Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Road Trip to Picturesque Chinchón and the Start of Our First Game Week

Monday, 14 November, 2016:

Today was the start of our Osos Rivas first game week of the 2016-17 season.

But first . . .

I forgot to post Sunday night's
Super Moon over Arganda del Rey

 The story of one of the best coaching
tools and the Spanish Federation

HUDL is an excellent service that allows teams using it to upload their game and/or practice tapes, break them down, make comments and then share them with the players and coaches on the club. It also allows clubs to easily make video exchanges before playing each other. All in all, it is a marvelous coaching tool.

At about 6:30 a.m. this morning I entered our Osos Rivas HUDL website to start to view video tape of our opponents this week, the Coslada Camioneros.

Instead of my usual HUDL account page popping up, a different one appeared saying that I could not enter because the fees for the account had not been paid. I informed our Head Coach Jesús Sánchez about the issue and after several phone calls he found out the source of our problem.

As it turns out, part of the dues that every club in Spain pays to the LNFA, Spain's Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano, includes about 200 Euros for a HUDL license that gives HUDL access to every dues paying team in the country. 

Now this is a great, money saving move given the large volume of teams in the country. The only problem is that the LFNA unilaterally decided on Sunday to cancel the HUDL license for the entire country. The LNFA leadership felt that HUDL was not a worthwhile tool to spend money on.

Not the brightest move from a group that continues to make, shall we kindly call, bizarre decisions that seldom help the growth of the game.

Par y Impar.

On Sunday after our Osos Rivas Junior teams game, we hitched a ride home to La Casa Grande with Ricky Martín. While driving, he asked if we had visited the nearby village of Chinchón. The correct answer was "No."

The dye was cast, on Monday morning Laurie and I loaded into the Land Rover for the 30 minute drive through the countryside to Chinchón, population 5,428 souls.

The drive through olive orchards

Lots of rocky soil in España

Lots of olives too

When I entered K.L.Carver School in San Marino, California in 1952, we soon started using the "Dick and Jane" books to learn how to read.

I remember one chapter that dealt with Dick and Jane's family loading up their car for a trip to the country where they were able to see all sorts of farm animals.

San Marino is one of many towns both small and large that make up the greater Los Angeles megalopolis. The Los Angeles megalopolis is just city after city after city with no farms or farm animals anywhere that I could recall. Thus, Dick and Jane's trip made no sense to me at the time.

Every time that Laurie and I have taken one of these road trips in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France or Spain over the last eight years, I always think back to that Dick and Jane story.

Living the good life 64 years later . . .

What's that on top of the hill?

Laurie saw what looked like a monument atop a random hill as we drove. We were in no hurry after the HUDL fiasco, so we opted to park the car and walk up to take a closer look.

 It was two hands joined together

But from a certain angle,
it looked like the signature raised
fist of the Republican forces
during the Spanish Civil War

It turns out that it was indeed a memorial called the Monumento a la Solidaridad dedicated to the International Brigades who fought side-by-side with the anti-fascist Republican forces in the nearby Battle of Jarama.

It was erected by the people of the city of Morata de Tajuña in 2006, long after the death of Spain's fascist leader, Francisco Franco.

The view of the valley from the
Monumento a la Solidaridad

About 15 minutes after leaving the
Monumento a la Solidaridad we
at our destination

We parked next to the
Castillo de los Condes

Well fortified

Nice entry way to the
Castillo de los Condes

Unfortunately, it was closed today so we left the car in the Castillo de los Condes' otherwise empty parking lot and walked into the heart of downtown Chinchón.

The view of Chinchón from
near the Castillo de los Condes

 Typically wonderful street signs

Sidewalk art

Chinchón's famed Plaza Mayor

Chinchón is a charming, ramshackle village with a circular Plaza Mayor that features sagging, there balconies.

During Chinchón's yearly festival, the Plaza Mayor is sealed off and turned into a bull ring for a dose of La Fiesta Brava.

The Plaza Mayor balconies

First stop the
Tourist Information Office

Chinchon's ancient community

We were hungry and in need of
traditional Spanish breakfast fare
and this café was on the Plaza Mayor

The inside the Café La Columna
was interesting but it was sunny

 Thus, we dined al fresco

A cafe con leche in the morning is always a solid option.

Laurie at our Plaza Mayor table

Two pinchos of tortilla Española
and a couple of slices of bread
completed our traditional breakfast
Nice chairs

 Great balcony

Reportedly the best restaurant in
Chinchón for roast lamb

It sounded good so we waited for then to open. The menu said that the roast lamb would set us back about 30 Euros each.

We passed.

We did not pass on this
souvenir store though

For anyone interested in dried
corn, this is your spot

Another view of the
glorious Plaza Mayor

If you are a movie buff, the Plaza Mayor be look familiar. It was used as a setting in the 1956 David Niven movie Around the World in 80 Days

Orson Wells also used the Plaza Mayor in two of his movies, The Chimes at Midnight and Immortal History.

Fountain facing the Plaza Mayor

One of many, many interesting
looking cafés, bars and restaurants
in and around the Plaza Mayor

 Nice mural

Chinchon's entry in the "Spain's Best
Looking Ancient Door" contest

The Castillo de los Condes
in the distance

View from above the Plaza Mayor

Chinchon's Clock Tower

Doña Francisca Enriquez de Rivera
Condesa de Chinchón and
Virreina del Peru

The Doña was one of Chinchón's leading citizens in the early 1600s.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora
de la Asunción

Asunción is my Mother's name.

As with many museums, churches and historic sites in Europe, it was closed on Monday.

 I liked the sign

 Three pigeons hanging out

The cross is on the spot where one
Andres Barredi died in 1808

LOVE this Plaza Mayor


In 1863 at this Antigua Posada del Tio Tamayo, an inn, the famed matador, Salvador "Frascuelo" Sánchez, recovered from a serious goring during one of Chinchón's bull fights.

Plaza Mayor arcade

 Another restaurant

Yet another view of the Plaza Mayor

Panaderia aromas overwhelmed us

 She was classic,
so was the bread

Another panaderia

 Our last stop in Chinchón for
tapas on the Plaza Mayor

Prototypical Spanish little old man

Approaching the Castillo de
los Condes for the trip home

 A wine bodega in a
random, hilltop village

We did not stop.

Madrid in the distance

Before arriving home, we needed to buy a few things at our local LIDL food market. There we discovered . . .

. . . gluten free beer?

Brian FitzGerald are you reading this?


This coming Saturday, at home, kicking off at 4:00 p.m., will be the Osos Rivas Senior team's long awaited 2016-17 season opener.

While the Osos main focus is on the LFNA's Serie B season that starts in late January, we are competing in the Liga Madrileña as well that features a series of pre-season games if you will against other teams in the greater Madrid area.

Our game on Saturday will be between the . . .

 Colada Camioneros

and your . . .

Osos Rivas

Although we had a spirited practice and I was overall pleased with the work and effort of offensive line, it was not as sharp a session as one would like to start your first game week of the year.

On the other hand, we play on Saturday, not Monday.

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