Archive for ‘Madrid’

October 15, 2021

Some news from Spain CXII

And here I am again back to my dear Spain. Lots of things going on as time is of the essence for stepping out! We are carefully monitoring the finishing of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to go to my dear Madrid!!! For now from my breton neck of the woods , this is another episode of some news from Spain; brought to you by yours truly with care. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Prado Museum’s sensitivity to 17C Spanish painting explains the pictorial, iconographic and even detective interest of the exhibition dedicated to Murillo. It impresses the vicissitudes of the paintings and the outcome that has allowed them to be recovered since they came out in 1867. Queen Isabel II then agreed to give them to Pope Pius IX. And the Vatican sold them to a British collector, the Earl of Dudley, although the Murillos, like the false currency, would pass from hand to hand until they settled in Ireland owned by the Beit family. They were not safe. They ‘survived’ a fire. The IRA Stole them in 1974 . And the illustrious criminal Martin Cahill stole them again in 1986, in such a way that the kind Beit finally agreed to donate them to the National Gallery Museum. The collaboration consists of the pictorial and artistic interest of a Dublin loan that can be enjoyed in Madrid until January 23 2022, webpage: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibition/murillos-the-prodigal-son-and-the-art-of/762c7a6f-2cb8-fcdc-0eb7-8eea50406b18

A painting from the series ‘Musketeer with a pipe’ that Pablo Picasso painted in 1968 will go on sale in November at Christie’s in New York for an initial price of $30 million (25.8 million euros), as the firm itself has reported in a statement, The oil painting ‘Musketeer with a pipe II’ (with dimensions of 146 by 96.5 centimeters) contains the artist’s signature in the upper right corner and is dated November 5, 1968. According to Christie’s until now it was the property of a distinguished American collector who, for the moment, does not wish to reveal his identity. Webpage : https://www.liveauctioneers.com/c/art/pablo-picasso/1/18755/

The appearance of the Roman wall solves the great archaeological mystery of Sevilla ! The construction of the 3C, whose layout until now was hypothesis, is in front of the City Hall, 2.10 meters below the ground ! Since archeology was born as a historical discipline, in the middle of the 18C, researchers have put forward the most varied hypotheses about the route of the wall of the Romula Híspalis colony, a great work cited by Julio Cesar and by other written sources, but which no one, until now, had found. At number 11 Plaza de San Francisco, in front of the Plateresque façade of the City Hall, 2.10 meters below the current level of the street, they have unearthed large limestone ashlars from the project for the construction of a hotel, they began to excavate from there and went down almost three meters more until they reached a linear segment of 9.30 meters of wall from the middle of the 3C. with a total width of 4.80 meters, the result of the addition of a 1.70 meter high plinth and the preserved elevation of the wall, 3.25 wide in the section that has been discovered during the construction works from the service basement of a five-star luxury hotel that will open in September 2022 part of the Millenium Hotels Real Estate,webpage: https://www.milleniumhotelsrealestate.com/en/assets/plaza-magdalena/

The prize Planeta was, with its 601,000 euros, the prize best endowed with Spanish letters, accompanied by the tagline, “only surpassed by the Nobel.” This will have been the case until this edition: by surprise, the president of Grupo Planeta, Josep Creuheras, has announced that the award will now award its winner one million euros. The Planeta thus narrowly exceeds the Nobel prize, which is around 980,000 euros. The million euros comes in the year in which the award breaks records for originals presented, 654 novels, a clear trace of the recent covid past: it is 11% higher than those presented in 2020 (582 originals) the celebration of an edition round as it is the 70th anniversary with the presence of the Kings of Spain The group also owns the Casa del Libro chain of bookstores, and despite the ravages of the pandemic, the objective is still to extend the network even further : This year five bookstores have been opened and the forecast is to open another six next year.Great !! webpage: https://www.premioplaneta.es/

The portrait of José de Toro-Zambrano, first director of the Banco de San Carlos, painted by Goya ,was the first portrait that Goya would paint for the Banco de San Carlos, an exhibition with which a brand new exhibition space is inaugurated in the heart of the Golden Mile of art in Madrid, which adds carats to the Paseo del Prado-Recoletos axis, recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On a corner of the Plaza de Cibeles, flanked by the Paseo del Prado and Calle de Alcalá, stands one of the most outstanding buildings in Madrid: the Bank of Spain, its splendid collection, made up of more than 5,300 works (paintings, sculptures , drawings, photographs, prints and pieces of decorative arts), divided into two sets: the historical part (20%) and the contemporary (80%). , A collection that has Francisco de Goya as its standard. A treasure that in the almost 240 years of the institution’s history, only bank workers and those who attended guided tours have been able to enjoy (yes!!). The opening sequence will be ; first, in the middle of the pandemic, the raison d’être, in three volumes, of the collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures of the Bank of Spain, with 1,200 works. Later those of engraving and decorative arts will be undertaken. A heritage web portal was also launched. And now open to the public, which was inaugurated by the King. It will be free to access, although for now you have to reserve tickets ‘online’. This is a small room with capacity for 80 persons ; barely 350 square meters, divided between a central room and two adjoining triangular rooms, The exhibition will run to February 26, 2022, The singularities of the collections of the Bank of Spain prevail. 28 paintings, a sculpture, a drawing, 7 pieces of decorative arts and 96 documents from the Historical Archive and Library of the Bank of Spain are exhibited. They date back to the Banco de San Carlos (founded in 1782), whose leaders commissioned the most powerful artists of the time to portray the Kings, heads of state, finance ministers, directors and governors of the institution, which decorated different rooms of its headquarters. . It is one of the best galleries of official portraits in Spain. Over the years, funds from the Bank of San Fernando and the Bank of Isabel II were added, from whose merger the current Bank of Spain would be born in 1856. Webpage :https://coleccion.bde.es/wca/es/secciones/coleccion/

We are almost five hundred million, or what seems the same, four hundred and ninety-three million (four more than in 2020), 6.5% of the world population, That is the headline that throws the traditional yearbook published by the Cervantes Institute every October , Which does not hide the weight of inertia in this success as projections indicate that the Spanish-speaking community will continue to grow gradually until 2068, when it will exceed the seven hundred and twenty-six million, with different degrees of command of the language. The Spanish in the world. Cervantes Institute Yearbook 2021. According to Cervantes, Spanish is the native language of 493 million people; only Mandarin Chinese has more. If you add to the account those non-native speakers but who have some linguistic competence, the figure rises to 591 million people. English and Chinese are ahead. The language appears as the second preferred language in educational programs in the United Kingdom and the United States and in 18 of the 27 states of the European Union. The White House has relaunched its website in Spanish, the language that represents 7.5% of the world’s population, 9% of global GDP and will soon be spoken by 27% of Americans. Spanish is also the third most used language on the internet and the second on channels such as YouTube, Netflix or Spotify. There you go, yo lo sabia !!! Webpage : https://www.cervantes.es/sobre_instituto_cervantes/prensa/2021/noticias/anuario-IC-2021.htm

It has plenty of titles: pretty and historical complex … this year it adds one more: the most beautiful in Castilla y León. The town San Felipe de los Gallegos transport the visitor back to the Middle Ages. It is a very well preserved villa. The legendary foundation of San Felices takes place in the year 690. Felix, who was Bishop of Porto, ordered the founding of a town here in honor of his saint. And since he brought a Galician colony with him, he has just completed the name. So we are the town of the three lies: we are neither saints, nor are we happy, nor are we Galicians “.hehehe !

San Felices de los Gallegos is ‘The most beautiful town in Castilla y León‘, after winning the Castilla y León Television contest in the category of town with less than 1,000 inhabitants. It was Don Dionís, the Portuguese king, who after seizing the town of San Felices in 1296 built the fortress on a promontory that dominates the entire plain. It was between the end of the 13C and the first decade of the 14C. The old fence is preserved from that time, although the castle had up to five walled enclosures. The town would return to Castilian hands in the year 1326 and there begins the parade from one owner to another. Among its noblest inhabitants, Leonor de Albuquerque, mother of four kings and grandmother of Fernando ,the Catholic. ( later husband of Isabel the Catholic) Although it would be the Casa de Alba, at the beginning of the 16C, which would give it a more palatial appearance. In the 20C it was abandoned. To such an extent that some neighbors took possession of it with the intention of selling it stone by stone to a quarry. Angel de Dios prevented it by buying it from Alba’s house , The castle was inherited by his son Francisco, a priest who donated it to the town in 2013 for its use and enjoyment. Today, any curious person can climb its keep. San Felices also has two stunning churches. Everything is two steps away. One belongs to the Augustinian convent of La Pasión. There are only seven sisters, but they continues to make her sweets: puff pastry, peeled, perronillas … they have a huge poster with all the offer on the façade. The route continues along Nuestra Señora entre dos Álamos, which is surprising due to its large size. Opposite, you have to stop at the peculiar Bell Tower, another of the town’s landmarks. The Casa de los Mayorazgos, one of the largest civil buildings. One is the stonework museum and the other is the Oil Museum, called El Lagar del Mudo. With a meticulous restoration, this mill built in the 18C preserves all the charm of yesteryear and tells in detail the immemorial history of olive cultivation in this land. Or all the way by car, a thrill !! webpage: http://www.salamancaemocion.es/es/destinos/las-arribes/nuestros-pueblos/san-felices-de-los-gallegos

Circusland, covers 250 years of the history of the greatest show in the world through 6,000 pieces inside an old monastery in the Girona town of Besalú. It has the largest collection of stamps on this theme, the largest miniature circus on the planet and haute couture garments of famous clowns. the first professional museum on the circus in Europe, just opened in Besalú, the beautiful medieval town of Garrotxa in Girona, with its photogenic 11C Old Bridge over the River Fluvià as one of its main architectural emblems. Another of them is the old Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere, in whose Casa del Abad (later it would become a textile factory), the new 1,500-square-meter exhibition complex now stands (and the idea is to expand it to 10,000) divided into three plants. The tour of Circusland is made through 60,000 pieces including costumes, posters, photographs, stamps, engravings, postcards, autographs, books, porcelain, sculptures … They are divided into different specialties, from illusionism to acrobatics, comedy, magic, juggling or animal artists. Not surprisingly, here is the largest collection of philately on thecircus theme on the planet, with more than 900 stamps from 115 countries signed by illustrious artists such as Picasso, Chéret or Toulouse-Lautrec. Without forgetting the 27 haute couture dresses used by different clowns of the Cara Blanca typology, made between 1950 and 1980 by the prestigious Maison Vicaire tailor shop in Paris. Note: Each garment took more than 400 hours to make. What’s more, there is no such professional museum in Europe, and there are only two in the world, both in the United States, in Florida and Wisconsin. The question is: why is Besalú the headquarters of the museum? “In Girona and Catalonia in general there is a lot of tradition for this discipline. Here is the Golden Elephant Circus, one of the five most important in the world, the Great Girona Christmas Circus and the Circus World Market fair”, says the director of Circusland, who is also a jury member of the main international festivals of this type of show, as well as the first doctor in History of Circus in Europe. Circusland. Plaza del Prat de Sant Pere, 15, Besalú (Girona). Webpage:  https://circusland.org/en/inicial-3/

One more year, and for just one day, the Teatro Real will be the setting for the Madrid Fado Festival, an event that will feature the presence of three of the great stars of this musical genre, Carminho, (she sang duo with Pablo Alboràn !) Camané and Teresinha Landeiro. In its eleventh edition, it will pay tribute to the cradle of fado: Lisbon, with a complete program that will revolve around the Portuguese capital, the cultural epicenter of the life of fado. Teatro Real ,Plaza de Isabel II, s / n. Sunday October 17, from 10h. Admission 0 to 20 euros. Webpage : https://www.teatroreal.es/en/show/festival-fado-madrid-2021

Gettysburg, 1863 is the name of the original exhibition in the Moda Shopping Mall in Madrid that recalls the famous battle of the American Civil War with 11 dioramas and more than 500 authentic objects, relics and replicas of weapons, ammunition, documents, maps and different belongings of the contest. Moda Shopping Mall ,Avenida. General Perón, 38-40. Shown until October 31, 2021 Free !.Great fashion/moda shopping center too near the Santiago Bernabeu stadium of Real Madrid CF !! webpage :https://www.modashopping.com/8695/gettysburg-1863

There you go folks, another dandy from my dandy Spain. Hope you are all ready to go, it is a welcome sign to come to Spain, everything under the Sun!!! And remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 10, 2021

The wonderful M-30 beltway of Madrid!!!

As you know, love the road and freedom that it provides, and just glancing at my blog realized in a particular way have yet to write about one of my nicest memories on the road and I was there from the beginning of it all! Not usual for a blogger to write about a betlway circular highway, and driving in a big city , however, this is my Madrid I dare to drive in it

The M 30 is a beltway semi circular road of Madrid, the first one, and it is a 3 because it is actually the third beltway in history of Madrid. In 1857 was built the first circular road name the M10, running by Calle Princesa, plaza Colón, paseo de Recoletos, Gran Vía, and Calle de Alcalá. The second attempt was shorty afterward called the Paseo de Ronda, but popularly called the M20. It ran by the calle de Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, calle del Doctor Esquerdo, calle de Pedro Bosch, calle de Joaquín Costa and calle de Francisco Silvela. In 1929, it is spoken of a third beltway and called the M30 ; this plan was approved in 1942 but due to economic constraints and WWII it was not started until 1970 !! Ah yes the M is for Madrid of course ! I was living in the city, when they started building it and left when they had finished it! It has been a trademark to drive on it after finished in 1974! Of course, could not drive then, but walk over its arch and passarelle many times until finally able to drive on it in 1982 and thereafter,

The pretty arch (photo from arch to M30) over it passes near the Monumental bullfight arena of Las Ventas (see post)  on Calle de Alcalà on the way to my piso (apartment in Quintana metro line 5 stop). It seems every visit  I need to take somebody by here and tell of all the businesses there,gone and new over the years. Some like where my Mom purchase my first shoes are still there (Victor Calzados) and of course I purchase my boys shoes there too! The restaurant where we spent many evenings and I do concur the best patatas bravas of Madrid, Docamar since 1963 still there! I remember, going by bus P13 (today 113) to the baseball field of Elipa,(see post) now a huge sports complex park and baseball field still there, the Madrid baseball federation is base there etc. Now ,you can even go there from Calle Doctor Esquerdo on foot and over the passarelle of the M-30! All wonderful memories never to be forgotten. Enough of me, let me tell you about the M-30.

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The M-30, also call the Madrid ring road (beltway), is a road done like a highway except in the North of the city on the Avenida de la Ilustracion, this road goes around the city.  It has a length of about  32.5 km with an average radius of 5.17 km with respect to the Puerta del Sol. It is heavily congestion and high traffic volume, and some says the most in Spain. It has a speed limit of 90 KPH on the above sections and 70 KPH below the tunnels. The peculiarity is to be the only Spanish highway of which is own by the City/Town Hall of Madrid.  The construction of the M-30 started  in 1970 (while I was living in the city) , in two different sections: the East section, or Avenida de la Paz, between the Carretera de Irún (to France) A-1 and Carretera de Cadiz  A-4, which followed the riverbed of the old Abroñigal, which was to be channeled and buried under the highway. The West stretch, or the Manzanares highway, between the Puente de los Francéses (bridge of the French) and the Carretera de Cadiz (road), mostly built following the course of the Manzanares River. Both sections were joined in the South junction, and were not completed until 1974. (When I left Madrid after living 4 yrs).

The first beltway would be formed by the streets that follow the old plot of the wall of king Felipe IV that formerly encircled the city: lower part of the Cuesta de la Vega, Ronda de Segovia, Puerta de Toledo, Ronda de Toledo, Plaza de Embajadores, Ronda de Valencia , Ronda de Atocha, Glorieta de Atocha, exterior wall of Retiro park (currently, Avenida de Menéndez Pelayo, the first section of  Calle O’Donnell and Calle de Alcalá), Paseo de Recoletos up to the current Plaza Colón, and the “boulevards”, Calle de Genoa, Calle de Sagasta and Calle Carranza. With the construction of the viaduct, the extension of Calle de Bailen and its union with the Gran Via de San Francisco, at the same time as the construction of the last two boulevards already in the 20C that is Calle de Alberto Aguilera and Paseo del Marqués de Urquijo, the belt was enclosed by the West.

The second beltway  would be formed by the Rondas: Avenida de la Reina Victoria, Calle de Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, Calle de Joaquin Costa, Calle de Francisco Silvela, Calle del Doctor Esquerdo and Calle de Pedro Bosch.  In the 1970s the most important section was open between the junction of Manoteras (cross with the A-1, M-11 and accesses to Sanchinarro) north side of Madrid  and the Nudo Sur (South Junction), that connects to the Avenida de Andalucia (previously N-IV) now A-4.

It usually counts three lanes of traffic in each direction and can align up to 9 lanes, especially east of the city. This is where most of the country’s radial highways go to the various cardinal points of Spain: A-1: North Corridor, A-2: Northeast Corridor, A-3: East Corridor, A-4: South Corridor, A-5: South-West Corridor A-6: Northwest Corridor. A bit technical but will try to give you as much of the history and layout of the M-30

The construction of the tunnel by  the South Pass , that connects it directly with the  A-5  to the southwest of the city and to the A-3, needed the use of the two biggest tunnel grounders of the world. They are the longest urban highway  tunnels in Europe, with sections of more than 6 km in length and 3 to 6 lanes in each direction, between the south entry of the Avenida de Portugal tunnel and the north exit of the M-30 south by-pass there are close to 10 km of continuos tunnels. The M30 tunnels run between a point roughly 700 meters north of the junction with A5 motorway and continue all the way up to the junction between M30 and A3 highway/motorway.  Lately my entry in and out of Madrid.

To tell you a bit of the different sectors of the M30:

North sector: Between the A-6 and the A-1 the flow from the northwest via the A-6 connects to the M-30 north-west of the city surrounding the urban center. It runs along the Puerta de Hierro Park before connecting to the M-40 for the first time. It serves all the northern districts of the city (Antonio Machado and Lacoma).   The M-30 loses its highway status to become the Avenida de la Ilustracion while waiting for the tunnel by the North Pass  from which the M-607 is towards  Colmenar Viejo (Segovia etc)  on the extension of the Paseo de la Castellana until the junction with the A-1 and the M-11 to the northeast of the city. Hope I have not lost you , is all well posted!

East sector: Between A-1 (Burgos) and A-3 (Valencia); It is a very busy area because it recovers the flow from the north of Spain from Burgos, Barcelona or ZaragozaIndeed very busy by me too ! The M-30 serves the eastern part of the city, where the northeast Highway connects to the 2nd largest city in the country: Barcelona. In this area the road is particularly large and loaded and includes up to 8 traffic lanes, separated according to destination in, each direction. At the Calle de O’Donnell the road crosses the M-23 which allows to reach the radial highway R-3  from the East. Then to the southeast of the city, come the connection to  the A-3 which allows to reach the Spanish Levant (Valencia etc). It is at this bifurcation that the tunnel by Pass is detached which directly connects the A-5 to the west of the city.

madrid M30 from calle pez volador pasarela to madrid apr17

South sector: Between the A-3 (Valencia) and the A-42 (Toledo), it is a double stretch of the road, first with the tunnel By Pass on which connects the southeast to the southwest of the city. The A-4 southbound disconnects to the Manzanares River to serve Andalusia (Cordoba, Seville,…). At this bifurcation it is joined by the Embajadores Tunnel which connects the South highway directly to Calle de Embajadores near the Atocha station in Madrid. My way of course, good driving, are you with me?

madrid M30 passarelle out city valencia on A3 aug16

West sector: Between A-42 and A-6; The M-30 forks with the A-42 to Toledo  (yeah the old N400) before going along the Manzanares by joining the tunnel by South Pass. A kilometer further away is the Avenida de Portugal to serve the south-western suburbs of Madrid (Alcorcon, Mostoles etc).

The M-30 crosses the M-500 and loops its turn at the junction with the A-6; there are 31 exits/salidas  in total, last count. The principal exits to big cities are the no 1- A-1 – Alcobendas, Burgos, exit 2, M-11 to A-2 (E-90)/A-3/A-4/Calle de Arturo Soria – Feria de Madrid, Madrid-Barajas Airport, Zaragoza, Exit 4b,  A-2/Calle de Arturo Soria – Zaragoza, Exit 9,  A-3 – Valencia, Exit 18,  A-5/Plaza España – Badajoz, exit 23a , A-6 – Madrid, Moncloa, Exit 23B,  A-6 – a Coruña, exit 23,  Calle de Sinesio Delgado exit 23,  Calle de Arroyofresno, Avenida Ventisquero de la Condesa, M-605/M-40 to M-607/avenue Cardenal Herrera Oria– El Pardo, Colmenar Viejo, M-40 to A-6 –  A Coruña

We have some nice building running alongside this highway M30, the best for me is the Elipa park where I used to played baseball! In my youth there and now there is a passarelle bridge from calle del Doctor Esquerdo to Calle Pez Volador to the passarelle and over to the park easy walk.  Others are in a clockwise direction from the junction of Manoteras ,north of Madrid up Paseo de la Castellana:   Cámara de Comercio de Madrid (chamber of commerce of Madrid) ,  Centro Cultural Islámico y Mezquita de Madrid, (the mosque of the M30), Plaza de toros de Las Ventas (monumental bullfights arena right off my old neighborhood on Calle de Alcalà), Torrespaña, Centro Comercial Moratalaz (shopping mall) , Matadero Madrid (arts entertainment center today on the old slaughterhouse of Madrid),  Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto ( a nice Church), Jardines del Palacio Real de Madrid (gardens of the Royal Palace), Estación de Príncipe Pío (train station and shopping), Jardines del Palacio de La Moncloa (gardens of the house of government Moncloa),  Real Club Puerta de Hierro ( a private club) , Centro Comercial La Vaguada (shopping mall and one of my favorites in the city), Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Hospital Universitario La Paz(hospitals).

The M-30 appears in numerous films set in Madrid. A very characteristic one is  “Que he hecho yo para merecer esto,?” Or what have I done to deserve this? by Pedro Almodóvar. And in literature, it is the protagonist scene of the work of Esther García Llovet  La M-30, la gran velada or  the M30 the great evening. Of course, only my favorites!

A wonderful ride indeed on the M3O. However, in Madrid today there is like a beehive of roads , from the M-30 you have today all the way around to the M 55 and many R (radials) with tolls to make driving in Madrid a Grand Prix Challenge , good ground for the road warior lol! Actually , folks, it is a lot easier than read, if you have driven in big cities before, of course.

Some webpages to help get around the wonderful M30 are :

The city of Madrid who manage the M30 circulation infohttps://www.mc30.es/index.php/explotacion/circular-por-calle-30

The trafic on the M30 by emesa who manage it. webpage: https://www.emesa-m30.es/ 

The trafic info by the Comunidad de Madrid on the M30https://informo.madrid.es/#/realtime?panel=live

There you go folks, a dandy of a M30 beltway in Madrid, with many memories walking over it and driving me, the family, all enjoyed it very much, Hope you can too, and thanks for reading me since Nov 2010,

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

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October 9, 2021

Nuevos Ministerios of Madrid!!

I have mentioned it briefly in several posts but feel needs a post of its own. Perhaps the most important connection coming to Madrid on public transports for many years. I like to tell you a bit more on Nuevos Ministerios or new ministries of Madrid!

The Nuevos Ministerios constitute a government complex that houses the headquarters of several ministries in the Chamberí district of Madrid. It is located in the block delimited by Paseo de la Castellana, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde and Agustín de Betancourt streets and San Juan de la Cruz square.

On this site there was the racecourse of Madrid and the Republican government at the time decided to do a complex of several government buildings in the same spot. The construction began in 1933 and, although it was paralyzed during the Spanish Civil War, the entire complex was completed in 1942 (already under Franco). The construction styles consists of a large clear spaces with squares, fountains and ponds, around which the different ministries are arranged, as well as a large arcade on the side facing the Paseo de la Castellana.

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Today it houses the headquarters of the Ministries of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Labor and Social Economy, Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations and the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. The entire architectural complex is fully integrated into the so-called AZCA center (see post) , one of the most important business and office centers in Madrid. Also, a shopping mall.

Next to these buildings and facing Paseo de la Castellana street you have a multimodal transports station, If you come from the Adolfo Suarez Inter Airport you probably come by here as I do most of the times too. This is done on metro line 8, as well as Cercanias suburban trains C1 and C10, From a tourist view me think C1 is better, Another thing have done on the metro line 8 you can stop out at Colombia and take line 9. Once in Nuevos Ministerios you can take as I line 6 or more often line 10 to Santiago Bernabeu stadium of Real Madrid CF (see posts) if raining as you can also walk to it.

The Nuevos Ministerios Station interchange you can reach the government complex through Cercanías Lines C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-7, C-8 and C-10 , Metro Lines 6, 8 and 10, and Bus lines 7, 14, 27, 40, 126, 147, 150, C1 and C2. Which either directly or indirectly can take you anywhere in the city.

I have come often to this area and in fact on my way out stop by the stores for last minutes shopping as near just across the street there is a big  El Corté Inglés department store (see post).

The Madrid tourist office on Nuevos Ministerioshttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/nuevos-ministerios

The official Metro of Madrid on Nuevos Ministerios (nice picture) :  https://www.metromadrid.es/es/estacion-emblematica/nuevos-ministerios

The Renfe on cercanias trains at Nuevos Ministerioshttps://www.renfe.com/es/es/cercanias/cercanias-madrid/rodajes/estacion-nuevos-ministerios

There you go folks, feel better now. Hope you find it useful and visit my Madrid. The area of Nuevos Ministerios is good for walks up or down paseo de la Castellana and shopping is good. And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 9, 2021

How to come and get around Madrid!!!

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

I hear many tall tales of folks fear of driving in Madrid. However, if you have driven in similar size and traffic city or worse like in Paris, London, Rome, Brussels, Frankfort, New York, Jakarta, Sao Paulo, Mexico DF, just to name a few than driving in Madrid will be easier. If you have experience driving in smaller towns like Ronda, Samsula, Vineland, etc than you might as well be aware, it will be different….

To start, Madrid has grown enormously since my time living there and it has been literally an explosion, Newer arrivals tell of the trafic and maze of roads but an old timer like me can tell them the growth has been huge ! Madrid has several major roads coming out from it such as the A1 Madrid-Aranda de Duero-Miranda de Ebro-Vitoria-San Sebastian, and the A2 Madrid-Guadalajara-Zaragoza-Lérida-Barcelona-Gerona-PortBon-Frontier France, A3 Madrid-Valencia, A4 Madrid-Aranjuez-Cordoba-Sevilla-Jerez-Cadiz, A5 Madrid-Talavera de la Reina-Navalmoral-de-la-Mata-Mérida-Badajoz-frontier Portugal; A6 Madrid-Medina del Campo-Tordesillas-Benavente-Astorga-Ponferrada-Lugo-La Coruña. Other highways with origins in Madrid of major impact are the A42 Madrid-Toledo, M607 Madrid -Puerto de Navacerrada to service to Colmenar Viejo and Tres Cantos. The city ,also, has several beltways roads that have grown since living there such as the M30 (finished with me living there), This beltway below or above ground practically goes around Madrid inner ring; you have the M40 going further out into the residential areas and the M45 again further out, the M50 further out on a big huge circle and then again maybe more needed. Yes , already working on the M60!

This is the beltway road M-30 that was done when living there (has a pretty arch bridge while you cross Calle de Alcalà by the Plaza de Toros Monumental! ) and thereafter I use a lot to get around points in the city without going thru the center : the webpage has more info in Spanish :https://www.emesa-m30.es/trafico-m30/

Madrid has becomes a huge metropolis. Heavy traffic are encountered on a daily basis and need to know the rush hours to have it easier. Know that on weekends it is heavier on Saturday going out between 10h and 12h mid day and on Sundays coming back between 18h and 21h, Rush hour weekdays is in the morning like folks going to work and school are between 7h30 and 10h30 while in afternoons is between 18h and 20h , Statistics show the heaviest trafic day are Mondays,

The highway Directorio General del Trafico watchdog with cameras, and heavy traffic points to avoid per road is here in Spanish. Webpage : https://www.dgt.es/es/el-trafico/camaras-de-trafico/madrid/

The Comunidad de Madrid has a map in pdf file format on highways that can be magnified and printed for info webpage: http://www.madrid.org/bvirtual/BVCM006219.pdf

The wonderful metro/tube/subway of Madrid, openned in 1919 and already with 301 stations and 13 lines. The network has 12 regular lines and the section Opera to Principe Pio as well as 3 lines of light metro with 38 additional stations. Of the current total of 301 stations, 200 are single line and 27 are double and 10 have on three lines and the station of Avenida de America with four lines  correspondances. It connects in 21 stations with the suburban train network Cercanicas of Madrid managed by RENFE. The beltway lines are MetroSur (Line 12) passing by Alcorcón, Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, and Leganés; MetroNorte (Line 10) passing Alcobendas and San Sebastián de los Reyes; MetroEste (Line 7) reaching to  Coslada and San Fernando de Henares; TFM (Line 9)  connecting  Rivas Vaciamadrid and Arganda del Rey, as well as Metro Ligero Oeste (Lines 2 and 3), there is a tramway network at Pozuelo to Boadilla del Monte.

Some of my nostalgic metro lines are the line 5 stop Quintana where my apartment was and a must visit each time, The metro line 8 coming from Adolfo Suarez Barajas international airport to Nuevos Ministerios by paseo de la Castellana, The line 10 to Santiago Bernabeu stadium, The circular line 6 stopping at Sàinz de Baranda where my usual hotel lately have been, etc etc, The Metro runs from 6h to 01h30, with trains departing every 2 minutes in the morning rush hour and every 15 minutes in the early hours (after midnight). At weekends, trains are less frequent during the day.

The metro of Madrid webpage: https://www.metromadrid.es/en

The Madrid tourist office on the Metro: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-metro

There is a huge bus network runs by CRTM (comunidad) and the EMT(Madrid city) with 2000 buses and 200 lines . The principal terminals are at Avenida de America, Mendez Alvaro, and Plaza de Castilla, there are other smaller ones such as Moncloa, Principe Pio, and Plaza Eliptica. CRTM webpage : https://www.crtm.es/?lang=en

Madrid city transports service or EMT has a well define network with bus lanes . The vast majority of these buses work from 6h to 23h30 at 4-15 minutes intervals and the weekend and holidays from 7h to 23h. There is a night bus or Bùhos lines known by their N number from N1 to N27 from their terminal at Plaza de Cibeles.  EMT webpage: https://www.emtmadrid.es/Bloques-EMT/EMT-BUS/Navega-por-Madrid.aspx?lang=en-GB

I took a lot the old P13 today 113 bus from Quintana to Elipa for my baseball times while living there, Upon returning years later rode again for the nostalgia this route, Also, did the 14,27, and 46 buses. Nice rides and if a bit more complicated than the metro, you ride above ground for wonderful views of the city.

The main airport is the Adolfo Suarez Barajas at 12 km from city center connecting with the city on line 8 at Nuevos Ministerios to T4 airport in about 20 minutes and about 12 minutes on the other terminals.  The airport is the one used the most and by now it could my second home, so many trips over the years by it, Saw its growth from a simple terminal airport to the mega complex is today, OF course, have come on Air France, Air Europa, Velotea, and most on Iberia where I am a frequent flyer member, Official AENA airports of Spain on the Madrid airport: https://www.aena.es/en/adolfo-suarez-madrid-barajas.html

The Madrid tourist office on the airport : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/adolfo-suarez-madrid-barajas-airport

There is a express bus line 203 from the airport T1, T2, and T4 terminals to stops in 0’Donnell, Cibeles, and Atocha (where I have taken it and gone) , There is a regular bus line 200 from T1, T2, and T4 to Avenida de America connect Canillejas on metro line 5 (my line!) and the interchange terminal at Avenida de America to connect with metro lines 4 6 7 and 9, See schedules on the 200 and 203 buses or any other bus at EMT webpage: https://www.emtmadrid.es/Bloques-EMT/EMT-BUS/Mi-linea-(1).aspx?lang=en-GB

Two main line train station, one at Atocha and the other at Chamartin . I have only visited Chamartin but have used trains and visited at Atocha, (see post).

The ADIF transports webpage on Chamartin train station Madrid : http://www.adif.es/en_US/infraestructuras/estaciones/17000/informacion_000295.shtml

The Madrid tourist office on the Chamartin train station : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/estacion-de-chamartin

The ADIF transports webpage on Atocha train station Madrid : http://www.adif.es/en_US/infraestructuras/estaciones/60000/informacion_000070.shtml

The Madrid tourist office on Atocha train station : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/estacion-de-atocha

Cercanías is a service of Renfe on suburbian train service having 9 lines . They connect all the lines by the Atocha train station that allows you to go to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Aranjuez, mountain towns in the Sierra de Guadarrama (C-8 and C9 to Cercedilla and Cotos) ,and Alcala de Henares  as well as reaching rapidly the T4 terminal at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport  The C-2 and C-7 to Alcala de Henares and C-3 to Aranjuez and El Escorial. The line C-1 is the one very fast from T4 to the city as well as connecting Atocha with Chamartin main train stations. 

The cercanias have used the C1 from the Adolfo Suarez inter airport as well as the C3 to El Escorial. Nice rides clean fun for the experience !

The RENFE Cercanias Madrid train info webpage : https://www.renfe.com/es/en/suburban/suburban-madrid

The Madrid tourist office on Cercanias trains : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-cercanias-train

The taxis of Madrid are white with a diagonal red and  white line on the front door and the city coat of arms.  If the roof is green the taxi is free to take passengers, you simply signal for them the usual way.  If the trip is from the airport there is a fix price of 30€ as long as the trip is inside the beltway M30 (the old central beltway). This price does not include any other service added as long as the place of pickup and the hour are respected. I have used them several times over the years and good service always, Now even better with the airport fixe price.

The Madrid tourist office on getting around by taxi in Madrid : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-taxi

There is a bike network but just putting it for information here as never used it, The city BiciMad network with electric bikes that last count were 1560 with 3216 bornes to pickup and dropoff at 124 stations. The city of Madrid has several technological innovations such as application Don Cicleto, and Donkey Republic allowing you to find your bike and others such as Ofo-Smart Bike Sharing available in itunes, google play or Bike as well. 

The BiciMad network webpage : https://www.bicimad.com/

I won’t go into details with pricing and choices for metro/bus transports as these are change often, and on different needs , you need to check the official sites before your trip to be sure. IF I go for a single trip like football watching I get the single ticket, and if on vacation than the tourist pass . All are now on magnetic card call Tarjeta Multi costing a one only time of 2,50€, you can recharge it and they last 10 years credit, It is free if you purchase the 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7-day Tourist Travel Pass, and once the pass expires, you can top up the smartcard with pay-per-ride tickets (single or 10-ride tickets). This tourist travel pass are valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 days and for two zones (A and T). If you do not wish to acquire a Tourist Travel Pass, you can buy the Tarjeta Multi and simply top it up with pay-per-ride tickets.

You have plenty more info on Madrid tourist office on the Tourist Travel Pass : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-tourist-travel-pass

The Zone A  allows you to go to all the lines of the metro, airport (with supplement of 3€ included) , all the bus lines in town like the blue buses of EMT except the Express line Airport, the zones 0 and A of the Cercanias network of Madrid and the line M1 of Metro LIgero. The  Zone T  is recommended for those willing to go outside the city such as to go to El Escorial, Alcalá de Henares, Aranjuez etc and includes the entire metro network such as zones A, B1, B2 ,and B3, all the lines of city bus blue EMT and intercity green bus of the comunidad de Madrid , the Express Airport bus is included as well as the services to Guadalajara and Toledo,as well as the Cercanias trains of Madrid , and lines ML2 and ML3 of the Metro Ligero,as well as the tramway ML4  to Parla.

You have plenty of tourist information points throughtout the city that helps you with all questions (really a big improvement for the visitors) including security issues. These are

Tourist Information centers at Cuesta de Moyano Plaza Mayor ,Plaza Mayor, 27 (Casa de la Panadería), Info kiosk Paseo del Prado  , info kiosk Atocha Ronda de Atocha, s/n (next to Museo Reina Sofía), info kiosk Plaza de Callao, Plaza de Callao, s/n; info kiosk Paseo de la Castellana, 138 (next to  Santiago Bernabéu stadium) , info kiosk CentroCentro, Plaza de Cibeles, 1 (Palacio de Cibeles), Royal Palace, Calle Bailén, info kiosk at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport T2 between halls 5 and 6; info kiosk airport as well at T4 hall 10 and 11; , and SATE  Calle Leganitos, 19 (police).  More from the Madrid tourist office on the Foreign Tourist Assistance Service (SATE) webpage: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/sate

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip and enjoy the transports of Madrid:

The Madrid tourist office on a pdf file map of Madrid: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-city-map

To find an underground secure parking garages in Madrid, OnePark : https://www.onepark.co/places/7897-madrid-center-car-parks

How to plan your trip on streets and help find your way around use callejero or street finder in Madrid: https://madrid.callejero.net/directorio.html

There you go folks, a brief ,general overview of the many transports option in my beloved Madrid, Of course, if you have questions let me know, Hope it helps make your visit a more enjoyable one to a great city very close to my heart . And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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October 2, 2021

Some news from Spain CXI

And now is time to tell you about my bulletin news series, some news from Spain. We have many things opening up and time to plan ahead, me for Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu!! We need each other to help bring the economy and travel back to its feet. I will do my part ; hope you too. Let me tell you the latest of my chosen news from my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The centenary of the death of Emilia Pardo Bazán, Countess of Bazán Brun, also known as Emilia, Countess of Pardo Bazán ,Woman of letters of extreme fertility, she wrote forty-one novels, seven dramas, two cookbooks, more than five hundred and eighty tales and hundreds of essays, In 1906 she nevertheless became the first woman to chair the Literature Section of the Athenaeum in Madrid and the first to hold a chair of neo-Latin literatures at the Central University of Madrid, reminds us that the city of A Coruña, as well as its province, has been the cradle of some of the most outstanding women in the history of Spain over the centuries. In addition to the writer, journalist and countess, a brief memory of María Pita is enough, defender of the city besieged in 1589 by the English fleet of the privateer Francis Drake. To Isabel Zendal (born in 1773 and died at the beginning of the 19C somewhere in the Viceroyalty of New Spain(vast area from Central America so sw USA), considered by the WHO as the first nurse in history on an international mission for her work in the expedition that carried the vaccine from smallpox to the New World, and of whom there is a statue in Calle Victoria Fernández España in A Coruña. To Juana de Vega , widow of the insurgent liberal general Espoz y Mina, nursemaid and waitress of the future Queen Elizabeth II, progressive political-social activist and author of two extraordinary memoir books, an unusual genre at that time. Or Concepción Arenal, jurist, writer, pioneer of social work, fighter against the deplorable state of Spanish prisons and defender, perhaps one of the first in Europe, of the new role that women should have. Also Rosalía de Castro , the greatest poet, both in Galician and in Castilian, of our Romanticism, comparable to any other European poet of her time. O Sofía Casanova (1861-1958), journalist and writer immersed in all the great and serious international conflicts of her time, which she masterfully narrated. María Barbeito Cerviño, a great teacher educator, writer and linguist, introducer of the principles of Montessori and those of Ovide Decroly and promoter of the compulsory and gratuitous nature of teaching.

The story of the Prado continues….(see post). At the other end of the Villanueva building, the first built to house the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture, the precursor of the Prado. It shows how it came into the world; from its origin, the space it occupies today was literally a meadow outside the city to what it will be in the future with the expansion proposed by the new project from architects. In the rooms formerly occupied by the Tesoro del Delfin or Treasure of the Dolphin, the Prado now explains itself in the metamuseum converts the temporary exhibition organized to celebrate its bicentennial, Museo del Prado 1819-2019. A place of memory. In another part of its permanent collection to show its evolution as a living being: photographs, documents, clothing, models, furniture … History of the Prado Museum and its buildings brings together 265 pieces to humanize, from nudity, to the emperor of painting museums in Europe.

The one known as the Salon del Prado or Prado Hall in the time of king Carlos III, today Paseo del Prado, was a place to see and be seen. A space for a walk in the lots attached to the monastery of San Jerónimo, where the Madrileñas (local female folks) wore the latest French fashions, rich dresses with brightly colored fabrics, and the Madrileños (local male folks) followed the tradition of capes and tricorns. The Buen Retiro Palace already existed of which today the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos are preserved, which are also part of the museum. The urban planning of streets such as Atocha (no. 25) or Plaza de Antón Martín (no. 3) have hardly changed in two and a half centuries!

The year 2019 marked another milestone in the history of the Prado Museum when it turned 200 years old, received more than three million visits (its record) and won the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities at a time when communication is precisely a challenge for museums. The Prado was only closed for three months and since last June 6 it remains open, showing that it is a safe place if anti-virus security measures are maintained. Good news!!!! After six years of waiting, the Council of Ministers approved this past Tuesday 28 September 2021, the credit line of 36 million euros for the expansion of the Prado Museum through the rehabilitation and museum adaptation of the Salón de Reinos. The building to be transformed was the headquarters of the Museo del Ejército or Army Museum and is located next to the Casón del Buen Retiro, in the vicinity of the Prado. They are the last remaining vestiges of the Royal Palace of Buen Retiro, a complex erected between 1633 and 1639 under the reign of king Felipe IV. The urban reorganization of the project, called Campus Prado, will connect the Prado and the Salón de Reinos, facilitating transit on foot by the visitors through Calle Felipe IV and joining in the same complex the buildings of Villanueva, the Jerónimos, the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salón de Reinos. The expansion works will gain 2,500 square meters of exhibition space for the gallery. The current appearance of the façade of the Army Museum, which was intervened in the late 19C and early 20C, will be modified, as will the roof, which will also be renovated. The purpose that was raised when the project was announced is to present long-term transversal and temporary exhibitions, mainly from the Prado collection (it has more than 27,000 pieces, of which more than 7,800 are paintings), most of which are stored in warehouses. And you will see more of the gems stored there!!! More on Campus Prado in Spanish: https://www.museodelprado.es/recurso/el-campus-prado/68258c17-7f90-4da2-a217-039bd021aabd

Walid Raad’s exhibition is not an exhibition… Several voices run through Cotton Under my Feet, the exhibition that takes him to Madrid these days. Commissioned by TBA21 and conceived for the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza,(see post) it presents the work that the artist carried out during three years of research on the collection, archives and the genesis of the museum. Although this is not the first time that Raad has worked in Madrid. In 2009, within the framework of PhotoEspaña, he occupied the Museo Reina Sofía (see post) under his preferred pseudonym, The Atlas Group , a project on the contemporary history of Lebanon. There he was born in 1967, in Chbaniyeh, a few kilometers from Beirut, although he studied art in the United States. Today he is a professor at Cooper Union, in the East Village of New York, one of the most prestigious universities in the country. See it ‘Walid Raad: Cotton Under my Feet’. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. From October 5 to January 23, 2022. webpage: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exhibitions/walid-raad-cotton-under-my-feet

One of my most memorable areas of my beloved Spain, and yes you can drink good Madrid wines!!

A good time to take a tour from winery to winery through Colmenar de Oreja, (see posts) the still unknown wine capital of the Comunidad de Madrid. Its centenary caves hide thousands and thousands of whites, reds and even sparkling wines underground. We are at the Bodega Jesús Díaz e Hijos, in the center of Colmenar de Oreja, the wine capital of the Las Vegas region, an hour from Madrid, where these days the winegrowers rush the harvest. 17 of these pot-bellied 5,000-liter jars where wine is made and preserved. The winery smells of must and history founded in 1898 but before it was a convent of friars and a piece of jars, the place where they were made by hand before being taken to the oven for cooking. This was also the first winery of the D.O. Wines of Madrid. Not only the grape changes here, by the way, the malvar variety wins, the most cultivated. Once we adjust our eyes, the caves that make this land so unique suddenly appear. Dug into the ground, they turn Colmenar de Oreja into an underground Gruyère cheese, full of wine. We descend twelve meters between oak barrels and bottles in rhyme of sparkling wines, the traditional champagne. This is the first sparkling wine that was made in Madrid!!

Los Tinajones to stay, a charming rural house that opened its doors last spring. Completely restored, the accommodation was also an old winery with caves included that they hope to turn into a spa soon. The name of Los Tinajones was not random. He has borrowed it from one of the paintings by Ulpiano Checa, the great 19C painter and native of the town. The museum houses the largest collection that exists of the master, and is a must-see in the town. Even more so now, that it has just incorporated important pieces, among them those donated by Baroness Thyssen from her personal collection this summer.

You have to go to Bodegas Peral, another member of the Madrid Wine Route, which also has a cave dating back to 1882 worth seeing. covered by a guide, with or without a tasting and cover. Its bicentennial entrails collide with the modernity of the facilities as a chill out where the wine tastes of glory. Therefore, it can only be done in Madrid and consists of fermenting 50 percent of the white skins and the seed in the must. And not only that, because it is not racked and macerated with its lees and these skins until bottling. The result is a white with a red soul.

One minute you have to walk to the Bodega Pedro García. Many know its wines without knowing that they come from here because they are the ones Iberia serves in the cabin. Founded in 1931, it has the highest production in the area. We have already learned that there is no winery without a cave here. These date back several centuries and are also accessible. On the way to the Plaza Mayor we recognize that lavish limestone of the Church of Santa María la Mayor. (see post). There is always atmosphere in this porticoed Castilian square built on a ravine in the 17C. What’s more, you can also walk under the arch of the Puente de Zacatín bridge. Also, the artisan cheese factory Ciriaco. Their recipe is simple: freshly milked sheep’s milk, rennet and salt. The secret of his cured: seven months in the cave under our feet!

The ruta de vinos de Madrid with info on bodegas, cheesemakers, resto museums along the route of wines of Madrid : https://madridenoturismo.org/descubre-las-bodegas-de-madrid/?zona=4&tipo_plan=-1&tipo_actividad=-1

The official wine routes of Spain on the Arganda/Colmenar de Oreja region of Madrid : https://wineroutesofspain.com/rv-madrid/#pll_switcher

And you may have heard in the news, there is a big volcano eruption in the island of La Palma, part of the Canaries islands. It has been huge, and lots of destruction already and some permanent. Sadly, these islands are all volcanos and many in them. As well as ironically, been one of the tourist attractions of them!

La Palma has registered in the last hours a dozen small earthquakes in the south of the island, according to the report published this Saturday (today) by the Department of National Security of Spain. The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which continues its activity, is estimated to have expelled more than 80 million cubic meters of lava, double that of the Teneguía eruption in 1971, in half the time. The magma delta formed on the coast has a surface area of ​​more than 27 hectares and the new flow, generated by the two magmatic mouths opened on Friday night to the northeast of the main cone, advances towards the trace of the main flow, which flows stably. The ash expelled by the new La Palma volcano since its eruption began on September 19 has covered an area of ​​3,304 hectares. This is stated in the latest update of the European Copernicus terrestrial monitoring satellite system with data collected this Friday afternoon. Regarding the buildings affected by the runoffs, the calculation of 1,005 is maintained, although those that have been completely destroyed rise to 880, ten more compared to the previous count. The number of kilometers of roads affected increases to 30.7, of which 28.3 have been destroyed by the passage of lava.

The Canary Islands are on the African continental plate, which ‘floats’ on the earth’s mantle in an easterly direction at a speed similar to that of the growth of fingernails. About 20 million years ago, the plate began to pass over the ‘hot spot’, which injected magma and began to create the first islands: Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. La Palma and El Hierro are the youngest islands, barely 1.8 and 1.2 million years old respectively. The hot spot is still under them and that is why they have active volcanoes that make them grow in extension and surface. Nicer pictures and news on a specialise Volcano Discovery webpage: https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/lapalma/sep2021seismic-crisis/current-activity.html

And speaking of volcanos ,they are in the peninsula as well most in the Autonomous Community of Castilla La Mancha region:

Campo de Calatrava, south of Ciudad Real, has numerous volcanoes over 2.5 million years old, one of the most important manifestations in Europe. In the middle of La Mancha, in the territory of Entreparques, located in the province of Ciudad Real, between the Cabañeros National Parks and the Tablas de Daimiel, is one of the most important volcanic areas in Spain and Europe. With an area of ​​about 5,000 km2, the Campo de Calatrava region is home to about 300 of these natural manifestations whose origin dates back 2.5 million years on the outskirts of the town of Poblete next to the hermitage of San Isidro, you will find the Mirador de los Maares, from the height of the Volcán Cabezo del Rey, from where you can see a large number of craters, holes, hills and castles. The open wooden facility houses the Volcanological Interpretation Center, which has panels and digital resources for augmented reality with complete and varied information on the volcanic activity in the area.

Volcàan and Laguna de Peñarroya is about 20 km from Poblete, between the towns of Alcolea de Calatrava and Corral de Calatrava, where they are located. The volcano is an almost perfect cone of 60 meters high, one of the best examples of Strombolian-type building, and one of the highest in this volcanic region, whose slopes are populated by forests of holm oaks, kermes oak, juniper, broom and Mediterranean scrub. The lagoon (or maar), whose origin is due to a hydromagmatic eruptive event, was formed when the lava from the volcano captured the Lobo stream and reaches more than 1 km in diameter, which favors biodiversity in the flora and fauna when it is filled of water. On the outskirts of Porzuna, about 40 km north of Alcolea de Calatrava (and very close to the Cabañeros National Park), Cerro de los Santos, the volcano born from a single eruption is formed by a large dome raised over the plain . Today, you can still see the black and reddish slags from the lava flows on its slopes. At the top is the hermitage of San Isidro. The place is also known for being one of the points where the Celtiberians settled.

Las Navas de Malagón, at the foot of the Sierra de Malagón, next to the town of the same name. It is a protected natural space, declared a Natural Reserve, made up of three lagoons: La Nava Grande, Nava de Enmedio and Nava Chica. The Nava Grande stands out especially, for its larger size, for the greater permanence of its waters and for presenting a ring of volcanic tuffs around it. In addition to doing this route by car and walking along its many trails, there is the possibility of seeing the entire volcanic region from the air through balloon rides. The company Vuela en Globo organizes the experience. A battle between volcanoes, a trip that leaves the town of Poblete to enjoy the region from the heights and discover, in addition to the history of the volcanoes, the battlefield that was the scene of fights fierce during the Reconquest, in the 12C. In the distance, you can see the Castillo de Alarcos, the bastion of Alfonso VIII in 1195 that he lost in the Battle of Alarcos against the Al-Mansur Almohad army. The Vuela en Globo webpage for info: https://vuelaenglobo.es/la-mancha/poblete-alarcos-una-batalla-entre-volcanes/

There you go folks, another dandy news from Spain, coming right at you by yours truly! Hope you enjoy the reading and take it as tips for future travels, in my beloved Spain.

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

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September 17, 2021

Some news from Spain CX

And back to sunny everything under the sun, and my series of some news from Spain! Things are picking up and my Santiago Bernabeu stadium is almost done already we beat Celta de Vigo there and next is Mallorca. I am looking forward to the official opening and going there for sure! For now, let me tell you about Spain ok

Dabid Muñoz, from Madrid, the chef of DiverXo, has been chosen as the “best chef in the world” by having achieved first place in the world Top 100 of the ‘The Best Chef Awards 2021‘, in a gala that was held this past Wednesday September 8 2021 in Amsterdam, In third place, in addition, the chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of San Sebastián and from the Mugaritz restaurant has been awarded, Yes!

Some nice artsy events coming up and long into next year worth the detour if in Madrid, I will be there soon,,,

La máquina Magritte at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza ,(see post) Retrospective of René Magritte , the great Belgian surrealist painter, whose work is characterized by its repetitive and combinatorial component: when he became obsessed with a theme, he repeated them with innumerable variations. The exhibition brings together more than 90 paintings and includes an installation and a selection of photographs and domestic films made by the author. From September 14 2021.

Sorolla. Tormento y devoción or Sorolla. Torment and Devotion at the Sorolla Museum (see post) until January 9, 2022 you can see a selection of the early years of the Valencian painter’s work, when he entered popular and devout manners, a genre that became fashionable during the last quarter of the 19C. Among his pieces, you can see those with scenes in sacred interiors and Valencian baroque churches, with episodes of folkloric religious devotion.

El Hijo Pródigo de Murillo y el arte de narrar en el barroco andaluz or The Prodigal Son of Murillo and the art of narrating in the Andalusian Baroque in the Prado Museum (see post). Exhibition dedicated to some of the main protagonists of the Andalusian pictorial baroque such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Antonio del Castillo, Juan Valdés Leal and Alonso Cano, They carried out their works in the 17C, works that have in common being organized in series, being mostly medium in size and having been commissioned by particular characters for domestic or oratory interiors. Among the selection you can see The Dissipation of the Prodigal Son (1660), by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo , or the series on the history of José, made by Antonio del Castillo. Will be on from September 29 2021.

El Jardín de las delicias or the Garden of Earthly Delights in the Matadero Madrid (see post), About fifteen artists from around the world contribute their multiple views on The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosco’s masterpiece, in various formats, ranging from artificial intelligence or sound art to 3D animation, painting, sculpture or installation. The exhibition, curated by the SOLO Collection and co-produced by Matadero Madrid, can be seen from October 7 2021.

Another wonderful tour , I have been in sections over a period by car, recommended, The route of the Holy Grail in Spain, which traveled from Huesca to Valencia. The Jubilee Year of the Holy Chalice, which ends on October 28 2021, is an opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Valencia or to travel the route that the historic cup followed. To enter the Cathedral of Valencia, you have to pay 8 euros, not counting the climb to the Miguelete (two euros more). There are usually no queues, even in high season. It takes a few minutes to be in front of the maybe Holy Grail, the cup used at the Last Supper, from which Saint Peter and the first Popes later drank, This year, until the end of October, Valencia celebrates its Jubilee Year, a good reason to approach the cathedral or even to do the complete route that the Holy Chalice could follow since its arrival in Spain, through Huesca, to its current location in Valencia. They are just over 500 km (about 310 miles) in which some pilgrims have already been seen.

It is believed that this story began in the time of Sixtus II, who was executed in 258 in full persecution against the Church. His deacon, Saint Lawrence, then took care to safeguard the Holy Chalice that Saint Peter had brought from the Holy Land to Rome. Saint Lawrence, as is known, was roasted alive on a grill. But the current patron of Huesca would have managed to send the chalice to his hometown before that unbearable martyrdom. They say that in 553 the Grail was transferred to the Church of San Pedro el Viejo in Huesca, built by Bishop Vicencio precisely to contain the sacred relic, and where it could have been until the year 711. During the Muslim invasion, the chalice would have been passed through different refuges such as the Cave-Hermitage of Yebra de Basa, in the Alto Gállego region; the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa, where it is said that he was from 815 to 831; or, already in the 11C, San Pedro de la Sede del Real de Bailo, the Cathedral of Jaca and, of course, the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, (see posts) where it would have remained until 1399, before being transferred to Zaragoza, Barcelona and Valencia, where it would have arrived in 1424 from the hand of King Alfonso the Magnanimous. The Chapel of the Holy Chalice, (see post) where it can be seen now, has exhibited this piece since 1916. The Valencian Holy Chalice is made up of a glass 7 centimeters high and 9.5 centimeters in diameter, made of agate, which could correspond to the time, the beginning of the Christian era; and a foot with handles added later, A must to see in Valencia.

And bring you some news of my roots and my dear Tenerife (see post). Let’s do some traveling ok,

Tenerife has a surface area is 2,034 square kilometers, its maximum length is 87 kilometers and its maximum width is 45 km. It has two airports: the north and the south. But not only airplanes divide the island, so does its landscape and even the weather. In the north you can breathe a more tropical, leafy climate with black sand beaches. On the other hand, the south stands out for its drier heat and its endless beaches. The first thing is that the proximity to Teide, the visit par excellence, will not define anything, because it is located in the center of the island.

The most typical option, especially if you go with children or as a family is the southern area full of resorts with all-inclusive options, various amenities and many on the beachfront or just a few minutes walk. It is also understood by the climate, hotter and drier than in the north, so you will have guaranteed beach and pool days. In the South, you also have attractions such as Siam Park, the largest water park in Europe and the best in the world.

The northern area offers a quieter vacation. Of course, you must take the weather into account, because it is more likely that you have cold, cloudy and even rainy days. In the north are many of the island’s must-see spots, such as La Laguna (World Heritage Site), La Orotava or Garachico. Nor can you miss the natural pools of Bajamar or the famous Teresitas beach, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife with golden sand (brought from the Sahara in the 60s), turquoise water and usually) calm, it is considered the Caribbean of Tenerife. The gastronomic options of the north are more attractive thanks to its guachinches, simple food houses that are mainly concentrated in the La Corujera area, in the town of Santa Úrsula, these are spaces within farmers’ houses that, to give way to their wine production, they gave it to taste and accompanied it with something to eat. Thus, you will not find great menus or many pretensions, but food typical of the island (grilled meats, stews …) and the best wine. Yes do enjoy it as I!

This is the dam where Doctor Zhivago was filmed, the most spectacular in Spain, The Salto de Aldeadávila, in the province of Salamanca, is 139.5 meters high and is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, La Presa de Aldeadávila, (a dam) also known as the Salto de Aldeadávila, is not the highest in Spain, but perhaps the most spectacular. It is located in the amazing gorge of the Duero River, in a granitic canyon, the largest natural canyon on the Iberian Peninsula, which extends for almost a hundred kilometers, with walls of more 400 meters high, and serves as the natural border between Spain and Portugal in the Arribes del Duero Natural Park. It is located 7 km. from the Salamanca province town of Aldeadávila de la Ribera, In 1965 it rose to world fame as it appeared in the opening and ending scenes of David Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago, which received five Oscars. Also, Tim Miller shot some scenes from the sixth installment of Terminator, Dark Fate movie. Impressive!

A long but worthy me think tribute to Francesco Sabatini of Palermo, Sicily Italy! And his contribution to my Madrid!

Three hundred years ago, one of the most contributor to creating the image of Madrid as a great European capital was born in Palermo in 1721 Francesco Sabatini. He was the architect responsible for some of the most representative monuments, palaces and corners of the regeneration of the city during the reign of its great patron, King Carlos III.
I like to start at the Puerta de Alcalá. It may not be the only Sabatini construction to which a song has been dedicated, (very famous in Spain) but it is certainly the best known and most symbolic. And Alcalá’s was not even the only gate that he designed for Madrid. Also his is the one in San Vicente, on the Paseo de la Florida (although the one designed by Sabatini was dismantled at the end of the 19C and the current one is a copy inaugurated in 1995. And we could also add the Royal Gate through which the Botanical Garden was entered, (see posts).


His direct source of inspiration was not the architecture of ancient Rome and ancient Greece, but that of the Italian Renaissance. This can be seen very well in the building of the Real Casa de la Aduana (current headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, almost at the beginning of Calle de Alcalá), with that air of a 16C Italian palace created by its façade of padded granite and brick and the pediments alternating curved and triangular of the first-floor windows.

The Paseo del Prado (then known as the Salón del Prado) was one of the great projects of the reign of Carlos III, a place for walking and recreation for the people of Madrid, with roundabouts and fountains, where several spaces dedicated to science would also be located such as the Astronomical Observatory, the Cabinet of Natural History (today the Prado Museum) and the Royal Botanical Garden. (see posts) Sabatini was commissioned to design the latter, to move from its previous location next to the Manzanares river the more than two thousand plants that the botanist José Quer had collected in his travels through Europe. However, the garden that can be visited today has little to do with Sabatini’s design, since it was finished by Juan de Villanueva, the brain behind most of the Prado project who would modify it by creating the current layout divided into square barracks,


The architectural history of the General and Passion Hospital (which you will know better as the Reina Sofía Museum) is complicated, since delays, financing problems, deaths, invasions and other difficulties caused the project to go through several hands, The current building, has inspiration and work from José de Hermosilla, Sabatini, Ventura Rodríguez, Juan de Villanueva and others such as Jean Nouvel and his famous extension are mixed, without the project ever being fully completed . However, it is to Sabatini that we owe the current image of the building was the Italian who added to the project the monumental facade open towards Atocha.

King Carlos III who, at that time was still Carlos VII of Naples discovered Sabatini when he helped his father-in-law, Luigi Vanvitelli, in the construction of the Royal Palace of Caserta. So it is not surprising that, when Carlos unexpectedly acceded to the Spanish throne after the deaths of his half-brothers Luis I and Fernando VI, he turned to Sabatini to reform Madrid’s Royal Palace to his liking. for example in the Hall of Halberdiers and in the Hall of Columns and projected an extension of which only a part was carried out, the one known as San Gil wing, in the palace complex, which later served as private rooms of Isabel II, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII. He also modified, already by order of Carlos IV, the main staircase of the palace, changing its orientation.

And the famous Sabatini Gardens, (see post) next to the palace? Well, curiously, they have very little to do with the Italian architect, since they were created long after his death, during the Second Republic (1931-1939). The name apart from being an appropriate tribute, since it is a neoclassical style garden is mainly due to the fact that they occupy the place where the royal stables designed by him used to be.

The Royal Palace is not the only one where Sabatini worked in Madrid. That of the Marquis de Grimaldi (adjacent to the Senate and which today houses the Center for Political and Constitutional Studies) is less imposing, but is entirely the work of the Sicilian, The Genoese Jerónimo Grimaldi, Secretary of State of Carlos III ; despite the fact that the palace has kept his name, Grimaldi never lived in it, since he resigned from his position even before it began to be built. For this reason, his first tenant was the Count of Floridablanca, Grimaldi’s successor. After him it was occupied by Manuel Godoy, who had it expanded and luxuriously redecorated and who took there his large collection of paintings, including Velázquez’s “The Venus of the Mirror” and the two majas -nude and dressed by ​​Goya. Later it was the residence of the marshal Murat during the French Napeolonic occupation, the Royal Library, headquarters of several ministries, the Admiralty Palace and the Museum of the Spanish People.

The magnificent Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is known for the spectacular dome, the largest in Spain and only surpassed in the world by those of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the Roman Pantheon and Santa Maria del Fiore , It is not his work, but that of Francisco Cabezas and Antonio Plo. Sabatini’s contribution was the main façade of the basilica, which overlooks the Plaza de San Francisco, at the crossroads of Calle de Bailén, Carrera de San Francisco and Gran Vía de San Francisco. What is unique about Sabatini’s work here is that, instead of joining a straight façade to the basilica’s circular plan, he made the façade itself convex, an ingenious solution that also made him set back the two towers. between which the dome protrudes.

The Convent of the Comendadoras de Santiago, This old convent gives its name to the Plaza de las Comendadoras, where some of the most lively terraces in the University neighborhood are located. Again, Sabatini shares the limelight with other architects, such as Manuel and José del Olmo (who designed the church) and Francisco Moradillo (courtyard and Sacristy of the Knights, among other rooms). In fact, the part designed by Sabatini is the latest, which closes the block and unifies all the rooms of the convent, which until then were divided into different houses.

Proof that Sabatini was not only an architect of palaces and monuments, but that he knew how to give practical solutions to very different spaces are the many works he did in the Casa de Campo, all of them very functional in nature, It was he who restored and completed the wall that closes the enclosure and it was he who (with the help of the engineer José de la Ballina) was in charge of channeling all the waters of the Royal Site, with a set of measures that include the small aqueduct still known as Sabatini or de la Partida and an ingenious set of oscillating bars that allowed the various streams that ran through the place to save the wall, preventing floods. Sabatini also built five bridges over the Meaques stream, a small tributary of the Manzanares river. Of two of them, no remains are preserved and two others are partially blinded and their structure covered with cement. But the most beautiful and original of them can still be seen in good condition, the Culebra Bridge, originally called Narrow Bridge and now known by that name due to the meandering granite parapets that crown its brick arches.

The Convent of San Pascual , Sabatini not only worked for king Carlos III in Madrid, but also in other places linked to the royal court, such as Aranjuez. His most important work there was the facade of the Church of the Convent of San Pascual, in front of the Old Hospital of San Carlos, built at the same time. It is a very classicist facade, although with some touches of Italian Baroque, especially in the two towers. On its main altar there is a painting by Antonio Rafael Mengs, but perhaps the most curious thing was that both on the altar and in other parts of the church there were initially works by Tiepolo, However, after his death his style went out of style and his paintings were badly withdrawn and discarded. Those that survived are now in the Prado Museum.

Hope you enjoy this tour of Sabatini’s Madrid, a great walk idea indeed, I have done on foot on various trips and its wonderful, One reason we say Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !

There you go folks, plenty of news and this time more tips to enjoy my dear Spain! Hope you find it useful and be prepare, times are improving and travel is back with the health pass and the mask…

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

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September 5, 2021

Some news from Spain CIX

And time again to tell you some news from Spain, and my beloved stories and places of Spain. There are still the sequels of covid19 but things are beginning to move on as life does. However, I must tell all a sad news. Alfredo Gonzalez the owner of over 50 yrs of El Brillante restaurants of Madrid kill himself due to debts over covid19 of his restaurants. I remember fondly his friendly approach while eating my calamares sandwich at the Atocha resto. RIP

Then, we move on as life is for the living.

The 800th birthday of the Gothic cathedral of Burgos and the Jacobean Holy Year, with the Camino de Santiago crossing three towns that host the exhibition Las Edades del Hombre. (the ages of men). And its motto is Lux (light), the light that the Gothic style provided, precisely introduced in Spain through the Camino de Santiago. Here we go folks :

The Cathedral of Burgos, in whose cloisters, high and low, is the main exhibition of the Las Edades del Hombre , is one of those human artifacts that overwhelms you. With the Camino Jacobeo ,although the same would have happened without it, possibly the Gothic style is introduced in Spain, which contributes, among other innovations, to lighten the stone walls with stained glass windows that give way to clarity. Hence also this year’s motto, Lux. Because there are things that must be seen: like the popular papamoscas (Flycatcher), a rather simple automaton-clock in the central nave; the tomb of the Cid and his wife, Dona Jimena, under the dome; the Golden Staircase; the monumental reliefs in the ambulatory; the grandiose chapel of the Constables, with a cornered Magdalene that some people attribute to Leonardo da Vinci… Thanks to the heap of exquisite altarpieces and sculptures, scattered among 14 chapels, one can overcome the feeling of being in a cemetery. Or in a pantheon of illustrious men, For logistical reasons (and prevention of covid), access to the Chapel of Santo Cristo de Burgos is out of the circuit. A miraculous image, with human hair (which grows, according to pious tradition) and animal skin, much loved in the city, and whose devotion even overflowed to the lands of America, The Museo de la Evolución Humana (MEH) or museum of human evolution. The set of 3 buildings was directed so that from the large windows you can see the cathedral, just opposite, on the other side of the Arlanzón river with a desirable sample of paintings and engravings of the cathedral of various artists, some as illustrious as Joaquín Sorolla. Between the Paseo del Espolón and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento a medieval knot of streets and alleys (some with no exit), squares, arcades … It is known as La Senda de los Elefantes or the path of the elephants,

The 90 km from Burgos to Carrión de los Condes can be done comfortably on the Camino de Santiago highway ,A-12. Also along the national road N-120, which strictly adheres to the pilgrims’ path but slower passing by many small towns, From Carrión were the villainous counts who, according to the Cantar de Mio Cid, would have married and then outraged the daughters of Don Rodrigo in the oak grove of Corpes. Apparently, all a fake to bad idea of ​​Castilian against Leonese. The fact is that in Carrión, in the monastery of San Zoilo, is the pantheon of those counts and their family. The monastery, at the entrance to the town, is now a luxurious hotel with a large and well-shaded car park that should be taken advantage of, because in the urban area it is impossible to find a space. On foot, after crossing the Puente Mayor or bridge over the Carrión river, look for the Camino, which is none other than Calle Mayor that crosses the town from end to end. At the start of Calle Mayor-Camino is the Church of Santa María del Camino. And a little further on, on the same road, the Church of Santiago. Between both temples, and in the same street as Santa María, is the birthplace of the Marqués de Santillana, a warrior and writer of the 15C, one of our first humanists, author of some spicy Serranillas that anticipate the erotic lanterns of a Giacomo Casanova.

From Carrión to Sahagún, about 40 km, the landscape changes, softens. the cradle of that unique architecture of our country that is the Mudejar, Next to the Cea river stood the richest and most powerful monastery in late medieval Spain, that of San Facundo (hence the place name Sahagún). King Alfonso VI, who is buried in another nearby convent, made it head of the Castilian Benedictines and the engine of the Cluniac reform, which extended the Gothic style. Today there are barely a few roofed ruins and a large entrance arch, like a meteorite fallen from the sky. Next to it are the two headquarters of Las Edades del Hombre, the Church of San Tirso and the Hermitage of La Peregrina.

Vive el camino or live the way from the Galician newspaper La Voz  in Spanish : https://vivecamino.com/camino-de-santiago-desde/camino-santiago-desde-burgos/

Sagunto is a hodgepodge of Iberian, Roman, Andalusian, Jewish and two towns in one. The town, at the foot of the castle, and the port, which enters the Mediterranean through a very long jetty, The Avenida del Mediterráneo runs parallel to a beach whose dunes and the view of the very long jetty are the main attractions. A 1,652-meter jetty that was once a mineral loading dock. Following its route, inland, you reach the Old Hospital. Construction from the beginning of the 20C whose English heritage architecture, in addition to the hospital services of rigor, housed offices and houses for engineers. The people who reside in the building today do not have to be. The General Workshops Warehouse, dating from 1919. Inside boilermaking work, locomotive repair and foundry and adjustment tasks were carried out. Right in front of it is Horno Alto nº 2, a metallic structure almost 65 meters high whose restoration in 2012, by the architects Carmel Gradolí and Tato Herrero, received the Europa Nostra Award. Steel was produced in its dull guts, and it now houses a museum. Very close to it, on Calle de la Fundicion (foundry), is the Warehouse of Effects and Parts, a huge warehouse that, it is hoped, will house the Museum of Industrial Archeology of Sagunto. The company’s engineers and managers frequented the Recreational Casino, which is still in operation today. Some and others coincided, yes, inside the Church of Nuestra Señora de Begoña, but they did not mix; there were assigned seats for superiors and others for peons. The same thing happened on the beach. A visit to Puerto de Sagunto is not complete if you don’t go to its beach, with fine golden sand and dunes. A Mediterranean canvas as long as the jetty, with which it forms a right angle, and that few dare to see up close while walking on the breakwater that partly protects it. Those rocks are also a peaceful place to bathe. Sagunto tourist office: http://www.saguntoturismo.com/sagunto/web_php/index.php

When it comes to big towns this is one of my favorites in my beloved Spain, San Sebastián is much more than a gastronomic tourist destination. It is a place that combines everything that is sought when traveling in summer: beach, good food and a wide cultural and artistic offer. Along the Paseo de la Bahía de La Concha, with the now famous white railing, you will find some of the most emblematic places of the city. Right in the area that divides the two beaches of the city, La Concha and Ondarreta, is the Miramar Palace, a building built by the Spanish Royal House in the 19C during the reign of Isabel II. Continuing along the promenade leaving the Ondarreta beach behind, you will reach another obligatory stop next to the coast, El Peine del Viento, which marks the end of the San Sebastián promenade The area also has some wind and water that allows pedestrians to connect with the sea in a special way when the waves are strong. Right at this point where Ondarreta beach ends and El Peine del Viento is located, you can access the mountain that offers the best panoramic view of the city, the Igueldo. It is reached by funicular and once there, although the main attraction is the views, you can enjoy the historic Monte Igueldo Amusement Park, with ferris wheels, mountains and old-looking carousels that evoke nostalgia and from which you can appreciate unique sea and mountain landscapes. Art lovers will be able to find in the old area with all the architectural styles that give San Sebastián such a picturesque aspect. On the one hand, the Catedral del Buen Pastor or Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, of neo-Gothic style and whose towers can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Right at the other end of the old town, the Basilica of Santa María del Coro, with a façade that could be framed between the baroque and the rococo. And it is that, although it is obvious, it never hurts to remember that going out for pintxos (tapas) in San Sebastián is another of the things that must be done no matter how brief the visit is. The old part of the city has such a density of bars that you can enjoy a stroll through its streets with all kinds of snacks, from the classic Gilda ( a pintxos of anchovies and veggies concoction) to other more elaborate meat and fish pintxos. And to top it off, a portion of La Viña cheesecake, one of the local recipes that triumphs all over the world. Leave out the film and go for the old town and the beach me think !!! The San Sebastiàn tourist office: https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/

This is the latest on a movie of a Spanish poet I follow all my life, and have a unique post on him in my blog, I, also, of course, follow Ian Gibson, In his latest Ian Gibson travels to the precipice where memory ends, The Cans festival premieres the film in which the Hispanicist returns to the scene of the murder of Lorca and to the towns of Las Hurdes where Buñuel filmed ‘Tierra sin pan’, The documentary Donde acaba la memoria or where memory ends is directed by the professor of the University of Vigo Pablo Romero-Fresco, has been the premiere that the Cans film festival at O Porriño, province of Pontevedra opened this past Thursday, and if it is not a biographical story, it is a semblance of all that life of the Irish researcher dedicated to unearthing the memory of Spain. A country in which he was not born, but which he feels with “deep love and anger”. In Where memory ends, Gibson reveals the sound recording in which he recorded, in 1978, the explanations of the gravedigger of the poet from Granada at the scene of the execution. He also visits the Residencia de Estudiantes or Student Residence, that European cultural paradise in which the three stars Lorca, Dalí and Buñuel lined up to whom the writer has consecrated his research vocation. In addition, he shows his refuge in the heart of the Lavapiés neighborhood, Madrid, the place where he feels like in the womb and where he ended up with his family after the 19 moves that he carried out in Spain after leaving Dublin, Ireland.

The film premiered in the Cans festival ,which celebrates its 18th edition until Saturday 4 September, today), with a subsequent debate with Gibson and Romero, and will continue to visit some Galician cinemas and festivals until arriving at the Cineteca de Madrid on October 4 2021, Romero-Fresco accompanied Gibson to Granada to present the latest edition of his book on the murder of Lorca, in one more attempt to find the remains of the poet. The film could only end where it all began, the place where Gibson arrived 50 years ago to write his first work, which was banned by the Franco regime. The passion for Federico García Lorca made an almost adolescent Ian Gibson (Dublin, 82 years old) an Irishman with a Spanish soul. In 1978, with his book El asesinato de Lorca or the assassination of Lorca under his arm, he came to Madrid without knowing where to keep the blankets that he brought as basic luggage. For years he has lived in Lavapiés, which for him is the most beautiful capital in the world. In the book he writes what Garcia Lorca felled for his land, as he said « I love the land. I feel linked to her in all my emotions. My most distant memories as a child have a taste of earth ». There is a place, beyond Fuente Vaqueros y Asquerosa (town change name to Valderrubio since 1943), that treasures the first literary inspirations of Federico García Lorca, a flat land, abundant in water, neat in crops and memory where the poet’s childhood passed, where he accepted his link with the landscape, discovered the lysergic power of narratives, the strength of words and the way to convey inspiration. La farmhouse of Daimuz, in the heart of La Vega from Granada, captures the same light of happiness that the poet knew.

The official Cans film festival on Gibson/Garcia Lorca: https://www.festivaldecans.gal/gl/o-historiador-ian-gibson-e-xose-manuel-beiras-protagonizan-mana-a-segunda-xornada-do-festival-de-cans/

The history of Daimuz began a long time ago. Federico García Rodríguez, the poet’s father, had been born in Fuente Vaqueros in 1859. In 1880 he had married Matilde Palacios who died fourteen years later. With the money he had raised, he acquired good estates near Fuente Vaqueros. The most important of all was Daimuz, a kind of fertile land sandwiched between the Genil and Cubillas rivers. Converted into a landowner and one of the wealthiest men in the region, he met the teacher Vicenta Lorca Romero with whom he married in August 1897. Nine months later, on June 5, 1898, the poet was born in the family home of Fuente Vaqueros. One of the first memories that the poet cherished in the Daimuz farmhouse was his mother’s reading of Victor Hugo’s novel « Hernani ».But what forever changed his way of seeing the world was that afternoon his mother arrived from Granada with a puppet theater. He had acquired it that day at La Estrella del Norte, the best toy store in the city, located on Calle Reyes Católicos. It is not surprising, therefore, that, already consecrated as a poet, he maintained: “Andalusia is not a country of joy and tambourines , but the country of sentimental melancholy, of the internal currents of the spirit “. Yes he was the greatest poet of Spain, and still is, follow his trail.

And the end but not really, the best of the gastronomy of Spain! love these, hope you visit them and let me know your thoughts.

La Casa de Campo (see post) is very much in vogue, with interesting openings such as Villa Verbena and now El Taller, the sports house that this green lung full of families and athletes was needed, A mix of brewery and social and sports club with countless activities: from running club to nutrition talks, children’s activities like weekend workshops and summer camps. Its strong point is 20 types of beer from all over the world. In addition, its cuisine around the globe is based on coal and fire, and allows family or friends to celebrate any occasion and achievement after having done sports. Because apart from the gym, there is ñam, which is what it burns for. The terrace has capacity for 400 persons. Location at Paseo de María Teresa, 3. Lago de Casa de Campo. Hours: from 17h45 to 00h00, Average ticket: 25 euros. No webpage yet.

In a short time its name, Berria has become a must for lovers of the world of wine, thanks to its 1,600 references and its 80 wines by the glass that are renewed several times a month. But in this wine bar you also eat, and very well, thanks to a cuisine based on first-class raw materials. Both in the living room and on the terrace -with spectacular views of the Puerta de Alcalá ! Great !! location Plaza de la Independencia, 6. Webpage: https://www.berriawinebar.com/en/berria/

The center of Jerez de la Frontera, the Tío Pepe wineries (González Byass group) are a journey through time in which to discover the origins of Jerez wine. Not to be missed is the Real Bodega de La Concha, whose architecture is attributed to the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the boots signed by celebrities or the small ladder resting on a wineglass on the Bodega La Constancia, all arranged for the mice to taste the fragrant wine. Location Calle Manuel María González, 12 ,Jerez de la Frontera,province of Cádiz Webpage : https://www.tiopepe.com/

The Marqués de Riscal red was my first taste of wine ever over 50 yrs ago , given by my maternal grandmother Amparo of Tenerife!! The oenological complex known as La Ciudad del Vino de Marqués de Riscal is made up of several facilities, including two wineries and a five-star hotel with a spa. It is worth stopping at the original winery from the 19C where the bottling that stores the oldest vintages, some from 1862) ,and at the hotel, the impressive titanium construction by Frank O. Gehry Location at calle Torrea, 1 ,Elciego , province of Álava). Webpage :http://www.masquesderiscal.com/

The Bodega Santiago Ruiz was created in 1984 by Santiago Ruiz, one of the Albariño parents and a pioneer in the renovation of the Galician vineyard, it is a peaceful winery in the O Rosal area. A delicious house-museum of the 17C surrounded by gardens and old vineyards in the traditional style where you can discover how local wine was made (and is made) and Galician hospitality from the hand of Rosa Ruiz, daughter of the founder and continuation of the legacy of her father. Location at Rua do Vinicultor, Santiago Ruiz, s / n, San Miguel de Tabagón,province of Pontevedra). Webpage : https://www.marquesderiscal.com/

There you go folks, a dandy some news from Spain ! Hope you enjoy the reading and do visit these wonderful places, recommended by yours truly, And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all !!!

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September 3, 2021

The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela of Madrid!

And now taken you closer to the Manzanares river and mostly off the beaten path of my beloved Madrid. It is far from the center and best on foot as we did. Lovely area with many cultural and sporting activities for the whole family. Something different in Madrid. In fact ,came searching for Madrid Rio (see post) and end up finding this gem. There is another crystal palace in Madrid, guest where? However, this one is unique and glad found it!! You never know about Madrid!  Let me tell you a bit about the Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela !

The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela or Crystal Palace is located on the premises of what was once part of the Municipal Slaughterhouse of Arganzuela and has an area of ​​7,100 m². It was popularly known as the Nave de Patatas or potato warehouse, and its large rectangular structure of steel profiles are preserved, which is used as a botanical museum with plants from various parts of the world. It is located on Paseo de la Chopera, next to the Manzanares River, the municipal slaughterhouse was built between 1908 and 1924 as Slaughterhouse and Municipal Cattle Market.

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This museum greenhouse part has four closed areas creating four microclimates. Two of them house the most characteristic plants of the tropical climate, other those of the subtropical climate and the remaining one houses cacti and all the species related to the desert climate. All this exotic landscape is also surrounded by small fountains. Closed as a slaughterhouse in the early 80s, it currently houses various cultural units of the City of Madrid, as well as the headquarters of the Municipal Board of the District of Arganzuela.

In 1992 the conversion of the Nave de Patatas or potato warehouse was carried out. The Palacio de Cristal de Arganzuela opens on December 21, 1992. The palace is free to visit and its exterior is surrounded by gardens and swings.

The Crystal Palace Greenhouse, houses 9 000 species of plants that are presented in four perfectly differentiated biotopes, each with a different microclimate, housing four different kinds of plants: Tropical flora, Subtropical flora, Crass and cacti plants and Plants of cruise and water. But not only can you enjoy its many plants but the Greenhouse also houses fountains and waterfalls populated with fish and birds.

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Next to the greenhouse until 2008 there was a Dalieda (outdoor garden dedicated only to dahlias, and the collection had more than three hundred varieties with about 3,000 copies), this space since 2012 and after the works of reconditioning of the environment with the Manzanares riverbank park (Madrid Rio), it has been reconditioned as an asphalted area for roller skating. Specimens of dahlias that were cultivated were distributed between the Real Jardines Botanico or Royal Botanical  Garden and the Dalieda of San Francisco. A peculiar park is known as “Las vistillas”, as is in the highest area of ​​Madrid of the Austria’s area, near Church San Francisco el Grande (see post) and the views are privileged to the city. Address: Gran Vía de San Francisco, 29).

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The Madrid tourist office on the Arganzuela palace greenhouse: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/invernadero-del-palacio-de-cristal-de-arganzuela

Again my long link sorry of the City of Madrid on the Palacio de Arganzuelahttps://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Parques-y-jardines/Patrimonio-Verde/Parques-en-Madrid/Palacio-de-Cristal-de-la-Arganzuela-Invernadero/?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=7d855cf8438de210VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=38bb1914e7d4e210VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

There you go folks, another off the beaten path of my dear Madrid. Hope you enjoy this Palacio de Cristal of Arganzuela in my beloved Madrid; nice different and in up and coming popular area of Madrid.

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

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September 3, 2021

Jardines Sabatini and a Moro of Madrid!!

Going back to my beloved Madrid again. Many places of youth still revisited every year. Now let me tell you about a wonderful garden not far from the Palacio Real or Royal Palace.  The Jardines Sabatini are a great place to be not only for the location but also, the silhouette of the slopes in it giving you a wonderful view of the Royal Palace and Madrid afar. And then near is the Campo del Moro or moors’ field! a delicate park to enjoy by the families of always!

The Sabatini Gardens in the classicist style were created in 1933 in the spot that occupied the stables built by Sabatini for the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) , hence the name. Located in front of the Royal Palace’s northern façade, the gardens were completed in 1978. It was king Juan Carlos I who opened the park to the public. Located officially at Calle Bailén, 2 , and the best way other than walking to it is by metro Opera lines 2,5 and Radial and Sol lines 1 ,2 and 3.

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Today, a large, round fountain with tritons is at the intersection of the two major axes that are surrounded on all sides by quadrants and conifers, with trees arranged along the perimeter. The quiet secluded atmosphere of the Jardines Sabatini is in part due to the lowered elevation of the gardens, the gardens are approximately 10 meters (about 33 feet) lower than the main Plaza de Oriente. The gardens are connected to Plaza Oriente by a grand stone staircase, an appropriate entrance to the royal gardens .The Jardines Sabatini are named after the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini who during the 18C designed much of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), this included royal stables which were demolished to create the gardens named after him.

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Another gem nearby and less visited is the Campo del Moro. The least known and least visited, perhaps because its entrance is on the farthest part from the Royal Palace, a bit far from the tourist itinerary. The adjacent gardens of the Campo del Moro lies behind the palace. You will find beautiful shady paths, fountains and peacocks strolling. It is both romantic style with some English garden features. As for its name, the Campo del Moro (the Moor’s field), it comes from the fact that it was the place where the Moorish army camped before their unsuccessful attempt, at the beginning of the 12C to take over the Alcazar (castle). King Felipe IV was the first to develop this space but the Campo del Moro began to take its form as it is known today that in the 1890’s under regent queen Doña María Cristina of Habsburg.

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Both are doable at the same time, and what a thrill you will have amongst so much natural beauty mingle in with beautiful statues and busts. Great for the whole family and I eventually took my boys here since very young to now. Hope you enjoy this bit of introduction as I.

The Madrid tourist office on the Sabatini gardens: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/jardines-de-sabatini

The Madrid tourist office on the Campo del Moro: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/campo-del-moro

There you go folks, a wonderful gardens that are good for the whole family like mine. I have several entries on them in blog but always link with something else or in my Some News from Spain entries. I believe the Jardines Sabatini and Campo del Moro deserve a post of their own even if to expansive this introduction can get you to come and me again. It is worth the detour in my Madrid. Hope you enjoy the post as I. You will be please to visit them

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

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September 3, 2021

Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid!!!

And I am back at you with my Madrid, and updating this post which surprise many folks coming to one of the world’s best museum missed it! One monument that needs to be seen there is the Royal Parish Church of Saint Jerome or the Parroquia Iglésia de San Jeronimo el Real right next to the Prado museum! notice it! Well I have and been in it but seldom took as many pictures than on this trip,(picture below is from the Prado!)  memories forever in my beloved Madrid.

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The old monastery of San Jerónimo el Real, popularly known as “Los Jerónimos”, was one of the most important monasteries in Madrid, originally governed by the Order of San Jerónimo. Next to it there was the so-called Royal Quarter, then expanded as Palace of Buen Retiro in the time of Felipe IV. The church currently remains, converted into a parish Church of San Jeronimo (St. Jerome), and a Renaissance cloister. Church and convent were closely linked to the life of the Court and the Spanish monarchy. The temple was a frequent scene of funerals, oaths of heirs, weddings and royal proclamations, the last of these being that of King Juan Carlos I.

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This is the only gothic building in Madrid!. It is a late Gothic with Renaissance influences and reminiscences of Madrid architecture, which can be seen in its facade in which stone and brick are mixed. Inside you will see its Elizabethan Gothic choir, which you will recognize because it is supported by a carpanel arch. The Jerónimos have undergone several modifications since their original construction in 1502, the church we see today is mostly from the 19C, when the facade and the twin towers that frame the main chapel were rebuilt. However, the Gothic style has been preserved and can be seen in the towers, in the buttresses and in the buttresses finished off pinnacles, among others. On each side we find five chapels, which were the object of the restoration that took place in the 19C. And its great staircase is even more recent, as it was built at the beginning of the 20C. The interior shows us something dark, especially in the area of ​​the main altar. Its greatest artistic attraction is in the decoration of the aforementioned central nave.

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It is found right next to the Prado museum the best way to walk to it is from the Paseo del Prado up to Calle Moreto 4. Metro lines Atocha, Antón Martín, line 1 and Banco de España line 2. See it!

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A bit of history I like

Although king Enrique IV of Castilla had previously ordered to build another monastery of Jeronimos on the banks of the Manzanares River in 1463, and shortly thereafter, in 1470 he had given the congregation of privileges to collect taxes, it is something later, at the end of the 15C, when the Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction in Madrid of a monastery of Jeronimos monks that would serve as a room for the Royal Family during their stays in the town. This Monasterio de San Jeronimo El Real (Royal monastery of St Jerome) was made in late Gothic style with Renaissance influences.  In 1510 Fernando I, the Catholic  has meetings of the Cortes in the temple and in 1528,the courts of Castile convened in Madrid in the monastery of San Jeronimo by Carlos I, Felipe de Habsburg Prince of Asturias was declared there, and was sworn as heir and successor of the kingdom of Castile, a tradition that will remain until that of Isabel II, in 1833.  The monastery and the annexed palace lived its time of greatest splendor during the reign of Felipe IV, which made the complex the center of courtly life. In the temple the oath took place as heir to the kingdom of Castile of the ill-fated Prince Baltasar Carlos of Austria.

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During the Napoleonic invasion of 1808 (known here as the War of Independence of Spain or peninsular war elsewhere), the monastery and the Palace of Buen Retiro were severely damaged by the invading army. As a result of this and in an effort to maintain what was left, Fernando VII turns the monastery into an artillery barracks. Years later, under queen Isabel II, the restoration of the church is ordered and the result of which are the towers of its heading, which flank the apse. The palatial complex of Buen Retiro was worse off: it suffered such damage that it was demolished, with the exception of the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Salon de Reinos (kingdom hall). (see posts).

In San Jerónimo the marriage bond was celebrated between King Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg on May 31, 1906. On November 27, 1975, Cardinal Vicente Enrique y Tarancón presided over the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, at the beginning of the reign by king Juan Carlos I. In the early 20C, and as a result of the agreement to transfer the cloister of the monastery to the Prado Museum, the church was completely restored, both internally and externally.

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When considering the necessary extension of the neighboring Prado Museum, the Ministry of Culture rejected several options and chose as the most feasible and least traumatic to extend the spaces of the gallery to the Jerónimos. The site of the cloister was recovered, which was connected to the main body of the museum underground. Once the work was finished, the cloister maintains its inner courtyard, with its original arches and columns, and recovers its outer volume in the form of a cube, to which it owes its popular name. Red brick was used for the facades, so that they blend better with the surrounding buildings. Inside, the most innovative element is a skylight that crosses the building, from the cloister to the underground floors dedicated to exhibitions. The bronze doors that connect the cloister building with the Calle Ruiz de Alarcón street have also received praise. In all a wonderful parish Church!

This is one that needs to be seen yet so close and intertwined with the Prado museum often overlook by visitors, it can be even call an off the beaten path site in my Madrid, but a must to see I repeat! San Jéronimo el Real be there!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madridhttps://www.parroquiasanjeronimoelreal.es/

The Madrid tourist office on the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madridhttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/iglesia-parroquial-de-san-jeronimo-el-real

The Comunidad de Madrid tourist office on the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madridhttps://www.turismomadrid.es/es/descubre/madrid/de-inter%C3%A9s/5107-iglesia-de-los-jeronimos.html

Again, this is a dandy beautiful historical architecturally nice , a must to see in Madrid. Again, so close to the Prado yet so far for most; need to see my Madrid. I recommend seeing the Parish Church San Jéronimo el Real of Madrid!

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

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