Posts tagged ‘Madrid’

August 9, 2017

Some news from France and Spain

 

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

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

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

A bit more on both countries coming up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

París is the Unesco Heritage site most recherche

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

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

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

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

 

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

August 6, 2017

My new home of Pluvigner in the Morbihan Breton XX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

August 4, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIIII

Ok so maybe one last post on Spain before getting there, can’t wait. We had in my area a cloudy, rainy cool day all day and still with temps at 20C or about 69F.

It is nice to speak about Spain and their parks , some very close to me like Guadarrama , Teide, and Picos de Europa. Here is more on them

Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama just north of Madrid. A mountain range running east to west in the peninsula (Spain) There are many roads to get there like the Calzada Borbónica in Fuenfría or the Macizo de Peñalara; also, in bicycle like the La Horizontal, Calderuelas, Pinares de Canencia, Las Zetas de La Pedriza, Pinares de La Barranca , and the Valle de La Fuenfría. You can do escalade or climbing on the La Pedriza de Manzanares. You can top if off by visits to  La Granja de San Ildefonso or the Monasterio de El Paular. You can stop by for lunch of gambas a la plancha, pork chops and grill meats at Sala, Ctra de los Molinos, 2 Guadarrama or Casa Ochoa calle Virgen de las Nieves 70). For more info visit the Centro de Visitantes Valle de la Fuenfria, ctra de las Dehesas, km 2, Cercedilla; open every day from 9h to 20h. More here: http://www.parquenacionalsierraguadarrama.es/es/visita/contacto-cv/cv-fuenfria

Parque de la Sierra Nevada (Almería/ Granada). This is the biggest park with 80 000 hectares and the only Spanish Mediterranean mountain with more than 2000 species of flora; as well as many fauna. The best known trail is El Sulayr with about 300 km of trails that allows you see the park in stages. You can go by road on the Carretera al Veleta , the third highest peak of Spain. You can stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta, Avenida de Sierra Nevada, 146 Cenes de la Vega, Granada; a stylish palace mudéjar with a branch at Monachil. More info at the Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo, ctra A-395, direction Pradollano, km 23, Guéjar, Sierra Nevada, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 14h and 17h to 19h . More info here: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/servtc5/ventana/mostrarFicha.do;jsessionid=03ACA1726F0299348C402D12FF3709F2?idEquipamiento=19476

Tablas de Daimiel , Ciudad Real. Best to visit early in the morning or late afternoons. The tables or tablas are form by the overflowing of the rivers Guadiana and Ciguela.  You have three pedestrian routes to cover the whole park. The itineiraire of Isla del Pan is the most famous and takes 2 km with wooden passarelles. Here on the island or Isla del Pan you find the unique formation of forest of tarayes (tamarix). You can stop for lunch at  El Bodegon, calle Luchana 20, Daimiel; an old bodega of the 18C.  More info at the Centro de Visitantes de las Tablas de Daimiel, open everyday from 9h to 21h. More info here: http://www.lastablasdedaimiel.com/centros-de-visitantes_lavisita_34.html

Teide(Tenerife) ,my family from both side of grandparents are from here.  These have an incredible view with a geological monument , volcanic cones, and sides of mountain in lava creating a multitude of colors. Parque Nacional del Teide is the most visited in Spain , and it has four roads to reach it. To climb to the highest point Pico Teide (3718 meters) you need a permit beforehand. The famous and wonderful canyons of  Teide,its great plains where the eroded lava is held in high altitudes and sides that you can walk on them is wonderful. The peak or Pico del Teide you can see free with guides and prior reservation. Do not miss the lookout or Mirador de los Roques de Garcia.  You can have lunch at  Tasca Tierras del Sur, calle pedro gonzalez gomez 20 Granadilla de Abona. More info at the Centro de Visitantes de El Portillo, ctra TF 21 de la Orotava a Las Canadas, Portillo de la Villa. Open every day from 9h to 16h. More info here: http://www.webtenerife.com/que-visitar/parque-nacional-del-teide/centro+de+visitantes+el+portillo.htm

Picos de Europa (Asturias/Léon/Cantabria). The biggest chalk formation in Atlantic Europe with an enormouse unlevelling between valleys and peaks that surround it. You have free guided tours during the Summer.  One spectacular tour is to see the Vegarredonda and Ordiales that starts around the lake or Lagos de Covadonga  and travel on hills around the municipality of Cangas de Onis. El Refugio de Vegarredonda is the intermediary point in the walk tour just where the ascend to the lookout or mirador de ordiales begins (a national balcon of 1700 meters on top of a side canyon vertical of 1000 meters over the valley of  Angon where you see wonderful views over the municipalities of  Ponga, Caso, and  Sajambre, and peaks like the western massive of the Picos de Europa). You can have a very good lunch at the Rincon de Don Pelayo, Real Sitio de Covadonga, 25 Covadonga, Cangas de Onis . More info at the Centro de Visitantes ,Sotama, avda Luis Cuevas, 2ª Tama, Cillongo de Liebana.Cantabria. More info here: https://turismodecantabria.com/disfrutala/que-visitar/360-centro-de-visitantes-del-parque-nacional-de-picos-de-europa/buscador-aWRab25hPTEm

Couple of nice restaurants that open in August in Madrid are:

Lavinia, Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. It is a great liquor store as well with a huge selection on wines (Also at Pl Madeleine Paris). Great menu with chipirones a la andaluza con piparras fritas, steak tartare, ensaladilla rusa, mollejas con berenjenas etc; and over 4500 wine references alone! More info here: http://www.lavinia.es/es/paginas/restaurante-lavinia

El Perro y la Gallina, Calle Claudio Coello, 11, with an air of English club , own by the founder of the cracker company that shows in the decoration of the resto. It is dog friendly, and the menu includes ensaladilla con carpaccio de gambon, ceviche al pesto and tacos al pastor etc.  More info here: http://www.elperroylagalleta.com/

And now let me tell you a bit more of my background, DNA for real, my grandparents on mother and father’s side comes from Tenerife, and I grew up with the traditions. Now let me tell you a bit on Tenerife and its wines as well.

Tenerife has the best vineyard festivals, and way back was a great kingdom of pre Christian times that still you can find tells of it.  The name of Tenerife comes from a king Guanche (how locals derive from, and king =mencey) that share the island with nine sons giving to each a kingdom. From the beginning of the Castilian conquest (ended in 1496 attach to Spain) the town of  Icod de los Vinos  was an important center of cultivation.  The cith of Santa Cruz is in the kingdom of or menceyato of Anaga .  It will a good idea to walk the street or calle Imeldo Serís, very typical of the origins. Some of the monuments here are Parrish Church de la Concepción, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, dating from 1502,  the fountain or fuente de Isabel II,(queen) in the square or plaza de Isabel II, a monumental  neo classical work built in 1844;  Plaza de la Candelaria, an esplanade on cobble stones that was the entrance to the now gone castle or castillo de San Cristóbal , that has an obelisk in marbre carrara of 4 meters high sculpture in the 18C ; the  palace or  Palacio de los Carta, now a bank  built with quarry stone and one of the baroque jewels of the city  with neo classical elements. The baroque temple Church of  San Francisco dating from 1680; theater or  Teatro Guimerá dated 1850, it has decoration in golden panes and musical frescos inside and comedy masks.  The park or Parque Marítimo César Manrique,next to the castle or castillo de San Juan; the Parque de la Granja, or the  Parque de Don Quijote; the Parque García Sanabria  is a romantic park with valuable modern sculptures.

We move on to the city of  San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island, and capital of the menceyato Guanche of Anaga , and the island. It preserved the richness of its monuments ,with mansion of sunshine, convents and good nightlife. You can walk along the Plaza del Adelantado and its most interesting street the  Calle San Agustín. See the Church  de la Concepción (1496-1511), with a belltower of 1701.  In the nave you have mudéjar arts on teak wood . It is nearby the Chapel of  San Miguel dating from 1506 now converted to an exposition hall. In the convent or convento de los Agustinos ,there still a bell, a cloister of red stone from the 18C, an a beautifical balcon on the Canaries style.  The original convent or convento de Santa Clara dating from the 16C keeps a lookout tower on the mudéjar style. You can see a similar one in the convent cloister or convento de clausura de Santa Catalina de Siena. the notable mansion of  Nava dating from 1585 now of different styles. In the 18C it was home to many literary and utopian reformists of the times. Other nice mansions are those of  Casa del Corregidor, plateresque gate, and the Casa de los Capitanes,dating from the 16C.

We continue with the city of La Orotava a typical tenerifian town with influences of English, Andalucian , Normandian, and Castilians. You should not miss the botanical garden of the parque botánico ,la Hijuela created in the 18C. La Orotova is the home of the DO of the Valle de la Oratava wines done with grapes of malvasía, and solera bodegas (wines not known on the mainland not elsewhere) the best bodegas are those of Valleoro and Tajinaste. The mansions of  Casa Machado-Llerena and Casa de Torrehermosa, Casa de los Balcones , and the buildings of the street or calle Colegio. From the lookout or mirador de Humboldt you can see the best views of the town  , Puerto de la Cruz, and its extraordinary botanical garden or  Jardín Botánico.

And the trip goes on to La Guancha the best known bodega on the island from the DO designation  such as Bodega Viñátigo, good white wines even if  95% of it stays in the island. You can try the Viña La Guancha (wines of the brand  Viña Zanata) are good too.  The Bodegas gives freely wine to taste in the festival or feast of San Andrés,  November 29-30 2017 next.  It has a nice square or plaza de la Pila, from the 17C with a small botanical garden. Some more bodegas in Icod de los Vinos with good quality are those of  Francisco Javier Gómez Pimentel (Aceviño). Around Icod  you find the wonderful caves of  Cueva del Viento, the longest volcanic tube in the world with 14 kms of tunnels where live 55 animal species adapted to subterranean living; it has been discovered fossil of a giant lizard and remains of a huge pre historic rat.

And we arrive to my specific area of DNA ! the valley or valle de Güímar , where my grandparents comes from on all four sides !!! This is an area with huge arqueological interest like the necropolis of the kings or  menceyes Guanches with hundreds of mommies, and the pyramids of  Güímar (and yes you are not in Egypt!). You see the interesting volcanic formation of the Malpaís de Güímar. You should stop by the Church of San Pedro, that has many sculptures of local folklore.  The city Candelaria (my paternal grandparents were born here) was an important Guanche inhabited area and grew from the 1526  around the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands (first of Tenerife) , the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria. Here you can walk on the square or plaza de la Basílica, with bronze statues of our ancestors kings and the Casa Consistorial,with tenerifian architecture  The DO on these lands are from the grape white Listán especially.  The coop or  Cooperativa de Abona ,and in Güimar, the Bodegas of  Juan Tacoronte Cejas , and  Tomás Guzmán Mesa are very good indeed.

And two sites to know more about the wines of Tenerife are here:

http://www.enotenerife.com/es/vinos-de-tenerife/

http://www.webtenerife.com/tenerife/gastronomia/vinos/?tab=1

ENJOY THEM AND HASTA PRONTO!!!!

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July 31, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIII

ok so back into Spain, this is the countdown 10 more days and I am in my Spain. Now here in beautiful Morbihan, there is sun and hot weather finally feels hotter but only 21C or about 69F. Down in Madrid it is gorgeous sunny and 89F!!!

Ok so now let me tell you a bit of the latest from the South….that is Spain here.

There is a lot history between the two countries not always nice, but this one it is. Between Irùn Spain and Hendaye France there is a river Bidasoa and in the middle there is an island Isla de los Faisanes in Spanish or L’île des Faisans in French (eng. Pheasants).  It only has 5000 square meters or 53 800 square feet of which 6 months each belongs to Spain and France! It is guarded each time by the commandant marine of San Sebastian (Donostia) and Bayonne.  The island is 215 meters long by 38 meters wide in an oval form filled with black poplar trees , low grass and stone megalith that reminds us of a moment in history when on November 7 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrénées was signed here putting an end to the 30 years war.  In one of the clauses of this treaty, the infant Maria Teresa of Austria daughter of king Felipe IV of Spain was to married king Louis XIV of France!

In the years to come many marriages and prisioners of both countries were exchange here mutually; some of which were there in 1659 were D’Artagnan captain of the musketeers, and the painter Diego Velazquez . The deal was that was a cessation to France that before they belong to Spain. However, 200 years later the Treaty of Bayonne of 1856 did finally divided the island by the two countries, when the erosion in the river caused the island to shrink to about 80 meters long and 5 meters wide. The two countries combined for the necessary work to make it splendid again to the size we see today. The gardening and cleaning of it is share as well between the city mayor’s office of Irùn and Hendaye. The only things does not exist in the island is pheasants as Victor Hugo wrote in 1843! More info in English here: http://www.bidasoaturismo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&Itemid=290&lang=en&ch=1

Continuing with the French Spanish connection, actress Jeanne Moreau is dead at 89 yrs old. Consider the grand dame of French cinema.  She was borne January 23rd 1928 of French father and English mother .She played under the best of France/Europe such as François Truffaut, Louis Malle or André Téchiné.  Orson Welles called her the best actress in the world!  and the first women part of the academy of fine arts in the history of France, pole bearer of the New wave and muse of directors such as  Elia Kazan and Luis Buñuel,of which she worked in  ‘Diario de una camarera’. In  2001 she was the first women member of the Academy of fine arts of Paris and the only actress presiding the Cannes film festival in two occasions. She played in movies such as  ‘Jules et Jim’ (1962) ,’La mariée était en noir’ (‘La novia vestía de negro’) (1967), of Truffaut, ‘La notte’ (‘La noche’) (1962), of Antonioni,or “Moderato Cantabile” (1960), of Peter Brook, that gave her the best female performer of Cannes. A great one passed away RIP.

The fields of lavander are gorgeous by Brihuega and Villaciosa de Tajuña . In summer , in the La Alcarria they are 10% of world production or about 1000 hectares, and the fields of these towns are full of them in July especially. 2000 kg of the plant each harvest ,and broken down into 250 hectáres for perfums, cosmetic, medicine, and restoration as well as about 750 hectares for decoration and perfums.  And you see the Festival of lavender of Brihuega again in July 2018: http://festivaldelalavanda.com/

More of the lavender in Spanish with guided tours here: http://www.disfrutadelaalcarria.com/ruta-de-la-lavanda/

And this is summer festival abounds in my Madrid, and I look forward to them.

We have three main feasts or festivals such as those of  San Cayetano, San Lorenzo , and the Virgen de la Paloma, all of them in the districts of  Lavapiés and La Latina.  The first one are those of San Cayetano,next August 3rd,  but these can begin from today July 31st.

My favorite and the one I always went with my mother first, and now with my family is the Virgen de la Paloma in the Plaza de la Paja to Plaza de las Vistillas. There are from August 11 -15 in honor of the Virgin of the Pigeon or Virgen de la Paloma. Activities for the whole family.

This year the Asociacion de Empresarios de la Hosteleria de la Paloma (assoc of merchants of the hostelry of the Paloma) will begin even from August 4 to August 15 in the Ruta de la Tapa Slowfood (tapa route of slow food). Participating restos will be  ‘La burbuja que ríe’, ‘Casa Mateos’, ‘Los Ángeles’, ‘NdelT’, ‘Viuda de Vacas’, ‘Concepto Bistró’, ‘Bar Coto’, ‘Casa Antonio’, ‘Bar La Sixta’, ‘Bar Marathon’, ‘Mesón La Paloma’, ‘Mutxomas que pintxos’, ‘Tapioca Chill’, ‘Bar Txirimiri’, ‘Zaida 26’, ‘La petit Boheme’, ‘La Cervecería Lorena’ and ‘El Bombín de Sabina’. Everyday from 18h to 00H (midnight), you can take photographs with a local costume Chulapo/a if do not have the costume on. It will be done in the bar El Atril (gay bar) , calle de la Paloma,9. Also, the August 11-12 until OOH midnight there will be the the cry of the Virgin , sang by Pepa de Chamberî. Monday August 14 in Las Vistillas the show of La Verbena de la Paloma organized by the castizo association De Madrid al Cielo (the best show). Everyday there will be different musicals such as Catenca de Macao at 23h August 12th, Plaza de la Paja, and Mikel Erentxu at 22h45 August 15 in the Plaza de las Vistillas.  August 15 the festival will end with the traditional lowering of the portrait of the Virgin of La Paloma that will be at 14h15 by the firemen of the city hall of Madrid.  In the morning a floral offering of the Virgin from 10h in the front of the  school of La Salle-La Paloma, and after a solemn Mass at 13h in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma. In the afternoon at 20h a procession. More of it in Spanish from Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/fiestas-agosto-Madrid

El Capricho, is one of the prettiest park in Madrid but also one of the least known! It is done in the style romantic with a beautiful botanical , sculpture and artistic details . This green lung of Madrid hides one of the secrets of Madrid a bunker from the Spanish Civil War  unique in Europe in perfect state of preservation. It’s origins go back to the 18C when the aristocrat Doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel, duchess of Osuna, decided to create a place for leisure and relaxation with nature. The park El Capricho is located in the Alameda de Osuna, just outside city limits, by Barajas. The bunker has  2 000 square meters built 15 meters below ground during the Spanish Civil War as well as the palace, dance room, and the ermite or chapel. The duchess of  Osuna is credited with many feasts, events and talks that shows the literary wisdom of the times as well as the promotion of the arts with many donations and shows presenting even the one and only Francisco de Goya–. In 1834, at the death of the Duchess of Osuna the park began to decline each passing year worse until in 1974 the city purchase the land and started renovating it. The work finished in 1999 and since then it is open to the public.  More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

The wonderful Caixa Forum is exhibiting a great show coming from the British Museum that shows the beauty of the Helenic arts that the Beligian artists  Jan Fabre will be showing in the  Teatros del Canal.  Monte Olimpo, an spectacle of 24 hours where he will make the public relives what the Greek of yesteryear fell . The exposition entitled  Agón! La competición en la Antigua Grecia. The show opens with a beautiful statue of the goddess  Victoria Niké, and close out with fries fragment of the mausoleum or  Mausoleo de Halicarnaso,the giant tomb built by king  Mausolo de Caria in the year 350 BC. This monument was considered one of the 7 wonders of the old  world  and the first time the British Museum loans it out.  You see in this area room showing of sculptures from the funerary group such as a head of a lion, and two warriors, one Persian and the other Greek. Between the two rooms you will see many amphorae’s, vases, cones, and tablets that shows the daily life of the Greeks.  You will see the splendid corps of the statues with more than 2 meters high of a warrior and a discus thrower , this one a Roman version of 120-140 AC of a work credited to Naucides, known artists of bronze statues of the Olympic winners.  Lastly, do not forget the rooms dedicated to the wars loaded with military bronze with a Roman bust copy of Euripides, the drama writer from Athens that today we continue to show works such as Medea or the Las Troyanas,(Trojans). Show that even today we are not that different from those competitive and party Greeks of the past. Expo open until October 15 and admission is  4€. More here:  https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on/agon-competition-in-ancient-greece-caixaforum-Madrid

And to finish the post , some news on getting continents together. The company Hélity Copter Airlines will begin regular lines by helicopter. What was now a long tiring trip from Spain to Ceuta and other destinations in Africa ,now will be done in 10 minutes (trip Ceuta to Algeciras) to 25 minutes (trip from Malaga airport) . The flights will be done in a AW-139 chopper with 15 passenger and two crewmembers. The prices will be from 35€ to 150€ and the company ,also,offers sightseeing trips and private charters for business and individuals. More in Spanish  here:  https://helity.es/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 26, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVII

Talking about my trip to Spain next month, well it’s the best time and hard to wait! temps here are cloudy,rainy, and cool 19C about 64F….

So now it’s time to speak about Spain .

The museum of El Prado is getting ready for it’s 200 years anniversary (1819-2019). There are many offers on the table to coincide with November 19 2018 that will have the pinotheque opens with programs like “De gira por España” or the  “El Prado Itinerante“. The museum will lent important works by a period of one month to several renown institutions; one for each autonomous region of Spain ,including Ceuta and Melilla, except  Madrid, in the program  “De gira por España”. The “El Prado Itinerante”, will have the exposition of  “Las Meninas”, that will be installed in a vehicle to do a tour of Spain as an homage to the Museum of the People and the republican pedagogics with the opening shortly of the Jonic Gallery or  Galería Jónica with classic sculptures.  In addition, nine new rooms of the Flemish and Dutch sculpture of the 17C in the second floor north of the museum ,therefore making the entire building of  Villanueva dedicated to expositions.  All is preview for the opening of the bicentenary on November 19 2018.  “Circa 1819” will the start of the event with 75 paintings done before or after the foundation of the Museum of El Prado with painters such as  Goya, Géricault, Turner, Friederich ,and Delacroix, that will be on from November 2018 to March 2019. Also, in 2019  there will be other expositions such as on  Velázquez, Rembrandt , and the Golden centuries of Spanish and Dutch paintings  in collaboration with the museum  or Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam; also, Goya Dibujos, Fra Angelico and the origins of the Florentine renaissance , Sofonisba Anguisola-Lavinia Fontana, two models of women artists and El triunfo de la muerte de Pieter Brueghel el Viejo. Exciting, you read it here first ::)

Much more sooner, this summer art in Spain.

The Festival Internacional de Teatro Clàsico de Mérida. 6 new shows with 7 montages and a historical moment for the 63rd edition of this festival that will look at the origins of our society; from the Democracy, Politics etc. Going on until August 27th. More here: http://www.festivaldemerida.es/

The Festival Internacional de Teatro Clàsico de Almagro, under the theme “Respira Festival” in its 40th edition. About 50 companies from 13 countries and 102 representations of which 25 will be first time showing.  The premier of  ‘La dama duende’, of Calderón de la Barca with the  Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico to open the festival. In it you will see shows on Shaskespeare, Quevedo, Cervantes, Lope de Vega or Molière etc. You will see Cervantes in  ‘Las verdaderas aventuras de Don Quijote de la Mancha’ and ‘El rufián dichoso’,from the Fundación Siglo de Oro. Also, for the first time, the complete  ‘El divino Narciso’,  of  Juana Inés de la Cruz; and the musical comedy  ‘La Calderona, The Remix’ on hip hop beat with DJ included!;  ‘Eco y Narciso’, one of the work less seen of Calderon.  To finish the “ Sueños” and “La Ternura” by the Teatro de la Ciudad ; ‘Cyrano de Bergerac‘; ‘La vida es sueño‘ from the Teatro del Temple or the classic  El Brujo. And more, to celebrate the anniversary of scene classics or ‘Clásicos en escena’ in the Plaza Mayor to more than 40 artists that had played in this golden age classics. All until July 30th,wonderful to see!!!  more here: http://festivaldealmagro.com/es/home/index.php

The Festival de Teatro Clàsico de Olite. In its 18th edition with new director. Starts at the Palacio Real or Royal Palace with “Cuando el amor habla, el corazón canta’, (when love talks, the heart sings), a spectacle with wordings from Tirso de Molina, Calderon de la Barca or Francisco Quevedo  ; a fusion of poetry ,and baroque music; until August 5th: more here in Spanish : http://www.olite.com.es/NOTICIAS/2016/TCLASICO/teatro_00.php

And my favorite; “Me vuelves Lorca” (give me back Lorca), in its 3rd edition in the Granadine Alpujarras inspired all by Federico García Lorca, and host by the village of  Laroles. You have music by Jorge Pardo and Juan Perro  with scenic propositions of the women of  El Vacie, and their ‘Fuenteovejuna‘  and with an impressive monologue of “El minuto del payaso’ by Luis Bermejo.  To complete the programming the dance of Belen Maya and Israel Galván  with the improvision of the Jamming Compañía with  ‘Jamming On Tour’. From July 28 to August 12; more info here: http://web2.mevuelveslorca.com/

New tools on the digital world; You know today there are 167 000 km of roads in Spain of which only a bit more than 10% or about 17000 km are motorways/expressways multi lanes. However, this 10% is 94,3% of all the traffic (source Ministerio de Fomento 2015).  Now you have many routes you can track down and do such as the town of Basi in Sant Martin del Castañar (Salamanca); Madrigal de las Altas Torres (Avila) or the Cathedral without name in Villacastin (Segovia).  You can participate in this new tool in instagram at  #LaGuiaInolvidable publish your new found places with a photo and location or send it to laguiainolvidable@renault-info.es . You can request the guide free on the webpage  http://www.laguiainolvidable.es

The river Arlanzón had made possible the city of Burgos, like many other cities that has a river going thru its center. And the artery that connects all the monuments of the city. From one end to the other, we have the Cartuja de Miraflores (monastery and hunting ground of king Enrique III);on the other side the monastery or Monasterio de las Huelgas, 12C. In between you have the park or parque de la Isla, the Paseo de los Cubos ,and Paseo del Espolón, the gothic Cathedral, and the post office building or  Correos y Telégrafos, the museum or Museo de la Evolución Humana, the statue in bronze of El Cid,and the convent of San José. And of course, the Castle or Castillo, that keeps an eye on the city from the hill or cerro de San Miguel.  Over the river you have the bridge or puente de Malatos, and puente de Santa María (best way to enter the city is under the gate of the same name) , and the Puente de San Pablo. One of the loveliest city of Spain, historical strong Burgos.  The tourist office here: http://www.turismoburgos.org/en

And as we reach the summer especially in Spain, what about those pools!!! or piscinas,  they are great for locals and visitors are welcome to stop by, it will be a great experience. Some of the best ones for me are:

The pool of Gymage located at calle de la Lune, 2  is open from 11h to 18h. You can have a drink later on , it has a white décor and plants all over . Admission is 12€ from Mondays to Fridays, Saturday and Sundays is 19€. More info here: http://www.gymage.es/

Then, you have something more youthful at the UCM pool, all kinds of interaction here with many young people from the University. Folks are towel to towel cramp here but a lot of fun If young at heart. It is located at avenida Obispo Trejo, s/n ;Tel +34 91 3941174.  Until September 6th open from 11h to 20H, daily admission is 4€ or 10 visits for 25€, 15 visits for 40€ ; weekends holidays it is 6€. More from Madrid tourist office here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/sports/piscina-de-la-universidad-complutense-de-Madrid

You, also, can visit the municipal pools managed by the Comunidad de Madrid. These are the Canal de Isabel II (Avenida de Filipinas, 54), San Vicente de Paúl (Calle Pelícano, 4) , and Parque Deportivo de Puerta de Hierro (Carretera de La Coruña, km 7), open from 11h to 20h open until September 10th and admission of 5,50€. You can purchase 10 visits for 50€ with discount for kids, mobility impaired,  and families . Opening from 11h to 21h such as the  Estación de Hortaleza, 11-13. Tel. +34 913 821 965. admission 4,50€  from Mondays to Fridays no holidays

Best of the them my opinion here: http://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Cultura-ocio-y-deporte/Deportes/Direcciones-y-telefonos/Instalacion-Deportiva-Canal-de-Isabel-II?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=a8b5 b0c40971c010VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=9b08151c238fe410VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD

In a hotel, a nice one is hotel Emperador, in the Gran Via, you can purchase an entry even if not staying in the hotel, if space permitting. Open from Mondays to Thursdays for 48€ , Fridays and weekends/Holidays for 63€. Menu and admission to pool from 14h30 Mondays to Thursdays for 68€ five passes  from Monday to Thursdays cost 215€ ; the terrace is open from 10h to 21h:more info here: http://blog.emperadorhotel.com/2016/05/03/roof-garden-2016-terraza-y-piscina-en-el-hotel-emperador/

Another nice municipal pool and one went for my boys is at Vicente del Bosque pool, in the district of Barrio del Pilar not far from Vaguada shopping center. Calle Monforte de Lemos, 13 tel +34  913 147 943. Admission is 4,50€  from Mondays to Fridays not Holidays.  More info here :https://www.esmadrid.com/deporte/centro-deportivo-municipal-vicente-del-bosque

And a nice gymnasium pool is at Virgin Active Capitan Haya, natural lighting and nice pool with controlled temperature. You can take Aquagym classes or aquchasatic training custom made for you.  It is located in the district of Tetuán,  Calle del Poeta Joan Maragall, 1 (Antigua Capitán Haya). Tel. +34  917 70 58 91. Hours Mondays to Fridays from 6h30 to 23h , Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays from 9h to 23h. The only catch you also need to be a member, but you get one day free to try it . More info here: https://www.virginactive.es/gimnasios/gimnasio-capitan-haya-madrid/instalaciones

Lastly , something useful for the seafood lover in me or you, and oysters. We have good ones in Spain too ! the oysters traditionally are consumed in the month with R or from September to April. However, modern days innovation make them available year around due to harvest oysters even if quality is inferior. I do not buy harvest oysters , period.

To open them you need some practice and precaution as well as using a proper knife , an oyster knife, wide and short with hand protection.  You need to introduce it between the shells , closer to the bottom end to cut the muscle.  You can buy them already open or do it yourself; we go to the coast here and get them closed but sometimes we had them open it if in a hurry. You need to feel the weight of them in your hand and they must be humid to the touch. They need to be really closed and when you knock them against each other  the sound should be dry and deaf ,no noise.

If you take time between the purchase and the consumption better to place them with the bottom side up and on the bottom section of our fridge covered with a wet towel and not to heavy so they won’t open up; the ideal temperature should be about 8C  or about 46F. When you open them you should smell them and throw out those smelling bad odor.

You can eat them as is with maybe a drop or two of lemon juice. Place them on a dish full of ice and on top the oyster facing up to do about a dozen at a time. There are many other ways to eat them , I just gave you the traditional way and the way we eat them. They are great as an entrée with Muscadet or Sancerre, Chablis types wines. Enjoy them !!!

Until next time in the Spainish waves. Enjoy your week, cheers.

 

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July 5, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVI

And here I am again back to my beloved Spain, and to tell you of the latest. The summer is already here and I can’t wait for August in Spain !!!

Some of the actions there are:

The wonderful water parks with the top in Tenerife ,the Siam Park chosen for the 4 year in a row as the best water park in the World by TripAdvisor surveys.  However, there are other nice waterparks in Spain such as Aqualandia in Benidorm 2nd place in Spain, Then, you have Water World in Lloret de Mar in 3rd place in Spain and named the best aquatic attraction in the Costa Brava; others were the Aquapark Flamingo in Alicante, port Aventura Caribe Aquatic Park in Salou ; Aquopolis Costa Dorada in La Pineda, Aqua Brava in Roses, Aquapark Ciudad Quesada in Alicante, Aqua Natura in Benidorm,and Parque Acuàtico  Aquarama in Benicassim.

See the new Centro Botin designed by Renzo Piano ,which,you can enjoy while the exposition on the artist Carsten Höller is on. This is a round bed for two persons that comes equipped with all the amenties of a luxury hotel. Elevator bed has its own rotating structure that can be raised 3,5 meters above floor. The design allows the guests to enjoy wonderful views of the exposition and the priviledge views of the bay of Santander thru impressive windows. To enjoy, you need to reserved thru the Hotel Real de Santander at a price of 250 to 350 euros per night and the room is available from June 30 to September 9th coinciding with the period of the exposition.  More here: http://www.centrobotin.org/en/exposicion/carsten-holler-y/

And as the Feast of San Férmin in Pamplona and the running of the bulls is approaching; a bit of history and information.  According to legend Fermin the son of Firmus ; a senator in the Roman city of Pompaelo or current Pamplona was converted to Catholicism by the pervert Honesto and made bishop with only 24 yrs old in the French city of Toulouse.  After ,he evangelise the Galia (France) and traveled a bit ,he ,also started to do miracles like curing lepers and paraplegic people, return the sight,and calm the epilectic suffering. After this incredible acts and to recuperate the cult of Jupiter and Mercure, the Roman governor Sebastian ordered Fermin to be jailed and finally decapitated with a sword.  This is why now to remember his martyrdom, the local folks of Pamplona weared a red hankerchief on their neck during the nine days that last the festivities including the Sanfermines. This later one that dates from the Middle Ages is celebrated on October 10th to remember the entrance of San Fermin in the Cathedral of Amiens (France).

This is now done in July 6 in the Plaza Consistorial that gives the beginning of 204 hours of uninterrupted festivities with music, folklore concerts etc.  The bulls running or  encierro is done every morning by running the bulls thru the streets to take them from the Corrales of Santo Domingo to the bullfight arena.  This year we will have the bulls of Cebaga (second farm with the most encierros and most horns wounds has left). After the running you go the religious celebration of the procession of San Fermin from 10h in the Church of  San Lorenzo.  There is solemn Mass to honor the Saint here presided by the bishop of  Pamplona .  Later by 18h30 every evening until the 14 July you have the Feria de Toros or the bullfights most prestigious of Spain with the principal matadors of the day with colorful local costumes dresses for men and women animated with singing and music.

More info here: http://www.sanfermin.com/en/

http://feriadeltoro.com/

And now how about try the local delicacies with the Salpicon de Madrid and where to eat it, well some of my favorites. Ahhh  oui the Salpicon is a dish of fish or seafood cut in pieces and spread with  a vinaigrette and you eat it cold….

El Pescador, Calle José Ortega y Gasset 75 , langoustines, mussels, onion oil vinager and lemon for aobut 24 euros. More here: http://www.marisqueriaelpescador.net/history/?lang=en

Casa Toribio, Calle Cardenal Belluga 14, lobster tails, hard boiled eggs cutup , virgin olive, vinager, and salt about 27,50€; more here: http://www.restaurantecasatoribio.com/

Viavélez, Avenida Del General Peron, 10, bogavantes, onions hard eggs , pepper morron red, 27,75€ or half ration 19€; more here: https://restauranteviavelez.com/

Bibo, Paseo de la Castellana 52, half a bogavante cook, special sauce DG, mimosa and avocado, 28€; more here: http://www.grupodanigarcia.com/restaurantes/bibo/bibo-madrid/restaurante/

How about trying some of those homemade artisanal beers of Spain, I will certainty try a few of them next August.

The first one is the Dougalls Happy Otter; Cantabrian brewery of 50 years harvesting the Malt Maris Otter, with orange color and citric aromas light body and 5,6% for about 2,50€; more info here:https://soloartesanas.es/dougall-s/cerveza-artesana-dougall-s-happy-otter.html

Domus Snowhite; from Toledo, cooperation of breweries Domus and Daniel Anagon or Sr Bu, wheat beer with orange, cilander, and manzanilla great for summer at 4,5% and about 2,20€; more here: http://www.cervezadomus.com/producto/pack-snowhite/

Edge Sangría Sour from Barcelona; rose color tropical fruits and woood without acidity ideal for desserts only available from May to Agusut ,6,3% for about 2,90€ ; more here: http://edgebrewing.com/beer/sangria/

CCVK VII Tits APA; the brewery from Vallecas (just out of Madrid) an American Pale Ale of long in the mouth and light body, very popular beer in the region; 5,5% and about 2,75€; more on it here: https://www.facebook.com/cervezasvalledelkahs/

La Virgen Trigo Limpio from Madrid; pure wheat in the German style with touches of fruit of banana with 4,9%; price is 14€ for a pack of 6. More here: http://www.cervezaslavirgen.com/cervezas/trigo-limpio/

Naparbier Light Cloud  from the Navarra region, light body, citric aromas low fermentation  and great for the summer with only 2,7% and about  2,90€ ; more here: http://www.labirratorium.com/es/tienda-/3628-naparbier-light-cloud-session-ipa-8437012444317.html

And now for some culture in the theaters; until July 9 the Clàsicos en Alcalà, with shows on Hamlet, of Boris Nikitin; La última noche de Don JuanPlease Continue, Hamlet.especially this one.texts from  Zorrilla, Espronceda or Tirso de Molina.  Also, the company Grumelot (Los brillantes empeños) showing its #Sobre Julieta y el rompedor . More here: http://www.clasicosenalcala.net/2017/home/

Festival Internacional de Mùsica y Danza de Granada, until August 13. Shows of  the  Ballet del Teatro Di San Carlo de Nápoles (Napoli), Ballet Nacional de Holanda(Netherland) , María Pagés, Ballet Nacional de España.(Spain).  At the La Alhambra on its 66th edition with a new production of Cenicienta (snowwhite) and along it the show of Roland Petit with Pink Floyd, HET (Ballet Nacional de Holanda(Netherland)), with classics like Don Quijote. From Spain, María Pagés, that will interpret Yo, Carmen, or with the Ballet Nacional de España (Spain).  The group of Antonio Najarro playing  Homenaje a Antonio Ruiz Soler (homage to )  as well as time for the classical music by the London Symphony Orchestra. More here: http://www.granadafestival.org/en/festival-internacional-de-musica-y-danza-de-granada/

Veranos de la Villa until September 3 and shows such as Acceso,of Pablo Larraín; Compañía Losdedae. The Great Tamer, of Dimitris Papainounnou…concerts with Christina Rosenvinge or Santiago Auserón,  as well shows showing in the  Naves del Matadero .  The current center  or Centro Internacional de Artes Vivas  will be the site of Dimitris Papaioannou, one of the most important coreagraphers of Europe and showing  The Great Tamer.  Also dance with the group of  Losdedae, Chevi Muraday,  and  Kamikaze, with its new work named Sumérgete. More here: https://www.veranosdelavilla.com/

Festival de Verano de San Lorenzo del Escorial from July 20 to Agust 5. Shows such as  the  Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Víctor Ullate Comunidad de Madrid.; all at the Teatro Auditorio de la Comunidad de Madrid en San Lorenzo del Escorial. Program of classical music and dance with such showing as  Free Bach 212, from La Fura del Baus ; a contemporary poetic flamenco and electronic music from Bach.  For the dance you can enjoy the antology of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, headed by Alicia Alonso showing such classics as GiselleLa bella durmienteEl cascanueces or Coppelia. And the Ballet Víctor Ullate Comunidad de Madrid  will show the upswing version of Carmen. More here: http://www.festclasica.com/en/festivals/festivales-de-san-lorenzo-de-el-escorial/

For the arts in museums , see Renaissance in Venice triumph of the beauty and destruction of the painting  or  El Renacimiento en Venecia. Triunfo de la Belleza y destrucción de la pintura.  Portraits by  Caravaggio, Tiziano,and Tintoretto. All in the Museo Thyssen Paseo del Prado,8: Until September 24th: more here: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/exposiciones/renaissance-venice-triumph-beauty-and-destruction-painting

Last but not least , a phenomenon that is happening in Spain. In part to places like Tinker an Android, iOs application created in 2012. The number of nightclubs has fallen by 5,4% from 2014 to 2017 to reach a new total of  17.591 establishments in January , data from Nielsen . As well the hotels federation or the  Federación Española de Hostelería (FEHR) has seen a drop of 1,5%  in lodgings available in 2016 vs the previous year. The effect  El Botellon (bring own bottle) and  ‘quedadas’ (stays) with friends at home are leaving the discotheques in a second rank. Also, each year we have less youngs and few new babies born so the tendancy will be hard to revert. The fertility rate in Spain is 1,3 children per women while the median in the UE is between 1,8 and 1,9!!!. Food for thought here.

And this is it for Spain for now, keep cool it is very hot 33C or 92F out there ;cheers

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June 28, 2017

A love affair with Madrid

Madrid is big on my map, once bitten it is very hard to forget. There is a saying in town, that said, From Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday! I am always looking at it from wherever I am.

I have written many posts on it here in my blog, just search Madrid and you know what I mean. However, today ,I will tell you about a book; yes a book about Madrid that made me think of how wonderful this city is and how lucky that I found it and also to read the book and exchange notes with the book writer.

The book is titled: A Load of Bull: An Englishman’s Adventures in Madrid; written by Tim Parfitt on Pan MacMillan Publishers London ISBN 978-1-4050-4619-0 year 2006.

It’s the real story of Tim Parfitt who in the 1980’s was given the task to start the publication of Vogue and later GQ Spain. He was working for Conde Nast in London and got a 6 weeks assignment in Madrid. This 6 weeks turn into 9 years and during this time he discovered the real Spain. “there wasn’t any other type of Spain, was there?” But there was, “there was Madrid”

He goes on to tell his story from his arrival in Madrid in January 31 1988 at the tender age of 27.His office was by the Plaza de España.

I am not going to tell you the whole book, if you like Spain and Madrid specially then it is a require reading.

He goes on to mention many of the places I went as a teen living in Madrid ,I arrived December 30 1971. Here is my first entry on Madrid about me there , a bit…. https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/28/my-life-in-madrid-spain/

Some of these places still memorable for me and always seems to stop by either going in or just passing by again for the memories, the first that comes to mind is the Gran Café de Gijon: http://www.cafegijon.com/

He went on to Riofrio under the Centro Colon ,now gone: https://www.yelp.es/biz/riofr%C3%ADo-madrid-2

He talks about his life there and the struggle with the Spanish language (poor guy not my case) ; the funny translation and the nuances of Spanish street naming.  Speaking of the Plaza de Cibeles and Paseo de Recoletos, the communication palace then now palace of Cibeles  passing under the Puerta de Alcalà where the Cafeteria Simpatia was now, also, closed….https://es.foursquare.com/v/cafeter%C3%ADa-simpat%C3%ADa/4c927523911b8cfac17eedb5

At the corner of Calle Serrano and Calle de Recoletos was the Vogue building at No 4 Izda (izquierda=left). And where the welcome to Madrid was “where 8pm means 10 pm”!

Where he tried his first dish of testicles or Criadillas! where he assembled his team of collaborators.  Vogue magazine was created in the USA in 1892, then UK in 1916, France, 1921, Australia 1959, Italy 1965, Brazil 1975 Germany 1979 and now Spain in 1988!!!

He learned that in Madrid the rush hours were 2PM and 4:30PM the times to go to lunch and come back, no one is in a hurry in the mornings nor to leave at night.

He speaks about my beloved Retiro park Parque del Buen Retiro especially on the side of plaza de la Independencia and go into the Palacio de Cristal. He learned to tapear or go out for tapas from 8pm and better to stand by the bar counter as locals do.

Going for more old authentic Madrid he headed to El Timon near the Centro Colon  business building. Now totally change new owners deco menu etc the location here: https://11870.com/pro/el-timon-madrid

The Plaza de España and it’s statue of Don Quijote with Sancho Panza and the donkey and wandered down Gran Via to Calle Preciados off Plaza Callao and down towards Plaza del Sol; glorious!!!

You cannot missed the Museo del Jamon now a chain of restaurants and the wonderful Plaza Mayor. Go onwards to the Plaza de Oriente and into the Palacio Real; get the cable car or téleferico and ride over to Casa de Campo . One day try the walk or jog from plaza Colon to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena….!!!  

Buying an old typewriter from a gone shop in Calle Hortaleza and try those different Spanish letter keys !!! How about the first date driving a taxi from Paseo Recoleto to the fountain of Neptune in the Plaza de Cànovas del Castillo ,then un to San Jeronimo and to Las Cortes or Spanish parliament out into Plaza Santa Ana to land in nearby Cerveceria Alemana ,who of course, this one is still there! http://www.cerveceriaalemana.com/main/

And the party continue to Los Gabrieles (now gone 2004) and then Viva Madrid (still open) on the Marcha or walk of Madrid following the Movida . more on them here: http://www.guiadelocio.com/madrid/tarde-y-noche/madrid/los-gabrieles

http://www.restaurantevivamadrid.com/fr/

How about going to Segovia and having lunch at Pedraza while looking up the Aqueduct in the Plaza de Azoguejo and leaving Segovia by the road to Soria and into Pedraza. See more in Spanish in the guias viajar here: http://guias-viajar.com/madrid/viajes-excursiones/segovia-pedraza/

Stop in Madrid at one of my all time favorites Cafe el Espejo en paseo Recoleto. More here! but just sit at the bar and enjoy the view in and out! https://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-el-espejo-madrid

Try the old yuppie place of Cafe Bar Castellana at paseo de la Castellana ,8. Well now there is Otto there but this was it: https://es.foursquare.com/v/bar-castellana-8/4b05c04af964a5206ce222e3

He found out the Spanish way that we call just about anybody a “friend” even if hardly met and of course we refer to an intime friend those higher up that makes us look good; actually as the book ” THIS IS A LOAD OF BULL”. And of course, the other is ” mi casa es tuya” my house is yours, but we rather meet in a bar lol!!! Or the Viaducto or viaduc meaning we take the bridge over off days to connect into several like a long week lol!! old practice not anymore as it is the siesta….

He found out the big party is May 15 San Isidro for a long party…and into the late nights in bars like Archy, Pachà , Cafe Central (Plaza del Angel) and El Sol or the Cock bar in Calle de la Reina or Museo Chicote in Gran Via to end at Almonte a Sevillian club in calle Juan Bravo. Or a fancy Botin in calle Cuchilleros.

Archy now closed: https://11870.com/pro/archy

Pachà is now Barcelo but this was pacha: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/pach%C3%A1-madrid-3

Cafe central still there: http://www.cafecentralmadrid.com/

El Sol still there: http://salaelsol.com/

Cock bar still there more subtle nowdays: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bar-cock-madrid-2

mythical museo chicote is still there: https://www.yelp.com/biz/museo-chicote-madrid-2

Almonte for a taste of flamenco is still there: http://www.almontesalarociera.com/

Botin a tradition still there: http://www.botin.es/en

Also, moving apartment to one by Calle Lope de Vega nearer the Prado Museum. A practice of hora intensiva or intensive hour ;this was done in summers so you worked only until about 3PM to avoid the heat without a lunch break;then do this after 3PM for lunch and then Siesta until the evenings. Finding out in summer of operacion salida or exit operation when folks leave Madrid to escape the heat; and they all leave at the same time lol!!! And by August 31st is operacion retorno, operation return and they all come back at the same time lol!!!

One more tried Taberna  La Bola  a classic in Madrid still going strong.  more here: http://labola.es/

See more of the nearby towns such as Aranjuez and Chinchon. Back to Madrid for something exotic El Cuchi Mexican restaurant near Plaza Mayor. Already gone thru two different restos in the address El Cuchi is gone. This was it: https://www.yelp.es/biz/el-cuchi-madrid

See and pay a visit to Las Ventas Monumental bullfight arena for a look of tradition. All official in Spanish here: http://www.las-ventas.com/ and of course do not forget to see the Museo Taurino behind it on the story of the bullfighter. more info here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/bullfighting-museum

You come to the Calle de las Huertas and stop by La Fidula for a fino sherry or go on to Casa Alberto for a glass of red with a pincho.  You continue the food frenzy in the Calle Marqués de Cubas at the Catalan resto Paradis. Go back to the Plaza Mayor and visit the Cava San Miguel  for a nice cold beer. You should not missed two great ones of Madrid , Casa Paco and Casa Lucio,and one of the classic upper upper Zalacaîn

La Fidula today is a concert hall: https://www.lafidula.es/

Casa Alberto; still there : http://www.casaalberto.es/

Paradis still there: http://www.restauranteparadismadrid.es/category/menus/

Cava San Miguel now la Taberna Chiquita; https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-taberna-chiquita-Madrid

Casa Paco : http://www.casapaco1933.es/

Casa Lucio :http://casalucio.es/en/

Zalacaîn: now closed for renovations: http://www.restaurantezalacain.com/

Getting back to the apartment at Lope de Vega, you can try La Dolores bar; https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-dolores-madrid ; and further you come to Villa Rosa tablao flamenco off the Plaza Santa Ana, now closed: http://www.tablaoflamencovillarosa.com/es/

Some fancy visits to the British Chamber of Commerce; club Puerta de Hierro, Club Equitacion de Somosaguas all special visits. Then go up to wonderful Navacerrada and eat at Casa Felipe Asador. Navacerrada was my first attempt of skiing at the tender age of 12, well did not work out ::) fell all over the place and decided it was not for me.  The resto here: http://www.restaurantefelipe.com/

And the activities at Navacerrada continues: http://www.puertonavacerrada.com/

Time to move again this time to Serrano, 145 corner of calle Guadalquivir;nicer area still today. Here it is nice to jog alone Paseo de la Habana and along Plaza Sagrados Corazones next to the Bernabeu Stadium at the corner of Castellana and Concha Espina.

You came to the old ,Club 31 in Calle Alcalà 31; and for ligher meals go to Delicatessen Mallorca. The first one change owner and location but still Club 31 here: http://www.restauranteclub31.com/quienes-somos

The second one http://www.pasteleria-mallorca.com/listado-de-tiendas

He continues writing about the new things found in Madrid and of course learning Spanish, this was already 1992 the year of the Barcelona Olympics. However, Madrid had totally seduced him. And he visit Carmona near Sevilla to be with a women he met Patrizia and visit her parents.

He found La Parra a Seville style restaurant in Monte Esquinza; more here: http://www.laparrarestaurante.com/ , visited the bullfight arena at Aranjuez and had a nice party in Palacio de Gaviria , which was and is a great place to be/ more here: http://eschermadrid.com/

The hit came later meeting Kirza half Dutch and half Danish but born in Malaga, hey welcome to Spain. She had two kids from previous marriage and was only 29. He move in with her and the kids on January 1993. New place Calle de Povedilla 13 parallel to Calle de Goya in Salamanca district. They tour together deeper into Spain, Sevilla and Ronda and going to parties together. Even to Barcelona where the stays were at the Hotel Arts in the Olympic Port. They were married in Holland and photos splashed all over the medias.

And they move out of central Madrid into a bigger home in Calle San Martin de Porres by the Puerta de Hierro. Location distrito here:http://www.madrid.es/

Kirza was pregnant and his best friend Luis was diagnose of leukemia eventually passed away at 58. And Tim became the managing director/General Manager of Conde Nast Spain.  The son finally arrive Toby in July 7 1994 at the Clinica Nuevo Parque. http://www.sanidadysalud.com/clinica-nuevo-parque-HO280611.html

And this needed another moved to Monte Alto in Humera just outside Madrid. and a moving in nanny and the black retriever dog Barnaby. And the new born child was baptized in the Church of Humera. Location of new house: https://www.pozuelodealarcon.org/tu-ayuntamiento/gabinete-de-prensa/reportajes-especiales/humera%3A-un-barrio-con-solera

And the journey is over. Tim said it, Madrid is one of the most perplexing, anarchic, and exuberant cities on earth:Madrid. He fell in love with the country, the city and its people and do we once bitten by the Madrid magic. Or From Madrid to heaven and hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

I happened to contact him and exchange emails with him as what struck more of the story which is awesome and the book is wonderful; was the fact that we both went on similar paths of places in Madrid and fell in love with the city me too young needed to move on with my mother or life would had be different for sure. Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 26, 2017

Again the Tour de France 104th edition

And we are just around the corner of the next tour de France bicycle race.  The next will be the 104th Edition, and will be running from Saturday July 1st to Sunday July 23rd in 21 stages over 3540 kms.

The previous one I have in my blog was in 2015 when it passed just next to my employer near Vannes in the Morbihan Breton; more of it here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/13/tour-de-france-in-the-morbihan-bretagne/

Some of the teams already announced for this year’s edition are: (country abbrev in French)

AG2R La Mondiale: Jan Bakelants (BEL), Romain Bardet (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ben Gastauer (LUX), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Pierre Latour (FRA), Oliver Naesen (BEL), Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

BMC Racing Team: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche(IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Bora – Hansgrohe :Maciej Bodnar (POL), Emanuel Buchmann (ALL), Marcus Burghardt (ALL), Rafal Majka (POL), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Pawel Poljanski (POL), Juraj Sagan(SVQ), Peter Sagan (SVQ), Rudi Selig (ALL).

Cofidis: Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), Dimitri Claeys (BEL), Christophe Laporte (FRA), Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Luis Angel Maté (ESP), Daniel Navarro (ESP), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Julien Simon (FRA), Geoffrey Soupe (FRA).

Dimension Data: Edvald Boassen Hagen (NOR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhart Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (AFS), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (AFS).

Direct Energie: Thomas Boudat (FRA), Lilian Calmejane (FRA), Sylvain Chavanel (FRA), Yohann Gène (FRA), Adrien Petit (FRA), Perrig Quéméneur (FRA), Romain Sicard (FRA), Angelo Tulik (FRA), Thomas Voeckler (FRA).

Katusha-Alpecin: Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Tiago Machado (POR), Tony Martin (GER), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER).

Orica-Scott: Michael Albasini (SUI), Esteban Chaves (COL), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Daryl Impey (AFS), Jens Keulekeire (BEL), Roman Kreuziger (RTC), Simon Yates (GBR).

Sky: Chris Froome (GBR), Sergio Henao (COL), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Christian Knees (ALL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mikel Landa (ESP), Mikel Nieve (ESP), Luke Rowe (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).

Team Sunweb: Nikias Arndt (ALL), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (HOL), Michael Matthews (AUS), Simon Geschke (ALL), Ramon Sinkeldam (HOL), Laurens Ten Dam (HOL), Albert Timmer (HOL), Mike Teunissen (HOL).

Trek-Segafredo; André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador(ESP), John Degenkolb (ALL), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (ESP), Koen de Kort (HOL), Bauke MOLLEMA (HOL) , Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

UAE – Team Emirates: Darwin Atapuma (COL), Matteo Bono (ITA), Kristijan Durasek (CRO), Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR), Marco Marcato (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Louis Meintjes (AFS), Ben Swift (GBR), Diego Ulissi (ITA).

Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Frederik Backaert (BEL), Thomas Degand (BEL), Guillaume Martin (FRA), Marco Minaard (NED),Yoann Offredo (FRA), Andrea Pasqualon (ITA), Dion Smith (NZL), Guillaume Van Keirlsbuck (BEL), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL).

The official site to watch it live is here in English: http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2017/us/

Notice this year the race will begin in Dusseldorf Germany !! hey a town I have visited!!! Here was my post on the city: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/26/a-new-city-on-my-map-dusseldorf-germany/

It will ,also, past by Belgium and Luxembourg!

Then stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges should be sublime, also, stage 10 Périgueux to Bergerac wow! Stages 11-12 around Pau! and Stage 16 Le Puy-en-Vélay to Romans-sur-Isére, and of course the finish in Paris.

Some schedules to watch on TV is here in English:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-live-tv-guide-233516

And here is a video in 3D of the route of the 104th edition of the Tour de France!!

 

See on the roads folks, enjoy it and happy end of june 2017. Cheers

June 23, 2017

Some news from Spain XLV

Here here this is Spain hot and beautiful. Temps are in heaven hot but so is the Spanish soul. this is the season and Summer is here, hear all about it, this is Spain. Some ramblings to tell you all.

Some of the best of the Valencia region: this is Alzira with its Arabic walls and part of the Route of Monasteries near the natural site  or Paraje Natural Municipal La Murta, previously known as the Valley or Valle de los Milagros.  This valley has medicinal properties due to its flora to make plant medicines. Now there is a walk path of about 9 kms that takes you to some of its better sites such as the monastery of  Santa María de la Murta, finished in 1401. More here: http://www.valenciaturisme.org/en/things-to-do/the-monastery-route/

You go to the fountain of the baths or Fuente de los Baños, in Montanejos, known since Arabic times. The Moorish king  Zeit-Abu-Zeit  was  aware of the medicinal properties of the waters of the river Mijares , and according to legend it ordered built the baths for the women in the harem to kept young and beautiful.  These properties of the waters keep a year round temperature of 25C and has been for centuries. Now it is part of health tourism. Up the waters at about 2,5 kms you arrive at the urban center and the dam of Arenoso, where you see one of the wonderful natural attraction of the region in the narrows or  Los Estrechos.  This is a canyon of about 25 meters wide and more than 100 meters high where you can practice the climbing and live water sports. More in Spanish here: http://www.visitmontanejos.com/fuente-de-banos/

Reaching Vilafamés, of Arabic origins where you still find some ruins such as the foundation of the castle on top of a hill where the town rises. Even if the early remains of the town goes back to Paleothic Superior, found in the cave or Cueva Matutano.  Also, in the cave cavity of  El Tossal de la Font you find remains of Homo Sapiens of  80.000 years old, while in the basement of the castle and the rocks or  Rocas de Mallasén you find remains of rustics paintings. More in Spanish here: http://vilafames.org/es/poble/patrimoni/

You continue on towards Villena old town is to go back to the Middle Ages. The Castle of Atalaya built by the Arabs in the 12C reign over the town. It is one of the oldest construction of its type in Spain with a tower of square ground and two bodies as well as Almohades tombs. More here http://www.turismovillena.com/?lang=en_EN

At the foot of a castle of the Arabic period that still conserve almost instact its towers and walls you come to Chulilla. A small town of middle ages and stone age time at the extreme of the river Turia with a deep ravine of 160 meters deep from which a castle rises overlooking the town with several hanging bridges. In the canyon of or barranco de Falfiguera, back in 1998  it was discovered rustic paintings of the Epipaleothic period  (3500-2000 AC.) with zoomorphic and antropomorfic drawings some of them not found in other parts of the Mediterránean.  In Chulilla, you can, also find remains of the Copper and Iron age belonging to the Iberian people. More in Spanish here :  http://www.chulilla.es/es/turismo/page/cultura-patrimonio

In the small coastal town of Canet d’en Berenguer just a few km from Valencia and next to Sagunto. You have some of the vestiges of the Roman period. In the 14C the town was known as Canet d’en Berenguer and went to the power of Francisco Berenguer, and his descendants from which the town takes its name. Here you find the beautiful beach of Raco de la Mar with a blue flag rating and a lighthouse of 30 meters high with a reach of 25 miles dating from 1904. The particularity of this lighthouse is that is located 300 meters inland surrounded by orange trees.  More here in Spanish: http://www.canetdenberenguer.es/turismo/playa

And the beach here ! https://www.playas-valencia.com/en/playas/raco-de-la-mar-beach-corner-of-sea/

Moving on the other side of Spain, to Galicia; we have in Ferrol of the finest and whitest beaches such as DoniñosEsmelleFragata , and San Jorge all rated blue flag safe and clean. From Ferrol you take the route in the direction of Cariño to reach Doniños.  Here you find all kinds of services such as small restos or chiringuitos, and bars, even Children playground, parkings, bus stop, showers, emergency post with 2 kms of fine sand , golden dunes and a great lake with great fauna. A paradise for surfers that for the second consecutive year host the national surfing championship or  Campeonato Nacional de Surf  from June 26 to July 2nd organized  by the Spanish surfing federation or Federación Española de Surf. More on the beach here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10112/doninos?langId=en_US

On the other hand the beach at Doñinos is a historic beach as this is the point the English navy pick to attack Ferrol in 1800 when it was made impossible to entered thru the harbor one of the best protected in the world with three castles and a huge underground chain amongst them.  The difficulty of the landing due to bad seas, the heavily guarded beach and the lake made it possible for the English defeat. You can reach it by Balon at 2 kms taken the route towards the beach of Doñinos.  It has two access one at  Outeiro, on the north with ample parking and the other at Punta Penencia,  to the south and less service.

Moving onwards to O-Vilar Cobas, this beach is in the form of a shell in a rural surrounding with some summer chalets.  To the right of the chalets there is a rocky entrance only on low tide to the beach of  Playa Os Botes (also known as beach playa Mourella). It is near the bus stop to Beceiro. More on the beaches in Spanish here: http://www.concellodevaldovino.com/?q=es/node/155

Between the beaches of  O Vilar and Esmelle, next to San Xurxo  that together form the natural bay of  San Xurxo, you find the beach of playa Fragata, known also by the name of  Porto Bello. A bit smaller than Esmelle. A bit more here in Spanish; http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10216/a-fragata?langId=es_ES

Continuing on our beach round of Galicia, and passing by the city center/downtown of Cobas in the direction of A Pedreira you reach to a magical spot where you have a chapel in the island or isla de Santa Comba (legend the image of the saint with her son arrive here by a stone boat and in its honor the romance chapel of Santa Comba was done in the 12C). Next to it you find the beach of the same name with white sands with some black gravel stone which is really magnetite a mineral derive from iron. The beach is isolated so need to reach it by car, worth the ride. From here along the littoral you have the protected areas  (EU) of the network Red Natura 2000. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10110/santa-comba?langId=en_US

We finished in the nearby town of  Valdoviño, on the beach or Playa de Pantín, to enjoy the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro along the world championship of surfing from August 28 to September 2nd next ; along its numerous surfing schools. A bit more here: http://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/10105/pantin?langId=en_US

We finished the beaches and go inland to historic and vibrant Pamplona.

The old town is party time especially along the streets of Estafeta, San Nicolás, Calderería ,and Navarrería.  However, there is another historic area where you have artists shops  and designers next to bars such as the streets of  Curia, Compañía, Merced ,and  Dormitalería with its own bohemian style on the shadow of the gothic Cathedral of Pamplona. The fluvial park of Arga next to the old ramparts with green spaces such as those of  Vuelta del Castillo,and  Taconera,surrounding the defensive walls in the time of king Felipe II.  These spaces are the scene for the Marathon of San Fermin and the running of the popular running of the ramparts or  Las Murallas . More on tourism in Pamplona here: http://www.turismodepamplona.es/verpagina.aspx?idpag=1&idioma=5

Closing out with the ongoing Madrid Orgullo or World Pride 2017 with the LGBTIQ Pride festival ; the hotels are booked, the restos packed and the party is just beginning; so you either have it or just come in for a walk: More in English here:http://www.worldpridemadrid2017.com/en/

Cheers and enjoy your weekend wherever you are in our world.

 

 

 

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June 16, 2017

Some news from Spain XLIIII

On a hot day here and announcing 32C for the weekend , of course nothing to compare to the 40C been register in Madrid, we are moving on Friday, TGIF is here and the weekend is looking good.

Now for some of the latest from my beloved Spain, España, Espagne, here are the favorites places in Madrid to have a vermus that wonderful summer drink drank by all as with friends and family. A tradition of Madrid:

El Anciano Rey de los Vinos Calle Bailén, 19 , Metro: Ópera , Tel +34 91 559 53 32; open from 9h to 24h , closed Tuesdays. The magnificent across from the Cathedral or Catedral de la Almudena, and nearby the Royal Palace or Palacio Real. Many stories here since 1909, one of them is that King Alfonso XIII  arrived here by a secret tunnel that connect it to the Royal Palace.  Here the vermù is serve by draft and with hose serve on a short legged cup and with a tapa.  If you want something more hearty go for the regalito de torito ( a brick paste filled with oxtails of the toro and piquillo pimentos), ohh yummy! More here : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/el-anciano-rey-de-los-vinos

La Ardosa ,Calle Colón, 13, Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 521 49 79 ; open from 8h to 02H. (Saturdays and Sundays from 11h) ,it never closes! It opened it’s doors in 1892 as a wine store. Finally, in the 1870’s that it was a tasca or tavern. Here we have the vermù in draft of Reus served in a narrow glass. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/bodega-la-ardosa

Bodegas Ricla , calle Cuchilleros, 6, Metro La Latina , tel +34 91 365 20 69; from 12h30 to 15h30 and 19h to 24h closed Sundays nights and Tuesdays.  A bit narrow spaces and closed to the Plaza Mayor has a beautiful bar counter in Tin and drafts handles of  yellow brass   ; it opened the doors in 1867 .  Here you can try the wonderful  callos a la madrileña,  boquerones en vinagre, and  bacalao en aceite con pimientos; check out what they are ::) More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bodegas-ricla-madrid

Camacho  Calle San Andrés, 4; Metro: Tribunal, Tel +34 91 531 35 98 ; open from 12h to 02H, closed Sundays.  The tavern is handle by three brothers who took over the business in 1980, when the family  Camacho  retired without descendants.  The vermú  draft as an iris served on a short glass and narrow with  cubes of ice, slice of orange, and straw.  You can have a media combinación this is with a gin and sprite type soda; to eat try the skew of tuna in tomato sauce. More here in the yelp recommended site on my blog:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-camacho-Madrid

Muñiz, Calle Calatrava, 3 , Metro  Puerta de Toledo; tel +34 91 365 66 47; open from 7h to 24h always open.  This is a good idea before going to the Rastro , the aperitif bar to be in. The vermù is from the barrel served in elongated glass, wider in the mouth. You munch away on small sardines or boquerones en vinagre,,,,croquettes and skews of  chitterslings. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mu%C3%B1iz-madrid-2

Stop Madrid Calle  Hortaleza, 11 , Metro Gran Vía; Tel +34 91 521 88 87 ; opened from 12h to 02h, always open. It has three locations in Madrid at  Atocha, Alberto Alcocer ,and León, but this one is the original ,opened from 1929.  It is loud and corner centro Madrid with a beautiful floor of mosaics ceramics and a bar counter is of marbre. The vermù from draft, reserve of the house and served on glass with short leg ice cubes and orange. Also, try the white drink in a bottle Nordesía. To munch try the hams, anchovies etc.. More here: http://www.stopmadrid.es/en/

Taberna de Antonio Sànchez , Mesón de Paredes, 13 ; Metro  Tirso de Molina ; Tel +34 91 539 78 26; open from 12h to 16h and 20h to 24h.  Closed Sunday nights.  It is named after the bullfighter that founded the tavern in 1830. It is decorated with heads of bulls and a wooden counter cover in zinc. At the extreme of the bar counter the brass drafts runs the vermù  a bit sweet taken with a tapa of anchovies  or sausages , croquette or oxtails bulls meats. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/taberna-de-antonio-sanchez

The mythical and come back favorite Café Comercial  ,Glorieta de Bilbao, 7; Metro  Bilbao ; tel +34  91 088 25 25 ; from 8h to 02h always open.  This was the oldest café in Madrid and last March reopened the doors with new ownership.  The mythical bar counter in marbre stays here to try the vermù in draft done in Reus with ice cubes in an old fashioned glass; you can take a bottle home for 18€.  To munch potatoes in garlic sauce, olives, mussels, croquettes of ham ,salads and iberian ham sandwiches..More here:http://cafecomercialmadrid.com/

La Carmencita, Calle Libertad ,16, Metro Chueca, Tel +34 91 531 09 11 ; open 9h to 01H always open. A bar opened in 1854 and renovated recently . The vermù has about 20 different offers like the Virgen de Loreto, Valdepablo, Arlini, Perucchi, Luna Reserva, Carpano, Punt e Mes, and  Casa Mariol.  There are four ways to serve it, artesano, traditional, Americano with Campari and soda , the manhattan sweet or dry with bourbon or negroni with campari and gin. More here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/restaurants/carmencita

Donde Sànchez Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside the Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro  Antón Martín ; tel +34 639 12 64 07 , open from 12h to 21h, Saturdays until 16H; Closed Saturday nights, Sundays and Mondays. The bar counter is a tasting place and offers a nice vermù served in martini glass with Burlador, Miró, San Bernabé, Amillo Reserva or  Petroni.  You can add a montadito sandwich of sardines in olive oil. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/donde-sanchez-cosas-ricas/

Latazo, Calle Santa Isabel, 5 (inside Mercado de Antón Martín) ; Metro Antón martin ; tel +34 655 12 73 00; open from 9h to 21h, Saturdays until 23h, closed Sundays. This is a modern one and not visited but heard by my family there that is a good one too. The vermù of the Casa Mariol, Lacuesta Reserva, Domingo or Espinaler  while you enjoy a chunk of  red tuna in olive oil , mussels in hot tomato sauce or razor shells au naturel. More here: http://www.mercadoantonmartin.com/latazo/

La Hora del Vermut Plaza San Miguel, s/n (inside Mercado de San Miguel) ; Metro Sol ; Tel +34  91 758 81 23 ; open from 10h to 24h, always open. Here you will find about 70 references of Vermus in draft, red, white, and rosé that rotates every week.  You can munch on the brochettes of cold cuts on the next side counter; you pay on the spot ; it has a branch at  Platea , Calle Goya, 5. More here: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/puestos/la-hora-del-vermut/

And out of food into theater work, the famous Carmen will be in the Teatros del Canal until June 25. A Spanish legend, created by the French with arrangement by a Russian, choreography by a Swedish that lives in Sevilla; this is Carmen : choreograph by  Johann Inger, music by  Marc Álvarez and arrangements of the Opera of Bizet of Rodion Shchedrin, produce for the version of Alberto Alonso of 1967, that started his wife Maya Plisetskaya.  More here: http://www.teatroscanal.com/espectaculo/carmen-compania-nacional-danza/

Music Festival of summer is here: See these!

Noches del Botànico, from June 22 to the 29Th, with Tony Bennett, Bryan Ferry,  Franco Battiato and Giorgio Moroder. Others are here too Rubén Blades, Ub40, Jamie Cullum, Pablo Milanés, Anastacia, Madeleine Peyroux, and José James etc. In the Real Jardin Botànico Alfonso XIII, admission 33-132€: more here: http://www.nochesdelbotanico.com/

Rock Fest Bcn, from June 30th to July 2nd, with artists such as Aerosmith, and Alice Cooper. Others here too Europe, Sepultura, Wasp, Saxon, Paradise Lost, Rosendo, Rage, Gotthard, Metalfall, Blue Öyster Cult, Airbourne, and Avantasia. At Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona (Can Zam) ;  daily admission from 110-130 euros. More here: http://rockfestbarcelona.com/

BBK in July 6-8 Bilbao, with artists such as  Depeche Mode, Phoenix, and The Killers. Others will be : Justice, Fleet Foxes, Die Antwoord, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Austra, Brian Wilson, Cage The Elephant, Primal Scream,  and Austra. At Kobetamendi, Bilbao  admission 55 euros. More here: http://bilbaobbklive.com/fr-fr/home-fr

Starlite from July 13 to August 26 , main features will be Elton John, Joaquín Sabina, Miguel Bosé, and  Eros Ramazzotti. Others will be Juan Magán, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Juan Luis Guerra, Manuel Carrasco, Pretenders, Luis Fonsi, Ben Harper, Malú, and The Cranberries. At  Marbella, Malaga, Auditorio la Cantera de Nagüeles; Admission from 25-1,155 euros. More here: https://starlitemarbella.koobin.com/?idioma=EN

One of my spots for this coming  summer will be at the Chateau or Castillo de Belmonte ; it is said that it took its name from the beauty of the countryside; for many years it was named Bellomonte,or beautiful forest. Here Don Juan Manuel, nephew of king Alfonso X El Sabio,ordered built in the 14C a palace and the first ramparts walls of the city.  It is right in the Route of Quijote and birthplace of the poet Fray Luis de León. At the extreme of the city you have the other important spot the Church collegiale of Colegiata de San Bartolomé  and the castle or Castillo de Belmonte. In between you have the nice architecture of the old town. Many movies were done here in the Castle such as El Cid, with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston in 1961. More on the castle here: http://castillodebelmonte.com/en/

The Colegiata de San Bartolomé, was built in the mid 15C on the site of a Visigoth parrish of the 5C in the style mostly gothic. It has two gates or puertas ;one of the Sun or Sol  oriented towards the midday and flanks by gothic peaks and that of the Pardon or Perdones to the orient and has a figure of the Saint or San Bartolomé.  Inside you will find the pulpits of Coro, that belongs to the Cathedral at Cuenca, the chapel of the assomption, chapel of St Peter, St Paul and the Main Altar chapel ; that of St James, and St John the Baptist (that preserves the baptismal stone of Fray Luis de León).  There are concerts of sacred arts held here with an organ from the 18C.  Inside you have also the tombs of the family of the Marquis or Marqués de Villena. Admission is 2€ . More in Spanish here: http://www.descubrecuenca.com/es/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-mancha/colegiata-de-san-bartolome-belmonte-69#ficha

From the Church in about 500 meters you will find the windmill or Molino de El Puntal, an impressive example that preserves all its machinery and open to the public with exhibitions of its work, and tiles . For visits call here Tel +34 635 41 10 43. From the windmill you can see wonderful views of Belmonte.

Aspalgatas shoes in Madrid, tradition obliges to go to my family all time favorite at Casa Hernanz, Calle Toledo, 18 ; Metro La Latina; Tel +34  91 366 54 50. The family here has been producing alpargatas for over 150 years! a Madrid tradition a must to visit even if not buying. You can choose from 50+ different colors done with cotton, linen, natural skin or velour in all kinds of sizes up to 50 and different heights until 15 cms ;also , do laces for shoes. More here: http://www.alpargateriahernanz.com/

Another coming along just fine is Calzados Lobo, Calle Toledo  ,30 Metro La latina ;; Tel +34 91 366 40 17. It was founded in 1897. It has a nice façade in red and inside there is the 4th generation of family. All kinds from flat to pointed with laces or not, many colors and from 6€. it has stores in Tenerife and Valladolid as well. More here: https://www.calzadoslobo.com/

Something unique to finish this post on my beloved Spain.

The museum or Museo Arqueologico Nacional (MAN) has revealed its secrets finally! The museum preserves four momies, three Egiptians and one Guanche (Tenerife my people!!!). They have undergone a strict studious tomographic that has allow to discovered more of them.  The main discovery is that one of the momies that of Nespamedu was indeed a  priest of Imhotep and doctor of the pharaoh that ruled in Saqqara or Alexandria and had about 50 yrs old when he died. The real surprise was what It had in the wrapping, it was shown to have decorations like collars, bracelets, pulses, and up to 16 plaques of charms that have been identify as sets of plaques of four sons of Horus  one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities ; thise momie came to Madrid from the Cairo museum in 1925 donated and was initially identify as a women. It was ,also ,reveal two other momies were women. The first one arrived in 1887, and it was a young women between 20-35 yrs old of the intermediate third period between the 9C and 7C BC. The other momie a women too was given in the same year of a women around 40 yrs old of the ptolemic period  who had Arthrosis and a bad dental health as well as remains of the heart, as the old Egyptians conserve the heart inside the momies as for them it was the organ where the  mind and feelings lie.

The Guanche momie is one of the best preserve of the ones still existing from the period. It comes from a funeral cave in the canyon or  Barranco de Herques in  Tenerife. It arrived in Madrid in 1764 and the new analysis have reveal that the Guanches did not extract the organs n the process of embalment of the dead as the Egyptians did. The Guanche momie preserve all its organs as well as a perfect denture. See them here http://www.man.es/man/en/museo/el-man

You all have a great weekend and until next time by Paris1972-Versailles2003 ::)

 

 

 

 

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