Posts tagged ‘Madrid’

November 28, 2022

Wines news of Spain III

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

The Gourmet Wine Guide (GVG), one of the best and most complete winegrowers’ manuals in Spain, which has recently published its latest edition, the “37 Gourmet Wine Guide 2022”. Some of the best and known/tasted by me are the Dalmau 2017 (Marqués de Murrieta) DOCa Rioja, Pingus 2018 (Dominio de Pingus) DO Ribera del Duero, Tío Pepe Cuatro Palmas (Bodega González Byass Jerez) DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Vega Sicilia Único 2012 (Bodegas Vega Sicilia) DO Ribera del Duero The D.O Ribera del Duero has risen as the Best Red Crianza, specifically, the wine from the Tinto Pesquera winery.

In the last twelve interannual months to September 2022, (October 2021 to September 2022), the latest update available by the OEMV, Spanish wine has achieved a new record figure in wine exports, close to 3,000 million euros in turnover. In addition, this achievement is even greater if we take into account that it has been achieved by reducing the volume exported, that is, by charging more for its wine, as the French and Italians do. However, the average price stands at 1.40 euros per liter, a figure that is still far from 3 euros/liter for Italians and almost 8 euros/liter for French. Bottled wines represent 83% of the total turnover of Spanish wine exports, and bulk wines the remaining 17%, although more than half of the wine exported (55%) is in bulk.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has just published the 2021 Organic Production Statistics. In Spain there are around 4,000 wineries and wine bottling companies, of which 1,334 are related to organic production. MAPA offers the area of ​​organic vineyards by provinces and by autonomous communities. According to these data, Castilla-la Mancha is the community with the largest organic vineyard area in 2021, with 62,270 hectares (-0.7%). It is followed by Catalonia, with 27,161 ha (+14.3%), the Valencian Community, with 16,691 ha (+22%), and Murcia, which closed last year with 13,267 ha and an increase of 16.7%.

By country, according to OEMV data, there are 13 main markets that represent 72% of the value and 71% of the total volume of world wine imports made year-on-year to June 2022, with 7,677.6 million liters ( -1.9%) and €26,143.6 million (+12%). The most notable is that the USA surpasses Germany as the world’s leading wine importer in volume, thus becoming the world’s leading wine market, both in value and volume. Too bad the consumption per capita is still one of the lowest around 11 liters!France 46 Spain 24.fyi

Last May, the Airbnb platform presented a new way to search through its categories, including vineyards, where 120,000 accommodations are found worldwide and whose number of hosts increased by 60% in the first semester. of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year. By region, the ones with the highest revenues were the Balearic Islands (around 8 million euros), Catalonia (around 8 million euros), Andalusia (around 3 million euros), the Canary Islands (around 2 million euros) and Valencia (1 million euros). of euros). Followed by the Basque Country (about 520 thousand euros), Galicia (about 493 thousand euros), La Rioja (about 144 thousand euros), Castilla y León (about 72 thousand euros) and Navarra (about 43 thousand euros).

Bodegas Tío Pepe stands out for its wine tourism proposal One of the best wine tourism destinations in the world is closer than many think… In fact, it is not necessary to leave Spain, just travel to the province of Cádiz, specifically Jerez de la Frontera, to find one of the most unique wineries on the planet. This has been proclaimed in the list published by “The World’s Best Vineyards” which has climbed to sixth place from the ninth place it acquired in the previous edition for its authenticity, emotion, personalization and sustainability. When you walk through the winery, it is a unique opportunity to discover the world of Jerez, the culture, history, heritage, landscape and gastronomy of the territory. In addition, the firm belonging to González Byass, the family winery founded in Jerez in 1835 and dedicated to the production of wines and spirits, organizes numerous activities every year to publicize its great potential and create unforgettable memories such as the experiences “Veranea en la bodega” or “Tío Pepe Festival”, as well as its gastronomic proposal from the Pedro Nolasco Restaurant. And for all those who want to rest after visiting the winery or touring its patios and old trellised streets inside, they can do so at the Bodega Tío Pepe Hotel, the first Sherry Hotel in the world located inside the winery, which has 27 rooms and It is located a few meters from the Cathedral and the Alcázar de Jerez. With this great wine tourism offer, Tío Pepe becomes the second Spanish winery in the ranking and the only one in DO Jerez. Webpage: https://www.tiopepe.com/es-en/home

One of my all time favorites Bodegas ENATE is the best definition of what Somontano was and is today, a land of wines that perfectly define the environment where they are born. An environment that has allowed some of the best and renowned French varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Chardonnay to feel at home. ENATE is a winery and museum. It is both a wine bar and an exhibition hall and has defined its personality in the exquisiteness of both. Webpage: https://www.enate.es/en/

In Spain there are currently 96 different protected designations of origin (DOP). Among them, we find another higher classification level that differentiates us between Vinos de Pago (VP), Wines with Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa), Wines with Designation of Origin (DO) and Quality Wines with Geographical Indication (VC). There are 3 super zones such as Protected Denominations of Origin of supraautonomous scope: DOCa Rioja, DO Cava and DO Jumilla.

Then, there are: Protected Designations of Origin in Andalusia: DO Condado de Huelva, VC Granada,
DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry: VC Lebrija, DO Málaga, DO Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda, DO Montilla-Moriles and DO Sierras de Málaga

Protected Designations of Origin in Aragon: VP Aylés, DO Calatayud, DO Campo de Borja, DO Cariñena, and DO Somontano
Protected Designations of Origin in Asturias: DO Cangas
Protected Designations of Origin in the Canary Islands: DO Abona, DO El Hierro, DO Gran Canaria, VC Islas Canarias, DO La Gomera, DO La Palma, DO Lanzarote, DO Tacoronte-Acentejo, DO Valle de Güimar, DO Valle de la Orotava, and DO Ycoden-Daute-Isora

Protected Designations of Origin in Castilla-La Mancha: DO Almansa, VP Calzadilla, VP Campo de la Guardia, VP Casa del Blanco, VP Dehesa del Carrizal, VP Dominio de Valdepusa, VP El Vicario, VP Finca Élez, VP Guijoso and VP La jaraba
DO La Mancha; VP Los Cerrillos, DO Manchuela, DO Méntrida, DO Mondéjar, VP Pago Florentino, DO Ribera del Júcar and DO Uclés
DO Valdepeñas: VP Vallegarcía

Protected Designations of Origin in Castilla y León: DO Arlanza, DO Arribes, DO Bierzo, VC Cebreros, DO Cigales and DO León
DO Ribera del Duero: DO Rueda: VC Sierra de Salamanca, DO Tierra del Vino de Zamora, DO Toro, VC Valles de Benavente and VC Valtiendas

Protected Designations of Origin in Catalonia: DO Alella, DO Catalunya, DO Conca de Barberà, DO Costers del Segre, DO Empordà, DO Montsant. DO Penedes: DO Pla de Bages. DOCa Priorat: DO Tarragona and DO Terra Alta

Protected Denominations of Origin Extremadura: DO Ribera del Guadiana

Protected Designations of Origin in Galicia: DO Monterrei. DO Rias Baixas: DO Ribeira Sacra: DO Ribeiro: DO Valdeorras

Protected Designations of Origin in the Balearic Islands: DO Binissalem and DO Pla i Llevant

Protected Denominations of Origin in Madrid: DO Wines of Madrid

Protected Designations of Origin in Murcia: DO Bullas and DO Yecla

Protected Designations of Origin in Navarra: DO Navarra: VP Pago de Arínzano, VP Pago de Otazu and VP Prado de Irache

Protected Designations of Origin in the Basque Country: DO Chacolí de Álava – Arabako Txacolina, DO Chacolí de Bizkaia – Bizkaiko Txacolina and DO Chacolí de Getaria – Getariako Txacolina

Protected Designations of Origin in the Valencian Community: DO Alicante, VP El Terrerazo and VP Los Balagueses
DO Utiel-Requena: DO Valencia and VP Vera de Estenas

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

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

November 27, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXVII

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is on the half way point ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXVII is old Roman for 137, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Orfeo’: the dazzling adaptation of Monteverdi’s opera shocks the Teatro Real, see it to believe it. webpage: https://www.teatroreal.es/en/show/lorfeo-0

Visits to the Valle de los Caidos or Valley of the Fallen plummeted 60% after Franco’s exhumation, popular interest in what was renamed Valle de Cuelgamuros had been trading downward for some time. In 2018 and 2019, in the midst of the socialist government’s campaign to exhume the dictator, the figures shot up to unprecedented levels. In the two years, the barrier of 300,000 visitors per year was exceeded, a figure well above the average, the day Franco left the basilica, on October 22, 2019, more than 80 journalists were accredited. the projection is that visitors to the Cuelgamuros Valley will once again fall below 200,000. I guess Franco was it there ! Despite everything, it remains in third place among the most popular monuments in Spain managed by Heritage Foundation, behind the Royal Palace and the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Webpage: https://valledeloscaidos.es/


Metro of Madrid and Real Madrid will transform the Santiago Bernabéu station in 2023. The subway line 10 station, which will be more modern and accessible, will be themed and its new image will be related to the Madrid club and the history of the stadium. architectural finishes and infrastructures and the space will be equipped with technology, with new entrance turnstiles and state-of-the-art transport ticket vending machines. The works are also included in the 2021/28 Accessibility and Inclusion Plan and will allow the installation of new lifts and complementary measures to facilitate transport for all travelers. In total, 4 escalators and 12 elevators. The corridors will be removed and replaced by a large hall, in the style of other more modern Metro stations. Thus, an access with four stairs will be created that will lead from the north zone, which is the part facing the stadium, to this area. From this point you can go down eight escalators to the intermediate level walkway. And from another six to the station platforms, which will have greater capacity. The current access on the sidewalk of the pairs in front of the Santiago Bernabéu will disappear, since the future access will be even closer to the coliseum. This will be built with a temple. Real Madrid webpage: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2022/11/24/santiago-bernabeu-metro-station-collaboration-agreement


Spain has 7,661 kms of coastline distributed between the coast of the Peninsula and the archipelagos of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, as well as the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Surely, your first thought was to assume that it is the popular Kilometer 0 of Madrid, one of the most photographed and popular points for tourists. However, although many think that it is the center of the capital, the truth is that this point measures the distances of the six national highways. And it is not even the geographical center of the peninsula since it has been located about 10 km to the south, on Cerro de los Ángeles, in the municipality of Getafe. We will tell you that the inhabitants who have to travel the most kilometers to reach the sea are those of a small municipality in the province of Toledo, whose name is Nombela. The closest beach to this town is Malvarrosa, in the city of Valencia, and it is 441 kms away, that is, about 4 and a half hours away with a toll. In the case of making the journey without paying, this would last up to 5 hours. and it is located at the confluence of the provinces of Toledo, Madrid and Ávila, the three provinces whose capitals are the furthest from the sea in the entire national territory. Its origin dates back to the beginning of the 12C although it did not obtain the title of town until the second half of the 17C. Among its historical complex, it has several monuments of interest such as the Hermitage of Santo Cristo de la Nava or the Parish Church of the Assumption of Our Lady. Town of Nombela webpage: https://nombela.es/historia/

During the plenary meeting held yesterday, the Museo Reina Sofía Foundation approved the acquisition of 74 works by 25 artists and groups, which will become part of the Museo Reina Sofía Collection and are valued at more than two million and half a euro This year, Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch donated a work by Mira Schendel; Marga Sánchez has donated a seminal video by Bruce Nauman, while Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza has done the same with works by Naufus Ramírez Figueroa, Andreas Siekman, Wael Shawky and Teresa Solar; Silvia Gold and Hugo Sigman, with a collography by Belkis Ayón, and José Antonio Llorente with a work by Mercedes Azpilicueta For his part, Victor Levy has donated a painting by Jordan Kerwick; Gabriel Calparsoro, a performance by Jorge Luis Marrero; Julia Borja and Mario Cader-Frech, in unison, a portfolio of aquatints also by Naufus Martínez Figueroa; Juan Carlos Verme, a work by Amelia Toledo, while Diana López de Sifontes and Herman Sifontes have contributed 2 photographs and 3 photobooks by Fina Gómez. In turn, the Museo Reina Sofía Foundation (USA) received a donation of 7 works by Öyvind Fahlström. Donations from other individuals not members of the Foundation have also been accepted, such as a set of 5 drawings by Julie Mehretu and several works by Brazilian artists such as Lucas Arruda, Sonia Gomes, Antonio Obá or Rosana Paulino. Likewise, works donated by their own authors have been received, such as the artists Olga Dueñas, Cybèle Varela or the photographer Pedro Valtierra. For her part, the artist Eva Lootz has offered works as a donation and/or as a testamentary bequest. Three works by Mary Help of Christians have been approved for acquisition, two works by Rubem Valentim and Heitor dos Prazeres; 3 pieces from the same series by Guilherme Almeida, a set of 5 2019 flags of the Escola de Samba Estaçao Primeira de Mangueira, a woodcut by Mestre Noza, Inocêncio da Costa Nick, as well as a photobook and a set of photographs by Pedro de Moraes and Walter Firmo. To all this we must add 13 illustrations and 2 figurines by Manuela Ballester, a set of materials from the stridentista movement (publications, posters, magazines, proofs) by Ramón Alva de la Canal and other artists; two pieces from the late 50s by Max Aub and 4 arpilleras by various anonymous Chilean artists and the Vicaría de la Solidaridad Workshop. Eleven unique and vintage photographs by Leo Matiz, a film by Alejandra Riera and an acrylic by Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe have also been approved. Museum webpage: https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection

The Galeria Canalejas , where luxury, glamor and the best cuisine come together. It is the new golden mile of the city. Located a few meters from Puerta del Sol, delimited by Plaza de Canalejas, Carrera de San Jerónimo and the Madrid streets of Alcalá and Sevilla. inside it houses an exclusive selection of fashion boutiques, perfumery, luxury accessories and high jewelry from the most prestigious brands in the world, such as the emblematic Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Aquazzura, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Rolex, Omega, Zegna or Jimmy Choo, among others. In addition, it has the Beauty Gallery by Isolée space, designed for those who want to be up-to-date with the latest beauty trends. In its 4,000-square-meter Food hall, 13 Centro Canalejas Madrid restaurants meet, with which the heritage of the seven buildings on which it stands and which have witnessed the financial life of our country have been restored and recovered. The Banco Hispanoamericano (1902), Banco Español de Crédito (1920) and Banco Zaragozano (1940) were headquartered there.Webpage: https://www.galeriacanalejas.com/en/

The city of San Sebastián would not be the same without him. The emblematic María Cristina hotel turns 110 in a great moment. The Film Festival has turned it into the ‘home’ of the great actors, it offers an unbeatable breakfast and its Dry Bar is a must. Stately, elegant and an icon of San Sebastián, it was the undisputed protagonist of the belle époque since it opened its doors in 1912. One hundred and ten years later it continues to be a benchmark for luxury, home to the actors who parade for each edition of the Film Festival that is held in September in the city and an open history book that begins with the Queen Regent María Cristina, the first person to set foot in the hotel and for whom it bears her name. Located at the mouth of the Urumea River, between the beaches of La Concha and Zurriola, little by little it conquered the aristocracy of those years, who made the destination fashionable. Webpage: https://mariacristinahotelsansebastian.com-hotel.com/en/

New winds blow between the gorges of the Júcar and Huécar rivers. Cuenca has been elected Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2023. Between heaven and earth, between the avant-garde and the Middle Ages. Cuenca, which has always given travelers more than they receive, has been chosen this week as the next Gastronomic Capital of Spain. The La Tirolina Las Hoces is the dream come true of Cristian Fernández, who has been pursuing this project for four years with the desire for a record: the cable promises to be, in addition to the longest double urban zip line in Europe, a spectacular way to briefly contemplate Cuenca in full view as a bird. Cristian has done his numbers well: They are 445 meters long, 120 meters high, and 90 kilometers per hour, just below the height of the Heart of Jesus, at the top top of Cerro del Socorro… We are talking about gastronomic dinners in places like the Puente San Pablo bridge, outdoor meals between the gorges or at the top of the MUPA, the Paleontological Museum, with fantastic views of the city. Tastings have even been organized in the Cathedral, and all mixed with music and art festivals in the streets that anticipate what will happen in the city during 2023. Another novelty is the recovery of an icon such as the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses, which had been closed for nine years. It has become the new adventure of chef Jesús Segura, winner of a Michelin star in his last Trivio restaurant. The new neighbor of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (they are wall to wall) has created two restaurants in one. In Cuenca it is impossible not to be inspired by the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, created by Fernando Zóbel in the 1960s. These days it is semi-closed for some works that will last until the beginning of next year. Even more reason to visit the equally essential Espacio Torner and explore Cuenca’s renowned contemporary streak. This is the case of the old Gothic temple of the convent of San Pablo that houses the work of the artist Gustavo Torner from Cuenca. Not a museum to use but a space for reflection, where painting, sculpture and architecture dialogue and unite with each other. Where container and contents have the same importance. Art lovers will continue up to the Antonio Pérez Foundation in the former convent of the Discalced Carmelites, from the 17C. And those of the books, the other way around, will head towards the beautiful Plaza de la Merced. There stands the Science Museum, but also the Seminary Hostel, with modern rooms and jewels such as the chapel and a highly valuable library of 100,000 volumes. They are discovered on a walk through the Plaza Mayor where the Cathedral stands, which by the way, offers nocturnal visits to its most emblematic spaces. A few meters away, the Posada de San José, former palace of the family of Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, the disciple and son-in-law of Velázquez, offers accommodation and all the typical flavors (and with great views). Cuenca tourism webpage: https://visitacuenca.es/es

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We have reach the mid point of Fall season and the leaves change , the clouds darkern and the weather cooler, and will be colder early December ; just enough to be cozy and homey again.Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

November 17, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXVI

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is on the half way point ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXVI is old Roman for 136, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Archaeologists have found in the town located next to the Irulegi castle, in the Navarrese valley of Araguren, a bronze hand with a four-line text, from which one word has been identified, an exceptional find, since it was the oldest text in the Basque language. This four-line text, in which only one word could be translated, sorioneku, which would come to mean good luck, the experts explained during their presentation. The hand, dated to the first quarter of the 1st century BC, has a small hole to be hung on the entrance door of a house, as a protective ritual object of the home. The piece has been found within the framework of the excavations that are being carried out in the town of Irulegi (Valle de Aranguren), inhabited between the mid-Bronze Age (15th to 11th centuries BC) and the end of the Iron Age (1st century BC) and destroyed by an attack by Roman troops. The piece is a sheet of bronze, whose patina contains 53.19% tin, 40.87% copper and 2.16% lead, something that is common in ancient alloys. The object is cropped to represent the shape of a somewhat schematic, but life-size right hand ! Location webpage : https://www.aranguren.es/ruinas-de-un-castillo-medieval-laquidain/

The first churches arose with the Visigoths during the High Middle Ages (5C to 8C). They were small rural temples, destroyed or abandoned after the Arab arrival in 711. The Christians who remained in Muslim territory (Mozarabs) fled when king Alfonso III repopulated the north of the Duero in the 9C and the monks occupied the abandoned churches. remaining Visigothic churches were reformed. These are some of the oldest standing ones in Spain and my favorites ! San Juan de Baños, in Baños de Cerrato (7 km from Palencia) San Juan de Baños stands in what used to be Campos Góticos, today Tierra de Campos. It is considered the oldest standing church in Spain and in its vicinity there was a temple to Esculapio, Santa Comba, in Bande (province of Orense), Visigothic, from the second half of the 7C, and pre-Romanesque, from the 9C. With horseshoe arch and Roman capitals. Restored in 872, by order of king Alfonso III. Santa María, in Quintanilla de las Viñas (province of Burgos) Visigoth hermitage, from the end of the 7C isolated in the countryside in which Roman ashlars were used, Santa María, in Melque (province of Toledo) Visigoth ,and Mozarabic. Built between the 8C and 9C on a Roman temple. Isolated in the countryside with an apse in the shape of a horseshoe arch. It was, among other things, a haystack until the beginning of the 20C.

Located in thetown of Esgos, in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, is what is the oldest monastic complex in Galicia, San Pedro de Rocas temple carved into the rock, already closed to worship, is one of the main tourist attractions in the area. . According to the founding tombstone found in this place, this monastery was inherited in the 6C or about 573 by seven hermit monks who chose this setting to retire to an austere and prayerful life. The plaque is kept in the Orense Provincial Archaeological Museum. The monastery was abandoned at the beginning of the 8C due to continuous Arab incursions until in the time of king Alfonso III, at the end of the 9C or beginning of the 10C, the knight Gemodus found, during a hunting day, these chapels carved into the rock and he decided to stay to lead a life of prayer and penance. San Pedro de Rocas was highly favored by the monarch Alfonso III himself, who endowed this monastery with large donations that would be confirmed by Alfonso V and other monarchs such as Alfonso VII, Fernando IV and Enrique III. Since the 10C it was a monastery dependent on Celanova, although part of the 12C it was linked to that of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil. At the end of the 15C, the Benedictine reform led to the grouping of monasteries through which this temple would be incorporated as an administrative priory to San Salvador de Celanova. After the confiscation of Mendizábal in 1836 (state vs church), it became a parish that was finally closed at the beginning of the 20C due to numerous landslides and a fire Webpage :https://turismo.ribeirasacra.org/en/san-pedro-de-rocas

Let me showcase Córdoba, the Spanish city with the most World Heritage Sites,yet less known than the other big cities in Andalucia, Here you have the Fiesta de los Patios, the historic center, the Mosque-Cathedral and Medina Azahara make up the list of recognitions by Unesco,

The Mezquita or Mosque of Córdoba, declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, is the most important monument in the entire Islamic West. With more than 23,000 square meters inside, in this building you can see the complete evolution of the Umayyad style in Spain, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of Christian construction. In the first place, under Visigothic rule, the Basilica of San Vicente was built, on which the primitive mosque was later built. It was in the year 785 when the construction of the primitive Muslim oratory began by Abderramán I, which consisted of eleven longitudinal naves in a north-south direction. Between the years 833 and 848 the first extension was carried out in which Abderramán II added eight new naves to the south and expanded the ablutions patio. From the year 962 to 966, Alhakén II not only enlarged the prayer room, but also built the new maqsura and quibla, all under an aesthetic of great richness. The great Mosque consists of two different areas, the patio or sahn, the only intervention of Abd al-Rahman III, and the prayer room or haram. Cordoba tourism webpage : https://www.turismodecordoba.org/the-mosque-cathedral-of-cordoba-spain

You have on the bank of the river Guadalquivir opposite the Mosque to include the Roman Bridge and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra tower, by Calle San Fernando street, to the north to the limit of the commercial area and to the west to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the neighborhood of San Basilio. Thus, within these limits there are many monuments to visit. Therefore, the Torre de la Calahorra should not be missed, an enclave of control and defense since antiquity that currently houses the Living Museum of Al-Andalus, the Roman bridge, the columns of the temple of Claudio Marcelo (1st century) and the synagogue, unique in Andalusia and one of the best preserved from medieval times in all of Europe. In addition to all this, there is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a fortress and palace that encloses a large part of the architectural evolution of Córdoba with Roman, Visigothic and Arab remains. Of all the rooms, the Mosaic Hall stands out, in which Roman pieces of this type are exhibited from the subsoil of the slide. You also have to visit the Jewish quarter and stop at the Plaza de la Corredera and Calleja de las Flores a street, Cordoba tourism on its heritage : https://www.turismodecordoba.org/places-to-visit

Located 8 km from Córdoba, at the foot of the Sierra Morena, is Medina Azahara, the mysterious city that Abd-al Rahman III ordered to be built in the year 936 as a symbol of power of the Umayyad dynasty and for which he spared no expense. The royal Alcázar is located in the intermediate and upper areas, while the lower area was reserved for houses and the mosque, built outside the walls in just over a month. Among the different rooms, the Alto Room stands out, arranged in five naves with arcades, and the Rico Room, which is divided into three naves with red and bluish marble arches, the side ones being blind and the central one open. In addition, the High Garden, which is developed in four zones, the intersection point being occupied by a pavilion and four pools, and the great portico, which is reached by a complex of streets on a steep ramp and through which the great embassies that the caliph received were acceded, Museums of Andalucia webpage :https://www.museosdeandalucia.es/web/conjuntoarqueologicomadinatalzahra/propuestas-de-recorrido

The workers who work on the construction of the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona have begun to place the pieces that will culminate the towers of the evangelists Lucas and Marcos, which will each be 135 meters high. On December 16th,2022 the figures of the ox and the lion that will crown these two illuminated towers for the first time will already be visible. Specifically, the tower of Lucas ends with a sculpture of an ox, and the tower of Marcos with that of a lion, This coinciding with the departure of the traditional Christmas Concert from the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia , As part of the set of central towers, the four towers of the evangelists will surround the tower of Jesus Christ and will reach 135 meters in height once finished, thus They are the third highest towers in the temple, after that of Jesus, which will be the highest and will measure 172.5 meters. Official webpage : https://sagradafamilia.org/en/news

The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid is hosting Naturaleza encendida or Nature Ignited, a new light adventure that, in this case, will review the origin of living beings through mycology in a walk of approximately 1.5 km. The exhibition, which recreates a magical and dazzling landscape in which the visitor will be able to discover living organisms that until now have remained very hidden, reproduces the bioluminescence processes of some fungi and mushrooms, which are capable of lighting up, giving rise to scenes of great beauty. Until January 15 2023. The Royal Botanical Garden entrance at Plaza de Murillo, 2, webpage :https://planletsgo.com/naturaleza-encendida/

From November 18 to January 7,2023 an interactive space will be installed in the tent located in the Magical Christmas venue at the Torrejón de Ardoz Fairgrounds with a tour of a frozen world where several giant ice sculptures made by 11 teams from all over the world will be exhibited, who have previously participated in the first international level competition of this type held in Spain. International Ice Festival will be exhibited under a 2,000-square-meter tent at 6 degrees below zero. from November 18 to January 7.2023 Fairground of Torrejón de Ardoz. Webpage : https://magicasnavidades.ayto-torrejon.es/plano-oficial-magicas-navidades

Tenerife in the open sky: en route through the most amazing landscapes of the Teide island ! My ancestral home Tenerife anichech, call me Guanche ! The sensation is magical, like every stride you take in the Anaga Rural Park, where one fears getting lost in the thickness of the forest and becoming one of its unusual plant relics. roads that go into the mist. One of them follows a stretch of the old route that linked the city of La Laguna with the Anaga farmhouses. It is the Sendero de los Sentidos.( road of the senses), At the Pico del Inglés,(English peak) , the buses stop to see the entire massif up to the sea. In the background, the Taganana rock completes the postcard. This is Tenerife, which stretches from sea level to 3,715 meters at the top of Teide.(highest in Spain),You have to be on your guard. If the bus takes us to Tegueste, we immediately enter a land of vines and guachinches. These are the improvised establishments that, between November and January and while the wine they produce lasts, they serve their own and others a glass accompanied by a tapa. If Anaga is another world, Teide is another planet. The bus enters the valley of La Orotava. The plan is to enjoy the sunset at about 2,000 meters. For that you have to be in the right place at the perfect time. By 20h02 the sun sets ! Reaching the top requires seven hours on foot or a few minutes in the cable car that leaves the visitor 200 meters from the summit. An unforgettable experience is watching the sunrise from up there , Whether you go up by bus, 4×4, bike or whatever, the postcard changes exactly at 1,000 meters above sea level. Civilization disappears and we enter the zone of the protected space. From 1,000 to 2,000, the island appears upholstered by the Canarian pine. It is here that the sea of ​​clouds stagnates. From 2,000, welcome to Mars !! The festival of lava, volcanic ash, coladas and rocks begins. The textures and colors multiply. The first thing that falls silent is the gigantic caldera (crater 16 km in diameter) through which we are advancing and on which Mount Teide rests. The landscapes follow one another, each one more enigmatic: the San José Mines, where NASA tested one of its rovers. Los Roques García, where everyone wants the most emblematic photo of the park: the famous Roque Cinchado that appeared on the old 1,000 pesetas bills (old money of Spain) . The plain of Ucanca and the Narices del Teide (noses of the Teide) would be missing, as the two craters are called that are just below the Pico Viejo, (old peak) the second highest volcano in the Canary Islands. look for the Roque Caramujo viewpoint on the map. Once there, we will see Teide in front of us, and behind, the Izaña telescopes, the best solar observatory on the planet. The trip can continue to the Los Gigantes cliffs, a black wall that falls into the ocean from a height of up to 600 meters. Sublime amazing my dear Tenerife, By car or bus is great, we climb on foot when was 17 yrs old ,nowdays the cable car is a great alternative, The Tenerife tourist office on the Teide : https://www.webtenerife.com/que-visitar/parque-nacional-del-teide/

One of the most beautiful towns in the interior of Guipúzcoa is Tolosa,me think, Almost to the border with Navarra, on the banks of the Oria river, is located what was the capital of Guipúzcoa (from 1844 to 1854), hence its enormous historical heritage. It stands out mainly for its medieval core, made up of narrow streets and numerous squares. One of its greatest monuments is the Church of Santa María from the 17C, a temple of the so-called Basque Gothic, with three high-rise naves, ribbed vaults and a baroque façade of great beauty. The Church and Convent of Santa Clara, the Baroque City/town hall, the Idiakez, Atodo, Aramburu and Diputación palaces, the Provincial Archive, the Plaza Euskal Herria square and the colorful Tinglado Market are some of its most important enclaves.Euskadi Basque tourism on Tolosa : https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/towns/tolosa/aa30-12375/en/

One of the Autonomous Communities that has raised its culinary level the most in recent times is Castilla-La Mancha. The pioneer, fighting against all the elements, in not easy times, was Manolo de la Osa, precursor of what is now called ‘rural cuisine’ ‘. In that Las Rejas, in Las Pedroñeras, when the current Spanish cuisine was still taking its first steps, he surprised with dishes inspired by the recipes of his land, to which he contributed his peculiar touch of modernity and creativity. I can attest to the improvement in the cuisine and wines of this region over the many years of visiting while living in Spain as well, Some of my favorites are :

In Albacete :Maralba, in the town of Almansa. There, Fran Martínez is inspired by the traditional Manchego recipe book which he submits to an intelligent review, Also very important is the work of his wife, Cristina Díaz, in charge of the room and the winery, In the town of Casas Ibáñez, is Cañitas Maite, where two young chefs just 24 years old, Javier Sanz and Juan Sahuquillo, have revolutionized the Castilian-La Mancha cuisine. In the town of Villarrobledo, Teresa Gutiérrez is one of the very few women who excel in Castilian-La Mancha cuisine, Continue in Torre de Juan Abad, in the City of Ciudad Real, in a rural hotel frequented by hunters, is another of the community’s stars: Coto de Quevedo.,the stars of José Antonio Medina’s dishes. In Guadalajara, the best offer is concentrated in Sigüenza, with two Michelin stars: El Doncel, with Enrique Pérez, and El Molino de Alcuneza, with Samuel Moreno. Once in Toledo we pass through the town of Illescas, where the El Bohío de Pepe Rodríguez Rey is located. In the same town it has begun to sound with ancestral force. Víctor Infantes, who was head chef at Clos in Madrid when it obtained the Michelin star, revisits, like so many other of his regional colleagues, Mancha’s roots from a current perspective, without renouncing ‘ancestral’ techniques prepared in clay pots. In Talavera de la Reina, two opposite proposals: the good traditional cuisine of the Taberna Mingote, Antonio Mingote, which gives it its name, and the most current and provocative vision of Carlos Maldonado, winner of Master Chef, who holds a star. Our favorite in the Toledo province is in Ocaña: Palio, by the Gómez-Monedero brothers. Jesús trained as a cook mainly in El Bohío, and this is reflected in his cuisine, open to all influences but focused on the Castilian-La Mancha tradition, and especially on hunting, The town in the province of Cuenca you have two we love at Mesón Nelia, Carretera Cuenca- Tragacete, km. 21. in Villalba de la Sierra, and Seto, Carretera de Madrid, 54 in Motilla del Palancar. Here they are most in Michelin guide : https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/castilla-la-mancha/restaurants

One more year, Entre Panes arrives in Madrid to offer a different gastronomic experience thanks to Mahou.(the beer of Madrid ! ) Until November 31,2022, 50 restaurants from the Community of Madrid will participate in this event. Goiko on the Glorieta de Bilbao venue will offer La Pitufina, New York Burger with La Nolita or Bentley’s with the five-star Bentleys hamburger, Mahou entre panes webpage : https://www.mahoudrid.com/planes-y-guias/entre-panes/

Until March 12 2023 ,and thanks to Las Mejores Barras de España,(the best bars of Spain) leading restaurants in Spain will create some gastronomic experiences that have Mahou as the common thread. Las Mejores Barras de España is an initiative to enjoy in the Club Matador, the experience going to the other side of the bar and learning to shoot the perfect rod. Among the restaurants that will participate in this unique initiative are the Ganbara restaurant (November 28-December 2) in San Sebastián, the Taberna Mercedes de Soria (January 30-February 3), the Abastos 2.0 restaurant in Santiago de Compostela (February 13-17), Tapas 2.0 Gastrotasca (February 27-March 3) in Salamanca and the Granja Elena restaurant in Barcelona (March 10-12). The Club Matador webpage : https://clubmatador.com/

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We have reach the mid point of Fall season and the leaves change , the clouds darkern and the weather cooler just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

November 4, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXV

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is under way ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXV is old Roman for 135, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

The Sevillian set of Tomares, discovered six years ago, is made up of 53,000 coins and was buried in the 4C under the portico of the warehouse of a town, the largest Roman treasure found in Spain, On April 27, 2016, it had just been notified that , in some canal works, heavy machinery had accidentally come across 19 large ceramic containers inside which tens of thousands of Roman coins could be distinguished. The excavator shovel had broken 10 amphorae, while another 9 were saved from the impact and were still intact and sealed. Tourism in Tomares: https://www.turismosevilla.org/en/province-seville/our-towns/tomares

Miguel Hernández, in the footsteps of the poet shepherd in Orihuela, his house, his school, the place where he met with friends and the jail where he was imprisoned. The life and work of the writer from Alicante can be felt in every corner of this town, together with the Vega Baja del Segura that impregnated his verses with the countryside,the Calle de Arriba is home to the Miguel Hernández house-museum, where the peasant poet from the age of four until, in 1934, he went to Madrid for the second time. It was restored in 1985, recreating the life of the family: the dining room with its cupboard where there are always lemons and onions, the room of his parents and that of his sisters Elvira and Encarna, and the bedroom he shared with his brother Vicente presided over by a bed that belonged to the poet and several originals of the drawings with which he illustrated some of his verses. From the kitchen there is access to the patio with the shed for the goats that the adolescent Miguel herded when the family economy began to go bad and to the orchard where the fig tree that perfumed his verses opens its arms .In the Visitor Center first editions and manuscripts are exhibited , photographs with classmates from school and from the word such as Alberti, Lorca, Carmen Conde, Salinas, María Zambrano, Aleixandre or the Paneros, and you can also hear his trembling voice, reeling off the Song of the soldier husband in the only recording that is preserved one of those made by Alejo Carpentier (Cuba) in his studio in Paris. Orihuela on Miguel Hernàndez: https://www.orihuelaturistica.es/orihuela/Web_php/index.php?contenido=descripcion&id_boto=4053

Carlos Saura visits García Lorca, The 90-year-old Aragonese filmmaker will direct a show on the figure of the poet from Granada, who will be played by the singer India Martínez ‘Lorca de Saura’ will have its preview in Sevilla on January 21, 2023; its official premiere will be on January 26 in Malaga, and it will arrive in Madrid on February 15. It is a show that recreates the life of Federico García Lorca.(see post). The show will combine all the arts that he frequents: theater, audiovisual, music , flamenco, painting, photography. info webpage: https://cartujacenter.com/show/india-martinez-lorca-de-saura/

The route, from El Retiro Park to Vallecas, the aim is to launch a fresh look at the city and claim the value and potential of the act of walking in new off the beaten path areas of Madrid. The tour will start from Retiro Park to the horizon industrial area of ​​the Sierra de Guadalupe, where the most historic part of Madrid disappears and a vacant lot remains, an uninhabited area that crosses the M-40 road and the Puente de Vallecas bridge. Really good walk me think. Vallecas home of the now first division football/soccer club Rayo Vallecano! Leave you with the market that I recall visiting with my dear late mom Gladys when it opened in 1972! https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/villa-vallecas-market

One more year, the Evooleum Guide, from the Mercacei Editorial Group, presents the 100 best Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the world, and for the first time since the prestigious publication was launched seven years ago, the ranking is headed, ex aequo, by two oils : the Spanish Rincón de la Subbética Altitude and the Italian Monini Monocultivar Coratina Bio. The top 10 of the list is completed by three other Spaniards, of the 100 best oils on the planet, 63 belong to Spain ! Al Rincón de la Subbética Altitude, from Almazaras de la Subbética, from Córdoba, join the other top ten Spanish Parqueoliva Serie Oro, also from the Subbética cooperative, Puerta de las Villas Early Picual, from Jaén, and Fuente del Rey, from Córdoba (Spain). The guide webpage: https://www.evooleum.com/evooleum-top100/

A study carried out by photography experts from the British firm ParrotPrint has revealed which are the most popular enclaves on the planet that monopolize all the snapshots . Among the first ten of the list, headed by the Eiffel Tower, a Spanish monument has been cast: the Sagrada Family from Barcelona. For general info on ParrotPrint webpage: https://parrotprint.com/blog/category/news/

The Big Top of Cirque du Soleil returns to Madrid on Saturday, November 5 with Luzia, the new show in which light and rain will be the two main elements in this magical journey with visual surprises and the most incredible acrobatics. Until January 8, 2023, The Big Tent will be at Paseo de la Puerta del Ángel, s/n.in the Casa de Campo Fairgrounds. Circus webpage: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia#about-the-show

According to figures from Civitatis, the platform for guided tours, excursions and free tours in Spanish, these are the most visited towns in Spain so far this year. A good guide for your next trip to Spain, I have visited most.

Fornells (Menorca). This small coastal town is one of the most charming places on the entire island of Menorca.

Trigueros del Valle (Valladolid). Belonging to the region of Campiña del Pisuerga, this town has stepped on the heels of Fornells, remaining very close to being the most visited town so far in 2022.

Peñíscola (Castellón). Despite the fact that Peñíscola has played a very important role in history since the Phoenician era, its most illustrious character is from the medieval period: Pope Luna.

Trujillo (Cáceres). The birthplace of Francisco Pizarro (Peru) is also one of the most popular towns in recent years due to its beauty, its historical importance and its proximity to other tourist destinations such as Cáceres.

Albarracín (Teruel) For many one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, and this is demonstrated by the candidacy in process to make it a World Heritage Site for its beauty and uniqueness. Yes indeed!

San José (Almería).Made up of low, white houses, this town is characterized by its tranquility until summer arrives, when the population multiplies by four due to its landscape and the number of activities that can be done outdoors.

El Paso (La Palma) . Also known as ‘The city of almond trees’, is the largest town on the island of La Palma and perhaps the luckiest, as it houses one of the planet’s natural wonders: the Caldera de Taburiente National Park.

Guadalupe (Cáceres). Another town in Extremadura sneaks into the top of the most visited towns in Spain. Its natural environment (Guadalupe is just a stone’s throw from the spectacular Villuercas Ibores Jara Geopark), its traditional architecture and, above all, its monastery, have won over thousands of visitors in the last quarter.

Setenil de las Bodegas (Cádiz). Its historic center, declared a Historic Site, is embedded in the gorge formed by the Guadalporcún River.

Tabernas (Almería). Many visitors have found in Tabernas and its desert the ideal place to apply the rules of social distancing while enjoying an environment so impressive that for decades it captivated the world of cinema.

Árticus, a new Christmas amusement park will open in the Casa de Campo in Madrid, between December 16 and January 8, 2023, A new 100,000-square-meter Christmas-themed amusement park, with the name of Árticus. The Christmas fair, located about 300 meters from the Lago metro stop, will take advantage of the facilities of the Cristal pavilion, the Madrid Arena and the satellite pavilion to house traditional recreational facilities such as a roller coaster or a Ferris wheel, but will also include an ice rink, the musical show Peter Pan on ice will be held, with ice skaters of international prestige, and an exhibition of robotic dinosaurs with an archaeological excavations workshop. webpage: https://articus.es/como-llegar

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is under way with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

Tags: ,
October 25, 2022

Some news from Spain, CXXXIV

This is yours truly with another episode of  some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is under way ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXXXIV is old Roman for 134, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

There are few days left for Halloween, the most terrifying holiday of the year that has become one of the most anticipated celebrations. Anyone looking for a different experience can opt to visit these abandoned towns in Spain full of history and the occasional ghost,,,,

The legend of Rodén el Viejo (province of Zaragoza), This Aragonese town suffered the consequences of the Spanish Civil War with the dismantling of most of the houses. Currently known as Rodén el Viejo (old) to differentiate it from the new one, Before its abandonment it was made up of about 80 houses that formed a crescent on the side of a hill crowned by a church. Today, the entire structure of its streets is maintained and you can walk among the ruins,

The Celtiberian past in Turruncun (La Rioja), This village in ruins in which they say that some other ghost haunts was annexed to the Riojan town of Arnedo. It is a mining area, so, at the time, it was built for workers to live there. Thanks to its location, you can not only visit Turruncún, but also, a few km away, you will find the Museum and Interpretation Center of the Contrebia Leucade archaeological site, of Celtiberian origin,

The Pueblo or town Museum of Granadilla (Càceres), Considered a town-museum, it is part of the Program for the Reconstruction of Abandoned Towns. Its main street, now rehabilitated, is made up of colorful houses. Despite the renovation work, the town in the province of Cáceres, which is not lacking in legends linked to the afterlife, has a multitude of structures that are still in ruins, which speak of its past.

On April 8, 1973, the master of 20C art died, working, in his home in the town of Mougins,  département 06 of Alpes-Maritimes,in the region of PACA or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (France). Next year marks the 50th anniversary of this event, but the exhibitions that celebrate the so-called Picasso Year have already started. A year in which the artistic legacy of the author and the validity of his work are vindicated through 42 exhibitions and events in more than 38 institutions in Europe and the United States. 12 exhibitions in France, seven in the United States, two in Germany, another two in Switzerland and one in Monaco, Romania and Belgium respectively. In Spain, how could it be otherwise, the country that will host the largest number of exhibitions around his figure, no less than 16 exhibitions so varied in form and substance that they will allow art lovers to immerse themselves in the most avant-garde Picasso , in the most classic, in the potter, in the playboy, etc, I will tell you some of them below, enjoy them,

Pablo Picasso and the Dematerization of Sculpture, Fundación MAPFRE. From September 23, 2022 to January 8, 2023. At its headquarters on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid, you can already enjoy an exhibition in which the sculptor Picasso becomes the protagonist along with his friend and colleague Julio González. The joint work of both artists has been considered by art historiography as the moment in which the “invention” of iron sculpture occurs and, therefore, the introduction of abstraction in the sculptural territory.

Picasso and Chanel. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum , Madrid, From October 11, 2022 to January 15, 2023, the Thyssen pays its personal tribute to the figure of Picasso through his relationship with another illustrious character of the 20th century, Coco Chanel. The show explores the relationship between these two great geniuses, once again merging art and fashion in an exhibition montage divided into four large sections that address Picasso’s artistic production and his influence on fashion from 1910 to 1930.

White Picasso in the Blue Memory, Museum of Fine Arts of A Coruña From March 23, 2023 to June 23, 2023. one of the main scenes of Picasso’s childhood, will pay his personal tribute to the artist with this exhibition. Through a hundred pieces, the exhibition will discuss the painter’s relationship with A Coruña and the crucial role that the city played in his artistic development.

Picasso, masterpieces from the Nahmad Collection, Royal Academy of San Fernando.,Madrid, From March 29, 2023 to July 2, 2023 This exhibition will be a unique opportunity to contemplate almost 30 paintings by the artist, from some of his early blue period to later ones. Many of them have not been seen in Spain until now, since they belong to the private collection of the Syrian businessman David Nahmad.

Picasso, Body and Matter.Museo Picasso de Màlaga from May 8, 2023 to September 10, 2023.The sculptor Picasso will be the protagonist of this exhibition in which the infinite plurality of styles that he used to sculpturally represent the human figure. Pieces in wood, bronze, iron, cement, steel or plaster that reflect the mastery and genius of the artist also in sculpture.

The Last Picasso (1963-1972), La Casa Encendida Madrid. From May 19, 2023 to September 17, 2023, the institution proposes in this exhibition a new reading of the last 10 years of Picasso’s creation, through the eyes of a contemporary artist, whose name is still unknown . Its objective will be to convert this exhibition into a synthesis, a testament and analysis of the possibilities for the future of this stage of Picasso,

Picasso – El Greco, Prado National Museum.,Madrid, From June 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023. The influence of El Greco’s work on the early stages of Picasso’s artistic career is indisputable. Those elongated figures of his blue period and the division of planes of his proto-cubist works would not have existed without the profound knowledge of him from the Greek master. an exhibition in which works by both geniuses are interspersed to understand and see, face to face, the clear influences of El Greco on the work of Picasso,

The Las Edades de Pablo or years of Pablo. Casa Natal Birthplace Museum -Màlaga. From June 13, 2023 to September 17, 2023, in the hometown of Picasso you can enjoy this chronological tour of the artist’s work through paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs made from his formative years until his last stage on the blue coast. The exhibition will be an opportunity to see, in situ, the technical and stylistic evolution of the genius from Malaga throughout his life.

Picasso vs Velàzquez, Casa Velazquez, Madrid. From September to November 2023, the version of Las Meninas that Picasso painted in 1957 is the starting point for this exhibition. Graphic works, photography, letters, audiovisual documents and some works created by renowned contemporary artists, will propose a poetic-aesthetic journey focused on the creation of the Malaga genius and its different variations.

Picasso, the Sacred and the Profane, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza , Madrid, From October 4, 2023 to January 14, 2024, This small-format exhibition will address, through 30 works, Picasso’s relationship with the themes and genres of art traditional. From history, religion or myths to his personal conception of portraits and still lifes. In this way, the rupture and transgression that the ‘Picassian’ style supposed with the conception and treatment of academic art will be analyzed.

Picasso 1906: The Great Transformation, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía ,Madrid, From November 2023 to March 4, 2024, 1906 was a decisive year in the artist’s career, at that time he began to reformulate his artistic experience by establishing synergies with cultures primitives. This exhibition will show us through drawings and sketchbooks what this “great transformation” of Picasso’s work was like.

You have a full year of Picasso, the artist before you. Very famous not my favorite, but enjoy it anyway.

The town of Buitrago de Lozoya was a fantasy trip when a child with my dear late mother Gladys and has continue throughout the years, Its a must to visit, Let me tell why , me think,

It is one of the most unique and best preserved medieval complexes in the Community of Madrid, possibly the most beautiful town on the Lozoya River and the place where a museum of the Malaga genius (Picasso) is hidden. A friendship that was born in exile and that would last until the end of his days. Pablo Picasso and his barber, Eugenio Arias, a resident of Buitrago de Lozoya, met in Vallauris, (Alpes Maritimes dept 06 of France) a small town on the riviera. The man from Malaga worked in a ceramics workshop and Arias had just opened a hairdressing salon. It was the year 1948. Both bullfighting, both communists, both exiles. For 25 years they forged a great friendship. Picasso would give the Madrid hairdresser a whole collection of drawings, engravings and writings. He would donate everything to his town, Buitrago de Lozoya. It is the history of the Picasso Museum that hides this spectacular walled town 70 km from Madrid city. On the eve of the Picasso Year, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of his death, it is appropriate to remember this unusual museum. The only one with almost all its pieces dedicated “To my friend Arias”. The only one whose works are all a gift. There are photographs, ceramics, graphic work… One of the jewels of the museum is the pyro-engraved box (with fire marks) decorated with bullfighting motifs that Picasso gave the barber to store his scissors and utensils some 70 works !

The town of Buitrago de Lozoya has a walled perimeter, which is preserved in its entirety, is built on an old caliphal fortress. It is more than 800 meters long, 9 meters high and more than 3 meters thick. Almost everything can be walked freely, except the Albarrana or Clock Tower, where visitors are asked for a 2-euro entrance fee. Atop this 16-meters high pentagonal structure is a display of gruesome medieval weapons, plus, sure enough, the guts of the clock. The Church of Santa María del Castillo, built on an old mosque, is another of the site’s jewels, although it was devastated during the Spanish Civil War. It does, however, preserve a fabulous Neo-Mudejar coffered ceiling that was restored in the 1980s thanks to the tenacity of a local priest. The castle was built in the 15C by the Mendozas. The Marquis of Santillana liked to spend a lot of time in Buitrago because here he met with fellow poet Juan de Mena. Another inhabitant of the fortress was Juana la Beltraneja, daughter of Enrique IV, whom the Mendozas protected behind those walls. The parade ground, today in ruins, was a bullring for 20 years. It has a snow well from which it is known that the ice was taken by donkey to Madrid for the San Isidro festivities. The enclosure also has a medieval garden. It is not surprising that the oldest and most historic Living Nativity Scene in the Community of Madrid is celebrated here at Christmas.

The Buitrago de Lozoya tourist office: https://turismo.buitrago.org/planos-y-guias-turisticas

From October 18 to November 6, 2022, the Teatros del Canal and several scenic spaces in the Comunidad de Madrid will host the 17th edition of the Suma Flamenca festival, which, like every year, will include the representation of numerous shows where leading figures of the current flamenco, This year’s program will feature the presence of artists such as Tomatito, Mayte Martín, Carmen Linares, Juan Carmona “Habichuela”, Patricia Guerrero, Capullo de Jerez and Carmen Cortés, among many others. As a prelude to Suma Flamenca, the cycle Suma Flamenca Joven (youth) is presented in the Sala Verde of the Teatros del Canal. An appointment that this year takes place from September 22 to 25, 2022 and that will include a sample of concert guitarists, singers and dancers under 30 years of age. The 2022 program will begin with the performance of flamenco guitarist Tomatito presenting his show De la Plaza Vieja a Santa Ana (from old square to St Anne square) in which he is accompanied by a group of musicians carefully selected for their affinity with the gypsy musical spirit to share that captivating rhythm and emotional power. For her part, the cantaora Carmen Linares (Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2022) premieres the concert Carmen Linares sings to Madrid with a repertoire of the most essential cantes she has sung in the city. A unique concert with which she wants to offer the Madrid public a great tribute to Madrid. The Teatros del Canal are the nerve center of the festival, although the programming will also take place in other spaces such as the Teatro de La Abadía, the Cuarta Pared venue, the Carlos III Royal Coliseum (El Escorial), the Pilar Miró Cultural Center, the Gilitos Sociocultural Center (Alcalá de Henares), the Paco Rabal Cultural Center, the Sierra Norte Regional Center for Humanities (La Cabrera), MIRA Theater (Pozuelo de Alarcón), the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular (Rascafría) and the Theater Jaime Salom (Parla). For my part the Teatros del Canal webpage : https://www.teatroscanal.com/

And the Comunidad de Madrid on the Suma Flamenca festival :https://www.madrid.org/sumaflamenca/2022/index.html

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is under way with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

Tags: , ,
October 11, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXIII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is already here ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

And now some news from publications such as every year, the Skytrax ranking, the ‘Oscars’ of the aviation industry, answers the question of which airline is the best in the world. The best first class cabin went to Singapore Airlines, while Qatar took the best business class. Virgin Atlantic Airways, for its part, has managed to win the award for the best premium economy class and Emirates for the best economy cabin, which we know as the tourist class of a lifetime. By region, the European ranking is won this year by Turkish Airlines, followed by Air France and Swiss on the podium. Iberia has earned ninth place among the airlines of Europe, according to travellers. The list of low-cost airlines Ryanair manages to rise to the top of the ranking. It is followed by Vueling Airlines and EasyJet. The World Top Ten are 1. Qatar Airways, 2. Singapore Airlines, 3. Emirates, 4. ANA All Nippon Airways, 5. Qantas Airways, 6. Japan Airlines, 7. Turkish Airlines, 8. Air France, 9. Korean Air,10. Swiss Air.

Another study done by Bounce, a leading company in travel slogans around the planet, which produces this type of report during each season of the year, already converted into tourist classics. Amsterdam heads the ranking of the 20 most desirable cities to escape this season. They are followed by Paris, London and Berlin. Madrid is the only one in our country that appears on the list, at number 13. The ‘Top Ten’ of the best cities are: 1. Amsterdam. 2. Paris. 3. London.4. Berlin. 5. Los Angeles. 6. Vienna. 7. New York. 8. Athens. 9. Prague. 10. Rome.

The small town of Lorca in the Community of Murcia, which extends from the Guadalentín valley to the coast, is based on its civil baroque architecture, the 15C synagogue and the raised parador where its castle is located to surprise those visitors who want to get out of the conventional tourist circuit, The historical border between the Crown of Castilla and the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, always hear the same thing from those who come to visit it: “I didn’t think that this city had so many things”. And there are many: in the town center await the old Collegiate Church of San Patricio (St Patrick) and civil baroque architecture, represented in the City/Town Hall or the Guevara house. In the extreme south awaits the regional park of Cabo Cope and Puntas del Calnegre, with its coves and beach bars, The medieval castle and the Lorca Parador, whose construction in the 2000s led to the discovery of 18 Jewish houses and a 15C synagogue, new elements with which to continue surprising travelers interested in culture and history, explorers who seek to get off the tourist circuit indeed, love it ! The Hotel Castillo de Lorca parador was built where the archaeological park that includes the medieval castle is located, with its Alfonsina and Espolón towers, the Big and Small cistern, the San Clemente hermitage and the Jewish quarter not reveal since 1492 ! . It was inaugurated in 2012, The castle’s archaeological park, opened in 2003, offers visits to the Alfonsina tower and the Espolón tower, the aforementioned synagogue and several cisterns, of which the Grande stands out, a 550,000-litre tank converted into an exhibition space. archaeological museum, which houses 27 glass lamps reconstructed from remains found in the synagogue. The Lorca earthquake, which occurred on May 11, 2011, is still being felt in the city. Some buildings are still propped up. Others have been rebuilt and painted white and albero (crush rock color), On 23rd of November in pilgrimage to celebrate the festivity of San Clemente, one day a year to remember the Christian conquest in 1244 led by the infante Alfonso de Castilla. Very close to the Lorca bullring are Las Alamedas, some albero streets that cross each other and are surrounded by trees. The sanctuary of the Virgen de la Esperanza is located 6 km from Calasparra surrounded by nature, it is crossed by several streams. Yellow beach, with fine white sand, is my favorite in Águilas. Opposite is the island of Fraile, which can be reached by walking through the water, since it does not cover completely. It is an archaeological site from the Islamic and late Roman times. Calnegre beach in the cove of the same name allows you to walk or relax and take a bath, more crowded because it is more closed and pleasant. The Lorca tourist office : https://lorcaturismo.es/rutas/rutas.asp?id=26

And again I have to give you some of my favorite squares of Spain, the omnipresent Plazas, Here I go folks ! Something to visit for sure while in my dear Spain.

The Plaza Mayor of Salamanca. The student population ensures that the atmosphere is not too serious in what is considered by many to be the most beautiful square in Spain. Surrounded by a three-story structure in a harmonious Baroque style, between 1729 and 1756, its arcades are home to bars and cafes, such as Novelty, a regular meeting place for writers and artists since 1905. One of its most illustrious clients was Miguel Unamuno, who had his daily gathering here,

The Plaza de España of Sevilla. Integrated into the María Luisa park, this square is an emblematic space for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It has a total area of ​​50,000 square meters, and a navigable canal extends along its entire perimeter. 515 meters long. It has served as the setting for filming such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ or ‘Star Wars’

The Plaza Mayor of Madrid. With just over four centuries of history, the nerve center of the capital, almost next to Puerta del Sol, has been the scene of coronations, markets, autos de fe, bullfights and Goyesque festivals. It was Felipe II who decided to pack it in the 16C and the architect Juan de Herrera who designed it as we know it. The equestrian statue of King Felipe III occupies the center of the square, between the Casa de la Panadería and the Casa de la Carnicería. Wonderful indeed

The Plaza Mayor of Trujillo. It is the epicenter of the town of Trujillo, cataloged as an asset of cultural interest and integrated into the network of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. Trujillo is part of the Route of the Conquerors. Orellana, an explorer of the Amazon River, and Francisco Pizarro, whose bronze equestrian statue presides over this space enclosed by 19C houses, the Church of San Martín and several Renaissance palaces with coats of arms and stork nests, were born there. In its arcades is the emblematic inn La Troya.

The Plaza Mayor of Almagro. Located about 30 km from Ciudad Real, the historic town of Almagro brings together a good number of Renaissance palaces, Gothic churches and old convents, as well as the famous Corral de Comedias, in a corral which is accessed through an arcade of the Plaza Mayor, of medieval origin and reformed in the 16C with the money of the Függer (Fúcares, once Castilianized), the family of German bankers of Emperor Charles V, who left their mark on the glass galleries and the green color of its wooden frames on the arcades.

The Plaza Mayor of Pedraza. Houses emblazoned with channel tiles, wooden beams and hidden arcades are the hallmarks of this walled town of dazzling beauty in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Famous thanks to the “concerts of the candles”, it appears on the list of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain and its streets and Plaza Mayor have served as a set for fifty films !

Let me tell you about an area dear to me of wonderful places and a wine less known than Rioja but to me just as good, Ribera del Duero of Spain ! The Duero Valley, a route that combines hedonism, culture and landscape During a good part of its route, from the lands of Soria to Tudela de Duero, already in Valladolid, the Duero groups on its banks a series of towns, large and small, many of them with the addition to their name of the river that waters them, with historical-artistic ensembles that attest to the important role that these towns played for centuries. Monasteries, castles, palaces and churches abound, a feast for your eyes and tastes. An awesome road warrior tour indeed, And highlighted by some of the best wines from Spain,

Tudela de Duero, This town is the entrance to the Ribera del Duero leaving Valladolid in the opposite direction to the current of the river there is one of the most outstanding wineries in the area, Mauro (bodegasmauro.com), founded by one of the best Spanish winemakers, Mariano García.

Sardón de Duero, In this town is the best hotel in the entire Ribera, and one of the most prominent in Spain: Le Domaine (abadia-retuerta.com). Located in a 12C monastery that has been tastefully rehabilitated, As a tour of the extensive estate that occupies Abadía Retuerta deserves, with its centuries-old trees and the vineyards that stretch across it, with more than twenty grape varieties with which that the wonderful wines of that winery are elaborated. It is possible to visit it and make a tasting there.

Valbuena de Duero-Quintanilla de Onesimo, In Valbuena de Duero is the most famous winery in Spain: Vega Sicilia (temposvegasicilia.com). In this town we also find the Cistercian Monastery of Santa María de Valbuena, founded in the 11C, which is worth a visit. And in the neighboring town of Quintanilla de Onesimo, in the facilities of another well-known winery, Arzuaga (bodegasarzuaga.es), we find a luxury hotel and a Michelin-starred restaurant called Taller,

Pesquera de Duero, In the town the porticoed main square stands out. And in its municipal term we find four important wineries: Emilio Moro (emiliomoro.com), Tinto Pesquera (familiafernandezrivera.com), Nexus-Frontaura (bodegasnexusfrontaura,com) and Dehesa de los Canónigos (dehesadeloscanonigos.com). They can all be visited. At Tinto Pesquera, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary these days, you can visit the 16C stone press, where the first wines from the cellar were made, and taste its wines and cheeses.

Peñafiel, This is the main town of the Ribera del Duero in the province of Valladolid. With its impressive 10C castle that dominates the town and all its surroundings and the curious Plaza del Coso, a medieval bullring, rectangular in shape and surrounded by balconies. In the castle is the Provincial Wine Museum, where a tour of the production process and the different denominations of origin of the province is made. A few km from the town, the Pago de Carraovejas wineries (pagodecarraovejas.com) offer various wine tourism activities,

Roa, we entered the province of Burgos. Roa, located on a spur, is officially the capital of the Ribera de Duero since the headquarters of the Denomination of Origin office is located there,

Aranda de Duero, The largest of all the towns in the Ribera del Duero, an important communications hub, a town to stroll through, with important churches and palaces. It is worth visiting the old underground cellars located under the grill building, converted into a small museum. In Aranda you can also visit the Calidad Pascual facilities to learn about the modern production systems of this dairy company. And if you have time, another visit, to a craft brewery, Mica (cervezasmica.es), which uses Ribera del Duero cereals to make some very remarkable beers,

Peñaranda de Duero, Following the Duero towards Soria, a stop in this town of medieval origin that stands out for its wealth of monuments, mainly the castle that dominates the town, very well preserved, but also for its main square and the multitude of palaces , mansions and churches that it houses, among them the palace of the Counts of Miranda,

San Esteban de Gormaz, The last stage through the Ribera del Duero enters the land of the province of Soria and passes through San Esteban de Gormaz, another historical-artistic complex dominated by a castle and which has two important Romanesque churches and a medieval bridge of sixteen eyes.

Talking about wines of Spain, well this was my first at the tender age of 8 given by my maternal grandmother Amparo (from Pajara, Tenerife), I like to tell you the story of the great Marqués de Riscal winery and its wines, Enjoy it !

The one of the best if not the best of Rioja and now elsewhere too since its foundation in 1858. A privilege, to know them of a company call Marqués de Riscal and knowing its works means literally drinking them, They have an extensive old wines cellar and I was once priviledge again to taste some of them such as the Marqués de Riscal 1862 Médoc Alavés, and in it a little 160-year-old wine, totally alive, smooth and elegant. It was the first that the famous winery produced, and instantly we received a glass from 1863, and so on up to thirty, of vintages from the 19C, 20C and 21C, Probably no other winery in the world can mount a vertical tasting of such breadth, among other things because few have to keep a treasure of 140,000 bottles that represent all the vintages throughout a century and a half !!!

Las Tapias, its first wine from a single vineyard in a long time, which has also obtained the new classification of ‘singular vineyard’ with which the DO Rioja recognizes exceptional old vines, something similar to the ‘crus’ of Burgundy. In this case, a vineyard planted by Riscal in 1968 with old Tempranillo cuttings on a classic Rupestris de Lot rootstock that greatly respects the character of the vinifera. The classic Elciego winery, were able to admire, after that founding 1862, those of the pre-phylloxera wines, all from the 19C (the phylloxera, that American bug that destroyed the European vineyard, arrived in Spain later than in France and other countries ): 1863, 1870, 1871, 1876, 1884, 1886, 1892, and 1899; those of the 20C from the post-phylloxera replantation to 1964: 1909, 1911, 1918, 1924, 1928, 1935, 1936, 1945, 1946, 1952, 1955, 1961, and 1964. And the most modern was a review of Barón de Chirel, a wine produced since 1986 that, like now Las Tapias, is a reunion with the history of the house, in this case its Bordeaux connection. And we tasted 1995, 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2011. And here is when it gets good, the French were in Spain as the phylloxera was destroying their vineyards, they turn south to keep making wines from Spain, and in the process brought their skills to help push Spanish wines further as of today,

Pioneers such as Manuel Quintano in the 18C and Luciano Murrieta in 1852 tried to bring there the vineyard techniques that had made Bordeaux, its near-neighbor, a powerhouse for wine, but their experiments did not last, although 25 years later Murrieta was finally able to open your own bodega, Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, Marquis of Riscal, another Liberal exiled in Bordeaux itself, was the one who finally launched Rioja… that of the Médoc Alavés, launched in 1862 by the Diputación de Álava, hiring the cellar master -oenologist, we would say today- Jean Pineau to introduce Bordeaux techniques, such as aging in oak barrels. The Médoc Alavés initiative did not last long due to lack of means, disappearing in 1868. But Riscal hired Pineau, who laid the foundations for it. From Pineau to the modern Guimberteau or Pontallier, until recently there were always Bordeaux advisers in the great Elciego winery and eventually other regions of Spain as well, Tried the marvelous Barón de Chirel, with 20-30% cabernet, has been a successor to those Reserva Médoc for 36 years. Instead, Tapias is pure tempranillo, You tried them and be won over, still the one for me from my dear Spain, Bodega de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal (descendants), Recently named, the 2nd best winery in the world and 1st in Europe ! webpage : https://www.marquesderiscal.com/en

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is here with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

October 4, 2022

My life in my belle France !!!

Well , my kind of town ,actually my entry into FranceVersailles capital of the department of Yvelines, No 78, region of Ile de France, and another world. This is France. Big enough to be call a Capital of France when constitutional changes are needed per the French Constitution , and small enough to keep that French country flavor of old, things are not the same here as in Paris. Life is easier, slower, friendlier, and the nights ends earlier. It was the center of royal power for centuries, and it still keeps that royal outlook in life, Paris might be worth a republic, Versailles its worth a kingdom. My humble hommage  to a glorious city, one that was worth saving from a war, one that is revered, and one that will be eternal, Paris , my eternal love. For the senses, the sights, the romance. And I worked there for 9 years! What a combination to be in France a one two powerful and memorable punch indeed !

Before Versailles, I moved in with my in-laws for free in Chambry, Seine et Marne  dept 77 of the Île de France  region where I first touch base with France and married a local girl, my dear mamie blue Martine, from the first city I visit , her hometown of Meaux, Memories forever always in my heart and soul.RIP

My first job was in a management position in Cergy Saint Christophe , Val d’Oise dept 95 in the Île de France region as well, This lasted a few month as it was my entry point to France, From here I moved to Paris rue de Castiglione between the Jardin des Tuileries an d the place Vendôme, Some time here, then to Suresnes in Hauts de Seine dept 92 of the Île de France region as well, Later, back to Paris by Montparnasse.

Then in June 2011, moved to a new multinational firm in Saint Nolff , Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne. I rented an apartment in Corn et Hôet , Brec’h.  Shortly, thereafter, we purchase a house in Pluvigner on July 13 2004, and been here ever since, The more I know it, the more I like it, and of course, the Morbihan (Mor=sea bihan=small in Breton French would be petite mer or small sea) iwill be my home until gone from this world.  My capital City which we visit at least every week is Vannes or Gwened in Breton language! 

The working life is gone, and feel a bit lonely if not for my 3 boys and our travels, and this blog ; thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 2010, I have been in France , 19 years already since August 23rd 2003 !! My family followed on December 13, 2003. My blog was a request by many friends in a now defunct travel forum that was very popular for a time and many convince me to write a book or a blog, Well me kept it simple and did a blog with the help of another friend from Madrid that had a travel forum on Spain, now abandoned, I guess I am strong to keep up this blog , it keeps me going and I thank you all.

My down moments as life is not perfect was losing my dear late Mother Gladys on December 27 2007 (22h) ,and later my dear late wife of 28 years, Martine on April 30 2018 (19h). And if not enough, my Dad Elio felled sick for the last year on a wheelchair and me taking care at home with the help of nurses and home domestic help ,thanks to the French social security and health benefits at no cost,

On a bright side, we have our dog Rex , a borador (mix Border Collier and Labrador Retriever) that is already 4,5 years old (we got it from local farm in Moustoir AC when 4 mos old) ,and a lovable friend who is always around me and follow me everywhere, This was chosen by my wife and she gave it the name Rex after an Austrian police series in Europe she like very much, I have my 3 young men , twins of 28 and older boy of 30, still with me and very much attach and helpful, well raised from grandparents and parents who care, We love the aperos and going out for a drink or keeping me company in my road warrior trips in my belle France and beyond.

We have finished doing work on the house , just maintenance stuff, and grooming the garden of 1000 m2 (about 10 800 sq ft) of land ! The house is 255 m2 (about 2744 sq ft) and only about 400 meters (about 1320 feet) from the centre ville or city center/downtown. Easy town with the N165 and N24 expressway on either side close by and the beaches just 30 km (about 19 miles) away, Life follows its course, and we have enjoy it after all.

My mother took me out of a dictatorship (Cuba) when a child of 10 (the best decision made for me in my lifetime) ,and passed by another one (Spain) until 13,5, and finally in New Jersey USA for 13 years, and then 18 years in Central/South Florida USA before the move to France, as said already going on 19 years ! (the best decision done by me as an adult thanks Martine ) Visiting 81 countries of our world, and working as expatriate in 4 ! Speaking 4 languages and some all worthwhile and thankful.

There are no webpages here ,just my rambling and story telling ; hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more of me, After all, have said, my blog is my life’s history ! Hope you enjoy the posts as I. Again, thank you for reading me, commenting, and liking my posts to all over the years.

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

October 3, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is already here ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Eight festivities, five bullfights, two bullfights with bullfighters and the final of the Road to Las Ventas make up the Autumn Fair in the Madrid arena, which will be held from this past Saturday, October 1, until Wednesday October 12, 2022, the date on which the season will close. This cycle, which is dedicated to the figure of Antonio Bienvenida on the centenary of his birth, begins with two novelties: an increase in the number of subscribers and the opening of the Venta del Batán, closed for 18 years to the exhibition of cattle announced on the posters. During the fair, various cultural activities will also be held that revolve especially around the figure of the Madrid bullfighter Antonio Bienvenida. The room that bears his name will host an exhibition of historical posters by the collector Ángel Sonseca Rojas, who will offer an extensive tour of some of the afternoons that made history in the career of the bullfighter and members of the dynasty. On the other hand, the plastic artist Mariano Cobo will exhibit a monograph on some of the best works with Antonio Bienvenida in the Antoñete room. And until October 12 you can visit an exhibition of the plastic artist Jesús Solano on the ground floor,webpage : https://www.las-ventas.com/

The area of Sobrarbe ( province of Huesca) feeds its people and shapes the landscape of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the Huesca Pyrenees. A diverse place made up of ravines, canyons and glacial valleys that has attracted more and more visitors since the Bielsa parador was opened in 1968, the tunnel connecting France with Spain was built in 1976 and the protection of the national park was extended in 1982, The parador is located in the Pineta Valley, very close to the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, where you can see the calcareous massif of Monte Perdido at 3,335 meters. The HU-V-6402 road ends at the parador. Beyond there is nothing and that is everything ! An element of the landscape that has already disappeared are the iron mines The gates of the monastery of El Escorial were built with iron from Sobrarbe, You should stop by Aínsa, the largest city in Sobrarbe and one of the most touristic for its medieval quarter, Lovely region we road warrior so many times over the years. Tourism webpage: https://www.turismosobrarbe.com/comarca.php?niv=1&cla=_25G13P91D&cla2=&cla3=&tip=1&idi=3

As usual in these posts , let me give you a tour of my dear Spain with some excellent spots for visiting/vacationing many of which we have already.

Land of legends and impossible loves, the province of Teruel, a paradigm of empty Spain, makes up for its low population density with endless delights for the senses, which increase when the leaf begins to fall. I will take you first to Matarrañala served as a link since historical times with the Mediterranean coast and as a border between the neighboring communities of Catalonia and Valencia. The old house of the Marquis of Santa Coloma, built in 1703, is one of them. Unmoved by the passage of time, it was built on a 120-hectare farm in the middle of Mount Monroyo, a village of just 385 inhabitants that instantly invites you to disconnect. While the facade still resonates with its stately past with the original door of the time, the interior and surroundings reveal one of the hotel enclaves with the greatest projection in the area, the Torre del Marqués hotel. In this area you have the world emblem of Garnacha Tinta, a different grape varieties grown on its fertile lands, which are processed and marketed by a large number of family wineries in the area. Traveling the six round trip km of the Parrizal de Beceite natural route will be the best way to lighten the gastronomic days offered by the region. Recognizable by the wooden walkway that leads to the Matarraña River, the sound of its emerald waters serve as a guide between wooded paths and gouges, a needle-shaped geological formation resulting from erosion. After an approximate hour’s walk, Els Estrets del Parrissal rises up, a canyon about 200 meters long that takes your breath away due to the verticality of its walls. If you undertake the route on a hot day and its crystal clear waters, not suitable for swimming the desire to take a dip, one can recover in the nearby pools of Las Pesqueras. These natural pools of warm water are accompanied by viewpoints such as the Racó de Sant Antoni, where you can glimpse the beautiful landscape that the Ulldemó River fosters.

A few kms away awaits Valderrobres, a medieval jewel of Bajo Aragón that has earned its place on the list of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. When exploring its historic center, the best access is given by the Gothic bridge raised over the Matarraña River; without a doubt, the most characteristic photo of this villa. From there and between the remains of the urban wall, you can access the Plaza Mayor, presided over by the Renaissance-style City/Town Hall. The ascent to its monumental castle will reward you with a walk through narrow streets dotted with climbing plants, with houses dyed with an indigo pigment for its disinfectant effect.

On the hunt for the treasures of the Maestrazgo , entering this area bordering Castellón means stopping time suddenly, mimicking its stone villages and exploring its forests without telephone coverage in search of the great treasures of Teruel soil: mushrooms. Cantavieja, the capital of the Maestrazgo, with its intense aroma impregnated on the palate, it is time to explore the historical arteries of this town perched on a rock at 1,300 meters of altitude, with interesting examples of Aragonese architecture such as the exterior of the Casa de los Osset, the remains of the crenellated wall or the castle of Templar origin. About 13 kms by road, Mirambel competes in historical beauty, the town that served as the setting for the film Tierra y Libertad (land and liberty 1995), by Ken Loach. In memory of the filming of this film set in the Spanish Civil War, in which many neighbors acted as extra actors, a wide promenade bears the name of the British filmmaker. Barely altered since the Middle Ages, its town center is a delight for lovers of the past with a large succession of churches, convents such as that of the Augustinian Nuns ,with its fantastic portal with mud and plaster lattices, Renaissance palaces and popular houses not to be missed.

On the other side of Cantavieja, the small town of La Iglesuela del Cid has taken an unexpected turn in its morphology. It has an increase in travelers attracted by its hiking trails ,such as the Senda de la Piedra Seca or dry stone path that leads to the sanctuary of the Virgen del Cid, good food and good sleep, especially since the inauguration last June of the Palacio Matutano hotel- Daudén. This 18C building declared National Heritage symbolizes the union of the two richest families in Iglesuela, who amassed a great fortune from the wool trade with notorious clients such as the former King of Naples. This cozy palace has now been converted into accommodation with the luxury preserves part of its original structure and furniture , such as the rococo staircase where the town’s children used to played, while on the floor it replicates the original cobblestone floor through which the horses used to passed or the family’s private chapel is now an elegant living room. Through the main door you access Calle Ondevilla street, where the town was founded, bearer of some of the most beautiful stately homes. Our exit leads to the Plaza Iglesuela square, contained by the 17C parish church and the old dungeons , open for daily guided tours along with other buildings of interest such as the Casa Aliaga.

The province of Teruel tourist office: https://www.turismoenteruel.es/

The city of Teruel tourist office: https://www.sienteteruel.es/#

The richness and diversity of its landscapes make Burgos a travel attraction that redoubles its charm in autumn. We follow the course of the rivers to explore some of my favorite Burgos enclaves. Lovely indeed!

We come to Frias, next to the Ebro, although this time as it passes through the Merindades, Frías holds several titles to tempt the traveller, such as being one of the members of the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. Although technically it is not a town, but the smallest in Spain. Its strategic location makes it unique. Also the taste of its medieval streets, the set of hanging houses that defy gravity and its imposing rock castle, undoubtedly one of the most spectacular in all Castilla. Another of the most beautiful enclaves is found before reaching the town: a bridge with nine arches and 143 meters long over the Ebro of Roman origin although fortified in the 14C with a defensive tower used to collect the pontazgo.

We leave the Ebro and head for the Arlanza River, which runs through the south of the province, opening up a gap in that serene and essential landscape that we know of Castile. In fact, Covarrubias is the homeland of popular Castilian architecture thanks to its half-timbered houses and wide arcades. Doña Sancha’s house is possibly the best example. It has many other jewels. Walking through the historic center you can find up to seven monuments declared of Cultural Interest. An essential visit is the Torreón de Fernán González, the 10C fortification where, according to legend, the Infanta Doña Urraca was imprisoned. Another is the former Collegiate Church of San Cosme and San Damián. The temple hides, among other treasures, the oldest functioning organ in Castilla, tables by Berruguete and Van Eyck, and the valuable triptych of the Adoration of the Magi. Without forgetting the tombs of the counts and princesses of Castile, and that of the infanta Cristina of Norway.

In Lerma, we continue on the banks of the Arlanza. This villa with perfect baroque skyline is the product of one man’s ambition. You guessed it: the Duke of Lerma, the most powerful man in the court of Felipe (Philip) III. De Lerma wanted to do something like the first branch of the kingdom. Hence, he did not hesitate to build up to six convents, in addition to the collegiate church and the ducal palace with the invaluable help of the best Herrerian architects. As an example, the Parador Nacional or old palace, stationed on one of the flanks of the Plaza Mayor.

The province of Burgos tourist office: https://turismoburgos.org/nuestros-pueblos/

The Community of Madrid town of Alcalá de Henares celebrates its Cervantes Week, a festival in honor of the author of Don Quixote with storytellers, sewing workshops, period costume contests, traditional music, recreations of the Campamentos de Tercio…The Cervantino Market: a six-day trip to the Golden Age between parades, knight tournaments and a prize for… Sabina. More than 350 artisan stalls, Cervantine sewing or historical dance workshops, period costume contests, parades inspired by the exemplary novel by the jealous Extremaduran, storytellers, cannon salvos… These are some of the proposals of the traditional Cervantino Market that next week (from October 7 to 12 2022) will transfer the Golden Age to the main streets of Alcalá de Henares. The Cervantes Week gives for more, since the Book Fair will also take place in parallel on Calle Libreros with 19 stands, as well as the VI Cervantino Poetry Encounter, the Cervantes train, the representation of hors d’oeuvres on the Escolapias staircase , the Alcalá Gastronómica and Ancient Music contests in Gilitos and the public reading of Don Quixote in the Corral de Comedias.

The city of Alcalà de Henares on the Cervantes Week: https://semanacervantina.ayto-alcaladehenares.es/

Let me take you now to the walled cities of my dear Spain, my favorites of course. Travel to the past through the most beautiful, and best preserved, walled towns in my dear Spain.

I passed several times by Albarracin in the province of Teruel (see above for more) . Perched on a rock, almost entirely surrounded by the Guadalaviar river, to the south of the Sierra de Albarracín, its charming old quarter, whose origin dates back to the 11C, has the title of National Monument. The town, with an irregular layout adapted to the difficult topography of the land, is protected by well-preserved 14C walls, inside which are also the Alcázar (11C) and the Cathedral of El Salvador (16C).

Moving on to visit coming down as well from home. Alquézar in the province of Huesca. “The most beautiful town in Huesca”, as this town is known, which was born in the shadow of a castle of Islamic origin converted into the Collegiate Church of Santa María after the Reconquest. Declared the town a Historic-Artistic Site, the wall comes out of the fortification with some sections from the 11C are still standing , that surrounds the historic center of the town with luxury viewpoints, such as the Sonrisa del viento or smile of the wind. As important enclaves: the Albarrana tower, the ruins of a quadrangular tower and some fragment of the Romanesque church, integrated into the impressive 14C cloister.

We go to my childhood hangout with Mom. Buitrago del Lozoya in the province of Madrid. Located on a promontory on the banks of the Lozoya river, at the foot of Somosierra and 75 km from Madrid, the beautiful town is also known as “The Wall of Madrid”, due to the good degree of conservation of the wall, of Muslim origin (11C), which protects its historic center with a perimeter of more than 800 meters. Some sections of the wall, which contains numerous defensive elements, such as towers, a barbican, a moat, a corach, an albarrana tower and a fortress, reach 16 meters in height and 3.5 meters in thickness. Intramuros, you must not miss the castle, linked to the Mendoza family (14C), the Church of Santa María del Castillo (or castle 14C), the Clock Tower and the Picasso Museum, (another one !) in the square of the same name next to to City/Town Hall.

And I let you breathe by reaching Ciudad Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca. It is on the west side of the province of Salamanca, next to Portugal, and irrigated by the waters of the Agueda river. The city whose walls, witness to numerous sieges due to its strategic location, were built by order of the king Fernando (Ferdinand) II of León in 1160. The 2.5 km of wall perimeter, taking advantage of the remains of a Roman wall, enclose the town, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1944. Intramuros, you should not miss strolling through the medieval streets full of palaces and stately homes , such as the Marqués de Cerralbo, the Miranda and the beautiful Palacio del Águila, or the Plaza Mayor with the City/Town Hall , a Renaissance building from the 16C. In the highest part, the Castle of Enrique II de Trastámara (b.1372), with its three-story Homage Tower, today houses the Parador de Turismo. Another of the jewels of the town is the Cathedral of Santa María, from 1165.

Let me tell you extensively about a great region of my dear Spain, Galicia. And its most precious sights on the Way of Santiago de Compostela and two of its most emblematic Caminos. I have gone by here on my road warrior trips by car; anyway you come is most reassuring an enjoyable travel.

The Camino del Norte or way of the north route allows the pilgrim to cross the river Eo, the natural border with Asturias to the north, to get rid of everything that his senses have accumulated and fill himself with the purest Galicia. It enters through Ribadeo, on the coast of Lugo, but quickly plunges inland for almost 200 kms to Santiago de Compostela. Galicia is intertwined with corredoiras, deep and narrow paths whose tunnel-like shape derives from the continuous passage of cars, animals and people through them for centuries. Open between groves, fragas and old oak groves, covered with branches, stones and moss and varnished with shade, pilgrims on the Camino del Norte still have to pass through these paths today on their journey to Santiago. One of the most famous is the Corredoira de Cimadevila, deep and green, located in the parish of Castrofeito (province of A Coruña). A few meters from the Camino there is also another one that crosses the carballeira da Casa do Gado, a forest located in Sobrado dos Monxes. There is a voice timbre that all the residents of Mondoñedo recognize, that is the one from Paula, the main of the seven bells of the cathedral of this town of 3,500 inhabitants located in the Mariña Central de Lugo, 150 km from Santiago. Its touch, serious and profound, has been calling Mindonians to prayer for more than a century and a half, announcing the celebrations and informing of the deaths. The pilgrim who finishes the stage in Mondoñedo can get lost in this cobbled city, with white houses and slate roofs and one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, according to the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain, which evaluates the natural heritage and history of populations of less than 15,000 inhabitants. You will learn about the origin of this Jacobean route, as old as the Primitive and a World Heritage Site, at the Camino del Norte Interpretation Center, located in an old church, The statue of Álvaro Cunqueiro, who attentively observes the bell tower with a relaxed gesture , from his sculpture in the plaza de la catedral square. Next door, at number 13, stands the museum house of this writer, journalist, chronicler and indispensable figure of Galician and Castilian letters.

Its visitors say that the silence in the Monastery of Santa María de Sobrado is impressive, especially in the church ,occupied only by the benches and the altar and empty of images and altarpieces, and in its kitchen, in which only its columns remain. and its gothic ceilings. In the building, founded in 958 and abandoned from the beginning of the 19C to the last quarter of the 20C, you can also visit two of the cloisters and the chapter house. The soil of the parish of Argomoso, 5 kms from the city of Mondoñedo (Lugo), hides a set of intricate galleries of more than 6 kms that make up the Rei Cintolo cave, the largest in all of Galicia. Its name comes from the legend that once explained its origin, and that tells how the sorcerer Manilán, after not being able to marry the daughter of King Cintolo, condemned the kingdom to be devoured by the earth on the day of his death. On the banks of the Madalena River, passing through the town of Vilalba, ( Lugo) , runs a path drawn by nature and described in literature. A 3 km route between old mills and wooden bridges known as Paseo dos Soños or walk of dreams, with which the walker can discover other names of Galician literature. The end of the trail offers a gift: the river beach of the Madalena recreational area, a tiny island full of vegetation to cool off before continuing on the Camino. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela keeps in its main entrance, the Portico de la Gloria, sounds from almost a millennium ago. In the central tympanum, above Christ and the apostles, there is an orchestra made up of the 24 elders of the Apocalypse, representatives of the church, according to the Bible, of which 22 carry medieval musical instruments ,the other two carry flasks called phials. They prepare, according to tradition, to interpret with them the melody of the end of time. Sublime !!!

The Camino de Santiago on the Camino del Norte: https://www.caminodesantiago.gal/en/make-plans/the-ways/northern-way

The Camino de Invierno or the way of winter is a telluric route: a route that adheres the pilgrim, like no other, to the earth. It does so through the epic of its vineyards, which cling to the ground hanging from the deep Sil and Miño canyons. They make up the wine territory of the Ribeira Sacra and deliver exclusive wines. A Camino dotted with museums, accommodation of all kinds, with authentic tributes to yeyé psychedelia, and pioneers who bring Galician olive oil, which seemed forgotten, back to life. Some of the largest chestnut trees in Europe grow here and it is the place that inspired Lorca’s poems that, immense in his talent as he was, he wrote in Galician. A journey of 239 kms, opened by the first pilgrims to avoid the icy peaks of the Camino Francés or French way, which crosses the most atavistic Galicia where the land is so alive that it feels. On this Camino, the pilgrim can savor a different wine from the moment the grapes are picked. Because the harvest can only be done manually, with hardly any mechanization, and it is a real effort given the conditions of the land where they are grown: the vertiginous walls of the Sil and Miño river canyons. A peculiarity that has earned it the name of heroic viticulture. The Sil river accompanies the pilgrim during the first 60 kms of the Camino de Invierno in Galicia, marking the route through villages, fields and forests and telling the story of the Ribeira Sacra not only from the water, but from its Roman origins , its illustrious characters and the tragic lyrics that it has inspired . A tragic event connects the Sil with the poetry of Federico García Lorca (see post) from Granada. In 1935, during a trip with his popular theater company La Barraca, one of the stagehands drowned in the river after the performance in Puente de Domingo Flórez, a Leonese border town. Three years later, the writer immortalized the event in Noiturnio do adoescente morto,( nocturne of the dead child) one of the six poems he wrote in Galician!

The pilgrim can turn the Camino de Invierno into a sensitive journey through art, astronomy or engineering if he decides to visit some of the museums that dot it. The Geological Museum, exhibits fossils of prehistoric mammoths and brown bears and a realistic reconstruction of the first Neolithic woman. When the pilgrim enters Quiroga (Lugo), he is entering one of the oldest places in Galicia. A privileged territory of almost 600 kms that makes up the Geoparque de las Montañas do Courel ,which has belonged, since 2019, to the UNESCO World Network of Geoparks due to its unique geology and biodiversity. Amenities, such as the first public hostel on this route, and accommodation with an extra in which to enjoy the best fusion cuisine or a psychedelic experience abound in this Camino de Invierno. An gustative way to Santiago indeed!

The Camino de Santiago Galicia on the Camino de Invierno: https://www.caminodesantiago.gal/en/make-plans/the-ways/winter-way

And I finish as usual with some wine recommendation to get wherever you are and they are available these are great price/quality deals me think.

Blas Muñoz Chardonnay Vineyards and Bodegas Muñoz. Under the umbrella of the D.O. La Mancha make a chardonnay fermented and aged in French barrels that is elegant and powerful. A real treasure that comes from a small town in Toledo .Price in Spain 12.50€. webpage: https://www.bodegasmunoz.com/nuestros-vinos/blas-munoz/
Malahierba the Malahierba Vinos winery, and the D.O. Sierra of Salamanca. Made with old vines from different towns in the Sierra de Salamanca, the diversity of the soil makes us find a fresh wine, easy to drink, but with an interesting complexity. It is very fruity with light touches of wood due to aging in 3,000-litre vats Price in Spain 12.90€ reference webpage: https://www.carlotawineshop.com/tienda/vino-tinto/malahierba/
Fuerza Bruta, a red wine from the Comunidad de Madrid from the A Pie de Tierra winery -obtained from a vineyard located in Aldea del Fresno and cultivated organically with vines between 50 and 90 years old. It is a light, fresh and mineral Garnacha, which comes from granite floors and rests 12 months in chestnut wood Price in Spain €13.50. webpage: https://www.apiedetierra.com/fuerza-bruta-2018.html

Albamar Albariño ,a white made in Rías Baixas by the Albamar winery with grapes from vineyards settled on sandy soils very close to the Ría de Arosa. It is an Albariño with a lot of identity, citrus and floral notes, whose acidity and salinity are reminiscent of the Galician coast. Price in Spain 14.80€. Best reference their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BodegasAlbamar/

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is here with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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September 8, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXI

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Summer is slowly coming to an end with many visitors coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

An easy way to save money on flights is to drive across continental Europe, as you will enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Ruta de la Plata, which runs between Gijón and Seville, in western Spain. It will take you through the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site, and through other cities such as León. Although the original route is still done on foot and by bicycle, it can also be done by car on the road. Indeed great road warrior ride !!! One wonderful webpage to do it ! : https://rutadelaplata.com/viajeros/explora-la-ruta/destinos-en-la-ruta/

The site of Segóbriga (Province of Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, This archaeological site, is one of the best examples of urban development in Roman and Celtic Hispania. In addition to the houses, the remains of the necropolis and the wall, you can visit the theater, the baths, a Visigothic basilica, the circus or the acropolis. A wonderful experience !! More info here and my post : https://www.turismo-prerromanico.com/en/monumento/segobriga-r/

The Volcàn Cerro Gordo (province of Ciudad Real), Castilla La Mancha, Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the geological secrets of the Earth. Located in Campo de Calatrava, we are facing the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand. More info here : https://volcancerrogordo.es/

The Biblioteca Nacional or national library ,since it opened its doors in the 18C, this monumental building has accumulated all the publications made in Spain. Inside, limited to academics and specialists, you can enjoy a first-rate architectural gem. Something that is only possible with guided tours that take place, in the museum part, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 17h and Wednesday is and Thursday at 10h, And from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. to the building, in this case carried out by cultural volunteers. Webpage : https://www.bne.es/en

The Prado Museum has some twists. For those who prefer to save the general admission fee, there is a possibility. Every day, on its website, free tickets are made available to the public that require reservation and give free access to the interior of the Prado from Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h. More info official Prado webpage : https://www.museodelprado.es/en/visit/opening-times-and-prices

The CentroCentro in the Palacio de Cibeles has until October 2 2022, and within the PhotoEspaña program, the exhibition The Sixties offers a very visual overview of what that time was like through books, magazines, album covers and posters. Richard Avedon, Eduardo Ayrosa, David Bailey or Robert Davidson are some of the artists whose works can be seen on this journey to a time full of optimism and hope.Free admission more info official CentroCentro : https://www.centrocentro.org/en/exhibition/fotografia-publica

The Jardines de los Palacios de la Finca Vista Alegre or gardens of the palaces of finca vista alegre are not as well known as they should be Designed by architects and gardeners from different eras, a walk here is a visual and design pleasure, since it brings together spaces as significant as the Romantic Garden, the Plaza de the statues, the Ría and the Parterre. Madrid tourist office on the gardens : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/vista-alegre-estate

Some ideas for visit of my dear Spain, all wonderful of course!

If you want to know what a medieval Castilian city was like, you have to visit Covarrubias: fortified wall, narrow cobbled streets, arcaded squares, double-height houses made of wood and stone. Founded by the Visigoth king Chindasvinto in the 7C on the remains that left by the turmódigos (pre-Roman tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula), the medieval vestiges coexist with the Herrerian style characteristic of King Felipe II in the 16C, a time of great splendor for the town and for Spain, which rose as a superpower, You can see the Bishop Peña’s House and Doña Sancha’s House , one of the most important figures in the town: daughter of Queen Urraca and Don Raimundo de Borgoña, she was the third Infanta of Covarrubias and became Queen of Castile . But if she is remembered for something is because she in 1148 granted the Fueros to the people, making her subjects stop being servants. Opposite stands the Torreón de Fernán González, the first count of Castile, a Mozarabic-style defensive construction that he himself ordered to be built in the 10C for the defense of Arlanza. Few know that it communicated with the House of Doña Sancha through an underground tunnel, and that it is also known as La Empedrada, because her sister, the Infanta Doña Urraca, was locked up here without any communication, by order of her father. The Archives of the Adelantado de Castilla (military and political chief of the province), a Herrerian-style building with Renaissance decoration that was built by order of King Felipe II in 1575 in honor of his chamber doctor, Francisco Valles, a native of the town. When the documents it contained were transferred to the General Archive of Simancas, in the 18C, it lost its function and today it is the tourist office and the municipal library, as well as one of the main entrance gates. Continuing along that street, you reach the Plaza de la Infanta Urraca, where the former Fernán González palace was located, now the City/Town Hall. And turning to the right, you reach the Church of Santo Tomás, a temple that was ordered to be built on top of another ruined Romanesque for all those who moved to the town after the charters were approved. A sober 12C parish whose interior has a fabulous 16C Plateresque staircase, considered the little sister of the one in Burgos Cathedral. The former collegiate church of San Cosme and San Damián hides authentic artistic gems within its walls. Seeing them all is only possible through a guided tour of just over an hour, something highly recommended. It is believed that the original church dates back to the 7C and was ordered to be built by King Chindasvinto, one of the founders of Covarrubias. The one we see today, in Gothic style, began to be built in the 15C and its main altar, with a golden baroque altarpiece, is a real wonder once we pass through the doors that lead to the small cloister from 1540 and which houses the tomb of Princess Kristina of Norway. Known as the Viking princess of Covarrubias, she arrived in Spain very young to marry the infant Don Felipe, brother of Alfonso X the Wise, who needed the support of the Norwegian king; her remains were found by chance, behind a wall, during some remodeling works in 1952. she died very young, aged 23, without offspring and only four years after setting foot on Spanish soil. A bronze statue in front of the former collegiate church pays homage to her, The museum is also located here, which has 150 pieces of art, including paintings and sculptures. The triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the miracle of S. Cosme and S. Damián, by Pedro Berruguete (Spanish painter of the 15C who represents that artistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance) stands out; and also The Virgin of the Book, attributed to Van Eyck (14C Belgian artist and father of the first wave of Dutch painting). Webpage : http://www.covarrubias.es/lugares-interes

The Basilica of San Juan de Baños, located in a small town near Palencia, from the 7C, is one of the most significant buildings of religious architecture from the Visigoth period, The Basilica of San Juan de Baños is on the outskirts of the town , Venta de Baños, surrounded by cereal land, near the Pisuerga riverbed, less than twenty minutes from Palencia. It is one of those temples where its dating date can be quoted with certainty, 661, as stated on a tombstone above the head. In any case, it is believed that this may be the oldest standing church in Spain, which is already a reason enough to organize a getaway to one of the most significant buildings of the religious architecture of the kingdom of the Visigoths. It has a basilica floor plan, with three naves ,the central one, wider and higher, and three apses. Eight marble columns , four on each side, probably taken from nearby Roman constructions support the horseshoe arches separating the naves, the oldest of this type known in Spain, with eight capitals. The presbytery or central part of the head is from the Visigoth period, although the gabled roof and the wall that supports them have been raised later. The exterior arch of the portico is also original, although the upper part of the wall and the belfry are from the 19C. In any case, the state of conservation is very good. Another example of a well-preserved Visigothic church is Santa María de Melque, located about 50 km from Toledo, in the town of San Martín de Montalbán, which was born as a monastic complex in the 7-8C in the vicinity of the one that It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom: Toledo !webpage : https://ventadebanos.es/turismo/patrimonio/

In Lugo you have to start, of course, with its wall, the most complete and best preserved Roman wall in the world. Surrounding and closing the old town with its more than two km in length and a height of 10 to 15 meters , Inside old Lugo there are other important Roman remains, such as the House of Mosaics or Domus Oceani, at Rúa Doutor Castro 20, preserves the remains of a domus from the 3C. The entire area, up to the current Plaza Mayor, which occupies an area of ​​about 17,000 m², is the heart of Roman Lugo. In the Plaza Mayor is the Casa do Concello (City/Town Hall), an 18C building in the Galician civil baroque style, festooned with a group of eight arcades. At the opposite end are the statues of Emperor Augustus giving the magistrate Paulo Fabio Máximo the order to build the city. Nearby is the cathedral, built between 1129 and 1273, in which the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical lives together. If we want to have the best view of this temple we have to go to its rear, to the Plaza de Santa María, where the Episcopal Palace is located. A wide triangle with granite paving and a stone cross next to the Gothic apse of the cathedral. In the subsoil of one of the corners of the square, a Roman pool from the 4C was discovered in the 1970s, which was not visible to the public until 2011, when a glass cover was placed at ground level. Discover Lugo, to check that the Camino de Santiago passes through here, specifically the so-called Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo and is the first Jacobean route of which there are references. We can follow it passing through the metal plates strategically placed on the cobbled pavement of some streets. Awesome Lugo ! More on Galicia Tourism on Lugo : https://www.turismo.gal/que-visitar/cidades/lugo?langId=en_US

Vinology is the sommelier Pilar Oltra ultimate, and worth the detour. This coming autumn 2022 they will expand the wine references on the menu to 200 and, in addition, they renew the wines by the glass. The seasonal artisan cheeses, the gratin ricotta and spinach cannelloni and the oxtail brioche with caramelized onions are included in the new seasonal menu. Soon they will launch the physical and online store and its tastings and courses. They are located at Conde de Aranda, 11, Webpage : https://vinology.wine/

And to close this post, two simple local wines of my dear Castilla La Mancha which we can buy in my Morbihan France and really enjoy it, Here they cost less than 7 euros !!!

Bodega Volver, Paso a Paso cosecha Tierra de Castilla, 100% Tempranillo Intense ruby colour, aromas of mature red fruit, fresh in the mouth with lively tannins but mature enough to give a sweet, pleasant sensation in the mouth webpage : https://bodegasvolver.com/nuestros-vinos/paso-a-paso-cosecha/?lang=en

Venta Morales ,Tierra De Castilla 100% Tempranillo, This riper version of Tempranillo shows black cherries and blueberries, along with sandalwood and sawdust from American oak. The finish reflects its warm region origins with some raisins and dusty earth lingering on the palate. Finca Las Cruces, Casa de los Pinos, Provincia de Cuenca , distributed by Bodega Volver as above.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

September 8, 2022

The new Santiago Bernabeu stadium !!!

Well I have written several posts on my other love ,the Real Madrid CF and this is their stadium in Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is undergoing a complete renovation which at last news will be done by 2023. Nevertheless, the stadium is still been use for games. The La Liga has started and we already came out winning !!!

For the record, we have also won the UEFA European SuperCup beating Eientracht Frankfurt of Germany 2×0; it is our fifth supercup! The sad news historical players are leaving the newest the Brazilian Casemiro to England, well he has won everything with us and now seek more salary naturally. We wish him the best, always a Madridista! Hala Madrid !!!

I like to tell the latest news on the renovation of the stadium with older pictures of it not yet in my blog. I look forward to be there when the new stadium is completely finish. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be totally new !! More power to come back to see it and keeping the memories of the old. The following is a translation from the Real Madrid CF and stadium webpage.

madrid bernabeu arriving from metro ln 10 apr17

Despite its difficult urban integration, the Bernabéu has become part of the city as a symbol and monument, in the sense of a building whose history, emotional charge and uniqueness are capable of lasting over time and even imposing their own own laws. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium has been projected based on three strokes of light. The composition is generated by tense curves or trajectories drawn in the air, clearly betting on the curvature and complexity of the volume, the changing reflections and the metallic shine. The outer envelope of the stadium, the facades and the roof, will be covered with a new unitary skin of metal slats, which will form an iconic and avant-garde image of the stadium. The volume of the building will be adjusted with the demolition of the La Esquina del Bernabéu Shopping Center, (memories forever!) the extension of the virtual alignments necessary for the new facades, the reconfiguration of the Castellana towers and a 21-meter flight without structural supports to form a large entrance atrium to the Tour and the stadium on the west side.

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A new fixed cover will be installed to protect all seats from the rain, to which will be added a retractable cover for the pitch that can be deployed in 15 minutes, which will make it possible for all members and fans to be comfortable, as well as giving the stadium the possibility of hosting events 365 days a year.
The expansion of the stadium flight to the west, with the inclusion of an entrance atrium to the building, requires an expanding public space that can accommodate a large audience and provides perspective to the building from the main artery of Madrid. A suitable square is designed for specific events such as sports broadcasts or market on game days, but also for cultural events linked to the life of the city. In the east square, after the demolition of the existing shopping center, a park for recreation and rest is proposed, which is elevated taking advantage of the unevenness of Calle Padre Damián street.
A new stand will be built on the east side with a capacity of more than 3,000 spectators, which will be used for relocations of the rest of the stadium areas in which the comfort of accesses and seats will be increased, maintaining the same existing capacity.

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The VIP area will be restructured and expanded to generate new quality products and services.
The gallery catering spaces will be completely transformed, offering members and fans new services of higher quality and easier consumption. A new logistics ring will be created inside the stadium, underground loading and unloading operations, and construction of a new car tunnel to increase versatility and number of events. The most outstanding element of the new Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will be the installation of a 360-degree video scoreboard. This video scoreboard will be key together with the complete renovation of the technological architecture of the stadium to offer all the digital services to the sporting event and associated activities, with the application of the latest technological innovations in the communication and security systems of the stadium. The expansion and improvement of the complementary leisure and entertainment spaces within the new volume of the Stadium will be given by the expansion of the Tour Bernabéu space, which will be doubled with new content to live a unique experience. In addition, a panoramic tour will be created along the perimeter roof. New restaurants will be created with the aim of turning the stadium into a special dining destination in the city. In addition, two Real Madrid megastores will be implemented and other commercial spaces will be built in different areas of the stadium.

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The urbanization will be conditioned to increase and improve the public spaces in the area, improving the landscaped and pedestrian areas, as well as the perimeter public road, to turn it into a unique space in the City. The quality of urbanization will be improved with new pavements, change of lighting, installation of new furniture and signage, and planting of new trees and landscaping throughout the area, whose surface is close to 50,000 m2. The adaptation of the urban environment of the Santiago Bernabéu charged to Real Madrid’s budgets will put an end to pedestrian coexistence on Calle Rafael Salgado street and the creation of public spaces with two new squares. In the Paseo de la Castellana, a square of more than 10,000 square meters will be adapted and a space for stays privately owned by Real Madrid but for public use and enjoyment will be created in the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones of more than 5,000 square meters.

The official Real Madrid CF on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/bernabeu-stadium

There you go folks, a wonderful work of love for the greatest club in the history of the game, so says FIFA and the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). It is worth the detour for its magnificent architecture and history even if not into football/soccer. Again, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the Real Madrid CF! Hope you enjoy the post and get you to see it

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

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