Wednesday, November 16, 2016

El Parque del Buen Retiro and a Fantastic Stings Practice!

Tuesday, 15 November, 2016:

It was a gorgeous day in Madrid, perfect for a walk in one of Europe's greatest parks, the 346-acre majestic El Parque del Buen Retiro.

Once the private domain of royalty, it is now a favorite spot to commune with nature for Madrileños and visitors like us as well. King Carlos III decided to share the park with his subjects in the late 1700s and there is no going back now.

But first . . .

Fall colors in
Armanda del Rey

Before going to El Parque del Buen Retiro, we took the Metro to the O'Donnell exit on the number 6 Circular Line.

Why the slight detour you ask?

Not for the interesting artwork
but for . . .

. . . this GREAT bar that Hector
Manzano introduced me to before
the Real Madrid basketball game a
few weeks ago

I just had to share a plate of
Torreznos with Laurie

She found the crispy edged pork bits just as delicious as Hector and I had that night.


The Bar Los Torreznos
also had these on display

Are they peppers or perhaps olives stuffed with pimentos?

Sated and on our way to El Retiro,
we ran into funky street art

Lots of funky street art

Great door

Does that sign mean that they are insured against fires?

Well, Bar Los Torreznos
didn't fully sate us after all

A cafe con leche and a
good croissant helped though

A great Spaniard from the 1800s
who believed in hard work,
education and liberty

Me too.

 Excellent Moorish style building

Well, no wonder, it is the
Casa Arabé

It houses the International Institute for Arabic Studies and the Muslim World.

A Trump favorite no doubt.

 We have just entered
El Parque del Buen Retiro

San Isidoro Ruins
from the 11th-century

Is that a little house
in the small lake?

Why it is!
It's La Casita del Pescador

I'm BIG on monuments
to Cuba for some reason

One of El Retiro's
many secluded spots

The Flower of
Spanish Womanhood

This little alcove is dedicated to . . .

The Brothers Quintero

They were great, beloved dramatists who wrote during the early part of the 20th-century.

 We stopped here to read
in serene comfort

Nearing El Retiro's large lake

How big a lake you ponder?

Big enough that España's King Felipe IV used to stage mock naval battles in it when he reigned from 1621 to 1665.

Great columns

Unlike his woeful Detroit cousins,
this lion appeared strong


Two Doñas enjoying the Sun,
some wine and, but of course,
some internet time

 It is a fairly large lake

You can rent boats to enjoy the water some more.

I can definitely see a mock naval battle taking place if all the Osos and Stings rented boats during a future team building day in the park!


Overlooking the Retiro's lake

Same monument,
different view

 Nice interaction between the
fountain's water and the sunlight

Up close, it was a
marvelous fountain

 El Retiro's Royal Gardens

More of the same

Monument to Spanish Dramatist
Jacinto Benavente

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922

Again, El Parque del Buen Retiro
is one of Europe's greatest parks

We bid it a fond adios
as we exited through the gate

 Fine apartments near the
famed Prado Art Museum

 More of the same

Iglesia San Jerónimo el Real

Next door to the Prado Museum, we have yet to enter as it is always closed to the public, or maybe just us, when we are in the area.

 Painter Francisco Goya (1746-1828)
is HUGE in the Prado Museum

 "Señora, who does your hair?"

Franciscan Diffuser of the Bible
Center of Propaganda

Propaganda, hmmmm . . .

Continuing our Tapas Crawl
on Calle de Jesús

Calle de Jesús was a stone's throw away from our location so we opted to eat just a bit more before heading home.

Rick Steves billed Los Gatos as " . . . a kaleidoscope of Spanish culture . . . "


Splendors everywhere you looked

I get the bull but
Pabst Blue Ribbon?

What to order besides
a Clara con Lemon?

Nice placement

 Chandeliers and Skeletons?

Who is the couple in the mirror?

Gigantic coffee machine

Jamon and a large beer tap

Why not?

So many . . .

. . . many choices for tapas

Ancient cash register

Still loving these
partying skeletons

It was a GREAT bar

The Cervecerias Los Gatos easily impressed us as we have now eaten at two of the nine bars/restaurants that our Rick Steves Guidebook to Spain recommend in this action packed two block segment of Calle de Jesús.

Let's see, that means that we still have seven to go and only two more weeks to finish the task.


 As I said, I like all things
related to Cuba

 I also like Alphonse Mucha
inspired Art Nouveau posters

Star Wars?

Easily my favorite
building in Madrid

Once back in Arganda del Rey, Laurie wanted a photo with one of her favorite . . .

. . . Minions

No, it was not Kevin who is easily her favorite Minion.

If it's Thursday, it's time for 
 Guadalajara Stings Football!

Tackling Practice

Our new Cadets were at it too

Our turnout tonight was even bigger than last Thursday's record showing!

I had nine, count them, NINE offensive linemen tonight. I usually have only four athletes at practice for the four line spots (Center, two Guards and a Tight End) in nine-man American football.

Good pad level but
a step slow on his get off

The Stings were flying
all over the field tonight

We had nearly 30 players at practice tonight as the word about the bright days ahead in Stings' future is getting around on the calles of Guadalajara and the surrounding areas!

Tonight's practice was FUN!

Meanwhile in Rivas . . .

YOUR Osos Rivas play their
first Copa de Madrid game this
Saturday at home against the
Coslada Camioneros

Laurie and I are going, how about you?

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