Archive for ‘Spain’

May 27, 2023

Wines news of Spain XIII

We are now in nice Spring 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain XIII!! Of course post No 13 or the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The estimate of national wine consumption as of March 2023 falls by 9% compared to the same month of 2022, standing at 9.58 million hectoliters. according to the Spanish Wine Interprofessional Organization. Wine production slightly increased 1.5% to 35.9 million hectoliters, With data from the State Tax Administration Agency as of February 2023, Spanish wine exports set a new record with 2,990.5 million euros in the interannual period. The drop in volume (9.4%) was maintained during those twelve months to 20.7 million hectoliters. The trend here as in France drink less but better quality,

The new mandatory labels for wines will show a list of ingredients and nutrients from December 8, 2023. These regulations, designed to provide a higher level of information to consumers, will require that all wine labels include nutritional information and a complete list of ingredients. This an European Union directive which of course will create higher costs on the bottle for the consumer, but what do they know !!

The Volcanic wines are erupting. They live one of their best moments since the 15C !!!, when, for the first time, they became fashionable and from the Canary Islands they spread throughout the rest of the world. In Spain, this archipelago is the only volcanic terroir in which old soil layers alternate with much younger ones, subjected to strong erosion, with plantations from sea level to almost 1,700 meters above sea level, and diverse climates. The most cultivated grapes in the archipelago are black and white listán, black and white vijariego, volcanic white malvasia, and negra moll (red). However, there are several dozen more. There are studies that put them at more than 80: Some 40 do not exist anywhere else on Earth; They only survive here. The vines arrived in the Canary Islands about 500 years ago by the hand of European settlers. French, Majorcan, Castilian, Portuguese… They all brought different branches. A couple of centuries later, around 1870, a phylloxera plague devastated the vineyards of Europe. The insect never reached the Canary Islands, There are 11 designations of origin on the islands: Tenerife has five (Ycoden Daute Isora, La Orotava, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güímar and Abona), while Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro each hold their own. The most recent is the D.O. Islas Canarias, launched in 2011 by AVIBO. The Bodega El Grifo, in Lanzarote, is the oldest winery in the archipelago. It has been making wine uninterruptedly since 1775, and since its foundation, three families have held its property; the current branch, since the end of the 19C, with global fame ,gold medals in Brussels included, they produce 350,000 bottles a year in their 60 hectares of vineyards, in addition to the grapes of 150 viticulturists who produce for them. The Associacion de Viticultores y Bodegueros de Canarias (AVIBO) webpage:

The Ruta del Vino de Ribera del Duero Wine Route breaks Record with a 43% Increase in Visits, Wineries remain the main focus of attraction for visitors, with 74% of visits. Of the total number of visitors, 92% were national, and 8% foreigners, Typical of this still uncover area, In economic terms, the average cost of wine tourism visits to the Ruta del Vino is less than 15 euros, while the average cost in the winery stores reaches 74 euros. On the other hand, the wine museums also registered an increase in visits, exceeding the figures of the previous year by more than 7%. Currently, the Ribera del Duero Wine Route has 227 associates, making it the route with the greatest offer of services of the Wine Routes of Spain Product Club. This Route crosses the four provinces of Castilla y León that make up the Denomination of Origin of the same name : Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. Webpage :

The Chivite Las Fincas Rosado 2022 wine, a commitment to regularity, the presence of red berries and other fruit aromas is clearly appreciated. They are accompanied by delicate floral notes and hints of the skin of some citrus fruits. Its flavor reveals the presence that light contact with the skin of red grapes leaves and its structure, stylized, elegant and with nerve, places it in a world apart. Just by looking at his cape, which is close to but not quite pale pink, one discovers the identity of this almost blanc de noirs (white from red varieties). It is a Provençal-style rosé made with some of the best Spanish viineyards. A friendly, striking, suggestive and very gastronomic wine that, vintage after vintage, exceeds its commitment to regularity. Bodega/Winery: J. Chivite Family Estates Garnacha (80%) and Tempranillo (20%) webpage info :

In the heart of La Mancha, the 1,000 hectares of this corner emerge splendidly, where a mountain brimming with life and a vineyard coexist in perfect balance. A beautiful example of cooperation between nature and human beings that encourages us to be optimistic. Finca Antigua, located in the town of Los Hinojosos (Cuenca province), Sautéed between the imposing mountain at more than 900 meters of altitude, the 420 hectares of vineyards spread over 40 plots are integrated. Following this idea that the viticultural activity should be integrated into the environment, the Martínez Bujanda Family has worked with conviction so that from the 2022 vintage all the wines produced bear the organic seal on the label. It is worth highlighting the Finca Antigua Viura on Lías for its expression, volume and finesse, capable of evolving over time with surprising results, achieving different profiles and very respectful of the grape: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot are the six bottled wines under this category, in addition to the Crianza Único, which is made with a mixture of varieties just like the Reserva. But the true jewel in the crown is found in Clavis, a truly unique wine made from a single plot that is home to a fascinating variety of grapes, whose blend crystallizes in the vineyard itself. The obligatory panoramic view of the estate from the viewpoint will give us an idea of the immensity of the environment and how the correct judgment of the human being has shown that nature and wine not only complement each other, but that there is a mutual enrichment , This year marks the 20th years of the inauguration of the winery, located in one of the highest points of the farm, from where its unique environment can be observed and from where the qualities of each variety are interpreted with the best possible criteria. Finca Antigua Ctra. Quintanar- Los Hinojosos km 11.5. 16417 Los Hinojosos (Cuenca) webpage:

They say that when Teobaldo I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne, arrived in Olite, he did so with roses, fruit trees and vineyards. Surely, that vineyard was small grain muscatel, a variety that the troubadour king, famous for his music and poetry, had brought back from his first crusade from the Mediterranean. Teobaldo’s intention at that time seems to be that it was not so much to distribute coins but food that was the true wealth. The rose, a very particular variety from Provins (yes wonderful Rose of Provins Seine et Marne 77 France), was edible and, together with the fruit trees and the vine, began to be known as the “king’s gift”. Muscatel, a grape that is not very productive and sensitive to diseases such as mildew or the cluster moth, was not exactly very popular with winegrowers , At the Navarra viticulture and oenology station, for which Javier Ochoa was responsible for a decade since its founding in 1981. The story goes that years later, Robert de Niro would enter the Zalacaín restaurant in Madrid and try Ochoa Moscatel for the first time. The prestigious American actor left there with some box and the distributor’s contact for his restaurant in New York !! The winery located in Traibuenas at thegates of the Bardenas, the family owns 25 hectares of this variety, approximately 20% of the total of the entire DO Navarra. In the midst of a dry climate, with increasingly extreme summers but in a well-ventilated area, the clusters of this vine overripe really well. Ecological care has also promoted in-depth knowledge about the behavior of the variety and soil management, in addition to promoting a landscape in which vines, flowers and native fauna such as kestrels, partridges, hoopoes or hares are mixed. You can love a wine, a vineyard and a variety, that is what happens to them with their muscatel. The MdO was an idea that blossomed in the mind of Adriana Ochoa, the young winemaker on a trip to Italy. She returned home and thought that it was possible to make a selection of grapes for that style of wine. The muscatel, in addition to having different phases in its maturation, does not behave in the same way throughout the vineyard. In cooler areas the profile of the grape is more delicate, it has higher acidity and more citric fruit, perfect for a moscato. Webpage Bodega Ochoa :

The new Domecq’s ! Santiago and Tomás León Domecq sign with their family name a project that is not exactly new, but which is now bringing its very old wines to the public for the first time. In very limited editions, yes, because the total production of Bodegas León Domecq does not exceed 30,000 bottles. Its soleras are supplied from 14 hectares in the “La Compañía” vineyard, attached to the Finca El Majuelo in Pago Macharnudo, a true historic Grand Cru of Jerez, wineries that produce and breed wines but do not put them directly on the market but supply the big brands in the area. The soleras of Bodegas Vides enjoyed great prestige, although they did not have visibility until Lustau, a pioneer in so many things, included his palo cortado in his “Almacenista Collection” of wine artisans. Bodegas Miguel Domecq, such as Entrechuelos, and the generous ones from the Cooperativa Vinícola de Trebujena, in addition to the personal project with which he signs wines such as Meridiano Perdido from old vines on albariza soils. The starting point is a very biological fino en rama that would fully fit into that style called “fine amontillado”, with an average aging of 11 years, followed by an amontillado with eight years of aging under flor veil and 12 oxidative. and a stick cut with two years of biological and 18 more without a veil on the boots. Oloroso is the jewel in the crown since it is over 40 years old and serves as the basis for the range of “cabeceos” -medium, cream- with a PX with two decades of history behind it and more than 400 grams of sugar per liter. The range is rounded off with a vermouth that is drier and more balsamic than others from the Jerez school, very spicy, and for what they describe as “the best Gran Reserva Sherry Vinegar in the world” and which has more than 75 years of solera. The winery building on Calle Justicia, in the Barrio de San Mateo, was completely renovated in 2021, respecting its historical value and its foundational elements. It is one of the last intramural Jerez wineries and where grandfather Tomás, Pedro Domecq’s brother, settled to start the family business in 1850. Webpage :

The Guia de Vinos Gourmets or Gourmet Wine Guide 2023 at the Madrid Gourmet Fair was the venue chosen by the Gourmet Wine Guide to present its latest guide, which is the 38th in its history of dissemination and cataloging of the best wines in Spain , Its my bible, still have the year 2000 edition !!! ,webpage:

Some interesting history with great care of the impact of the railroad in the wine world of Spain, Interesting me think,

The historical relationship between the train and wine has a lot of romanticism, but also change, progress, revolution. In Spain, since the mid-19C, the railway not only drew the physiognomy of cities such as Haro, Jerez de la Frontera or the towns of Cariñena, leaving endless black and white film images, but also brought large wagons technological advances such as electric lighting to Jerez with a long relationship with the railway. The railway line that linked the city with the shipping ports of El Puerto and Trocadero was the first to be created in Andalusia, in 1854. Later, in 1872, the so-called wine train was put into operation, an urban line that ran through all the main wineries of Jerez to load the merchandise in their own facilities and then connect with the Jerez-Trocadero line, The urban layout of that wine train and the machine itself, which was how the railway that ran through the city was affectionately known, worked like the arteries of Jerez for almost a century, from 1872 to 1962, being a fundamental piece of the export machinery of the Jerez wineries. There is a beautiful tribute to this past in the González Byass winery, whose facilities are a small city within the city ,The house of the famous Tío Pepe is made up of an urban network of buildings, wineries and interior streets, which visitors can partly tour on board a little train that recalls and pays homage to the old Jerez machine. González Byass was precisely the winery that promoted the railway project in Jerez, participating in its financing through the purchase of shares, Webpage on the train :

To talk about the importance that the steam railway had in La Rioja, specifically in Haro, until it gave its name and fame to the popular Barrio de la Estación, we have to go to France, a little before the phylloxera attack that would devastate European vineyards. Mid-19C. The owners of the Savignon Frères wine company, originally from Bordeaux, decided to settle on the other side of the border in search of better conditions to continue their activity as a result of the great powdery mildew crisis that their vineyards were suffering. We are referring to the fungus that affected the French vineyard before the arrival of the phylloxera plague. Thus, in 1859, they settled on the land known as Cantarranas, a neighbor of the Rioja town of Haro, laying the foundations for wine production in what would later be known as the Barrio de la Estación. However, this area ceased to be a strategic investment for Bordeaux entrepreneurs when, at the dawn of the 20C, the phylloxera crisis came to an end and the French vineyard began to recover. With one foot in the new century, the French company put its facilities up for sale, And they have been in the hands of Bodegas Bilbaínas since 1901. In fact, in addition to locating its wineries in Haro, Valdepeñas and Alcázar de San Juan next to the railways, Bodegas Bilbaínas commissioned the design of specific machinery to facilitate the transfer of wine by this means. All told in the book La estación de los sueños, edited by Bodegas Bilbaínas on the occasion of the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of its foundation, Webpage info on book :

In Aragon, wine was traditionally transported by cart; With them, the muleteers distributed the product both inside the region and in other Spanish provinces, even reaching Madrid. The containers used at that time were leather boots. When phylloxera devastated the French vineyards, wine exports from the area to France experienced a spectacular increase, and if at first the transport continued to be done by cart, soon the great demand it required new means of transport , From the region the wine began to be taken in carts to Ricla or Zaragoza, and there it was embarked on the railway. The wine container had become the wooden pipe, more in line with the needs of the new times. In 1887 the narrow-gauge Cariñena-Zaragoza railway came into operation. The opportunities for export offered by the railway were countless. It allowed the wine to reach the French market more easily, after linking up with the Zaragoza-Alsasua-Irún network. The Zaragoza-Valencia railway, which crossed the regional vineyard, allowed shipments to the French or Basque market directly from Cariñena, The book El tren del vino’, written by Marco Antonio Campos and Mariano Rodríguez tells the story, with the publishing help of the La Asociación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Cariñena or association of friends of the railroad of Cari±era the book can obtained by contacting the Librería La Arboleda of Cariñera Facebook page

Currently, the wine is transported fully palletized and in truck containers, ensuring rapid and correct distribution to the destination markets.

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

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

May 27, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLVIII 

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and we are in Spring !! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLVIII is old Roman for 148, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

And this bit of news just in , My Madrid leads the reception of foreign tourists in April 2023 with 22.3% of the total, As for the rest of the Communities, the following positions are occupied by Catalonia (20.1%) and the Balearic Islands (15.7%). All this with Catalonia registered the highest year-on-year growth (21.9%), followed by Valencia (21.4%) and Madrid (20.4%), My dear Spain received 8.1 million international air passengers in April 2023, 16.9% more than in the same month of 2022. In the first four months of 2023, more than 25.2 million people arrived, 34.9% more than in the same period last year, according to data released this Friday by Turespaña. In the month of April, passengers to Spain from all the main countries increased with 57.6% of all passengers were from the European Union, experiencing a rise of 15.2%, while the flow from the rest of the world, which accounted for the remaining 42.4%, grew by 19.2%., In terms of countries, and comparing with the figures for April 2022, the markets that registered the highest growth are Portugal, with 31.9% more, followed by Italy and the United States, with 28.8% and 22, 9% respectively. In volume, the United Kingdom was the leading issuer of passengers in April 2023, with 1,794,841, and growth of 12.1% per year. The United Kingdom represents 21.1% of the total share of arrivals. The arrival of British passengers affected all the autonomous communities, but especially the Canary Islands, which was the destination of 25.7% of its passengers, its the new British invasion lol !!. After the United Kingdom, Germany remains the second country of origin for international passengers. Passenger arrivals from Germany (14.5% of the total) increased by 4.8% in April, especially benefiting the Balearic Islands (37.3% of passengers). Also, 9.4% of the flow of passengers received in April arrived from Italy, registering an interannual growth of 28.8%, which particularly benefited Catalonia (30.3% of passengers) and Madrid (25.9%), For its part, France issued 8.6% of all passengers in April, showing growth of 16.8%, which mainly favored Madrid and Catalonia. In the case of the Netherlands, international passengers experienced an increase of 5.2% in April, with the Valencian Community, Catalonia and Andalusia as the main destinations. In total volume, Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport added 1,811,380 international passengers in April 2023, compared to 1,549,890 from Barcelona airport. In third place was that of Palma de Mallorca, with 1,034,958 international passengers in April. There you go folks, Spain is everything under the Sun !!! The official TurEspaña Spain national tourist office:

Theodor Kallifatides, the Greek writer living in Sweden, visits Andalusia with the Fundación Tres Culturas and the Centro Andaluz de las Letras. He tells the story « I was at the doors of a theater waiting for the girl I liked to arrive, who never did. Then the theater doorman, seeing my waiting and my loneliness, said to me: “Why don’t you come in? They are representing a play by a Spanish poet named Federico García Lorca.” I thanked him for the invitation, but I told him: “I’m waiting for a girl.” And he replied: “You don’t know if she’s going to arrive, but the best thing you can do is wait for her inside ” I listened to him. They were representing Boda de Sangre or Blood Wedding and from the first moment I was spellbound by the text. Federico was not a poet. He was a supernatural force that trapped me forever ». Theodor Kallifatides remembers that afternoon sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Seville while answering questions from Publishers Weekly in Spanish « . His visit to Spain coincides with the tribute that the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid paid him by awarding him the Gold Medal.

The book Los mundos infinitos de Lorca, written by Luis Antonio de Villena and illustrated by the artist Juan Vida, participates in something new and original, in a different look at the life and work of a major poet, whose legacy lives up to Lope de Vega, Quevedo or Juan Ramón. The infinite worlds of Lorca, edited by the exquisite Tintablanca, was presented at La Mistral, in one of the most beautiful bookstores in Spain, a short walk from Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Sitting in Lorca’s little theater that the bookstore has in its basement, recalled that in the past century there was not a poet more tied to love and desire, to that norm that agitates flesh and star alike, hunger, carnality, omen and pain. Federico Garcia Lorca was born into a wealthy rural family. He knew social inequalities since he was a child and without losing the innocence with which he did theater and puppets at his house, he went to Madrid, to the Student Residence. There he met Dalí and Buñuel, Madrid was the center of a world that Federico extended to New York first, where the genesis of some of his best works is found, Cuba later and Buenos Aires last, where he triumphed, made money and, of course, he felled in love again. A first-rate poet, someone who, when assassinated in a terrible and fratricidal war, becomes the violated and pure image of a historical drama. The injustice of crushed innocence. The green destruction of the generous olive tree Federico, instead of for that bullfighter, wrote for himself the verses in Alma Ausente (absence soul) that said: “It will take a long time to be born, if he is born, / an Andalusian so clear, so rich in adventure.” Indeed ! Webpage:

Do get a hold for those book lovers the .Una muchacha en el Alcázar or a girl in the Alcazar of Ana Cardenas, The scene Segovia 1808. A love story during the war of Independance or Peninsular war In the Segovia of 1822. The same day that Pedro turns fourteen, he is rejected as a cadet at the Segovia Artillery Academy. Marita, the woman who raised him, then confesses some of the secrets she kept, knowing that by revealing them their lives will change irremediably. They need to find the boy’s parents and this search, which will be as risky as it is bitter, will lead them both on a single path towards the truth, from the towers of the Alcázar to the home of Don Alfonso, a potentate, who is surrounded by mystery. and that he lives obsessed with the disappearance of his only daughter. Buy it on Amazon, El Corté Inglés, FNAC and Casa del Libro, Very good book me think, webpage:

Magical Segovia !! Take a look at the Royal College of Artillery possibly the oldest active officer training center in the world. It was founded in the Alcázar in 1764 where it remained until the fire of 1862. The curriculum was already very ambitious when in 1792 it was inaugurated a large chemistry laboratory that would go down in history as the place where the famous Louis Proust enunciated the Law of Definite Proportions , The fortress was a royal palace, institutional and military building, archive headquarters, artillery school, and prison status and also had his golden minute on the screen. In 1965 Orson Welles filmed scenes from Chimes at midnight here and more contemporary is the cameo of the Alcazar in a chapter of The Simpsons. Walt Disney was inspired by its peaked towers to recreate Cinderella’s castle and if you are looking for that, see the Alcazar like a fairytale castle and you will be breathless, you have to distance yourself from it and admire it from the Pradera de San Marcos or the lookout of the valleys. Inside, the fortress is like an open jewelery box: baseboards, stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, armor, and up to six rooms full of treasures, such as Los Reyes, with its sculptures of Spanish monarchs from Don Pelayo to Juana la Loca and of course, paintings of great value such as the work The Holy Family of the Master of Santa Anna Hofje, from the 16C. In the rooms dedicated to the College, you can also see the famous El Galopo canyon, Sublime a must to visit in my dear Spain !

Whoever goes to Sevilla for the first time (not just for a barber) has to make a stop at the Cathedral, the Torre del Oro, the Giralda, the Reales Alcázares, the Casa de Pilatos, the Maestranza, the María Luisa Park, the Plaza de España, the palaces of San Telmo or Dueñas, the Archivo de Indias, the Basilica de la Macarena and the museums of Fine Arts and Contemporary Art. Just to mention some of the must-see monuments and spaces. It would be necessary to take a walk through neighborhoods as emblematic as Santa Cruz or Triana. At Calle Sierpes , from Plaza de la Campana to Plaza de San Francisco, one of the most commercial streets in the city and where most of the well-known brands (and others not so much) are found,so shopping come here ! Those with a more alternative profile have the surroundings of the Plaza de la Encarnación , where shops selling artisanal products (such as Buffana Hats) or organic (Verde Moscú or Zapata) are concentrated. The area has been called Soho Benita ( Calle Benito Pérez Galdós is one of the epicenters; hence the name) and also brings together cafes, art galleries, taverns, restaurants and cultural centers. If the idea is to enjoy a flamenco tablao, there are many interesting options. Like Los Gallos, El Palacio Andaluz or El Arenal, to name just a few.

Well you and I know about ranking , everybody has one but anyway here is another from the booking platform Musement, based on 200 cathedrals and churches in Spain, La Sagrada Familia The spectacular basilica, which has been under construction for more than 140 years, has become one of the symbols of Barcelona, and once when finished it will be the tallest church in the world, The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela Presiding over the Plaza del Obradoiro, it is the most outstanding work of Romanesque art in Spain, and the final goal of the Camino de Santiago, one of the main pilgrimage routes in Europe , The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia of Barcelona is located in the Gothic Quarter . The construction of this temple ended in the 15C and it is an excellent example of Catalan Gothic architecture. The Cathedral of Sevilla with its five naves, it is the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world. Its bell tower, the famous Giralda, has the classic structure of the Almohad minarets and with its 104 meters high it is one of the most emblematic monuments of the urban profile of the city, The Cathedral of Mallorca , located in the old town of Palma de Mallorca , this Mediterranean Gothic jewel is one of the tallest cathedrals in Europe, since its central nave is approximately 44 meters high. The Monastery and the Basilica of Montserrat are located in the spectacular enclave of the Montserrat Natural Park, famous for its abrupt rock formations. Every year, thousands of people come to this sanctuary to venerate the Virgin of Montserrat, the current patron saint of Catalonia, better known as the ‘Moreneta’ for the dark color of her face and her hands. The Cathedral-Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, is one of the two cathedrals present in Zaragoza. It is said that this jewel of Baroque art was built around the column (the pillar) on which the Virgin leaned when she appeared to the Apostle Santiago on the banks of the Ebro River. The Basilica of Santa María del Mar,14C, it was the temple of the shipowners and merchants of Barcelona. Currently, it is considered one of the best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture. Its three naves and 33 chapels are located at almost the same level, thus accentuating the impression of space and spaciousness. The Cathedral of Santa María de Regla of León, also known as the ‘Pulchra leonina’, is in the French Gothic style. One of the highlights is the huge collection of stained glass windows built mainly between the 13C and 16C, which occupy an area of 1765 square meters. Having reduced the walls to their minimum expression to replace them with stained glass windows is precisely one of its most valuable characteristics. The Cathedral of Burgos began to be built in the 13C following the French Gothic style, although it underwent numerous modifications in subsequent centuries. On both sides of the main façade, inspired by the cathedrals of Paris and Reims, rise two towers crowned with openwork spires, which are already part of the urban skyline of the city. Wonderful monuments indeed.

From May 19 i2023 n the Patio de La Casa Encendida (Ronda de Valencia, 2) it will be possible to visit Picasso: Sin Título or Untitled. The exhibition covers a total of 50 works from the painter’s last period (1963-1973), through the eyes of 50 international artists. A total of four rooms will be used for this contemporary exhibition that commemorates, for the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death, 50 years of his renowned professional career. Webpage :

The Teatro Barceló theater has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) by the Governing Council of the Community of Madrid. In 1930, this building was designed to be used as a cinema, but currently, it acts as a nightclub on Calle Barceló , close to the Malasaña neighborhood. The building constitutes a relevant example of Spanish rationalist architecture from the first half of the 20C, it functioned as a cinema until 1974, (I did saw movies there ! ) ; the year in which the last film was shown. Between 1975 and 1979 it was used as a theater, while in 1980 it opened as a discotheque, under the Pachá brand, becoming one of the most famous nightlife venues in Madrid. In addition, it originally had a party room in the basement, a use that is maintained today. The architect of the Teatro Barceló, Luis Gutiérrez Soto, is also responsible for projects built in Madrid such as the Zurich Building (1925), the Callao Cinemas (1926), the Europa Cinema (1928), the Renoir Retiro Cinemas (1939) or the La Unión y El Fénix (now Mutua Madrileña) in the Paseo de la Castellana (1965). Webpage:

The next season of the Teatro Real delves into the myths of Medea and Orlando, season 2023-2024, which will start on September 19 2023 with the premiere of a new production of Medea de Cherubini by Paco Azorín and with Ivor Bolton in the pit , The infanticidal myth of Medea will serve, on the one hand, as a tribute to Maria Callas on the centenary of her birth and, on the other, as a thematic thread around violence and revenge together with the homonymous score that Charpentier composed at the end of the 17C. In the case of Cherubini’s Medea, it is an absolutely novel recovery, since Heiko Cullmann’s critical edition prepared from the original French edition will be used, which is the one that everyone knows and that gave Callas fame The concert version of Haydn’s Orlando paladino in the hands of the specialist Giovanni Antonini and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico and, finally, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina by the baroque composer Francesca Caccini, who will raise the curtain in a concept stage by Blanca Li co-produced by the Teatros del Canal and Tenorio with music and text by Tomás Marco, who has brought together various texts around Zorrilla’s Don Juan. The work, which begins with verses that Lorenzo da Ponte wrote for Don Giovanni, will have four performances (May) in a stage proposal, this time in the main room, by the Agrupación Señor Serrano Teatro Real has taken stock of the numbers of the institution, which will offer 119 opera performances and a total of 455 shows throughout the next season, Webpage:

This have a post on my dear Madrid but recently celebrated its most important date and have this from one of my blooks on it so here it goes again,worth to be there on its time and see the real Madrid and Spain, The Madrid of San Isidro: a route between miracles, chulapos and dumb and smart donuts, some chickens and a concert in the Pradera cannot be missed. Nor a session of chotis and pasadobles in the gardens of Las Vistillas, with two contests included. And all, of course, dressed up with the chulapo (-a) suit, the parpusa and the carnation all typical folklore Madrileño ! They are some of the classics of the San Isidro festivities that are repeated May after May. This year marked by the fourth centenary of the canonization of the patron Saint of Madrid, whose Holy Year concludes next Monday May 15 2023 with countless special acts related to the figure of the man from Madrid. Thus, in addition to the traditional procession on the 15th, you can enjoy exhibitions, conference cycles, dramatized performances about his life on the Puente de Toledo and the Pradera, instrumental and lyrical concerts, zarzuela shows or cultural visits to places that marked their trajectory. Also joining the anniversary are mythical pastry shops such as La Duquesita or Viena Capellanes, which cannot cope with the preparation of the classic donuts, divided into silly (without sugar icing), ready (with it), French (well covered with almonds) and from Santa Clara (with meringue on top). In the case of La Duquesita, it is part of the new Madridulce project, which brings together several hundred-year-old pastry shops such as El Pozo or Casa Mira to value the city’s confectionery, focused these days on donuts. Of course, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, most have prepared new recipes inspired by the saint. Viena Capellanes, for example, with 150 years behind it, adds meringue flavored with violet and small pieces of violet candies, so traditional in Madrid. The Holy Year will close at the Colegiata de San Isidro (Calle Toledo, 37), in the heart of the La Latina neighborhood, on Monday with a closing mass at 11h. The incorrupt body of this saint with a dark complexion and a 1.80-meter statue (an outrageous height for the time!), which was previously in the Church of San Andrés, located in the homonymous square, is kept on its main altar. And before, in the Bishop’s chapel, in Plaza de la Paja, 5. It was ordered to be built by the Vargas family, one of the most powerful of the time, for which San Isidro worked in order to house his mortal remains. The wonderful San Isidro Museum. The Origins of Madrid (Plaza de San Andrés, 2). This is one of the key corners on the route of the farmer’s patron through the city. In it, not only is the history of the city rescued over 500,000 years through archaeological objects from the Paleolithic to the 16C, but it is also believed that the saint died in this building, since it was the house of the lords to whom that served, the aforementioned Vargas. The document was discovered in the Church of San Andrés in the year 1504, when an inventory of ecclesiastical assets was being carried out. For example, it is believed that he could have been born on April 4, 1082, shortly before Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered the city after more than 200 years in Muslim hands. He came into the world at number 4 Calle del Águila, where the Chapel of San Isidro is now located. As a tribute, it opens on the 4th of each month. It is also known that the saint used to stop at the Atocha basilica on the way to his farm work. Returning to the museum, here is the famous 27-meter-deep well in which he saved his son Illán from drowning, one of the nearly 438 miracles attributed to him. The chronicles say that he prayed so much to the Virgin of Almudena that, suddenly, the water level rose and the child came out of the well as if nothing had happened. In the current Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, on his side, he managed to make water sprout from the ground after sticking his hoe into it to quench the thirst of his patron, Don Iván de Vargas. In his honor today stands the San Isidro Fountain, next to the Ermita del Santo, the cemetery with his name and the Pradera. Some of the miracles he performed are detailed in scenes painted on leather in the Ark of San Isidro in the Almudena Cathedral. The route would continue in the Capilla de la Cuadra (Pretil de Santiesteban, 3), where the man from Madrid kept his oxen, the same ones that plowed alone when he dedicated himself to prayer. The Puente de Toledo bridge is not far away, decorated with two Churrigueresque niches of both the farmer and his wife, Santa María de la Cabeza, whom he met in the town of Torrelaguna, when his family had to take refuge there after an Arab offensive. The relics of his wife were kept for a time in the Casa de la Villa, the former seat of the City/Town Hall. Now, they rest next to those of her husband in the Collegiate Church of San Andrés ro St Andrews in Madrid. A wonderful story indeed, must see me think !

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Spring !!; just enjoying our veranda again, now sunny day. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain  once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 4, 2023

Curiosities of Spain !!!

Looking at my house after some maintenance work saw many souvenirs of our trip to my dear Spain and why not in my blog, After all this is my life and my family life’s history, This post allows me to show in my blog things collected over the years by my dear late wife Martine that still hangs and will forever in my house. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on my curiosities of Spain !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I

In 834, Alfonso II, King of Asturias, set out from Oviedo, thus laying out the first pilgrimage route to Compostela , which would later be called Camino Primitivo, or Primitive Way, The Camino Francés or French Way begins at the famous city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, The ideal time to hike is spring, from March to May. Distance: 930 Km Stages: approximately 32. From the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, the French Way crosses the regions of Aragon, Navarre, La Rioja, Castilla-León and Galicia. We have done it by car and stop by to get a souvenir quick stop with the dish.

Santiago de compostela camino de santiago

Residence of the Spanish kings from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, the Royal Palace of Madrid is open to all those who wish to travel through the history of Spain. Although not inhabited by the current monarchs, the building is the official residence of the kings of Spain. I was here as a child with my late mother Gladys and later came in couple times more with my dear late wife Martine, late father Elio ,and my boys. One of the oldest souvenirs dating from 1990

Madrid palacio real

The Plaza de España attracts crowds of all nationalities. The square is home to one of the most photographed monuments in Madrid , The new square extends over an area of more than 70,000 m2, where all modes of transport rub shoulders, with pedestrian areas and cycle paths located on the surface , while an underground tunnel connects Bailén and Ferraz streets, extending the tunnel built in 1990 in front of the Royal Palace. More than 1,100 new trees have been planted there, more than 3 kms of cycle paths have been laid out on the roads and nearly 400 meters on car-free spaces, as well as vast play areas for children. Besides the famous Monument to Cervantes inaugurated in 1915, the square has two other fountains: a new creation, the Fuente del Cielo (Fountain of the Sky), a work in makauba blue marble, inspired by the sky of Madrid; and the one known as Fuente de la Concha (fountain of the shell) or del Nacimiento del agua (of the birth of water), previously located in front of the Spain or España building and which will soon be moved in front of the parish of Santa Teresa y San José, at no, 14 Plaza de España, a magnificent neogothic temple of medieval inspiration. This one played around in the old square for many years and then came back with family to see again, the latest came with my boys. One of the oldest souvenirs dating from 1990

Madrid plaza de Espana

The Roman aqueduct of Segovia, probably built around the year 50 of the Christian era, is remarkably well preserved. This majestic construction with double arches is part of the magnificent historic city of Segovia . It is an enormous masonry work 813 meters long, made up of four straight segments and two superimposed arcades bearing on 128 pillars. At the lowest point in the valley, the aqueduct rises 28.5 meters above the ground. Apart from Madrid, this is the second city visited in Spain in my child years and have come back several times with the family.

Segovia spoon of aqueduct

The La Mancha area, the homeland of Don Quixote. And the windmills in Campo de Criptana ! From Toledo is the canon who, after running into the gang that was carrying Don Quixote in a cage, engages with him and the members of the expedition in a long dissertation. Also in Toledo is the asylum ; the house of the Nuncio ; where Don Quixote ends up being hospitalized in the book of Avellaneda. Even today it remains unknown, although according to a study promoted by the Complutense University of Madrid and carried out by ten scientific experts, they place Villanueva de los Infantes as the birth town of Don Quixote.I have taken the route with the family and visit many of these towns including Toledo where had nearby cousins.

Toledo don quijote statue

To visit a must in Toledo are the Toledo Cathedral. Valley viewpoint. Synagogue of Santa María La Blanca. Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. Alcantara Bridge. Alcazar. Church of Santo Tomé and Plaza de Zocodover. Amongst many more indeed. One of the earliest visited cities in Spain, and lucky to have been back several times.

Toledo spoon of monuments

The official Spain tourist office :

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my dear Spain. The curiosities of Spain, everything under the sun, that still rings many nice memories to my mind on each stretch of meter I take on it. These were some souvenirs taken by my dear late wife Martine and still hang in my house forever, Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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April 23, 2023

A tribute to Joaquin Sorolla !!

I have written a few times about world personalities I like, Not too many but a handful of illustrious personalities, one of them fit the mold, I am not an expert or even dare to say knowledgeble of arts in general but in my readings , and visits to his museum in Madrid I always came fascintated by the stories and the paintings, Therefore, let me do my humble tribute to Joaquin Sorolla, a master amongst the masters, As i have a post on the museum this will in my black and white series,no pictures. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

His uncle Pepe insisted that he be a locksmith, like him, but he soon sensed the powerful artistic vein of little Quimet, better known as Joaquín Sorolla, whom he took in when he was only two years old when his parents died from a cholera epidemic in Valencia ,his native city. The future master of light then went to live on Calle Juan de Austria, a walk from Calle de Mantas, where a ceramic plaque recalls that the painter came into the world at number 8. the centenary of his death is celebrated ,died August 10 ,1923, so the events, exhibitions and tributes for the Sorolla Year take place across half the planet. From Madrid to Barcelona, Paris or New York, always returning to his Valencia, to that light and that sea that so inspired one of the most prolific (and well-known living) Spanish authors of all time: he left more than 2,300 cataloged works the anniversary is an opportunity to tour the streets of Valencia through the key points of its early years, in addition to getting to know heritage buildings and historic neighborhoods. Some of these corners are the Banco de Valencia (in the current Calle del Pintor Sorolla), the Church of Santa Catalina, where he was baptized, or the School of Artisans of Valencia on Calle Avellanas, where he entered at the age of 13. At the school he would become friends with the artistic saga of the Benlliure family and the son of Antonio García Peris, a renowned photographer of the time he would marry his daughter Clotilde in the Church of San Martín. After training at the Academy of Fine Arts (now the Centro Carmen), he soon began to present his works to competitions… without success, since they did not fit with the historical and tragic profile of that time. In 1884, he achieved one at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts with his Defense of the Monteleón artillery park, set in the War of Independence and melodramatic where there are. The cry of the palleter, which earned him a coveted scholarship from the Provincial Council to study in Rome, the Erasmus of yesteryear in front of the stairs of the Silk Exchange where the painter placed the painting. Right in front is the Mercado Central, a modernist jewel and the epicenter of his childhood and youth.

To please his patron, Sorolla signed Father Jofré defending a madman (on deposit at the Palace of the Generalitat), much more conventional, locating the action in the Portal de la Valldigna in the Carmen neighborhood. Both this canvas and that of the aforementioned palleter can be seen in the Sorolla a Roma exhibition at the Palacio de la Scala, which reviews that stage in 33 pieces. The exhibition Sorolla deals with the first years before Italy. Origins of the Museum of Fine Arts, which brings together, from yesterday until June 11, 70 paintings, watercolors, drawings, photographs and documents such as Portrait of a man, Knight with a band, The slave and the dove and Nun in prayer. Organized together with the Sorolla Museum in Madrid. The Museum of Fine Arts of the city of Turia will also present, from June 29 to October 1, 46 offspring from the Masaveu Collection. It will be the moment to contemplate Playa de Valencia, Corriendo por la playa and many other scenes of bathing and working in the sea represented between 1887 and 1917, three years before the end of his career due to a stroke suffered precisely while he was painting. . Not surprisingly, the Masaveu Collection is the third internationally dedicated to Sorolla, only surpassed by his museum in Madrid and the Hispanic Society of America in New York. The latter launched him to world stardom after commissioning Visión de España, the famous set of 14 canvases 3.5 meters high and 60 meters long made by the artist after touring the entire country between 1912 and 1919.

We continue the route in the beautiful Palace of Communications (former Post Office building), which houses Del foscor a la llum. Cinc segles d’art (From darkness to light: five centuries of art), with 70 pieces from the collection of the Lladró family of Zurbarán, Berruguete, José de Rivera or, of course, Sorolla, highlighting I am the bread of the life, the impressive oil painting of almost 25 square meters that welcomes the visitor, and Valencian Labrador, a true hymn to his countrywomen. They, in feminine, are also the thread host of Las mujeres de Sorolla, which can be seen until April 26 at the La Petxina sports-cultural center. In addition, in autumn La Valencia painted in the times of Sorolla will land in the Benlliure house-museum (Calle Blanquerías, 23), where paintings of our protagonist are regularly exhibited such as Portrait of Peppino, The Beatus of the Brotherhood or Study of a Male Head . The next stop is gastronomic, since Sorolla can also be eaten. Yes, in the Vertical restaurant (Cale Luis García Berlanga, 19), where chef Jorge de Andrés offers the Tribute to the Master menu. Composed of 14 dishes (115 euros without pairing and 150 with it) inspired by works such as El concejo del roncal, La fiesta del pan or Las grupas, it connects the palate with the different Spanish regions that the artist poured onto his canvases during his career . There is the Valencia monument to Sorolla and there, in the Cabañal and the Malvarrosa beach, he located most of his famous beach landscapes such as Sewing the Sail, The Return from Fishing, Sad Inheritance or Walk on the Seashore. He created many of them in the house of his friend Vicente Blasco Ibáñez or in dels Bous (Calle Pescadores, 39). Even the Sorolla brasserie of the Las Arenas hotel, a classic on the beach of the same name, sports a portrait of him, La señora. The god of light had to die, however, far from that Valencian sea, in the mountains of Madrid, leaving for the memory the best stamp of his land, in which he rests in peace.

The Valencia tourist office on Sorolla :

Do see, also, his wonderful house museum in Madrid . The Sorolla Museum located at  Paseo del General Martínez Campos, no. 37 

The Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain on the Museo Sorolla of Madrid:

There you go folks, another dandy personality of my dear Spain !! It is time to know and cherish and enjoy the work of Joaquin Sorolla Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

April 23, 2023

Wines news of Spain XII

We are now in nice Spring 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain XII!! Of course post No 12 or the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Everything you can discover by visiting wineries (even if you don’t like wine), It is no longer just about learning about wines, but also about enjoying playful approaches and gastronomic winks. Not everyone who visits a winery is necessarily a wine lover. Most of them are not interested in knowing in detail the details of its production, much less going into technical issues According to Acevin (Spanish Association of Wine Cities), in 2022 the percentage of “passionate” visitors in the almost 40 existing wine routes in Spain it was around 23%. This is about right indeed. Today it is possible to see an exhibition, eat and even stay in a winery. You can also stomp grapes in a traditional wine press, fly over the vineyards in a balloon, tour them on horseback, by bike or Segway, enjoy a picnic, visit a necropolis, practice yoga among the vines or sign up to observe the stars in summer with a drink by your side.webpage:

The global wine sector has undergone significant changes during the year 2022 due to high inflation, the war in Ukraine, the associated energy crisis and disruptions in the global supply chain. These factors have led to an increase in wine prices and a slight decrease in the volumes consumed worldwide. Despite this, the global value of wine exports reached its highest level on record. These conclusions were presented at a press conference of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) now in Dijon, where the macroeconomic results for the year 2022 were presented. Thus, in 2022, the world vineyard area was estimated at 7, 3 million hectares (mha), which represents a marginal decrease of 0.4% compared to 2021. As for world wine production in 2022, it was estimated at 258 million hectoliters (mhl), which marks a decrease 1% compared to the previous year. World wine consumption experienced a decrease of 2 mhl compared to 2021, standing at 232 mhl. The value of world wine exports was estimated at 37.6 billion euros, the highest figure ever recorded. Webpage:

In La Rioja, the hotel with colored projections by Marqués de Riscal designed by Frank Gehry, the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture or the impressive architectural renovation by Marqués de Murrieta are very powerful claims for the region as a whole. The same could be said of the cathedral wineries of Marco de Jerez. It is also no coincidence that the three Michelin-starred restaurants in the Ribera del Duero and its surroundings are associated with wineries. World’s Best Vineyards brand. Marqués de Riscal was second and González Byass, who already has his own hotel in Jerez, came sixth. Among the first 50 wineries also appeared Abadía Retuerta, which with its old monastery converted into a five-star hotel on a large estate in Valladolid presents itself as a tourist destination in itself, and Vivanco, with its indisputable museum. There are more and more ways to discover and enjoy the world of wine.Webpage:

The high stocks and the drop in consumption are strangling the wine, from the sector calls for distillation measures, a green harvest, a ban on new plantings, more yield adjustments and even start-ups, The wine sector is going through a crisis situation this campaign caused by on one hand, due to a significant volume of stocks in the wineries, and on the other due to the drop in consumption in the domestic market and in exports, the winegrowers of the agricultural organizations and the agri-food cooperatives fear that a new campaign with average productions between 40 and 42 million hectoliters further aggravate the current stock situation, well above demand, and call for measures to avoid this situation. As well this in Spain

The resurgence of Oneca grape of Navarra recovers an old grape variety that was about to disappear. The name of this variety, which returns to the vines with genetics and experimentation, comes from the mother of Iñigo Arista, the first king of Pamplona Onneca was a native woman from what is now Navarra which according to Arab authors at the end of the 8C or the beginning of the 9C, gave birth to two men who were later famous on earth. The first, Iñigo Arista (whose name in ancient documents is recorded as Eneco, first king of Pamplona; and the second, Musa Ibn Musa, the most famous of the Banu Qasi lineage. Over the centuries, Onneca has evolved into the current Oneca, the most deeply rooted name and surname in the middle and eastern part of the Navarra. webpage:

The Bodegas Faustino and Foster+Partners are building the new Faustino-Foster+Partners 2024 Project, which will turn Bodegas Faustino, which already has advanced facilities for the production and aging of Rioja wines, into a more innovative and sustainable architectural complex, as reported by the company. The new facilities will allow visitors to visit the wine, the vineyard, nature, architecture, culture and sustainability in a unique proposal to connect all the spaces with the vineyards, which become part of the architectural complex. . All this in a winery that is over 160 years old and has more than 60,000 barrels in which Rioja wines age. The first phase of El Legado de Bodegas Faustino,(legacy) which can already be visited, involves the reconversion of the entire environment and the intervention in the interior and exterior spaces of the winery occupied for the production and aging of wine. They have been building wineries for more than 30 years Campillo, and 12 years ago created Bodegas Portia, the first winery built by Foster+Partners. Now it is logical to take a step forward and consolidate The Legacy of Bodegas Faustino as a new dimension of wine tourism that houses a much more complete and avant-garde set of experiences that allows them to increase the level of knowledge about the vineyards and the wine of their visitors. The Bodega Faustino is confident that the project will be underway from June or July 2024. Webpage:

The finos and manzanillas make their August in spring. Especially April, the great month of Andalusian fairs starting with Seville, the mother of them all, with its replicas in Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, Alicante. But also in Jerez de la Frontera, known as the horse fair, at the beginning of May (this year 2023 from 6 to 13 May ), whose booths are increasingly crowded. The fino and the manzanilla, both mixed, is a festive wine, but deep, elegant and complex like few others. Greatness that is due, mainly, to the magic of its biological aging, where the flor veil (yeasts that float on the wine in the oak boot) interacts with the wine during its aging of a minimum of five years; and the duende of its aging by the system of soleras and criaderas. The difference is basically due to their geographical location. Manzanilla is made exclusively in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, under the influence of the sea, since most of its wineries are located a few meters from the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. Fino is made mainly in Jerez de la Frontera, 8 km from the Atlantic, from dry climate, which influences the development, thickness and permanence of the flor veil and gives its wines a more pungent and dry aroma, with accentuated hints of nuts. Without forgetting the distant Cordoba cousins of Montilla-Moriles, with their finos with the mild sweetness and kindness of the Pedro Ximénez grape.

Let me give you my fav 3 the podium, these you won’t go wrong from Marco de Jerez

In 1844 a fine call was born to become a symbol of this universal drink: Tío Pepe. A true classic that offers the most genuine version, the fino en rama, an experience that could only be had by visiting the winery and tasting the fino freshly taken from the barrel by the master stroke of the venenciador. Tío Pepe 2023 is born from soleras from the Gran Bodega del Tío Pepe, created in the 1960s, extracted directly from the center of the butt in spring, when the flower veil reaches its maximum activity. Incisive and pungent aromas of brioche, dried fruit and fleshy fruit, meadow herbs (chamomile), talc and noble hints of wood. The sensations in the mouth, dry, fresh and elegant, are linked and unfold with a rhythmic rhythm. A taste with depth and what a taste!! Webpage:

The bicentennial Bodega Barbadillo has the merit of having been the first to market its Solear chamomile on the branch. this chamomile. With about six years of biological aging, the wine displays an impressive and complex aromatic richness, delicately incisive, with notes of dried fruit, aromatic herbs, and the faint hint of yeast blossom. Intense and persistent, its delicate and dry palate intoxicates you, with iodized marine hints Webpage :

The almost tercentenary Alvear winery the generous classics, among which Fino Capataz (foremen) stands out, made from the most aged solera of the Alvear family’s fine wines. The 12 years of biological aging and long aging bring its profile closer to that of an amontillado. Unheaded Cordovan fine endowed with great elegance and complexity with intense aromas of sourdough bread, nuts, particularly raw almonds, sweet tones of baked apple, and a stylized background of albariza earth. Tasty, light on the palate, unctuous to the touch, long bitter, soft and persistent finish. Webpage :

A new wine from my Spain to taste for sure if you can find it me got a bottle from Madrid!. The Colorado 2017 with the Cenicienta grape or Cinderella, the lost red variety of Rueda, This variety appeared by chance among the hundred-year-old Verdejo vines of El Pago de Saltamontes, a vineyard that the family has owned it for four generations. Cenicienta is a red variety of unknown genetics, which they have recovered and are the only ones to work with. It has shiny and very toothed leaves, small, cylindrical and loose grapes and white pulp with red veins. Its general appearance is lighter than that of the other varieties, with white nuances. In addition, it is a very vigorous plant, with high-quality productions but low yields, which requires continuous work in the vineyard. It is found planted in soils made up of a surface of rounded pebbles and clayey subsoil. Harvested by hand, it ferments and is aged for ten months in French oak barrels. Blue fruit and notes of aromatic herbs such as rosemary and thyme, it has a complex nose. On the palate it stands out for its freshness and persistence. Bodegas Javier Sanz webpage:

And to taste for sure one of my all time favorites from my dear Spain, Montecillo! Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza 2018 with 18 months in American oak barrels using Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. The elegant Crianza from Bodegas Montecillo shines in the glass with a bright ruby red. The bouquet of this red wine from La Rioja enchants with notes of black cherries, plums, morello cherries and mulberries. It is precisely its fruity nature that makes this wine so special. This red is the right choice for all wine enthusiasts who like it dry. However, it is never sparse or brittle, but round and supple. Due to its vital fruit acid, the Crianza is exceptionally fresh and lively on the palate. In the finish, this storable wine from the La Rioja wine-growing region inspires with its good length. There are again hints of blueberries and plums. Mineral notes from the soil, which is dominated by clay and limestone, join in the aftertaste. In La Rioja, the vines that produce the grapes for this wine grow on clay and limestone soils. After the grape harvest, the grapes are taken to the winery as quickly as possible. Here they are sorted and carefully ground. Fermentation then takes place in small wood at controlled temperatures. Fermentation is followed by aging for 18 months in American barrels. Enjoy this red wine at a temperature of 15 – 18°C. Wonderful and glad can get at my local supermarket!! Webpage:

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

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

April 23, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLVII 

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and we are in Spring !! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLVII is old Roman for 147, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The icon of the Gran Vía in Madrid is renewed 90 years later: goodbye (and hello) to the mythical sign of the Capitol building Well, the sign of the mythical Capitol building (although it is actually called Carrión) renews its image coinciding with the 90 anniversary, the new sign that presides over the roof is an exact replica of the original that it exhibited in 1933 both in size and in typography. At the time, it had 64 apartments, a hotel, a cafeteria, a bar, a restaurant, the seltzer water factory, several shops and offices, party rooms and even a cinema with a capacity for 2,000 people. This one has been preserved , but divided into several small spaces, so that the current hotel, the Vincci Capitol, is the only one that currently houses a cinema in its lower part. Hence, it has themed rooms where the great figures of the seventh art are the protagonists. From Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe or Charles Chaplin, whose essence coexists with striking decoration elements. Behind the sign ,which weighs 600 kigs and measures 10.65 x 9.36 meters , and its 104 colored neon lights that light up at night, two suites are hidden, 1002 and 1102, in what used to be a warehouse and now , the most coveted of the entire Gran Vía. The Spanish Civil War would come, when it was occupied and used as an advanced observatory. One more historical note of this icon of the Gran Vía that is being reborn once more. Webpage:

The town of Tomelloso, in Ciudad Real province,Castilla La Mancha, surprises with its wineries, history, drums and museums. It is in the heart of La Mancha, so it is not surprising that it is part of the Don Quixote Route, that its surroundings are dotted with vineyards -it is the largest wine region in the world- and that migas and porridge are included in the protein local cookbook since unidentifiable times. What no one expected is that the first women in all of Spain to wear pants were born in Tomelloso . Nor that the best artisan pizza in the world comes from here by the work of chef Jesús Marquina (or better, Marquinetti, as he is known), five times champion of the international contest that chooses the number one on the planet. The Tomelloso subsoil is pierced with more than 2,500 caves, most of which served as underground cellars until well into the 20C. Here is also the largest wine cooperative in Europe, Virgen de las Viñas, which takes its name from the patron saint of the town and which encompasses 23,000 hectares of vineyards. Formed by 3,000 members, in one day it collects 11 million kgs of grapes. Of course, they no longer guard the wines 12 meters underground in huge clay and cement jars. Technology ended this tradition, which began in the 1820s with mass production. The wine had to be stored somewhere… And what better way to take advantage of the cavities that the houses themselves hid than The Bodegas Perales is immersed in one of the largest and most legendary caves in the town. Open to the public for visits, one discovers inside how first the mules and then the tractors entered with the grapes through a gate. Also reminiscent of bygone times are the chimneys up to 20 meters high and varied decoration scattered throughout the city. They were always next to the distillation towers of companies such as Fábregas, Domecq, Altosa, Casajuana or Peinado to vent the smoke from the boilers. In 1950, there were a hundred. Now, about 30. And in disuse, but nobody thinks of touching them: the neighbors will take to the streets !. Webpage :

It will sound pretentious, but without Colmenar de Oreja, the films of Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis or Spartacus would not have been the same. Hollywood was inspired by the paintings of its most illustrious neighbor, the painter Ulpiano Checa, to recreate the settings of the Roman Empire that made these films so famous. From the chariot races linked in the minds of cinephiles to Charlton Heston to the baths, Nero’s banquet, the invasion of the barbarians or the last days of Pompeii. Ulpiano Checa Museum not surprisingly, it is one of the most important dedicated to an author. The Roman pieces are only a small part. The rest of the collection is divided by geographical areas: from his experiences in Africa, America and France, where he died, to his Spanish rhapsody or his town, with grape harvesters, smithies, jars and limestone towers as protagonists. . The Plaza Mayor would also see Isabel la Católica parade through its cobblestones, since here she installed the Court of Castile together with her brother Enrique IV before becoming queen and meeting Fernando de Aragón. The construction of clay jars to make wine, a tradition that still persists in some underground cellars. Like Jesús Díaz e Hijos, or Jesús Figueroa Carrero, founded in 1812. Pedro García’s is almost a hundred years old (1931), while Finca del Socorro has become one of the best centers of wine experimentation in Europe webpage :

The season of the Spanish ‘Orient Express’ starts. While the Transcantábrico celebrates 40 years of travel, Al Andalus incorporates the city of Malaga into its circuit and the Costa Verde Express returns to run between Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela.

The conception and birth of El Transcantábrico, the first tourist train in Spain and the first in the world in metric gauge, represented a challenge in the Spanish railway scene and a risky and innovative commitment to recreate the atmosphere of the Belle époque trains. Since last weekend, the train has been running along the Cantabrian coast to offer an 8-day (seven-night) journey that runs, in both directions, between San Sebastián and Santiago de Compostela.webpage :

The Al Andalus, another of the emblematic luxury tourist trains managed by Renfe The wagons have incorporated a modernized typography and the colors that define the Al Andalus brand have been updated, evolving towards more vivid tones, although in the same color range that has singled out to the train. Thus, the new image is characterized by a reddish garnet tone, characteristic of monuments such as the Alhambra in Granada, which combines with black and gold. Al Andalus resumes its 7-day (6-night) trips on its Andalusian itinerary which, in the 2023 season, includes the city of Malaga. The trip runs in both directions between Seville and Malaga and on its route it passes through the Andalusian provinces of Cádiz, Granada, Jaén and Córdoba.webpage :

On May 20 2023, the season begins for the Costa Verde Express, which carries out six-day (five-night) itineraries, in both directions, between Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela Webpage :

Also,do not forget this one. the Medieval Train to Sigüenza begins its season on April 15, with departures from Madrid and stops in Alcalá de Henares and Guadalajara. It will leave at 10h. from the Madrid-Chamartín Clara Campoamor station, stopping in Alcalá de Henares at 10h29. and in Guadalajara at 10h48, where passengers can board. The arrival at the Sigüenza station will be at 11h37, with the whole day ahead to walk through the labyrinth of stones and streets, to learn some history or savor the yolks of the earth. Webpage :

Something I am happy to tell you as had a couple of encounters here and is super The Financial Club is open to the public! The best views of the city and a high-altitude ‘gastro’ proposal . We take an elevator and go up to the 14th floor of the Centro Colón I was talking about the Financial Club, Calle de Genova ,a business, financial and political meeting point in Spain founded in 1972. We are currently 500 members . Until now, the 2,700 square meters of the club -spread over three floors- breathed a very masculine atmosphere. Now they are trying to give it a more unisex air. A second space, still with views of the Plaza de Colón, boasts versatility. It can be a room to have a coffee, it is set up to serve lunch or dinner and it adapts to the needs of the members, and of course meet with friends. Cozy, with a lot of velvet and wood and sober and modern furniture, they keep certain touches of its history. They recovered 36 chairs; some have been reupholstered with leather and others have been covered with canvas. Looking at Calle del Marqués de la Ensenada, you arrive through a corridor, where the team prepares the sweet part of the menu live and direct. In a large exposed kitchen, In total, the club has the capacity to serve 160 covers outside and 160 indoors. Last stop, the roof terrace, which is accessed by a spiral staircase and from which you have the most amazing panoramic views of the city. find the third bar. Dipping in the pool -like the gym, which is on the 13th floor-, is reserved only for members. Restaurant hours for visitors: lunch, Saturday and Sunday; dinner, Mnday to Sunday Rooftop: Monday to Sunday, from 18h. and weekends, from 12h.webpage:

She said « They told me great goods of the earth and rightly so that it is delightful and of good temper”, wrote Teresa de Jesús, by way of inspiration, before founding the monastery of San José del Salvador de Beas de Segura (Jaén), one of the 17 convents created in the 16C by this humanist and traveler woman. This architectural, literary and spiritual legacy has now become an attractive tourist route that not only disseminates the work of the woman who was declared a Doctor of the Church, but has also brought to light a rich monumental heritage that has ceased to be cloistered the journey that the saint undertook in 1567 and that, for two decades, took her from Ávila to Caravaca de la Cruz, or from Medina del Campo to Seville, passing through other Teresian enclaves such as Malagón, Valladolid, Toledo, Pastrana, Salamanca, Alba de Tormes, Segovia, Beas de Segura, Villanueva de la Jara, Palencia, Soria, Granada and Burgos. This route now takes on a special meaning as the Teresian Jubilee Year is celebrated. Webpage Footprints of Teresa of Jesus :

The International Book and Copyright Day is celebrated every April 23 2023. A date used to encourage reading around the world. In Spain, during that day literary activities are carried out, the streets are filled with book stalls and educational centers remember the most important figures in literature. This year it falls on a Sunday, so you can enjoy more outdoors. April 23 was chosen to celebrate Book Day because it is the date on which Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Garcilaso de La Vega died. Although the three illustrious authors died in 1616, they did not do so exactly on the same day and it was declared by Unesco in 1995 as International Book Day, Webpage :

Some nice memorable places to eat good and traditional in my Madrid

Café Comercial Gta. de BilbaoThis emblematic venue in the Glorieta de Bilbao has been a meeting point for Madrid’s social life for more than 130 years. In addition to its full cultural agenda in the evenings, with concerts, monologues and flamenco shows, you can enjoy traditional cuisine with traditional flavors. webpage:

El Escondite de Villanueva, Calle Villanueva, 26 It was one of the first places in the capital to introduce the non-stop business model in 2001. Today, it is one of the landmark places in the Salamanca district that has managed to adapt to all kinds of schedules throughout the day, from breakfasts to business lunches or livelier dinners. It is ideal to enjoy both an outdoor brunch on your terrace, a snack in the bar area and high tables or a dinner in the main dining room. webpage:

Hot Now Calle Barbieri, 14. Original local and original concept of this pizzeria in Chueca that moves away from the traditional with its signature pizzas made with fresh dough made daily and a groundbreaking mix of ingredients. webpage:

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Spring !!; just enjoying our veranda again, now sunny day. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain  once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

April 16, 2023

The Church of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Pedro Claver of Madrid !!

Wow, I can’t believe it, found me a gem in my vault of pictures of my dear Madrid, Glad to share it with the world for me and you, This is of course, new text,links, pics in my blog and glad to find it, Part of my ever ending walks in the City stumbled upon this beauty and now in my blog, This is really visitable, the Church of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Pedro Claver or Iglesia de la inmaculada Concepcion y San Pedro Claver, Hope you enjoy it as I

The Church of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Pedro Claver is located in the former College of Areneros, and is today the headquarters of ICADE of the Pontifical University of Comillas located at Calle de Alberto Aguilera, 23,Madrid.  This building was built by the Society of Jesus in neo-Mudejar style, characterized by the use of brick to form creative decorative figures. The building suffered a fire in 1931 and was rehabilitated for teaching after the Spanish Civil War. On October 11, 1941, the new church was inaugurated. The building occupies the entire block bounded by the streets Mártires de Alcalá, Alberto Aguilera, Baltasar Gracián, and Calle Santa Cruz de Marcenado which is the main facade of the temple.


The church, under the invocation of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Pedro Claver, is arranged in three naves, a central one 33 meters long, and two lateral ones, with the presbytery and the two altars of the lateral naves raised above the floor of the naves. and at the same level as the rest of the church. Among the solemn austerity of the interior, the neo-Gothic altarpiece stands out, in which the image of the Immaculate Conception presides and is the patron saint of the old school and is made up of eight levels guarded by pinnacles and sheltered by golden Gothic canopies, in which the scenes are narrated. main aspects of the life of the Virgin Mary. Also noteworthy is the tabernacle of the Santísimo chapel

We all know the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception but who is Saint Pedro Claver? Well he is known as the slave of slaves, a person dedicated to the most vulnerable of his time. The story of Pedro Claver Corberó (b Verdun France,1580 ;d, Cartagena de Indias,Colombia 1654), transports us to the Cartagena de Indias of his time, a veritable hotbed of slavers, pirates and inquisitors. St Pedro Claver is an example of love for the poorest and most marginalized. He heroically faced human trafficking, and gave his life to attend to the slaves that arrived at the port, recognizing Jesus in those who were not even considered people. He went to the holds of the ships where they were brought overcrowded and to the warehouses where they were put, to help them, heal them and teach them catechism. When making his perpetual vows, he stamped next to his signature the motto of his life: “Pedro Claver, slave of blacks forever.”

A bit on what is there today,of course not travel related but still can be visited.  The current configuration of the Comillas Pontifical University has its origin, on the one hand, in the Comillas Pontifical Seminary and University in Santander, and on the other, in the Catholic Institute of Arts and Industries, ICAI, in Madrid. On December 16, 1890, several personalities and His Holiness Leo XIII welcomed the projects, erected in the Cantabrian town of Comillas, to create a seminary for the formation of candidates for the priesthood from the Spanish and Latin American dioceses. and from the Philippines, whose management was entrusted to the Society of Jesus. In the early sixties, the representative of the Holy See in Spain, as high patron of the institution, in the name of the Holy Father, suggested the transferring the university from Comillas to Madrid and promoted the realization of this project, with the intention of expanding its influence in the up-to-date formation of candidates for the priesthood and offering the possibility for lay Christians to also benefit from the study of ecclesiastical sciences and others related to them Since January 24, 1969, the transfer is done gradually, The Catholic Institute of Arts and Industries (ICAI) in Madrid, for its part, has its origins in a School of Mechanics and Electricity that began in 1908. Its purpose was to train the personnel who work in factories in this specialty Christianly and technically. The proximity of both institutions in Madrid, the fact that they are both run by the Society of Jesus and the complementarity of their studies gave rise to the idea of their union, through the incorporation of ICAI-ICADE studies to the Comillas Pontifical University., and then many more additions until 2020,latest info.

It has the main campus in Madrid, but also branches in Cantoblanco and Ciempozuelos (both in the Comunidad de Madrid region) . It is one of the best-known private universities in Spain. Thus, of the 50 best CEOs in Spain according to Forbes, 20% were Comillas alumni. In 2021, of the CEOs of IBEX 35 companies (sort of dow jones), 17% studied at Comillas, 3% at ICAI and 3% at ICADE, The univ is at no 21, 23, 25, and 32 Calle Alberto Aguilera st and no 26 Calle Santa Cruz de Marcenado street, Also, sides at no 4 Calle Rey Franciscoand 2 Calle Francisco de Ricci. The Cantoblanco campus occupies numbers No 3-5 Calle Universidad de Comillas, The Ciempozuelos campus is located at no 1 Avenida de San Juan de Dios.

The official museum of the Cathedral of Almudena on the Church

The official Comillas University has a lot more

There you go folks, a dandy off the beaten path monument of my dear Madrid, Never tired of finding these gems in my vault or while visiting, Madrid to heavens and a hole above to look down on it everyday, YES !! Hope you enjoy this interesting monument ,the Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion y San Pedro Claver de Madrid as I

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

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April 15, 2023

My memorable Ayre Gran Colon Hotel of Madrid !!

I came into some new older pictures and looking at my blog saw had mentions of the hotel but no post on it, sadly this needed to be remedy, I spent my life in many many hotels and even worked in the industry but as some brings more nostalgia than others, the one in Madrid does and needs a post of its own, Therefore, here is my humble thank you rendition to the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel of Madrid !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

madrid ayre gran colon dr esquerdo from samaria sep15

The Ayre Gran Colon Hotel is at calle Pez Volador corner with calle Doctor Esquerdo very close to metro line 9 of Sanz de Baranda coming from the airport. My standard bearer for many years coming to Madrid on business, a second home, known by all staff really, was here every year at least once for 9 years !   The hotel is made up of two buildings , Edificio Europa and Edificio América. Both spaces are joined by a spectacular 1,200-square-meter garden and an art gallery, Noteworthy for the stained-glass windows and the frescoes decorating the meeting rooms, lobbies, coffee-shop and restaurants, by artist Manuel Ortega, best known for his stained-glass windows in La Almudena Cathedral.

mad ayre gran hotel colon front may16

A very nice hotel, well located (bus – metro) nearby, competent and very pleasant staff, very well insulated despite the nearby road, recommended for visiting Madrid, either with family or business. Warm welcome, spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned, clean room and quiet establishment. Spacious room and very good bedding, rich breakfast and very pleasant staff , Offering luggage storage and a reception hall ,Nice hotel complex. Recommended. The Ayre Hotels was owned by El Corte Inglés and Palladium Hotel Group, however last year was sold to capital financing Eurazeo (know well was under them for a while), This is as far as ownership because the day to day continues as before,

madrid ayre gran colon hotel calle pez-volador esq dr esquerdo apr17

This modern hotel includes a café, meeting rooms and express check-in and check-out. It also offers babysitting services, a currency exchange service and a 24-hour reception. The hotel offers rooms with a minibar and a hairdryer. Each bedroom has closets, in-room safes and desks. It has a restaurant and a bar for relaxing at the end of the day. Room service is also available during certain hours.  In the Retiro district Retiro Park about 9 min or 700 meters walk Paseo del Prado 27 min walk, Madrid-Atocha Cercanías Station metro line 9 and circular line 6  Sainz de Baranda Station , 200 meters or 3 minutes on foot.

madrid ayre gran colon hotel backyard apr17

Very central to all my favorites, on foot I left the hotel , and headed out to Calle Dr Esquerdo street, walk towards Conde de Casal, but turn right on ave de Nazaret , this took me to plaza del Niño Jesus (square), here reach avenida de Menendez Pelayo and the Retiro park was on my right hand side. Flashes back already as every building every turn almost every house got to think, “I was here”.

Again, can ‘t say it enough ,this is an excellent hotel, with cafe resto dj music disco style at nights, and central to all of Madrid in addition to metro as above you have the bus lines 20, 30, 32, 56, 143, 156, N8 stops right in front, 25 km from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas international airport and easy access to the IFEMA Exhibition Centre, I needed taxi service once to get to office and they were very efficient and on time

.The Café Ayre is wonderful with dj music ,big sports TV, (to see my Real Madrid),  The breakfast are full style with plenty to eat and great display of goodies,nice. The lounge bar is ideal for a drink with nice views on the street Doctor Esquerdo! 

The official Ayre Hotels :

The Palladium Group on the Ayre Gran Colon of Madrid :

The Madrid tourist office on the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel :

There you go folks, a wonderful experience that can only look forward to be back, and bring my boys, eventually. This is my Madrid, always the memories will lingered forever. The Ayre Gran Colon Hotel is part of my life there,and will look forward to continue. It is recommended folks, do try it, you will love it. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

April 13, 2023

Again, the Catedral Santa Maria of Toledo !!!

Once again, found many pictures not in my blog unbelievable ! Even if it is a big task on writing about this awesome cathedral I like to give you and me a bit more always more of it, This is awesome a must to see really sublime, there is always more I just do my five cents on it, For info the Catedral Santa Maria, primada de Toledo is of course in Toledo, province of Toledo, in the autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha, Kingdom of Spain. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I had spent days here over the last few years of my life,and coming back is always wonderful; the city is wonderful, the Cathedral is heavens.I used to come more often when family lived just outside the City, now the last uncle is gone and after the last events in our world really needs a return for memories’s sake,The construction of St Mary’s Cathedral began in 1226 with white stone  in Gothic style;finished in 1493.


The St Mary’s Cathedral is 120 meters long by 59 meters wide and has five nave in addition to a cruiser aisle and dome as well as a cloister, 88 columns, and 72 vaults. The main façade has three gates such as Puerta del Perdon (Forgiveness), Puerta del Juicio Final (final judgement), to the right, and Puerta del Infierno (hell) to the left. There is , also the Puerta del Reloj (Clock) oldest from early 14C; the Puerta de los Leones (Lions) is 15C .Other gates are Puerta Llana (flat) , Portada de Santa Catalina ( St Catherine), and Puerta de la Presentacion (Presentation).  The Bell tower is 92 meters high and finalized in 1422 in Gothic style.


The Chapel of San Eugenio has the particularity of preserving the original architecture of the 13C. It closes with a gate very similar to the others signed by Juan Francés. In the altarpiece is the image of the titular saint, Archbishop of Toledo, the work of Copín de Holanda. This chapel keeps a unique piece due to its date and its art:


The Chapel of Santiago, also, called the chapel of Álvaro de Luna because this historical figure was the one who had it built and who founded it as a burial place for him and his family. It is one of the largest in the ambulatory as it occupies the space of three of the old ones, one large and two small; It has an octagonal plan and a very refined and select flamboyant style, one of the best examples found in Spain.


The Chapel of San Pedro is located between the Puerta del Reloj or clock gate and that of Puerta Santa Catalina gate, which leads to the cloister. The founder of it was Sancho de Rojas who has his burial in this place. More than a chapel, it is a small church that serves as a parish, whose enclosure extends to the north, attached to the east wall of the cloister. It is accessed through a gate limited by a Gothic doorway with archivolts decorated with plant and heraldic themes in which the coat of arms of the Rojas family with 5 stars is repeated, In the center and on the statuette of the archbishop there is another larger Gothic image, of San Pedro en Cátedra, under a Gothic canopy.


The Chapel of Santa Ana , originally founded by Jiménez de Rada restored by Juan de Mariana who has his burial here. With a good Plateresque fence. It is one of the smallest.


The Custodio, (custodian,guard) ,the most important object that is kept in the Capilla del Tesoro or Treasury Chapel is the great monstrance (custodia sp) of Enrique de Arfe to replace the one that was made of white silver and that disappeared when the riots of the Communities that was elaborated between 1517 and 1524. It is trace archaic Gothic and of great architectural beauty. At first it was made of silver but in 1594 Archbishop Quiroga ordered it to be gilded. The Custodian took seven years to prepare. It has a hexagonal plan. It rises up in little columns that are beautifully executed, with jewelery decorations and various figurines of angels, saints, rosettes, bells and wheat ears. The set closes in the last body where a cross from the 16C is placed. The base on which it is supported is Baroque from the 18C This monstrance (custodian) in pure gold was made at the end of the 15C with the first gold that Christopher Columbus brought from America ! The monstrance is assembled with the help of 12,500 screws that hold it , 5600 different pieces and 260 figurines. 183 kg of silver plus 18 kg of gold were used, In Toledo it has been customary since 1595 to remove this monstrance in the Corpus Christi procession, on a float made for this purpose with a very tight leveling that is mechanically operated,


In the St Mary’s Cathedral of Toledo, the most important organ is the so-called Emperor’s Organ, located in the transept. They are followed by the so-called General, that of Echevarria and that of Verdalonga, located in the choir.



This is a must to visit here, if only one thing to see in Toledo this must be it.  Again do not missed it. I have come to Toledo sometimes just walk around it ,and others go inside, always a great satisfaction of seeing it. Catedral Primada de España, Catedral Santa Maria of Toledo.

The official Catedral de Toledo:

The Toledo Tourist office on the Cathedral:

The Castilla la Mancha region Tourist office on the Cathedral:

There you go folks, plenty to go around and see this jewel of our time and forever beautiful,,This is the Saint Mary’s Cathedral, primate cathedral of Toledo and Spain, go see it ! Again, hope you enjoy the additional post as I.

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

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April 13, 2023

The Puertas or Gates of Segovia !!

Again, I got out of the vault two nice gates that are in Segovia. Well, a very popular city and on certain times heavily loaded with the hordes of tourists. However, away from the center there are nice curiosities to see, such as these gates,

One of my fond moments is to walk in a city once arriving by car. We walk all over and passed by some interesting monuments like the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés I like to upgrade this older post for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I,

I have always come here by car from Madrid ,on the N603, and this time we entered Segovia by Calle de Jose Zorilla and just landed at the underground parking of Ezequiel Gonzalez and then walk all over. The parking is located on Calle Barreros corner of Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez.

The Puerta del Mercado (Market), as the current Puerta de Madrid was first called, began to be built in 1703 and was completed in April 2004, being one of the last Baroque works in the city of Segovia ! The Puerta de Madrid was built around an arch formed by padded ashlars that is framed between straight pilasters. On the ledge, located on a false entablature, are the sculptures that serve as the auction of the monument. In the center, crowned by balls, there are two different shields, one on each side of the door: the royal shield is the one that faces the outside of the city and the shield of Segovia is the one that looks towards the inside of it. On both sides of the latter, there are two dressed figures, armed with spears and protected with medieval armor that represent the captains Fernán García and Día Sanz, who seem to be watching outside the city while guarding the shields located between them. The whole set is built in limestone, with the exception of the lower part of it, the pedestals in the case of pilasters, which is granite. On the sides of this triumphal arch, the presence of two buttresses endow it with greater strength and stability.


We walked passed the Puerta San Andrés that allows access to the city through the wall. It is located near the old Jewish quarter. It gave way to the orchards and planting lines of the Clamores valley. Its current aspect is due to the reform that was carried out in the construction at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. That happened between the end of the 15C and the beginning of the 16C.  From this point we will clearly see, right in front, the Jewish cemetery popularly known as “El Pinarillo”. The Puerta San Andrés gate retains Romanesque-Mudejar remains. It is formed by two towers: one of square plant, that is united to the wall; and another polygonal plant with cross bolts, which is exposed to the outside. Between them there is a passage crowned by a semicircular arch with an embedded royal shield. There is also a tall body with windows and battlements. On the top there is a cornice of pyramid balls and battlements. On the inside of the arch there is still a small chapel with the image of the Virgen del Socorro, which is why the Gate is also known as the Arco del Socorro (mercy gate) , and also has been known with the names Puerta de la Juderia or Jewish quarter gate. From there it is possible to see one of the sides of the Cathedral of Segovia and its tower.


The Segovia tourist office on the Puerta de Madrid :

The Segovia tourist office on the Puerta de San Andrés :

There you go folks, if you want to see the lovely Segovia and away from the main points of popular monuments ,than do a bit of walking and see these wonderful off the beaten paths monuments of the Puerta de Madrid and Puerta de San Andrés of Segovia. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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