Archive for ‘Real Madrid’

July 31, 2018

La Liga, Real Madrid, and football is on 2018-2019 season!

This is something would like to write more, but for some reason let it lagged behind. My passion for football/soccer/calcio is huge. I am the one who yelled screamed and sing/dance even in bars when the games of my beloved team is on. Therefore, on a sunny day in my Morbihan Breton, let me tell you more about one of my passions.

I have written before several blog posts on the sport and my team, and La Liga (the league as its call in Spain). Here are those posts from latest to oldest.

Real Madrid a love story

Real Madrid is on the move again!

Real Madrid 10th Champions!

La Liga is here again, my passion

La Liga is here again,Hala Madrid!

What about the Real Madrid

Real Madrid on the march!

Real Madrid forever!

Real Madrid the greatest ever!

The Clasico in Spain, Real Madrid!

I think you will have plenty to read on the history ,the passion, and the game as well as Madrid above.

Let me tell you a bit more about the League or Liga for this coming season 2018-2019. And why not start with the official webpage for it in English: La Liga

Just saying,the Liga starts officially August 19th 2018 with teams matches/games.  However, before on August 15th will be the first official match for championships as the UEFA Champions league Real Madrid, will face the Europa League Champions Atletico de Madrid at Lillekûla Stadium , Tallinn, Estonia

Our first Liga game will be against our neighbors to the south Getafe schedule tentatively for August 18-19th.

Before,all this, there will be Summer games in the FIFA International Champions Cup, in the heat with players just not even ready as they came from playing in the World Cup but FIFA imposed for money in my opinion. This tournament many times is played with mixed teams sometimes the C third string players! This is the case already with some of the teams starting their ICC like the PSG of Paris(losing to Bayern Munich).

The games for Real Madrid will be August 1st vs Manchester United at Hard Rock Stadium , Miami FL USA ,August 5th vs Juventus of Turin, Fedex Field, Landover, MD USA, August 8th vs AS Roma at Met Life Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ USA.

The Spanish championship of the First division  between 1928 and 2008,  then Liga BBVA from 2008 to 2016 and La Liga Santander since 2016 . The antechamber of this division is the Spanish Second Division Championship.  According to the UEFA coefficient for classifying the European National Championships, the Spanish First Division or Liga Santander  is the best national Football League in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

At the end of the season, the first four in the standings qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the fourth first  go through the preliminary round of this competition. The fifth and sixth are qualified for the Europa League. Another qualifying place for the Europa League will be guaranteed to the winner of the King’s Cup (Copa del Rey).

Madrid

For the season 2018-2019 in Europe the Liga will have in the Champions league competition,the Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Atletico de Madrid. In the Europa League it will have Betis, Sevilla,and Villarreal.

Madrid

The latest  UEFA coeffficient ranking of Spanish clubs has the Real Madrid 158, Atletico de Madrid 135, Barcelona 132, Sevilla 113, Villarreal 52, Atletico Bilbao 46, and Real Sociedad 15,5.

A bit of history I like.

Before 1928, the only Spanish event of national character was the Copa del Rey (Kings Cup or Spain Cup). The idea of a national championship is set out as early as April 1927, this competition finally received the approval of the Spanish Federation on 23 November 1928. In order to constitute the first First Division (Primera División) in history, some formations are automatic inserted because of their past results: Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Real Unión de Irun, Espanyol Barcelona, CD Europe Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid.  A playoff tournament involving ten clubs is set up to designate the tenth and last member of the First Division. Real Racing Santander wins  the final on the occasion of this tournament against Sevilla FC. The first day of the First Division championship takes place on February 10, 1929. The First Division remained at ten clubs until 1934, and then passed to 12 clubs. The Spanish Civil War puts football on the back burner between 1936 and 1939, the date of the championship resumption, which starts with 12 clubs. 14 clubs in 1941, 16 in 1950, 18 in 1971 and 20 from 1987. The 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 seasons compete exceptionally at 22 clubs due to the recourse of clubs not wanting to be administratively relegated to 2 ª B division.

63 clubs have played in the First Division of the Spanish Championship but only 3 have remained in the first division since the start of the competition: Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. These three clubs and the Osasuna are the only ones , which continue to be sports entities owned by their subscribers (Socios) and not anonymous companies whose owners are the shareholders.

The oldest stadium in which a First division team plays is El Molinón inaugurated in 1908 in which the Sporting of Gijón plays.  The most titled player is the Spanish Francisco Gento with 12 championships. The most titled Coach is Miguel Muñoz (9), both of Real Madrid.

The teams with the most titles in La Liga historically are: Real Madrid (my team forever) 33 titles, Barcelona 25, Atletico de Madrid 10, Athletic Bilbao 8, Valencia 6, Real Sociedad (San Sebastian), 2, Real Betis(Sevilla) 1, Sevilla 1, Deportivo La Coruna 1.

The titles in Europe are :

Champions league, Real Madrid 13, Barcelona  5. Super Cup UEFA (Europe) Barcelona 5, Real Madrid 4, Valencia 2, Atletico de Madrid 2, Sevilla 1

Madrid

Europa League (UEFA)  Sevilla 5, Atletico de Madrid 3, Real Madrid 2, Valencia 1.

Intercontinental Cup/ World Cup Clubs:  Real Madrid 6, Barcelona 3, Atletico de Madrid 1.

The Season 2018-2019 will be the 88th edition of the Spanish Football Championship. It will have the best 20 clubs of Spain playing in 38 games more or less weekly. Real Madrid goes in with an estimated budget of 900M€ tops new Coach Julen Lopetegui(former National team of Spain coach), playing since 1947 at the famous historical Santiago Bernabéu stadium with official capacity of  81 044 persons.

MAdrid

And I ,of course, can’t wait for it to start. The highlight of the year and the talk of the house. The team this year is a question mark with a new controversial hiring coach, the lost of key players that should remain nameless as no longer with us (thank you for the past services), and not much hiring of importance yet. Wait and see situation,which hopefully will peak by the time Champions league begins ::)

Stay tune plenty of choices to watch it on many channels on many networks and plenty of different languages. Enjoy La Liga !!!

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

July 22, 2018

Cibeles and Alcalà one two punch in Calle Alcalà of Madrid!

Ok so this is the Madrid of my younger days, the Madrid of bringing my girlfriend, and later wife, the Madrid of bringing my kids growing older with time. Madrid is and will be a hole on the sky to look down on the city every day! On sunny days, cold days, rainy days, snow days , Madrid is awesome ,full of memories and great times. With time my dear late wife Martine came to love it too as do my boys.

I have written pieces of it in other blog posts, but none that I can read were just on them. These are the main symbols of Madrid in my opinion, but maybe I am biased as they were and are my home. I lived not far from them and past them every day back then, and at every occasion passing by Madrid now even in summer vacations.

I am talking of the Plaza de Cibeles and it’s fountain of same name as well as the Puerta de Alcalà gate.  I have written two previous blog posts on them in grouping, these are

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/12/madridpuerta-de-alcala-and-fuente-de-cibeles/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/21/madrid-puerta-del-sol-y-cibeles/

The Plaza de Cibeles is located at the union of the districts of Centro, Retiro, and Salamanca and the intersection of the Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado . The Square is cross by the Calle de Alcalà . Before, it was called the Madrid square or Plaza de Madrid, then rename Plaza Castelar in 1900 until finally getting the current name after the end of the Spanish Civil War 1939.

On the Western side of the square you have the initial traject of the Calle de Alcalà, widen to later include the Gran Via. The Metropolis building and the Circulo de Bellas Artes as well as the Instituto Cervantes are some of the notable buildings you can see from the square. On the Eastern side once reaching the square and the Calle de Alcalà, upward bound you have a better view of the Puerta de Alcalà that is in the near square of independence or Plaza de la Independencia.

Madrid

In the Plaza de Cibeles you have the famous fountain of Cibeles or Fuente de Cibeles; representing the Greek goddess of Cybil a work of architect Ventura Rodriguez and sculptors Francisco Gutierrez Arribas for the Cibeles figure, and Roberto Michel for the lions, Miguel Jimenez for the decoration elements of the chariot. The fountain was built between 1777 and 1782 in front of the palace of Buenavista. The fountain was put here in 1895 showing the Greek goddess Cibeles of fertility ,holding a scepter and a key while being pulled by two lions on a chariot.  The pull of the wild lions symbolize the power of nature or of the goddess; the figures took about 10K kg of stones and three different artists.

Madrid

The Spanish football (soccer) team Real Madrid has unofficially adopted the fountain. It is used as a meeting point for its fans and often for the players themselves whenever the team wins the Spanish league ,Spanish King’s Cup or the Champions League. And this happens often as the team is the best ever ,mine, excuse me.

Other emblematic buildings around the square are the before mentioned Palacio de Buenavista on the northwest angle of the square built in 1777 holding the general hq of the army. Also, the Palacio de Linares on the northeast side completed in 1900 and it houses since 1992 the House of America or Casa de América a cultural institution for the American continent. The Palacio de Comunicaciones  (aka Palacio de Cibeles) built in 1909 on orders of king Alfonso XIII to house the seat of the post office of Spain with an imposing façade on the south east side of the square. Since 2007, it is centro cibeles or the city hall of Madrid.

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

There is the building of the Banco de España or Bank of Spain with long facades along the Calle de Alcalà and Paseo del Prado, housing since 1981 the principal seat of the Bank of Spain.

Madrid

The Puerta de Alcalà is one of the five old gates for entry into Madrid. It is at the Plaza de la Independencia or independence square facing the Retiro Park (my old entry point to the center of Madrid in my days there) . The gate was built on the orders of King Charles III to replace an old gate that existed since the 16C. The Italian architect Francesco Sabatini was chosen by the king himself to do the gate. The work began in 1769 and continued until the inauguration in 1778.  This is the first triumphal arc built in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire, making it the forerunner of the Arc de Triomphe of Paris or the Brandenburg Gate of Berlin. The gate allowed the entrance in Madrid to travelers from Aragon, Catalonia and France.

MAdrid Madrid

The neoclassical-style Puerta de Alcalà has a width of  about 44 meters and culminates at 22 meters in height. The structure of the gate is made of granite from the quarries of Colmenar Viejo, Alpedrete and Hoyo de Manzanares. The decorative elements are made of limestone from Colmenar of Oreja. The sculptures of children who crown the Puerta de Alcalá represent the four cardinal virtues. Made by Francisco Gutiérrez Arribas, these sculptures are sometimes referred to as  the Angels of Peace.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/fuente-de-la-cibeles

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/puerta-de-alcala

Hope it helps enjoy this wonderful area of Madrid, the Retiro park is just around the corner too.

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

May 26, 2018

Some news from Spain LXII

And I am back to my beloved Spain. The weather has been nice even if today is a bit cloudy in my neck of the woods; at my gorgeous Madrid is the same cloudy at 13C or about 55F now before noon. There is lots on Spain to catch up from my last post.

This is always a great event we love, the book fair in Madrid or the La Feria del Libro de Madrid starts today and runs until Sunday June 10; this is the 77th edition and will have 363 stands and almost 5000 houses of printing as well as Romania as the country of honor.  It is at the magnificent Retiro park or Parque del Retiro,exactly by the road of Paseo del Duque de Fernán Núñez, locally known as the carriages promenade. You need to check the hours as many writers will be there to sign autographs and explain their books to you. Normally the stands are open Mondays to Fridays from 11h to 14h and then 18h to 21h30; Saturdays and Sundays and holidays will be open from 11h to 15h and then 17h to 21h30. more info here in Spanish of course: La Feria del Libro de Madrid

Something as an example. The Victoria & Albert museum of London will lent to the Generalitat region of Valencia the retable of St George  also known here as the lead centenial or Centenar de la Ploma, 15C. This is been thought over by the London museum as there is many proofs of works of art taken from museums such as the offer of Ethiopia to lent several pieces of jewerly taken by the British in the battle of Madgada of 1868. The list is long unfortunately of claims against  British museums such as the marble of the Pantheon of Athens taken by Lord Elgin and sold to the British museum, and treasures taken from Benin kept at the same museum. The real property owners of these works of arts sometimes are shown in museum coming from dubious sources , the practice needs to stop, just keep what is rightfully yours. There are 17 portraits conforming this retable shown in room 48B where you can see St George fighting the dragon and king James I against a muslim in the battle of Puig of 1237 ,that was decisive in the taken of Valencia the following year. The order that kept this retable was abolished in 1711, and ruin lost the work without trace until it shows up in Paris in 1864, some of the portraits have been destroyed by wars, from here it went to London again without explanation ,and still is there.

Let me tell you about a wonderful city of Spain, this is Salamanca. It is the province with the most bravo bulls of Lidia in Spain, and the most famous farms such as Garcigrande to  Puerto de San Lorenzo, Montalvo, Valdefresno , and  El Pilar. About 14 farms belongs to the Route of the Brave Bull or Ruta del Toro Bravo; many are open to the public and shown a tour from birth to fighting in an arena. They are tested in a corral to see their strenght and resistance even if on the field we still do not know how the bull is going to react in front of the bullfighter/torero. In the plaza is where they are tested to see the real virtuals of the bull, the best showing will be May 31 2018 in the Corrida de las 6 Naciones or 6 nations bullfights at the memorable Las Ventas monumental of Madrid.

The area above is wonderful to ride in a car and you can see beautiful places like the San Martín del Castañar, one of the best towns in the area as it belongs to the wine route or Ruta del Vino Sierra de Francia. Another is  Villanueva del Conde, where you have the Bodega Cámbrico offering tastings and visit to centenary grape growing areas at 600-1000 meters of altitude; all in the D.O.P. Sierra de Salamanca, the denominacion de origines protegido smallest in Spain! that already had score 91 points in the famous Spanish wine guide Guia Penin. You continue onto  Sequeros, and see the nice lookout or mirador de La Cruz to see the wonderful ranges of the Sierra de Béjar. Do not miss the small Church of El Robledo,with relics from  Simón Vela, discover of the image of the Virgen de la Peña de Francia,and the Saintly Lady that guide him to the find.  Then, you are in Mogarraz a sierra mountain jewel to taste some of the local dishes like the Serrano lemon; even if best known for the portraits of local people hanging from their houses painted by Florencio Maíllo,a local artist.  Now you got the picture the mountain valley range of  the  Sierra de Francia  is a world to discover. Some of the bull places that we like are the  Puerto de San Lorenzo   Puerto San Lorenzo bulls, and  El Pilar   El Pilar bulls.   The wines  Ruta del Vino Sierra de Francia

Sierra de Francia tourist page in Spanish: Sierra de France tourism  and the Salamanca tourist office in Spanish: Tourism of Salamanca

If you happened to past by the province of Teruel in the region of Aragon, you will see many wonders of the off the beaten path of my Spain, and by all means stop in Teruel and nearby cities such as the beautiful Albarracin (where I past each of the last two years to my vacations in Spain). This is by many ,the most beautiful town in the province and one of the most spectacular of Spain; as well as a starting point for the mountains.  You have more information  in Spanish: Sierra de Albarracin

Another wonderful town is Calanda famous for its drums festival during Holy Week and where the famous film director Luis Bunuel was born. Now there is a museum in a nice mansion Casa Fortón-Cascajares, a very nice home indeed. More on him and the museum here in Spanish: Luis Bunuel at Calanda

Mirambel is a fortified town that is worth a detour to visit the architectural heritage interpretation of the area or Centro de Interpretación del Patrimonio Arquitectónico del Maestrazgo with many things to do it with it. More info in Spanish here Maestrazgo

Do visit the mines of the Cuencas Mineras de Teruel nothing comes close comparable to this old lignite mine that you can descend to 200 meters deep. More information  in Spanish: Cuencas Mineras

The pretty town of Rubielos de Mora, at about 50 km from Teruel to have it enjoyed by the lovers of the abstract art from the second half of the 20C is an obligatory stop; there is a museum in the former Hospital of Gracia dedicated to the work of Salvador Victoria. More information  in Spanish: Rubielos de Mora museum

And if you are lof ike me into castles then in the Province of Teruel you have plenty but one in particular is very nice and off the beaten path in the municipality of Jiloca in the town of Peracense, right on a rock is the castle of Peracense. More in Spanish here: Castle of Peracense

You have two ways or roads in the province of Teruel that are part of the way of St James coming from the lower Aragon and starting at Sagunto. You, also, should know this is part of the road or way of El Cid or  Camino del Cid, that includes 21 towns all with the safeconduct of the way to the pilgrims that try this experience. More information on the Way of El Cid and especifically my route in English here  Camino del Cid Teruel

There is an interesting town of Matarrana to see vultures or the buitres of Valderrobres where you can even stay nearby to see the experience up close. These are rapasse birds indeed beautiful to see,at a distance… More here in English: Buitres de Valderrobres

And to end but not least visit San Antonio in Calaceite, the most iberian town best preserved in Spain where you can see the museum or Museo Juan Cabré  that takes you into the pre roman period in this part of Aragon. More here in Spanish: Museo Juan Cabré at Calaceite

Talking about the Malaga Painter. He visited the Prado museum for the first time when he was 13 yrs old and copy some of the works there such as the boy from Vallecas etc works by Velàzquez ,Goya,and El Greco. As shown by his 58 versions of the Las Meninas portrait. The fine arts circle or Circulo de Bellas Artes of Madrid is proposing a trip for these marvelous examples of the master where he found the inspiration for his work. He found the excuse of been in the Louvre to get lost for hours in its rooms like a hunting dog according to accounts of the times. Paris was the city that gave him the opportunity to encounter the Olympia of Manet with the great Odalisque of Ingrés together with others that cherished it like Courbet or Delacroix, of which portrait women of the angels also made into more than 10 versions. All this is shown in the Círculo de Bellas Artes with about 200 works including portraits done by his muse and second wife Jacqueline Roque, of which the painter drew on a pigeon in his home with chalk and giving her a rose every day  until finally she went out with him 6 months later.  Oh yes forgot, I am talking about Pablo Picasso;and here is more in Spanish: expo Picasso and the museum

Another great exposition in Madrid. You know about the Dadistes and later Surrealists inventing a new world, as they broke with the past. They created one of the most creative revolutions in history and today proof of that arrives to Madrid from Jerusalem and the Museum of Israel. See the exposition Duchamp, Magritte, Dalí. Revolucionarios del siglo XX.  Open in the Palacio de Gaviria  until mid July 2018 with works from the masters such as Duchamp, Magritte, Dalí, Ernst, Tanguy, Man Ray, Picabia, Calder, Schwitters, Höch, Blumenfeld, Janco, and others. Innovating genious that will have a retrospective of more than 200 works such as the precision and color of  Picabia in Music is Like Painting (1916), The Dream of Venus (1939), of Salvador Dalí and Horst P. Horst;  the philosophical experience of Goethe and the Metamorphosis of Plants (1940), by  André Masson, and the liences of Joan Miró from the serie of  Women and Birds (1940) are just some of the work on display. The gigantic rock crown by a castle in the middle of an ocean of which Magritte tried to ask for the mysterious and apparently impossible. The castle of the Pyrenees  (1959), is one of them.  Next is the Surrealist essay  (1934), by Dalí; Main Ray (1935),by Man Ray.  All brilliant discoveries of the these revolutionary arts from the 20C. It will be on display until July 15 2018. More here in English: Revolutionaries at the palacio de Gaviria

And the biggest event is tomorrow night the Champions league of Europe at Kiev. Shown live in my neck of the woods from 20h45. It is estimated about 17000 fans will be there from Madrid fans of all over (wish could be there!!!)to see the final between our beloved Real Madrid vs Liverpool. It will be held at the Olympic stadium in the city center of Kiev. The city has a good public transport network of metro and very inexpensive about 16 cents Euro. the closest stations to the stadium are Olimpiiska and Palats Sports, which lines connects with all the main sights in town to see from a tourist point of view. There will be a Fan Zone of Real Madrid located in the square or Palats Ukraine, next to the palace of national arts of Ukraine  just about 20 minutes on foot from the stadium.  There will be entertainment until the start of the match.  There is also, the Festival UEFA Champions, located on the main street of the city ,the  Khreshchatyk, next to the shopping center Tsum Kyiv, with entertainement , music bands, DJ’s , autographs by ex players and to take a photo with the Champions Cup for free. More official info in English here: Champions Real Madrid

Champions league final details

And as we are on the festive mood of football/soccer why not a good Spanish wine. The Bodegas Franco-Españolas, DOC Rioja  is an old winery of 127 years of history guarded by the third generation of the family Eguizábal. It has had a revival thanks to its line of reds Bordón starting in 2017  with sales of 5M bottles in the year and 65%  domestic and 35% exports with USA, Canada, UK, Germany, and Denmark the most buyers. Lately ,going into the white wine line with Diamante, white Rioja that had origins in the 19C and now a new name 100% Verdejo grape of the  DO Rueda. More in English here: Bodegas Franco Espanolas

Another dandy just had recently, is from Bodegas Roda, la Rioja bottle of RODA I Red tempranillo grape 90% and , Graciano (10%) with an alcohol level of 14.5% very well score of 17 sur 20  and general  price of 40€. It is of black fruit, fine leather, canelle on the nose, vigorous but silky, very tasty, still young in its tannins but not strong, it can be kept long to 2028. More info on the house and wine in Spanish here:  bodega Roda

There you go on my Spain, hope you enjoy the news of my Spain. Like, I said, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

February 22, 2018

My Real Madrid CF, a love story!

So, yes I love football/soccer/calcio; been playing since early teens in Spain and up to pro level in US and France. My story is here with the help of my previous posts on the subject. I do not want to put to much into the sport as have no time as it is with the travel section but once in a while is good to reminiscent.

My story of football/soccer/calcio, really started while living in Madrid as an early teens playing on the sport club of baseball for a club call, Real Madrid that at the time sponsored a team in the Madrid championship with 8 teams. While playing there and having already knowledge of the sport thru my grandparents from Tenerife (Candelaria and Pajarà) ,I made the switch to football in early 1972. Playing the alavin division with Real Madrid

It has been a wonderful journey with many friends in different parts of the world , just last year finished playing indoor soccer /fooball here in France on a Corporate league. Now just follow the sports on different venues online and on TV.

The moment I entered the casa de campo training site for the Real Madrid CF change my orientation of sports forever. My love for Real Madrid is huge, even my French native wife who was not into it ,is now very lively following it; good for both ::) Now here is the story briefly !

The Real Madrid CF was actually born in 1902, and given the title of Real or Royal by King Alfonso XIII in 1920. Juan Padrós was elected the first ever club President and adopted a white uniform Carlos Padrós, the brother and also future President organized a tournament for the crowning of king Alfonso XIII, sort of the first national tournament called Madrid football association tournament and received popular support that made extends the tournament and later named Copa del Rey as it is still play today!

The initial club takes over the Moderno FC who was the winner of the first regional championship in 1903 and was renamed the Madrid Moderno FC. The team wins all these regional tournaments from 1905-08 as well as the Copa del Rey or King’s Cup. The management leaders of the club participated in the creation of the first Spanish football federation in 1909. At the same time that the club won the regional championships of 1910, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1920, as well as the Copa del Rey in 1917.

following the initiative of the English league, a national championship appears in 1926 with the approval of the Spanish federation in 1928; the first championship is held in 1929 with the first division teams of Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona ,Atlético de Madrid ,and the Real Madrid3.

The abolition of the monarchy and the establishement of the Second Republic in 1931 enforced the club of retiring the Royal emblems logos and lose the title of Real becoming simply the Madrid Football Club. Finally, in the 1931-1932 season the club wins the national championship and all due to the amazing goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, recruited in 1930. Later in 1959 his name is chosen to award the best goalkeeper in the Spanish first division. In 1934 and 1936,Real Madrid wins the Copa del Presidente de la República, ( the president of the republic cup) who replaced the Copa del Rey. The year 1936 was the last year playing of Ricardo Zamora with Madrid, and also, the tragic Spanish Civil War begins.

After the defeat of the Republicans by the Nationalist of Gen Francisco Franco,the club is giving back the title of royal or Real and the crown logo on their shirts. The football championship starts again ,and the club wins the 1943 Copa del Generalísimo (the king’s cup change to the general’s cup).

LBy 1943 entered into the club the legendary figure of our new President Santiago Bernabéu ; he was a player in 1909 and played in first division as captain until 1927 (689 games and more than 340 goals), after passing to the technical team. The club lost a lot during the Spanish Civil War comparing to the Atlético Madrid (taken over by the army air force and renamed Athletico Aviación de Madrid). Bernabéu spent several months trying to rebuilt the Real Madrid.

The march to glory begins. The Real Madrid recruits the Argentine forward Alfredo Di Stéfano and wins the Spanish championship in 1953 and Di Stéfano,finished as best goal scorer with 29 goals together with the young Francisco Gento. The Stadium is enlarged in 1954 to 125 000 persons and the team recruits another Argentine Héctor Rial, and again the championship is won with Di Stéfano scoring 25 goals. During the summer of 1955, the Real Madrid wins the Copa Latina that opposed the champions clubs of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal beating in the final at the Paris Parc des Princes,the French club Stade de Reims.

In the 1955-1956 season was founded the first edition of the Cup of Europe, and the Real Madrid wins its first European championship beating the same Stade de Reims led by Raymond Kopa 4-3. A few weeks later the Real signs Raymond Kopa making a deadly attack with Di Stefano, Rial, and Gento.

In the season 1957-1958,the Real Madrid signed the defender Uruguayan José Santamaría and in 1958 signed the Hungarian Ferenc Puskás that together with Gento, Kopa and Di Stéfano allows the club to win the European championships five times all together during this period.

In 1960, the Real Madrid wins the first Intercontinental Cup beating Peñarol of Uruguay winner of the Copa Libertadores,5×1. In 1966, Real Madrid wins its 6th European Cup!! The era of Santiago Bernabéu comes to an end on June 2,1978 with the passing of Don Santiago at age 82, just before the opening of the World Cup in Argentina . After 35 years as President of the club; the following year the club creates the Trofeo Bernabeu tournament that still is play today.

It begins a drought in European Cups with the Quinta del Buitre group from 1981-1990 with players such as Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel, Miguel Pardeza, and Emilio Butragueño (El buitre) and later the Mexicaine Hugo Sánchez blending veterans such as Juanito, Valdano ,and Santillana. The magnificent period includes two Champions of the UEFA Cup,1985-1986, five times the Liga national championship between 1986 and 1990 (a record),and one Cup of Spain in 1989. Only the European Cup escapes them.

The period 1991-2000, saw many dry hands and a period of adjustments to many coaches and presidents. Finally in 1998, under the new name of the competition from European Cup to Champions league (1992) ,and the Real Madrid wins its 7th beating Juventus 1X0 in the final ;later in December they win the Intercontinental Cup beating Vasco da Gama of Brazil.

From 2000 on the new President is Florentino Perez known for his bib checks and gallactic players, such as Luís Figo, Zinédine Zidane,Ronaldo, David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Robinho. Winning again the Champions league of 2000 and 2002 as well as the Intercontinental of 2002, and the UEFA Supercup of 2002. Also, in 2006 Florentino Perez resigns first time.

The era 2006-2009 under President Ramon Calderon, on a disastrous period of not winning that caused his resignation and the retunr of Florentino Perez in June 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo is signed in 2009. Various coaches changes of not so good performances continues

Finally, the era of Zinedine Zidane begins on January 2016. Winning the World Club championship ;also winning the Champions league two years in a row a record never before done. Also, in 2017, later in August it wins the UEFA SuperCup also two times in a row!!! 6/8 titles for Zidane!!!! again in August they win the SuperCup of Spain , and later in December they win the World Club tournament to bring the total of 5 titles in 2017 out a possible 6, a record for the club.

In December 2000, the club is name by FIFA the best club of the 20C and also received the order of merit by FIFA in 2004.

Has won competitions still held: 33 Championships of Spain ; 19 Cups of Spain, 10 Supercup of Spain 3 World Club cups , 12 Champions leagues 2 UEFA Cups, and 4 UEFA Supercup. Simply the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On April 1st 2017 the Real Madrid became the first club with 100 millions fans in their Facebook page!!!

Real Madrid

Real Madrid

Champions Real Madrid vs Atletico de Madrid

Real Madrid

My posts on the Real Madrid as of today. Now they are playing the 8th finals with the return game vs Paris-Saint-Germain on March 6th 2018 in Paris.

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/09/09/real-madrid-fc-is-on-the-move-as-always/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/05/25/real-madrid-10th-champions-the-greatest/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/07/28/real-madrid-the-liga-is-here-again-my-other-love/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/08/19/real-madrid-la-liga-is-here-again-hala-madrid/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/27/what-about-the-real-madrid/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/14/real-madrid-on-the-march/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/08/real-madrid-forever/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/01/07/real-madrid-the-greatest-club-in-footballsoccer/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/27/el-clasico-in-spain-real-madrid/

 

 

 

September 3, 2017

What else can I tell you on Madrid!

Indeed, this if you have been reading my posts , is the city I lived (1970’s) and enjoyed the times the most as it was early teens years fun and youthful wandering around the city ,and experiencing the first rays of love. The city that , so lucky, have been able to come back many times ,sometimes 3 times per year and every year since…2003. The city that only upon entering the youthfulness come back to me like a ray of force, the force is with me ::)

I came upon  Madrid several occasions on my last vacation trip to Spain last month of August; it was hot as much as 41C or 106F! ,but so what, it did not feel anything ,really. We just had bottle water with us and we cruise walking all over, some spots new to my family and all memorable places to me. I like to share many of these with you on this post. What else can I tell you on Madrid………………!

We came by our car into the heart of the city this time and parked at the parking Descalzas Reales next to the grand Monastery of the Descalzas Reales; a must to see while your first time in Madrid. https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/monasterio-de-las-descalzas-reales

near see the wonderful architecture of the Casa de las Alhajas in Plaza San Martin, if you want a great family event in a historical place ,get on calle Maestro Victoria and do some shopping in El Corte Inglés dept store !! more on Alhajas here: http://www.lasalhajas.es/

Right around here at Calle Maestro Victoria see the quaint architecturally beautiful building of the Casa del Libro or bookstore of Madrid, the one to go with branches in the city and elsewhere in Spain. More here: https://www.casadellibro.com/nosotros/nuestras-tiendas-madrid/9

Do not forget or fear walking in Madrid is full of surprises, great architecture and the best movida lively street scene in Europe! See Calle Princesa, there is another El Corte Inglés dept store here; come back to Calle Arenal (Pasadizo de San Ginés) to eat your churros at Chocolateria San Ginés as my family has done for generations there.  Another memorable place keep coming back to see even if not enough time to go back in is the wild discotheque or teatro Joy Eslava on Calle Arenal. To think that this was a simple community theater where plays were done and dances held for teens and now has become of the leading dance places in Madrid and Spain very chic is unbelievable.  More here: http://joy-eslava.com/

See the wonderful building of the Air Force building (Ejercito del Aire) by Moncloa up Calle Princesa and marvel at it’s architecture and the little airplane in front! More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/cuartel-general-ejercito-aire

Why not walk on the marvelous beautiful Gran Via a  marvel of construction since the 1930’s. And a stop at Plaza de España simply for its great monument to Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the author of Don Quijote is a must. Walk from there to Cuesta de Santo Domingo , Plaza de Santo Domingo, and the see as in Plaza de España the great metro/subway/tube entrances!

You should check out past the Faro de Moncloa (post coming up) the wonderful Museo de América, a museum on all Spain relates to Latin America and our cultures, a must for any but especially for those of Hispanic descend. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/museo-de-america

See the wonderful architecture of a little square Plaza de Santa Cruz, great buildings and good ambiance around it, and continue to the eternal Plaza Mayor! Nothing can be said enough of this major square of Madrid! Here at plaza mayor see some of the businesses of generations of Madrileños and my family favorites, I came here as a teen and later many times even to buy hats for my grandfather!  Such eternals as Casa Yustas, La Favorita, El Gran Bazar, and the restaurant first took my girlfriend now wife in Madrid, Las Cuevas de Luis Candela past the Arco de Cuchilleros! More on the restaurant here: http://www.lascuevasdeluiscandelas.com/index_en.html

Move on to another very popular and the center of Spain, at Puerta del Sol; unique place and a must; here you have the Casa de Diego another generational store. And the Magroño honey eating bear the symbol of Madrid. Nearby is the Real Madrid store we like to go at Calle de el Carmen. more here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium/stores/el-carmen-store?pid=1390165211192

For the nights and arts , the Teatro Real (Royal Theater) , celebrating 200 years in 2017, and the Real Cinema (Royal Cinema) now inactive, at plaza Isabel II , both good to see and the theater is a must;and many memories for me especially in the Real Cinema, even if now only sporadic plays are shown and no movies. More info on theater here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/teatro-real  and cinema here: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/22521

Cannot be in Madrid without stopping by the Santiago Bernabeu stadium of the team: Real Madrid FC, simply the best ever. and the la Esquina del Bernabeu with its shops and restaurants. And of course, a drink at least at the Real Café Bernabeu is a must. The separate site for the café is here: http://www.realcafebernabeu.es/restaurante/restaurante.html   Not to mention the store at the stadium. The stadium here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

Ah yes of course, we ate something other than drinking water lol!!! We have some delicious refreshing Horchata at a kiosk in the Plaza Mayor. This is a drink originally from the Valencia area consisting of water, sugar,and chufas ( a plant  tigernuts) and generally mix in with cinnamon or lemon and of course plenty of ice. And for a more formal light lunch in the heat we went to 100 Montaditos resto on Calle Princesa,7  , small sandwiches with omelette chorizos hams etc potato chips and plenty of cold beers!!! http://spain.100montaditos.com/encuentranos/

In all, another wonderful memorable trip to my Madrid, never tired of seeing you, and remember that we lovers of the city know very well that From Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!!! Enjoy the Capital city, and your Sunday wherever you are. Cheers!

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August 9, 2017

Some news from France and Spain

 

Hello y’all, this is my last post before my long summer vacation in Spain, and won’t be back to the last day in August. Therefore, I like to thank you all for following my blog up to now and looking forward to more posts for all to enjoy including me ::)

Here in my lovable Morbihan it is sunny ! temps around 18C or 60F Méteo France calls for rain in the afternoon but can’t tell by looking out.  In fact they call for rain into the night …..The Weather Channel has it at 62F cloudy with risk of rain by midday…well I am looking out bright sunny no clouds oh well here goes the weather again.

Paris is at 64F cloudy as well ……and chance of rain today and tomorrow. Madrid is at 73F a bit cloudy but no rain, hey where is the heat wave !! well it says goes up to 95F by Sunday!

A bit more on both countries coming up.

The INSEE, the French statistical office has an increase in tourist for the 2nd trimester of 2017 with hotel nights at 56,6 Millions or a 6,3 % increase over same period last year. The foreign visitors are back with an increase of 10% and it tells France could reach 88-89 million visitors this year or an increase of 5-6% over 2016. Of course, if all else stays the same. Like the latest attempt in Levalois-Perret (92) outside Paris of military Sentinelle security personnel been run over by a car with 6 wounded ,two serious but not death threatening just this morning.

Know about tourism in France from the official French page here: http://uk.france.fr/

In Spain things are popping, according to the provisions of the Spanish hoteliers, Confederation Espanhola de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turisticos (CEHAT) ,they expect 56,7 million hotel nights or an increase of 8,8% over the same period last year. On the whole, they expect to have 80 million visitors this year 2017. The main foreign market is the UK and even the Brexit still has not cause any differences. They have increase by 14% the visits to Spain and increase expending by 19%. IN the long range visitors, the leading market is the USA with an increase of 19,4%, the Asians 34,5% (Japan, China,South Korea,and India), all due to better air connections, weak Euro and terrorist insecurity elsewhere.

Know about tourism in Spain from the official Spanish page here: http://www.spain.info/en/actividades/

There is a new contest on popularity by the site El Viajero Fisgon, that gives the favorite town of the Spaniards to visit. These are in order Ronda, Pastrana, Albarracín, Cadaqués (Cataluña), Alcalá de Júcar (Castilla-La Mancha), Cudillero (Asturias), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), La Alberca (Castilla y León), Trujillo (Extremadura), Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid), Frigiliana (Málaga), Hondarribia (País Vasco), Altea (Valencia) ,and Vejer de la Frontera (Andalucía) to name a few. More here: http://www.elviajerofisgon.com/

And have you heard the news lately, the song Despacito by Luis Fonsi has become the first video to surpass the 3M views in Youtube and the most likes in history! The video has been seen in 40 countries with translations.  I would not post the video here but easy to find in YouTube.

Why people comes to Spain, well for sun and beach , but not really there is so much to see.  Unesco declares 46 sites for world heritage sites only the third country behind Italy (53) and China (52) and surpassing France (43) and Germany(42)!

Some statistics from Wikipedia ,Eurostat;etc on most hit cities to come:

París is the Unesco Heritage site most recherche

Number of Visits in Wikipedia to these sites during  2015,en millions. París,6,82 m; Rome,5,76 m,,Istanbul,4,78 mi,,Auschwitz,4,64 m, Statue of Liberty NYC;4,09m, The Great Wall of China,3,82 mi,Taj Mahal,3,69 m,Vienna,3,48 m,Budapest,3,43 m,Vatican City,3,34 m,Mexico City,3,26 m,Prague,3,25 m,Pompeii Italy,3,17 m,Venice Italy,3,16 m,Machu Picchu Peru,3,02 m,Moscow,2,81 m,Warsaw Poland,2,7 m,Rio de Janeiro,2,49 m,Stonehenge,2,46 m. Etc etc

And something not done yet, but have folks doing it and sure one to pop over is camping cars. Some tips from Erwyn Himer Group.

To choose the model, caravaning market you have basically four types, the Camper, freer movement, Capuchina, space with bedroom for driver, families or groups, Integrated almost like a bus design and the profil with good quality price ratio. The speed for camping cars is 90 KPH on conventional roads and 100 KPH in expressways/motorways. Parking is allow on designated areas for campings. The rights such as shower, lavabo, and sink need to be empty in spaces designated for that. The leftout water are to be kept in tanks and to evacuate them need to find a sewer or pvc exit pipe like.  Like I said ,not an expert but always curious about them for later on in life ….. more on this here: http://www.erwinhymergroup.com/?lang=en

And where I am going next, well Spain all over the Castilla and Leon and Castilla La Mancha regions. Base here:

 

Enjoy your vacations as I am looking forward to enjoy mine, today is my last day at work lol!!!  Happy camper indeed!!! And a road warrior soon on the motorways of France and Spain!! Cheers

August 6, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XX

Here we are on a tranquil Sunday midday already and a bit cloudy temps at 19C about 67F. And time to stop and reflect on my blog and new things coming up.

We are preparing our long summer vacation in our beloved Spain, right with all the family;sad my Dad will stay behind as too frail to do much walking. We have what is call here operation tranquilité vacances; where you can alert the gendarmerie police that the house is empty for vacation and who stayed behind like senior citizens; the police will make rounds to your house even check if doors are well closed etc.

The packing is done with all involved , well me I am always vacation ready so have my things on a corner ready to go already lol!!  The boys will need to organize their equipment ::) video games dvd, iphones etc cables chargers all the works. The brochure for sightseeing all pack, and map ideas done.

We are traveling by car all the way by non tolls roads as we do not like to travel paying taxes ! All the way down to Pau, where we will rest in a hotel for the night before the second leg straight to our house in the mountains of the Serrania de Cuenca at 1400 meters high. We have done this trips before so we have our stopping point for rest, eat, and shop along the way even in the Pyrénées mountains (more of this on our return in late August/early September. The weather calls for cloudy but no rains temps from 13C to 27C depending on the day and whether morning or afternoon, so nice for car travel!!!

I like to thanks all those who follow, read, comment ,like my blog along the years since November 2010 ,it has been a wonderful experience and I thank my friend from Madrid who encourage me to do it on WordPress. Again many thanks to all, you make it enjoyable.

It has been 465 111 views of my posts with the highest day at 977!!! 865 comments, and 331 blogs followers. My viewers are from countries of my original intention and prove correct. Most come from the USA and France, with bit down the line UK, Germany,Canada, Spain, Italy,Brazil, Netherlands, and Poland; and more. I have already 1057 posts !!! not counting this one…

While still here will be able to watch the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje August 8th between my Real Madrid FC vs Manchester United. More here: http://www.uefa.com/uefasupercup/index.html#/pg

And while in Spain, I will be to watch live! the Super Cup of Spain between my Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on August 13(at Barcelona), 16(at Madrid) two match series. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/football/games/spanish-super-cup

Then, on August 23rd in Madrid , we host the 38th edition of the trophy or Trofeo Bernabeu  against guest club Fiorentina of Italy. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/the-xxxvii-santiago-bernabeu-trophy-will-be-played-on-23-august-against-fiorentina

And the official La Liga Santander, first division starts on August 20th vs Deportivo La Coruña at Riazor to kick off the season; second game at home vs Valencia August 27th. The key games as usual the derby  against Atletico Madrid will be on matchday 12 (the weekend of November 19th) at the Wanda Metropolitano and matchday 31, either the 7th or 8th April, at the Santiago Bernabéu. And the  Clasico at home on matchday 17, which will be played on Wednesday, December 20th. The return tie will be played on matchday 36, on the weekend of May 6th.  The full schedule here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/presenting-real-madrids-2017-18-laliga-schedule

My temple, Santiago Bernabeu stadium: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

The Club World Cup this year played in the United Arab Emirates will be held December 13  with the semifinals leg and a team to be determine. We are here thanks for being the reigning European Champions. More on this tournament here:http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-to-kick-off-club-world-cup-campaign-on-13-december

Our junior team the Castilla Real Madrid pending confirmation will begin their league 2nd B group I ,on August 20th vs Rayo Majadahonda .More on them and the rest of the farm clubs of Real Madrid here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/football/academy/castilla

The basketball section of Real Madrid which of course, I ,also, follow will start with the Liga Endesa on September 30th,October 1st vs Retabet Bilbao Basket at the WiZink Center.  The first Clásico will take place on Matchday 8, on 11 or 12 November at the WiZink Center with the return being played on the weekend of 10 and 11 March, corresponding to Matchday 22. The derbies against Movistar Estudiantes will be on Matchday 14 at home on the weekend of 30 and 31 December and n Matchday 31 on 5 or 6 May. More on the schedule here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-retabet-bilbao-basket-in-the-first-round-of-the-endesa-league

The Euroleague will have the Real Madrid at the home of Anadolu Efes in Istanbul on Thursday the 12th of October, and will close out the Regular Season at home against Brose Bamberg on the 6th of April 2018.  The Clàsico here vs Barcelona of the season will be played on match day 12 at the WiZink Center on the 14th of December, with the return leg on match day 23 at the Palau, on the 23rd of February 2018  More here with schedules:  http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrids-fixtures-revealed-for-the-euro-league-2017-18

The Endesa Super Cup will be Real Madrid vs Herbalife Gran Canaria  on Friday the 22nd of September at the island court. The other semi-final sees Valencia Basket take on Unicaja de Malaga. It will be the seventh consecutive season that Real Madrid have taken part in the Endesa Super Cup, having already won the trophy on three occasions (2012, 2013 and 2014). More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2017/07/real-madrid-to-face-herbalife-gran-canaria-in-the-endesa-super-cup-2017

The WiZink Center for basketball is modern, wonderful right in the city close to the center, a long way from the originals arenas and the one I went first Vista Alegre!!! More on the new Center here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/basketball/arena

To start your history with the club, Madridista card is perfect for all no matter where you live; the road starts here, and I encourage my readers to be Madridistas, of course ::) More here: (oh by the way Socio is tops ::)) http://www.realmadrid.com/en/fans

So, therefore, I will have plenty of football/soccer to see even on vacation lol!! Can’t be too far from it;my lifelong club is like a family with many friends along the years because of it.In Spain and abroad.

Be good, happy travels, enjoy it now not later, and keep up with the blog please ::) Thanks and Cheers y’all.

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2017

Madrid and my Bernabeu and Elipa!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers y’all!

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

 

April 14, 2017

And we have to settle for football/soccer at Vannes

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

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

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

http://www.realmadrid.com/en

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes

 

March 14, 2017

Some news from Spain ,XXXVIII

Ok so far away in Breton lands here is my latest on my beloved Spain, here it is 13C or about 59F while in Madrid it is now about 62F or 14C.  We have cloudy skies and dark days no sun, no rain. Same in Madrid but tomorrow should be better.

Some ideas to get away for Father’s Day in Spain : You go to Consuegra (of Quijote windmill fame) where you have the Casa Rural El Retiro de La Mancha, a great complex for a great weekend. It has many gastronomic offers and guided visits to the castle or Castillo de la Muela. More information here: www.elretirodelamancha.com

Another is the Casa Rural Juliana, province of Cuenca . Here you will learn about the wonderful olive virgin oil and the honey of  Alcarria. You can go on the route of Olives of the Mancha and Colmenas with tasting of olive oils and honeys.  You can do ,also,  a guided visit to the famous monastery or Monasterio de Uclés. Something I will do next summer. I will be in another house nearby but this one is a good one too. https://www.escapadarural.com/casa-rural/cuenca/casa-rural-juliana

And why not visit a traditional Galician winery in Castro Rei, of the denomination of D.O. Ribeiro, where they will explain the process and processing the wine as well as tastings .  Also, there is a thermal spa in  Termas de Prexigueiro with pools of hot natural water treatment with vinotherapy, partial message. More information here: www.pazoalmuzara.com

And on one we visit last summer and post here in Chinchon you have the Hotel Rural La Graja. It has a thermal circuit of one hour and a message of 30 minutes. At night, you have a gourmet tasting in a nearby restaurant. You can have more information here: www.lagraja.com

And on the balnearia Parque de Alceda in Cantabria you have a place to relax with great local cuisine. It has outdoor thermal pools with the water coming from a spring at 26C or about 78F. A great getaway place ;more info here:  www.balneariodealceda.es

We continue on the world of Arts and culture by visiting the museum or Museo Guggenheim of  Bilbao; tourist bus to see the city in one shot. See the museum here: https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/

And why not another wonders in a lovely city , visit the Hotel Rural las Treixas in Zamora. It is at the Puebla de Sanabria, a rural hotel to relax in style. They offer anti stress treatment with the best gastronomy of the region. More info here: www.treixas.com

More in arts see Faces a showing of more than 50 photographs in black and white of movie director Isabel Coixet done from her 22 movies. This expo is free until June 30th in the Espacio Cultural La Térmica, avenida de los Guindos, 48 Malaga. It has shots from artists like Time Robbins , Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi or Candela Peña. You can see the passion of the moviemaker for the publicity world, expressive of the human body and the photography. More here :http://www.latermicamalaga.com/isabel-coixet-recoge-su-fascinacion-por-el-rostro-humano-en-la-exposicion-faces-en-la-termica/

And we are back in Madrid ,where  Alberto Álvaro  traces the places of Madrid walking and photographing in the Barrio de las Letras, Malasaña or Lavapiés districts. Walking by with the small of freshly baked bread and seafood in all the places of a  bygone era. My Madrid. He once walked by the street Calle de Echegaray and took aim at the small businesses of Madrid  to have them in photos.  Two years and hundreds of instant photos with all label and square format he present it in an expo call Reliquias de Madrid or Madrid relics. He has taken seafood stores,restos, bakeries, chicken fast food ,steakhouses and even videoclubs taken you to the nostalgia and memories . He tells the story of walking by street or calle de los Tres Peces ,and feeling like seeing a scene from a movie. There he found three relics , one printing store, shoe store, and creamery store that are not longer there. More here:  https://www.instagram.com/reliquiasdemadrid/?hl=es

You run to the Círculo de Bellas Artes and see the work of Francis Bacon with more than 100 works on paper by the artist coming from a collection of more than 600 drawings of Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino, partner of the artist for many years that are put together in the Francis Bacon Collection of the Drawings Donated to Cristiano Lovatelli Ravarino. They all belong to the last decade of the artist painter, including the parents of  Velázquez, clergy portraits, auto portraits and those of friends ,and images of his eternal obsession, such as cruxifiction, addomens, heads etc to put the figure into a space.  The expo is “En Francis Bacon. La cuestión del dibujo”, there are works in black and white to rend homage to Van Gogh, atelier shops of  Guercino or Leonardo Da Vinci,  more auto portraits, and painting of his friends, etc . Circulo de Bellas Artes, Calle Marqués de Casa Riera 2, showing until May 21 2017. More info here:  http://www.circulobellasartes.com/exposiciones/bacon-la-cuestion-del-dibujo/

One of Madrid best icon cafés closed since last July is making a comeback under new ownership. This is one of my favorite and we discussed with friends there its closing so sad, now I am thrilled to read and tell you that from March 21st it will be open again! Café Comercial part now of the Grupo Escondite who also owns Lady Madonna, El Escondite de Villanueva ,and Bárbara Ann. The Café Comercial in the Glorieta de Bilbao is 130 years old founded in 1887 with the name El Comercial, giving light to the novel “La Colmena”,  of the Nobel prize winner Camilo José Cela, and here many famous came to meet such as the writers  Antonio Machado, Enrique Jardiel Poncela, Rafael Azcona ,and Rafael Sánchez-Ferlosio. Be there from March 21 I will be back in summer.

Flamenco the history of the jonda culture is having a show in the Biblioteca Nacional or national library . You will see 150 works coming from the  Biblioteca Nacional de España ,and Museo Reina Sofía, Museo Picasso de Barcelona, the Fundación Cante de las Minas de la Unión and many private collections.  A trip thru 400 years with books, manuscripts, recordings, drawings and paintings as well as fragments from film, photographs and record label covers as well as posters ! It will show one of the earliest manifestation of flamenco in work like the La Gitanillla of Cervantes or stamp paintings such as El Vito of  Goya, to arrive of the films of Saura, etc. Literature and books , newspapers articles from Chaves Nogales, Gómez de la Serna, Caballero Bonald or Félix Grande, and movies from directors Val Del Omar, Rovira Beleta, Serrano de Osma, Carlos Saura,and Tony Gatlif, capturing artists like Carmen Amaya, Antonio El Bailarín, La Paquera ,and Enrique El Cojo. Until May 2nd, more info here: http://www.bne.es/es/Actividades/Exposiciones/Exposiciones/Exposiciones2017/PatrimonioFlamencoLahistoriaculturajonda/Index.html

The cycle Andalucía Flamenca is in vogue in Madrid.  You can still catch up with Rocio Marquez March 17, Marina Heredia y Dorantes ,April 21st on the camara room and on May 7 in the sinfonia room Arcangel with Miguel Poveda, Estrella Morente and Manolo Sanlùcar. More here: http://www.cndm.mcu.es/ciclo/andalucia-flamenca

How about Charles III king Carlos III; in his 300 year anniversary of his birth. In the museum of history you will see over 200 pieces part of the collection of the city of Madrid,  Museo del Prado,National Heritage, National library ,and the museum of natural sciences or Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, this in addition to those already exhibit at the Museo de historia,which is in the former hospice of San Fernando, calle Fuencarral,78 : more info here:  http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Cultura-y-ocio/Museo-de-Historia-de-Madrid?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=ab18a1ead63ab010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextchannel=c937f073808fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&idCapitulo=10206017

 The XXXIV del Festival de Otoño a Primavera de la Comunidad de Madrid or the fall to spring festival of the Community of Madrid is on. You have the calendar from March onwards here: http://www.madrid.org/fo/2016-2017/calendario.html

Big sporting events coming up such my better ones of Real Madrid FC (my team OK).  Real Madrid vs Barcelona European league game admission from 35€ on March 27 at Wizink Center, more info here:https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/wizink-center

The Madrid half marathon is back; April 2nd and will be run from Paseo del Prado (between Neptuno and Atocha),and finish line at the Paseo de coches in the parque de El Retiro. More info here: http://www.mediomaratonmadrid.es/

Then, you have the match between Real Madrid FC and Atlético de Madrid (the derby) on April 9 in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. A game part of the Liga Santander, 1st division football/soccer in Spain. More here: http://www.realmadrid.com/en/santiago-bernabeu-stadium/virtual-tour-3d

And the El Clàsico game of the liga Santander between Real Madrid FC vs Barcelona on April 23rd  at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Another angle from the tourist office of Madrid and more info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/real-madrid-fc-barcelona-liga-santander-santiago-bernabeu-stadium

Then, we have Heroes Manga festival as well lol! At the Feria de Madrid complex will have the XVI edition of the Salón del Manga y la Cultura Oriental; at this edition it change its name to Héroes Manga Madrid (before it was  Expomanga),a must for all lovers of illustrated stories from Japanese origins. On April 22-23 2017 and more info here: http://www.easyfairs.com/es/heroes-manga-madrid-2017/expomanga-2017/

I love the Feria del Libro de Madrid  (book fair of Madrid) and this year is no exception. A must for all readers abound on earth.  From May 26 to June 11, 2017. Since 1933 in the Paseo de Recoletos, and my parking is just off Cibeles lol! Then, it was moved to the bigger Retiro park . The coming one will the 76 edition and will have about 365 chalets and 480 exposing members amongst them, official organisms, distributors, specialist bookman, general libraries, editors from Madrid and beyond. From 1982, the event is call as today the Feria del Libro de Madrid and always opens up with a member of the Royal family walk in the morning. More info here: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/#

And another big event in Madrid as anywhere in Spain is the Holy Week or Semana Santa. This year from April 9 to 16. marching virgins and saints on the streets of Madrid with drums and trumpets with a sacred song. And time to taste those Torrijas! More info from tourist office and official web of the event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/easter-madrid

The next one is wonderful and roots of Madrid, the Fiestas San Isidro from May 12-15, the castizo soul and the spirit of Madrid come together each year to honor the city Patron Saint. Again more here from the tourist office and webpage of official event here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/sanisidro-madrid

In my time there I always enjoy these festivities and lucky to be there again in summers and the next. The zarzuelas or operettas or feast of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo, and my favorite the Paloma  are held from August 5-16 this year. This is the history of Madrid by its Verbenas.  This is the theater presentation of la Verbena de la Paloma, https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/la-verbena-de-la-paloma-teatro-Victoria

And on the Summer feast here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/august-fiestas-madrid

And do you know we are celebrating 400 years history of the Plaza Mayor of Madrid all year long!  It is a huge program with its own webpage in Spanish here; https://plazamayormadrid4c.es/agenda/

The  above will be huge so much schedule will take a blog of its own to tell you.  The tourist office of Madrid has plenty in English here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/4th-centenary-plaza-mayor-Madrid

Some in the area of Plaza Mayor even older you ask, well there is. Here are some: the oldest business is not far, just at Calle Mayor ,59, call the Antigua Farmacia de la Reina Madre founded in 1587 by a Venecian chemist with fame as he provided medicines to king François I of France while prisoner in the tower or Torre de los Lujanes in the Plaza de la Villa. The original was in the Calle Sacramento in 1914 when it was translated to the current place with structure, furniture and medicines and all! More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/botica-la-reina-madre

While it is call the Posada del Peine ? because it was a gift that offer the proprietor to their guest , a comb=peine and posada a hotel type. It was given tied up to a cord in the bathroom so it will not be taken from the room.  Those that walked by the street Calle de Postas, next to the Plaza Mayor, will have notice the beautiful façade that you see today in the modern hotel of the chain Petit Palace that opened in 2006 at the same spot that one day occupied the Posada del Peine that worked as one from 1610 to 1960! More here: http://www.petitpalacemayorplaza.com/

And we have more, that are from about the same age as the Plaza Mayor. these are the Posada de la Villa in Cava Baja, 9  that opens by 1642 where it was a windmill once of flour,the only one in the city. It welcome all visitors to the city and today serve an excellent roasted lamb in wood oven! More here: http://www.posadadelavilla.com/index_en.html

The other place and one of my favorite corners in Madrid is the Libreria San Ginés , attach to the Church of same name next to street Calle Arenal at Pasadizo de San Gines, 2 (and you know what’s on that street too ::). It’s origins go back to 1650 when Diego Logrono worked as a librarian. Here, you will find old books and used, with post cards, posters etc. You can take a picture with its stalls outside; and you too can come up with stories like mine. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/libreria-san-gines

And that is all folks, Spain is everything under the Sun! Enjoy your week. Cheers!

 

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