consists of a three-fold puff pastry filled with a mixture of egg, ground almonds, cognac or sweet wine and sugar, basically, and covered with a syrup made from water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon ! The shop is located at Calle Jovellanos 7 street (in 2009 they opened another store in Calle Santa Susana, 8) However, the brand was not born on Asturian soil, but from Leon. Their great-great-grandfather founded the confectionery shop on Calle Ancha de León, in 1876. He decided to expand and set up a shop for each of his three children. One stayed with him in León; he opened a pastry shop for another in Oviedo, in 1914 [today the mother house], and the last one, in Gijón, in 1915 , The one in León ended up closing and today is a Pans & Company, just like the one in Gijón, since my great-great-uncle had no children and passed to his wife’s family; It worked for a while, but it also closed. Sublime webpage : https://camilodeblas.es/

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough 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 !!!

December 30, 2022

Again, the Temple of Debod in Madrid !!!

This is a memorable spot for me as a kid living in Madrid, and for history of not only the temple but the Spanish Civil War. Hope you enjoy the new post with older pictures just found in my vault on the Temple of Debod !!

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I thought of something unique and semi hidden in Madrid, but a must to visit. This is the Temple of Debod in the parque del Oeste and more precisely in the parque de la montaña (where an old Civil War hq was ). Today visitors and younger generation flock to the temple to see the history of the Egyptian monument without realising the sacrifice that was done here. I know, I have taken my boys several times as well as beauty and history are a great lesson, And do see my other post on it in my blog.

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As you know at least from my previous post ,the temple, originated from ancient Egypt and 2,200 years old, is an Egyptian gift to Spain to thank it for its collaboration in saving the temples of Nubia. The Temple of Debod was dedicated on July 20, 1972 after two years of reconstruction. The temple has two floors. There is a very interesting model on the upper floor, where you will discover all the temples that existed in Nubia. Do not miss it.

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Originally, this monument stood in the Nile Valley, some 31 km from Aswan. It was built in the 2nd century BC. But following a rise in water that threatened this part of the city, the temple was dismantled stone by stone between 1969 and 1970. The Egyptian government then decided to offer it to Spain. Indeed Spain helped the Egyptians to save the monuments of the Aswan valley at the time of the construction of the dam. The stones of the temple were in fact transported by boat to Valencia before then transporting them by train to Madrid. It was put on the land where the former headquarters of La Montaña was located.

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Near the Temple of Debod on the esplanade to the side , there is a fantastic mirador or lookout . Before you leave, come and enjoy its stunning views. To go the exact address is Calle Ferraz 1. By metro/subway/tube get off at the Plaza de España stop lines 2, 3 and 10 or in Ventura Rodríguez line 3 that although it is somewhat further, you can walk to the temple perfectly . We enjoy the bus and lines 3, 46, 74, 75, 148 and C2 can take you there too.

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The Madrid tourist office on the Temple of Debod: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/templo-de-debod

The specialised city of Madrid site Memories of Madrid on the Temple of Debodhttp://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/eng/index.html

There you go folks, another wonderful sight to see in my dear Madrid ,a city made for life and families, wonderful memories of always. Hope you enjoy the historical Temple of Debod as I.

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

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December 29, 2022

Again ,my Parque del Buen Retiro of Madrid !!!!

This park has several entries in my blog but never enough I past grand part of my stay in Madrid here, it was cheap and great to play, meet friends and do all the young boy wanted to do It has stayed in my heart ever since Over the years, I have the opportunity to come back to Madrid and the Parque del Buen Retiro park is a must. To be in Madrid need to have visited , I can come back a thousand times and still will missed it once leaving. Because the Retiro park for me is part of what we say , from Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!! I keep looking at it from wherever I am Hope you can visit it and enjoy the post as I.

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I am updating this older post on another visit to Madrid and of course ,another visit to the Retiro park. I have come with wife and boys , and parents, and taken friends here to show off Sublime !

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You know this was a Royal park and even if cutoff a lot still has 125 hectares or 4,5 km of perimeter; from the beginning it was much larger something like 145 hectares. It was created from 1630 to 1640. The park has a big pond ,basin, lake as you like in a rectangular fashion where there is a huge monument to king Alfonso XII with his equestrian statue in bronze done in 1904. There is also a rosary or roselada and 12 other statues , fountains and two palaces such as Cristal and Velazquez. There is an Egyptian fountain, kiosks for food, boat rentals, bike rentals jogging trails, and exercise trails, Chinese pagoda etc etc.  It has about 19000 trees of 167 different species.  In its territory there is the Royal National Observatory, and remnants of the Hermitage of San Pelayo and San Isidoro (Saint Pelagius and Saint Isidore) . The Parque del Buen Retiro makes reference to the functionality of the now gone Cuarto Real (Royal quarters), a site annex to the Monastery of the Jerónimos , where the kings retire to meditate or entertainment.

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All wonderful for a day or weekend family trip now. The Retiro park is now an Unesco World Heritage Site under the name “El Paseo del Prado y el Buen Retiro. Paisaje de las Artes y las Ciencias” or sort of the Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, landscapes of Arts and Sciences. You will do well to search in my blog for my other many posts on the Retiro park, and again is a must in Madrid ; you cannot come to the city and not visited it.

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The hours for Spring and Summer (from April to September): from 6h to midnight. Autumn and Winter (October to March): from 6h to 22h. Opening hours for the canine areas are from 7h30 until the park closes, You get there other than walking on metro lines Príncipe de Vergara (lines 2 and 9), Ibiza (line 9), Atocha (line 1), Atocha. Renfe (line 1), On bus lines 1, 2, 9, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 51, 52, 61, 63, 74, 146, 152, 202, and C.

The Madrid tourist office on the Retiro parkhttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

The Community of Madrid region tourist office on the Retiro parkhttps://turismomadrid.es/en/discover/iconic-places/el-retiro-park.html

There you go folks, a dandy sublime beautiful lungs park of my dear Madrid , Again, a must to see in the City , I have memories forever here, Until next time in Madrid ,eventually Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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December 28, 2022

The Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!!

Well here we go again, I thought have told you about this wonderful promenade street of my dear Madrid , but after looking around my blog realised only have mentioned it briefly in previous posts. Therefore, it really needs a post of its own for one of the dandies streets in my Madrid which I have walked and driven zillions of times. Let me tell you some about the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Paseo de la Castellana , commonly known as La Castellana, is one of the longest and widest avenues of Madrid with 6 km of palaces and towers. It is named after an old Castellana fountain that used to exist in Plaza de Castilla from a stream starting in the Plaza Gregorio Marañon. It starts at Plaza de Colón, passes through the Nuevos Ministerios, Plaza de Lima, Plaza de Cuzco, Plaza de Castilla, and ends near the Nudo Norte (North Junction), connecting with the M-30 and the road to Colmenar Viejo. The Paseo de la Castellana is the continuation of Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado, and these three avenues vertebrate the north-south axis of the city. Here you have the supreme Estadio Santiago Bernabeu,home of the best of all times, Real Madrid CF! It entered service at the beginning of the 20C, and by early 21C consisted of 6 central lanes or main road, and 4 lateral service roads, Its extension to the north to Fuencarral is planned, within the urban project known as “Madrid Nuevo Norte”.

A bit of the long history of Paseo de la Castellana, short version :

In 1786 the Paseo de la Castellana was conditioned, at the end of which there was a basin that collected the waters of the Castellana Fountain. In 1807 the stream was canalized and work began on the future Paseo. A few years later in 1830 urbanization of the area began and the project ended in 1834. Subsequently, the nine rows of trees that originally ran along the Paseo were planted. The Paseo de la Castellana originates from the road that, in a south-north direction, flanked the city of Madrid during the 17C and 18C by the Paseo del Prado and Recoletos promenades. The extension to the north of this Prado-Recoletos axis was already considered during the regency of María Cristina de Borbón, widow of King Ferdinand VII, and mother of the one who later acceded to the throne under the name of Isabel II. At first, the promenade was not officially called that, but Paseo de las Delicias de la Princesa, in honor of the future Queen Isabel II, to distinguish it from the Paseo de las Delicias del Río (now Paseo de las Delicias), and it was completed in put up in 1834. The nobility that had historically settled in the center of the city, during the 19C and the first years of the 20C, gradually settled in the peripheral areas of the city. This is the reason why a good number of palaces were built in the Castellana. Most of them were demolished until the 1970’s. During the Spanish civil war, Paseo de la Castellana, together with Paseo del Prado and Paseo Recoletos, (see posts) received the name of Avenida de la Unión Proletaria (Proletarian union avenue) . After the war ended, the promenade underwent a new name change, becoming known as Avenida del Generalísimo (the General’s avenue for Franco) ,In 1949, Paseo de la Castellana recovered its name, but only in the section that existed before the war. The prolongation of the promenade, from its junction with Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde street, kept the name of Avenida del Generalísimo. It was not until 1980 that the Avenida del Generalísimo disappeared, once again being part of Paseo de la Castellana. After starting in the Plaza de Colón, (see post) the promenade has a large number of public buildings on both sides, especially ministries and embassies of different countries. They are buildings that date from the end of the 19C to the middle of the 20C. In this first section, which is winding and narrower than the subsequent ones, are the Plazas Emilio Castelar and Doctor Gregorio Marañón squares. After passing the Plaza Gregorio Marañón square, there is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences and the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers on the even sidewalk, and after the next square, Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, are the Nuevos Ministerios, (see post) a complex that groups several Public Buildings.

What is there is very nice, my Paseo de la Castellana !!

We start the paseo or promenade tour at Plaza de Colón (see post) which at number 1, we have the famous Torres de Colón. With its green dome and its gadget on the roof in the form of an Art Deco socket, they were unmistakable. At number 3 of the promenade is the Palace of the Marqués de Villamejor, built in 1893, where the mother of king Juan Carlos I was born. Today it is the headquarters of the Secretary of State for Public Administrations. On the opposite sidewalk, at number 2, the Hard Rock Café in Madrid has closed its doors, and a little further on is the German Evangelical Church or Church of Peace, a little-known temple slightly hidden behind walls and branches. The trees in the garden. at number 5 is the Alcalá Galiano palace, built in 1878, headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior. And at number 17, in front of the Hotel Villamagna, we have the palace of the Marquises of Fontalba and Cubas. Built in 1912, it won an award from the City Council for the most outstanding buildings. It currently houses the State Attorney General’s Office. A small but attractive mansion that belonged to the Marquis of Eliseda, at number 27 is the current headquarters of the Youth Institute, it is said that the Spanish Falange was founded here in 1933. At number 34 stands the ABC Serrano shopping center, in a Neo-Mudejar style building built in 1926. Behind it, the center has an exit on Calle Serrano in the Neoplateresque-style building from 1899. The complex was the headquarters of the ABC newspaper since its inception until 1989. Opposite the previous one is the Palacio de Bermejillo, on the Puente Eduardo Dato bridge that crosses the Castellana. Built in 1916, this palace has had various uses throughout its history and today is the headquarters of the Ombudsman. Under the Eduardo Dato bridge, the Museo Arte Público de Madrid or the Madrid Public Art Museum opens. Previously it was called the Castellana Open Air Sculpture Museum, because, indeed, it is outdoors. Here walkers can admire its 17 sculptures by contemporary artists such as Chillida, Miró, Sempere, Subirachs or Torner. Being open, you do not have to pay any entry or submit to any schedule.

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The palace of Eduardo Adcoh is the striking building at number 37 built in 1906. The privileged building currently houses the Rafael del Pino Foundation. The next thing the walker comes to is the Glorieta de Emilio Castelar roundabout, where the monument to the politician and writer who was president of the First Spanish Republic between 1873 and 1874 stands.If from this roundabout we take the left , we will arrive in a minute at the Sorolla Museum. Returning to Paseo de la Castellana, we immediately arrive at Plaza del Doctor Marañón, whose center is presided over by an equestrian statue of the Marquis del Duero. Two of the most prestigious hotels in the capital have their place in this same square. These are the Intercontinental (see post Istayed!) and the Miguel Angel. The next square we find is that of Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, with a large fountain in the middle ordering traffic. Next to the fountain rests the sculpture La Mano, by Fernando Botero, owned by the Fundación Telefónica, which donates it to the City Council. And to the right, on a rise in the land, is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences, which occupies the Palace of Arts and Industry from the late 19C. In the garden between Paseo de la Castellana and the museum is the monument to Isabel la Católica. The sculptural ensemble, from 1883, is surrounded by a small pond that represents the queen on a horse accompanied by a military man and a religious man. In the same garden we see the monument to the Constitution of 1978. It is a marble cube with stairs on all four sides. If we continue along the left sidewalk we come across the monument to Indalecio Prieto, Minister of the Republic during the Spanish Civil War . The sculpture is sheltered in the wall of the Nuevos Ministerios, a project promoted by Prieto himself in 1933. Completed in 1942, it currently houses the Ministries of Transport and Labor. A little further on, on the same sidewalk as the odd numbers, is AZCA, a large commercial and office block (see post) . Opened in the 1960s, it houses the well-known Torre Picasso and Torre Europa. Here is also the Titania Tower, which was built on the ruins of the burned Windsor building. In the same space we have the Castellana 81 building (BBVA bank headquarters), the Mahou Tower, one of the largest branches of El Corte Inglés, the Moda Shopping mall, (see post) , and a good handful of restaurants and other establishments , When we cross Avenida del General Perón is the Palace of Congresses (see post). Opened in 1970, its façade displays a large mural designed by Joan Miró. In the square that forms at its entrance, if you look closely, you can see a sculpture of Ghandi. Opposite the palace, crossing the Paseo de la Castellana, stands the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, of Real Madrid ; yes simply the best !!! (see posts).

madrid Paseo de la Castellana el corte ingles by Nuevos ministerios aug16

If we continue going up the Paseo de la Castellana, we will arrive at Plaza de Cuzco, where the Ministry of Industry is located. At number 200, the Castellana 200 Shopping Center , a modern complex. And in the next block we have the Arte Canal Exhibition Center, where some of the most outstanding exhibitions in Madrid are programmed. We are already in Plaza de Castilla, in the highest part of Paseo de la Castellana. Opposite the warehouse rise the unaesthetic buildings of the Courts, which appear so often on the news. On the south side of the Plaza de Castilla is the monument to Calvo Sotelo, from 1960, dedicated to the politician who was assassinated shortly before the start of the Spanish Civil War. In the middle of the square stands the Column of Calatrava, a golden cylinder 93 meters high. Completed in 2009, it has also been called Obelisk de la Caja and Obelisk de Calatrava, after the architect who designed it. On the north side of the square are the Kio Towers, those two leaning skyscrapers that we have been seeing for a while as we go up the Paseo de la Castellana. The official name of the pair of towers is Puerta de Europa and its symmetrical buildings measure 114 meters. The most curious fact is that they present an inclination of 15 degrees with respect to the vertical. From Plaza de Castilla you can see the tallest skyscrapers in Spain, which are located at the end of the Castellana. The complex is called the Cuatro Torres Business Area and it forms a business park built on the land of the former Real Madrid Sports City. The two tallest towers, about 250 meters high, are the so-called Torre Cepsa (45 floors) and the Torre de Cristal (52 floors). The others are Torre PWC (58 floors) and Torre Espacio (57 floors), with a height of about 230 meters. Next to it, the Caleido Tower, known as the Fifth Tower, open in 2021 by the king 180 meters and 35 floors. And here, at the La Paz hospital, which is next to the skyscrapers, Paseo de la Castellana ends.

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In its northern section, between the end and the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, the avenue is covered by line 10 of the Madrid Metro, with stops at Begoña (Line 10), Plaza de Castilla (Line 1, Line 10, and Line 9 ), Cuzco (Line 10), Santiago Bernabéu Station (Line 10), Nuevos Ministerios (Line 10, Line 6 and Line 8) and Gregorio Marañón (Line 10 and Line 7). From the Plaza del Doctor Marañón to Colón, there is no Metro line that runs along the axis, but it is crossed by lines 5 at the Rubén Darío station and 4 at the Colón station. The main bus lines of the axis are 27 (wonderful ride) , which runs along the axis from Plaza de Castilla to Colón, and 147, which runs from Plaza del Doctor Marañón to the height of Hospital La Paz. Other important lines are the 14 (a good one too) that runs along the promenade between Nuevos Ministerios and Colón, the 40 that uses the avenue between the Cuzco square and the Doctor Marañón square, the 45 that has stops between the San Juan de la Cruz square and the de Colón, and the 150 that provides service from the Plaza de Lima to Colón, On the train side you have the from Nuevos Ministerios with a stop for lines C-2, C-3, C-4, C-7, C-8 and C-10 of Cercanías Madrid.

The Madrid tourist office on the Castellana district in Madrid: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-neighbourhoods/castellana

The official Madrid Nuevo Norte project : https://creamadridnuevonorte.com/en/home-en/

The Comunidad de Madrid regional tourist office on walks of Madridhttps://www.comunidad.madrid/en/cultura/organiza-tu-visita/paseo-calles-madrid

There you go folks, feel better now, this is one of the dandiest street in my dear Madrid. Often overlook by visitors going to the tourist Centro/center but worth every meter/foot of it. Hope you enjoy the post on the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid as I

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

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December 24, 2022

Wines news of Spain IV

And we are in Winter 2022-23, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain IV !!

In the interannual period to October 2022 (from November 2021 to October 2022) Spanish wine exports have risen 3.8%, reaching a new turnover record with 2,983 million euros. In volume, however, the downward trend (9.7%) continues, with sales standing at 2,100.2 million liters. It seems that the growth in value is softening and the fall in volume is accentuated, according to the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino or Spanish Observatory of the Wine Market. In the first ten months of 2022, sales grew in value by 3.9% and 92.6 million euros to 2,483.2 million. In volume they lost 10.3% and 202.3 million liters to 1,756.3 million. In terms of value, it is bulk wines, sparkling wines and bottled still wines that lead the global increase. In volume, it was bulk wines and packaged still wines (68.8 million), which fell the most.webpage : https://www.oemv.es/exportaciones-espanolas-de-vino-octubre-2022

The Denomination of Origin “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry” is considered the oldest in Spain, because it was the pioneer wine region in publishing its Regulations after the creation of the Wine Statute in 1933; The first Wine Law in the country that included the concept of Designation of Origin. And a few years later, in 1964, the D.O. “Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda”, geographically related to said locality. Currently, the Marco de Jerez that produces the wines covered by the Denomination of Origin “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry” is located in southern Spain, between the towns of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, Trebujena, Rota, Chipiona, Puerto Real, Chiclana de la Frontera and Lebrija. Among the changes in the Specifications approved by the Regulatory Council, we can highlight as one of the most significant, the expansion of the Aging Zone of the DO “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry” which, as we mentioned before, is equal to the Zone of Production, so now the wineries that are outside the famous “triangle of Jerez” are also welcomed in full right under the conditions of the Denomination of Origin. More info in Spanish webpage : https://www.sherry.wine/es/marco-de-jerez/el-consejo-regulador#

The mastery of the great Spanish sweet wines is unparalleled in the world, with peaks of quality that match them with the greats among the international greats. The Christmas holidays provide an unbeatable opportunity to taste them, accompanying marzipan figurines, almond sweets, shortbreads, polvorones, pestiños, nougats, candied fruits or roscones de reyes that require their presence for the celebration and enjoyment to be complete, to which should be added the use of a range of grape varieties, starting with the consecrated muscatel, malvasía, and Pedro Ximénez, and continuing with the autochthonous treixadura, godello, monastrell, or red and white garnacha. Its production spans numerous wine-growing areas, although it has greater roots and quality are in Andalusia, Alicante, the Canary Islands, Catalonia, and Galicia. Naturally Sweet Wines (VND) in which the sweetness of the fruit becomes a taste-olfactory filigree,

Two of my favorites over the years are :

Noé: Bodega González Byass, Manuel María González, 12. Jerez de la Frontera ( province of Cádiz). The must is from Pedro Ximénez from the Carrascal estate and produced in the Viña Canariera winery, where the grapes are sunbathed. The wine is fortified before entering the Solera de Noé, where it remains for an average of 30 years. The result is a complex and powerful wine, with aromas of raisined fruits, dates, dried figs, coffee and roasted coffee. Delicately pasty, velvety, powerful, concentrated, intense, without being cloying. Webpage :https://www.tiopepe.com/es-es/productos/noe

Alvear Pedro Ximénez de Sacristía 2006, Bodega Alvear. Avenida María Auxiliadora, 1. Montilla (province of Córdoba). Alvear is one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Montilla. His teaching is based on the excellent old Pedro Ximénez vines planted on albariza soil. Once the grapes have sunbathed, the best Pedro Ximénez vintages are subjected to static aging in American oak barrels from our bodega Sacristía winery. This is a wine of exceptional value for money, full of aromas of raisins, fruit in liqueur, citrus, chocolate and spices. Very tasty, concentrated and thick, without being cloying, it leaves a sweet sensation, as elegant as it is intense. Webpage : https://www.tiendaalvear.es/

The history chained by eleven generations of winegrowers that begins in 1647 and that has completed, therefore, 375 harvests. Time that has served to associate wine with the surname Chivite, to elevate a land, Navarra, in which its vines are rooted and some varieties that have followed the movement of the pendulum marked by each era. This is the opportunity now offered by the winery putting on the market a thousand units of a batch of three bottles that will be sold at eighty euros. It is made up of Chivite Colección 125 Reserva 1994, Chivite Colección 125 Reserva 2002 and Chivite Colección Vino de Guarda 2017. Past, present and evolution of a project summarized in the image that reflects some of its best reds. Sublime follow Chivite for years,,,webpage : http://chivite.com/nuestros-vinos

Another historical bodega and favorite of mine over the years is the Bodegas Faustino, a brand that has received outstanding international recognition from Wine Enthusiast, one of the most influential wine publications in the world (i was a former subscriber back in the USA). The winery has been selected as one of the five finalists in the “European Winery of the Year” category in the publication’s annual Wine Star Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the world, which recognizes every year the exceptional work of wineries and personalities from the world of wine. The Wine Star Awards jury highlights that after celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2021, Bodegas Faustino, located in Oyón, Rioja Alavesa, is another European winery with a long history that has kept pace with the global market trends and is lauded as one of the ‘First Rioja Families’ The winery is the largest owner of vineyards in the Rioja region, giving it almost half of the total market share of the Rioja Gran Reserva wines and to be a leading Rioja brand in the US market. The Martínez Zabala family is the leader in the production and export of Gran Reserva de Rioja around the world, with a market share of 35% of the most prestigious category of Rioja and has the first park of Rioja barrels (more than 75,000 in which the future great reserves and high-end wines rest) and more than 14 million bottles. Faustino is the Rioja winery that houses more Gran Reserva vintages in its bottle racks, with wines for sale from vintages since 1955. And it even keeps previous vintages On the other hand, Wine Enthusiast has included the Gran Faustino I Gran Reserva 2004 in the group of best wines of the year , giving it a score of 96 out of 100. The publication highlights that this deep garnet-colored wine has aromas blackberry, black currant and olive tapenade. It’s smooth at first on the sip and then harsh tannins build up on the palate, carrying flavors of dark plum, pomegranate, cocoa pod, thyme and orange zest that work their way to a surprisingly bright finish. Indeed sublime, Webpage : https://www.bodegasfaustino.com/faustinoI/index-en.html

For reference Wine Enthusiast magazine  wine star awards: https://www.winemag.com/2022/09/13/wsa2022nominees/

Nearly 50% of the wines with DO Valencia tasted in the Peñín Guide 2023 have been rated with 90 points or more. The 33rd edition of the Peñín Guide to Wines of Spain (which I follow since the late 80’s) reaffirms the quality of the wines of the Valencia Denomination of Origin, granting it a total of 81 outstanding. A total of 25 wineries with outstanding scores that show the excellent work that is being done, One good one althought by reference I trust as not taste it yet is the 1771 Casa Los Frailes 2018 by Casa Los Frailes. An intense cherry color with a complex, expressive, spicy, mineral, earthy aroma and an elegant, full, long and persistent palate webpage: http://www.bodegaslosfrailes.com/en/values/

A few km from Requena is the Hispano+Suizas vineyard (this one is known and very good ) that has reached a very high level of quality with his four cavas (Spanish sparkling wine) . That’s where it all begins. It is true that the 200 years of history between the two territories invites above all respect, but the challenge was served and the desire to face it was plenty. The first step was to find out the acclimatization capacity of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, (you know it) , the two star grapes of Champagne. There are three keys that elevate the four cavas of the Tantum Ergo line to the category of a masterpiece: the fermentation of the base wine (first fermentation) in new 400-litre French oak barrels. Aromatically it provides interesting nuances, but what makes the difference is the creaminess on the palate, a vital issue for the nobility of the final result. Secondly, they are all Brut Nature, the only way in which the wine speaks for itself, without makeup. Finally, the different times of aging in the bottle in which the nuances and greatness of the cava come to light. While the two Tantum Ergo (a white made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a rosé from the red variety) have been aged for a minimum of 22 months, the Tantum Ergo Vintage (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), which is only made in the best vintages , spends almost four years refining in the bottle with its lees. Lastly, and as an example of exploring the limits of bottle aging (more than 120 months in rhyme), there is Tantum Ergo Exclusive, a cava of which only a very limited number of magnum bottles are produced. Bodegas Hispano+Suizas, Ctra. Nacional 322, Km. 451.7, 46357 El Pontón, Requena (Valencia) webpage : https://bodegashispanosuizas.com/?lang=en

And why not continue with Valencia shall we! The Valencian territory, home to vines since ancient times, attracted different civilizations that promoted the culture of wine and transmitted an incalculable historical legacy. Those vineyards that supplied the Roman Empire with wine are still rocked by the magnetic Mediterranean breeze, caressed by a generous and almost omnipresent sun.

The Castellón Wine Route leads to these charming corners and invites you to discover the interesting proposals of small producers, whose wines are covered by the Vinos de la Tierra de Castelló geographical indication. The benevolent climate of the area is home to autochthonous varieties such as Monastrell, wild Bonicaire or Macabeo, which produce signature wines with a long history, always under the capricious influence of the tides. In Valencia , there are two wine routes that cross the province: the Utiel-Requena route and the D.O. Valencia, with its beautiful contrasts and wines with their own personality made on many occasions with grapes from recovered local varieties. Five subzones make up the D.O. Valencia: Alto Turia, Clariano, Valentino, Muscatel and Terres dels Alforins. The latter is a kind of Valencian Tuscany, a picturesque triangular valley that is home to old towns born from the vineyard with great cultural and environmental value: La Font de la Figuera, Moixent and Fontanars, where you can live very unique experiences that are different from the that the capital offers (urban wineries, tapas with Valencian wines…). The Utiel-Requena marks the border between Levante and La Mancha, and there reigns the Bobal, the star of fun and varied wine tourism options: themed routes, archaeological sites (among them, the oldest winery in Europe), Alicante, with the Monastrell as a banner, it is rich in microclimates and oenological treasures. Like fondillón, a unique wine in the world that is made with Monastrell grapes that are overripe on the vine and aged in old Alicante barrels using the ancestral system of soleras. The Alicante Wine Route reveals the secrets of this eternal wine, and of the rest of elaborations covered by the D.O. Alicante, starring the stoic Monastrell. More info webpage:https://enoturismo.comunitatvalenciana.com/en/enoturismo-comunitat-valenciana

This small and young appellation of origin, located between Cuenca and Toledo, that I have visited and tasted their wines over the last several years is up and coming good wine area of my dear Spain, The Uclés Denomination of Origin was clear from the beginning that sustainability would be one of its main axes. For this reason, it was a pioneer in measuring the carbon footprint, beginning in 2013 to calculate and certify it , Born in 2006, the Uclés Denomination of Origin covers 1,700 hectares of vineyards and encompasses 25 towns! in Cuenca province and 3 in Toledo province. Its heritage stands out of old vines in glass of more than 40 years. · Composed of 5 wineries, 3 of them produce and bottle wine with D.O. Uclés: Fontana Wineries and Vineyards, La Estacada Estate (the best of the lot me think) and Soledad Winery. The D.O. works with 6 white varieties (Verdejo, Chardonnay, Small Grain Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Macabeo and Airén) and 5 red varieties (Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Garnacha Tinta). The towns in the province of Cuenca are Acebrón (El) – Alcázar del Rey – Almendros – Belinchón – Carrascosa del Campo – Fuente de Pedro Naharro – Horcajo de Santiago – Huelves – Huete – Langa – Loranca del Campo, Paredes – Pozorrubio – Rozalén del Monte – Saelices – Tarancón – Torrubia del Campo – Tribaldos – Uclés – Valparaíso de Arriba – Valparaíso de Abajo – Vellisca – Villamayor de Santiago – Villarrubio – Zarza de Tajo. Denomination of Origin Uclés, Calle Maese Nicolás, Business Center. PI. Tarancon Sur 16400 Tarancon (prov of Cuenca) ,webpage : http://www.vinosdeucles.es/

The Revista de Museología or Museology Magazine, which is the dissemination organ of the Association of Spanish Museologists, offers us a special 247-page issue dedicated to the Wine Museums of Spain. Number 60 of this publication is therefore a necessary copy in the library of wine lovers of Spain. Magazine Webpage : https://www.museologia.net/producto/revista-de-museologia-no-60/

The Association of wine museums of Spain : https://www.museosdelvino.es/?lang=en

And as usual by me, let me introduce to you some magnificent Spanish wines to match any and great for the Holiday period of 2022 and New Year 2023. Feliz Navidad para todos.. Merry Christmas to all!! Joyeux Noël à tous; Feliz Natal para todos!

Conde de San Cristóbal debuts its top wine, Oydor On the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Marqués de Vargas to the Ribera del Duero, to the Pago de Valdestremerade Peñafiel where they are located, the winery launches an exclusive wine, from a pre-phylloxera vineyard located in the Viñalamiel area and divided into two microplots, one from 1860 and the other from 1950. It has an altitude of 850 meters and sandy loam soils with clay and silt. This red is very floral, with notes of cocoa and blackberries, balsamic touches and nice toasties. In the mouth it is very broad, fine, with a perfectly integrated alcohol, with black fruit and elegant tannins. Webpage: https://www.marquesdevargas.com/es/pasion-familiar/

Barco del Corneta in the town of Cubillas de Santa Marta, between Palencia and Valladolid, in the Pisuerga Valley, found a winegrower with a vineyard in an area renowned for its quality, in Pago de Sallana, where they harvest red and white grapes to make a classic claret, Tempranillo is the ink and the whites are traditional varieties of the region: palomino, widow, verdejo or clairet. The result is Tres Navíos, a serious and stately rosé, aromatic, with red fruits and floral notes, ripe, full on the palate, with a soft and comfortable texture. Webpage : https://barcodelcorneta.com/

Ojo Gallo places the accent on a Ribera del Duero winemaking tradition , A blend of Tempranillo, Viura, Garnacha, Albillo or Bobal from farms in the Las Majadillas region, all from organic or biodynamic vineyards, this wine, which rides between the profile of a light red or intense rosé, but always with a cheerful finesse,webpage : https://www.torremilanos.com/en/torremilanos-wines/torremilanos-wines-d-o-ribera-del-duero/ojo-gallo-en/

Montepedriza is the name of this red parcel, which comes from a fifty-year-old vineyard in the Tudelilla area, in the DOCa Rioja. It is made in 500-liter bocoyes to accentuate the roundness and elegance of the Grenache without giving up its fruity expression. a very rich, cheerful, round wine with delicious acidity ,webpage : https://www.hispanobodegas.com/valdelacierva-montepedriza/

Torre Muga is one of those labels with which to match both a winelover mother-in-law and the most recalcitrant brother-in-law, A red made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo whose label was born in 1991 with the idea of launching a wine with a Bordeaux air but that did not give up the Rioja character is intense, with notes of balsamic concentrated black fruit, with a silky texture and polished tannins, but with a long journey ahead. A wine that is now beginning to give its best, but a good aging does not go bad either, webpage :https://www.bodegasmuga.com/en/the-winery/

La Fillaboa 1898 2016, That Albariño is one of the great white grapes in the world almost goes without saying, but it goes without saying that yes, it is raw material for long-lived wines, which survive in time beyond the year after your harvest, even if they were not made for that purpose. This wine, in particular, has spent six years in steel tanks on its lees, so it is made to last, although now is a good time to open it and share it, or give it as a gift and see how it evolves after a few years. Webpage : https://bodegasfillaboa.com/our-wines/?lang=en

The winery founded by Alejandro Fernández and Esperanza Rivera, who are now run by their daughters, has packaged a selection of its most emblematic wines for those faithful to the brand born in Ribera del Duero: Tinto Pesquera, Condado de Haza, Dehesa La Granja and El Vínculo, in a packaging that is the result of the Desperdicio 0 contest, which the winery organizes together with the Training Degree at the Valladolid Superior School of Design and is made with recycled products. A selection of reds to uncork with the family , and yes have all except Dehesa, wonderful wines over the years indeed, webpage : https://familiafernandezrivera.com/en/pesquera-3/

Cara norte, Bodegas Montebaco calls its red wine from the plot that gives it its name, with seven hectares of calcareous clay soil, at an altitude of 900 meters and oriented, of course, to the north, so it suffers the lash of the winds that sweep across the moor where it is located. These circumstances mean that the organically grown grapes have an excellent ripeness and the right balance between fruit character, freshness and structure. It is made with its own yeasts and without additives, which accentuates its pure profile, of black fruit and blue flowers, and its opulent mouthfeel.webpage: https://clubdevinos.tienda/product/montebaco-cara-norte-2019/

Bembibre was one of the first red wines from the town to have the name of the town where the vineyard is located appear on its label. Dominio de Tares continues to bet on this red, which comes from eighty-year-old vineyards from six different estates with slate floors and accumulates 15 months of aging in barrels and two more years in the bottle, so it comes out ready to uncork it and discover its floral notes of violets and black fruits and chocolates and a silky texture; wide, tasty, intense, long, wonderful company of the most forceful passes on the men, webpage : https://www.dominiodetares.com/en/

Rompecepas ,It is not usual to find Madrid wines made with different varieties such as Malvar, Airén, Torrontés de Madrid or Jaén. Madrid vineyard that continues to explore from Cinco Leguas, a personal project, after having spearheaded more than notable productions in Bernabeleva and Comando G. The soil of the estate from which the Rompecepas grapes come is calcareous and clayey; It is harvested by hand, the must is fermented with skins and stems and the wine is then transferred to used 300-litre French oak barrels to preserve the fruity and mineral expression. A wonderful corkage for appetizers, salads, white meats or simply to quench your thirst. A project of Marc Isart webpage : https://www.mas-bodega.com/catalogue/categorie/21-d-o-vinos-de-madrid

Viña Albina Dulce Blanco Reserva is bottled in half a liter format and is sold for around 10 euros !. It is not only a top gift with a fantastic price for a late-harvest wine made with Viura and Malvasia, it is also a wine to bring to surprise to everyone in the aperitif or dessert, thanks to its magnificent acidity and a sweet and opulent fruit, which feels the sea of good in winter season. it can also be stored for a few years and enjoy its evolution, towards nuts and toasted and spicy notes. In short, there is no excuse for not getting a bottle, webpage : https://www.bodegasriojanas.shop/vina-albina/vina-albina-blanco-reserva-dulce-50cl

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news from Spain as I

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

December 24, 2022

Real Jardin Botànico de Madrid !

I had passed by this garden many many times and always bypassed it , don’t ask why, do not know. Finally , coming with my dear late wife Martine who loved gardening I stopped by. A pleasant surprise of a beautiful garden and interesting history I like. Nowdays came back several times even with my boys. Therefore, let me tell you a bit on the Real Jardin Botànico de Madrid or the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid ! 

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The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid is a research center of the Higher Council of Scientific Research. Founded by royal decree on October 17, 1755 in Madrid by King Fernando VI, at Migas Calientes, it was then ordered by King Carlos III at its current location, on the Paseo del Prado, more precisely at Plaza de Murillo , 2 near Prado Museum. This garden hosts, on three terraces, plants from Europe, but also from America and the Pacific. It is surrounded by walls and vegetation, the tranquility of this 8-hectare setting is appreciable in a heaven of peace.

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The garden is divided into 3 terraces. The lowest terrace, called Cuadrados Terrace (square terrace) presents collections of endemic plants, medicinal, aromatic and a beautiful rose garden of ancient and primitive roses. Then, the terrace of Escuelas ( Schools terrace ), still as it was conceived in 1774, presents the plants according to the botanical classification of Karl von Linné, from the most primitive to the most evolved. The upper terrace, terrace Plano de la Flor (Flower Plains terrace), more of the 19C, more romantic, houses old and recent greenhouses.

The first collection of about 2000 species were constituted around 1755 , then in 1774, King Carlos III entrusted their implantation to the Prado. In 1788, the Dahlia, native of Mexico, is acclimatized for the first time in Europe. At this time, the garden distributes free medicinal plants to the population. Today the botanical garden contains more than 5000 species of plants.

The archive of the Royal Botanical Garden guards the documentation produced by the operation of the institution itself, and that generated by the Spanish scientific expeditions of the 18C and 19C in relation to Botany. The archive is structured into 15 documentary collections, which have traditionally been called “divisions”. It also includes the collections acquired by deposit, donation or purchase, such as the private collection of Cavanilles, Lagasca, Cuatrecasas, Winthuysen or Emilio Guinea, or the drawings and prints of the Van Berkhey collection. It preserves one of the most important collections of botanical drawings and prints in the world, on which the more than 6,600 drawings of the Expedition to the Viceroyalty of New Granada by José Celestino Mutis stand out. With more than a million specimens, it is the largest herbarium in Spain and one of the most representative in Europe.

madrid botanical gardens entrance arr apr17

The official Real Jardin Botanico of Madridhttps://rjb.csic.es/

The Madrid tourist office on the Real Jardin Botanicohttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/real-jardin-botanico

There you go folks, a space of tranquility in a noisy area of the Museum golden triangle. Enjoy the Real Jardin Botanico of my dear Madrid. Memories forever ! Hope you enjoy the post as I. 

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

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December 24, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXVIIII

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Winter is here already! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXVIIII is old Roman for 139, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Brain(s)’: the most amazing exhibition you can see about the most mysterious organ, we have known for a long time that we are not a duality of soul and body, It groups 86,000 million neurons and that allows us to memorize, speak, dream, create, feel It is free and is in the Fundación Telefónica ,webpage: https://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/en/evento/brains/

They find the galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos, which disappeared 300 years ago in Oregon USA. This ship, which made its route between the Philippines and Mexico, had been missing since its shipwreck in 1693. Between 1565 and 1815, there was an annual trade route between the Spanish colonies in the Philippines and Mexico. This route was carried out with Manila galleons, exceptional vessels made of Asian wood, very resistant, such as those of the famous Santo Cristo de Burgos or the ships that took Magellan to the Philippines on his trip to the Moluccas, which Elcano culminated with the first circumnavigation. The National Geographic magazine has published a complete article with all the findings and with the details of the recovery operation. It is known that 231 people were traveling on board this ship at the time of the shipwreck, including some 170 Spaniards (clerics, nobles, sailors and soldiers). The Maritime Archeology Society (MAS) had its eye on the area of the shipwreck since 2020, but due to the pandemic and the weather, it was not until 2022 that they were able to approach the place. The recovery team consisted of archaeologists from the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation, MAS, and SEARCH Inc. (a cultural resource management company). The area was scouted by firefighters on jet skis and divers had to enter a sea cave while being assisted from the cliffs. In these operations, remains of Chinese porcelain have been recovered in very good condition. In addition, the Santo Cristo de Burgos was known by another name, the “Beeswax”, since its main merchandise was beeswax in blocks or in the form of candles to supply the monasteries, churches and homes of the colonies. . Apart from wax, it also transported silk and other materials from Asia. NG webpage : https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/legendary-spanish-galleon-shipwreck-discovered-on-oregon-coast

Lerín is the town in Spain closest to the stars, and in Navarra. In 2021, it became the first Spanish town to obtain Starlight certification, something like the astronomical equivalent to the gastronomic stars awarded by the Michelin Guide , Located at an altitude of 437 meters, this town and its municipal area have an area of 98.16 square km in which its neighbors do not lose sight of the immensity that covers them. Its streets rise to about 100 meters above the bed of the Ega river. Like a mirror, in quiet seasons, its waters are part of an absolute landscape: heaven and earth intertwine here without interference. These are scenarios that incorporate the observation of the firmament as part of their natural, landscape, cultural or scientific heritage and thereby promote sustainable tourism combining science and tourism. Webpage : http://www.lerin.es/turismo/monumentos-y-que-visitar/

The most famous Christmas in Spain is in Vigo, and (as Julio Iglesias would say) you know it. This year, some 45,000 people gathered to see how Christmas was literally ‘turned on’, with the eleven million LED lights that make up the Porta do Sol. The music, lights and attractions have already become a tradition known throughout the country. and a way to attract more Christmas tourism. Webpage :https://www.turismodevigo.org/es/actualidad/erase-una-vez-la-navidad-en-vigo

Torrejón de Ardoz (Comunidad de Madrid), The communidad de Madrid’s official city of Christmas lights has earned the title in its own right. Children’s attractions, Christmas decorations, markets and many shows. This year new activities have been added, such as the Ice Festival, the first International Ice Figure Contest. There are even monologues. From November to January, it is already a tradition that all Christmas lovers who reside in or pass through the capital pay a visit to Torrejón on these designated dates. Gastronomy is also another reason, as you can mix Spanish dishes such as churros with a good mulled wine or some Brazilian coconut beijinhos. Webpage : https://magicasnavidades.ayto-torrejon.es/

A series of lucky coincidences and a chain of ultimately blessed mistakes brought the La Niña, La Pinta, and Santa María to the Americas in 1492 from the Canary Island of La Gomera, a 2,400-mile journey that he thought would take him to Japan. There Columbus prayed, and can be read on one of the plaques in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in San Sebastián de La Gomera, which beyond the historical anecdote is an authentic museum of sacred art. Although the small hermitage of mud and stones that Christopher Columbus knew was much humbler than the current one, its central nave remains as it was then, with later constructions that make it the largest church on the island. The origin of this temple dates back to the 15C, and for a long time it was the only parish on the island of La Gomera. It survived attacks by the English and looting by pirates from North Africa and is an example of how the island was built in a mixed way, mixing the styles that came to this port of call for ships from all over the world. Gothic in character, with Mudejar and Baroque signs and with a white façade of Portuguese origin. He returned two more times, in 1493 and in 1498. La Gomera tourism : https://lagomera.travel/en/

Maya, the daughter Picasso had with Marie-Thérèse Walter, dies at the age of 87. She dedicated part of her life to the study and preservation of the legacy of her father, Maria de la Concepcion Picasso was born 1935 inBoulogne Billancourt.(Hauts de Seine 92), On January 8, 1927, when leaving the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Pablo Picasso ran into a young blonde with blue eyes, of Swedish origin, who immediately captivated him. She proposed to photograph her. Marie-Thérèse Walter was 17 years old, he 28 more. The artist was still married to the Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova, with whom he had had his only child until then, Paulo. From that day on, Pablo and Marie-Thérèse became inseparable. He fell madly in love with her and he made her his new muse and lover. He obsessively painted and sculpted her in innumerable works, always voluptuous, sensual, with curved brushstrokes. In 1930 Picasso bought the Castle of Boisgeloup (Gisors ,Eure dept 27 of Normandie), where he lived his passionate love with Marie-Thérèse, the result of which his daughter Maya was born on September 5, 1935 at the Belvedere Clinic in Boulogne-Billancourt. Her real name was María de la Concepción, a name that Picasso gave her in memory of his younger sister, who died at the age of 14 due to diphtheria. He had promised never to paint or draw again if she was spared. It was not like that, unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the History of Art. Maya was a carbon copy of her father. Until in 1938 he painted six portraits of Maya reminiscent of Velázquez’s dwarfs and buffoons. They were always in the hands of Picasso. All are from a private collection, except one, from the Picasso Museum in Paris. Everything is there. Her little clothes,her toys… They are wonderful portraits Picasso portrays Marie-Thérèse and Maya in the privacy of the apartment that he had secretly rented at number 44 rue La Boétie 8éme ,Paris, very close to the studio of the. He paints his young lover while he nurses Maya.

Nice historical towns to discover in my dear Spain

El Burgo de Osma, (prov Soria) a charming walled enclave in the province of Soria. Among its main attractions are the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, built between the 12C and 18C and which combines three different artistic styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance. You must also discover the Episcopal Palace, the University of Santa Catalina and the castle, located on the outskirts of the town, making it perfect for enjoying the best views. webpage: https://www.burgodeosma.com/monumentos.html

In Castrojeriz (prov Burgos) Framed within the Camino de Santiago, it has some of the most outstanding landmarks of the journey, such as the General Hospital of San Antón. You should also visit the Collegiate Church of Nuestra Señora del Manzano or the Palace of the Counts of Castro, a Gothic-style building that has earned it a place on the list due to its importance as a historical heritage. The Museum of Sacred Art of the Virgen del Manzano church as well as that of Santo Domingo de Guzmán are other must-sees in this beautiful Burgos town that already appeared in guides for pilgrims from the 12C. webpage: https://castrojeriz.es/castrojeriz/turismo

In Trevélez (Granada province) We jumped to the Alpujarra of Granada to enjoy one of the most beautiful corners of the Sierra Nevada National Park. There, almost 1,500 meters high, is located this municipality known for its Neolithic archaeological sites. Divided into three neighborhoods (high, medium and low), among its historic buildings the church of San Benito or the hermitage of La Virgen de Las Nieves stand out. It is also essential to mark a hiking route in the surroundings, either to the area of the Seven Lagoons or the Mulhacén peak. Webpage: https://www.trevelez.es/lugares-destacados/

This is the best artisan Roscón de Reyes in Madrid 2023, The Panod workshop is proclaimed the winner of the last Christmas call in which Isabel Maestre and the Dobleuve bakery have occupied second and third place. The fifth edition of the contest organized by the Gastroactitud portal has had a jury of professionals under the presidency of the great pastry chef Paco Torreblanca, The winner Panod webpage : https://panod.es/

The new in Madrid! The Robuchon group has landed in the historic Embassy venue (Paseo de la Castellana, 12) with three spaces (L’Atelier, L’Ambassade, Le Speakeasy) and the class that has given the French house so much fame. Since 1911, the last opening of the Pescaderías Coruñesas group, which this year has written an outstanding chapter, with the best fish as an indisputable claim. The price, yes, is commensurate with the quality. Going to Lhardy (Carrera de San Jerónimo, 8) continues to be quite an experience that has managed to maintain the essence of the space founded in 1839 . Horcher. Located in front of the Retiro Park, this temple of good food stands out for its seasonal fish menu Bistronomika (Ibiza, 44), with Carlos de Portillo in charge, has become one of the temples of fish and seafood in the city . His mastery of the embers is a guarantee of good work. Design the menu almost daily, depending on the season and market In the La Paz market (Ayala, 28) the tortilla from Casa Dani and the pasta from Matteo Cucina Italiana never fail. We head towards Antón Martín market (Sta. Isabel, 5). An obligatory stop in Lalópez -now they are working on dishes with mushrooms and embroidering them Carnivores have proposals in the renovated San Antón market (Chueca), with Juancho’s BBQ Leña (Paseo de la Castellana, 57), the Madrid branch of the homonymous steakhouse that Chef Dani García opened Pacífico (Conde de Xiquena, 2) in Marbella in 2020, a minimalist space with spectacular smash burgers that has only been open for three months.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We have reach Winter and cold weather and snow are showing up, and will be colder from now on ; just enough 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 !!!

December 23, 2022

The odd couple of Madrid, Teatro Muñoz Seca, and Eslava !!

However, as this is usual by me ,we did a lot of walking to show my young men sons, the heritage of Madrid and Spain we did stop by in several places that show a bit more of the fabric of the city of Madrid! This is the case of the Teatro Muñoz Seca theater, and the Joy Eslava theater/discothéque.  it is a nice quant area of Madrid not far from the Puerta del Sol.

The Teatro Muñoz Seca theater or Pedro Muñoz Seca theater is an old theater hall, located in Plaza del Carmen, 1 that in 1930 took the name of that Spanish playwright. In the same lot there was a popular Chantecler Hall, which between 1922 and 1930 was called El Dorado Hall. The Chantecler Hall , was acquired in 1919 by Consuelo Portela aka “La Chelito”, at that time maximum diva of erotic. On December 15, 1922, a new neighborhood building with a theater on the ground floor chamfer was opened on the same site, with the name of El Dorado (namesake of the Eldorado summer theater that was next to the Paseo del Prado and was caught fire in 1903). Finally, in 1930 ,it took the name of playwright Pedro Muñoz Seca.

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The official Teatro Muñoz Secahttps://teatromunozseca.madrid/

The Madrid tourist office on the theater Muñoz Secahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-munoz-seca

This is Joy Eslava , a place of my youth in my beloved Madrid from another era. Even if old each time in the city passed by it as to remind myself of the good old days in Madrid.

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When a young teen used to come here for theater presentations and community dances. We were eager to show off to the girls and dress to kill. Of course, there were a lot of guards then to keep an eye on us. Time has change!!! This is now a very hot discotheque of the rich and famous and then not.  However, the spot is nostalgic and makes you bring out the best in you or the young in you and now sharing stories with my young men sons! Joy Eslava or as old days Teatro Eslava is it in my dear Madrid !

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Joy Eslava is the name of a nightclub located in the Calle del Arenal near Puerta del Sol. Here there was a theater from the 19C until 1981 when the nightclub was inaugurated on the night of February 24, 1981. The stage and the balconies have been transformed into a dancefloor to make it a mythical place in Madrid. The Joy Eslava would become one of the leisure places of reference in Madrid, for a specific public and incorporating a new type of premises, the macro-disco.  During the 1980s it was a place of concentration of characters from the so-called Madrid Movida and served as an occasional stage for the Spanish television musical program Aplauso, which led there stars of the moment such as Alaska and the Pegamoides, Mecano or Tino Casal. Joy Eslava has continued to host concerts, parties and various social events, with the participation of celebrities such as Roger Moore, Pedro Almodóvar, Stevie Wonder, Julio Iglesias or Ruth Lorenzo ,etc.

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Nowdays,, it is re-opening in 2022 to offer leisure and entertainment, where live music can be enjoyed with artists from all styles, clubbing sessions featuring today’s top DJs and a flamenco-dinner show. A new era for Teatro Eslava (still Joy Eslava for me!).

The official Teatro Eslavahttps://teatroeslava.com/

The Madrid tourist office on teatro Eslavahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/nightlife/teatro-eslava

There you go folks, a dandy combination for all tastes in my dear Madrid not far from each other . You should be fine coming here and see a bit of the real Madrid not the tourist books. Hope you enjoy the post on these marvels and enjoy your stay as I do always.

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

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