Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whirlwind Tour of Different Barrios of Madrid


Monday, 28 November, 2016:

We now had only three more days in Spain before heading home for California on Thursday.

After much discussion, we abandoned plans to revisit the city of Toledo, about an hours drive South of Madrid, in favor of a plan to spend two more days tapas crawling and exploring more of Madrid's unique/quaint barrios and one last day preparing for the flight home and eating in Arganda del Rey.

As we started our walk to the Metro station in Arganda del Rey, we noted that even though it was late November, Fall was just arriving in central Spain.

 The trees were changing colors

For Californians, this is an
incredible event

A stork nest seen as we entered
the La Poveda Metro station

Nice artwork at the
Núñez de Balboa Metro stop

Our first goal was to explore was Madrid's trendy Salamanca barrio.

Guide Dog Topiary

Salamanca's upscale architecture

Laurie in front of Hermes . . .

. . . and Tiffany's

. . . and a high end shoe store

A new building in old Madrid

Is this even legal?

 By an El Corte Inglés

Christmas Shop

Christmas Window Display

 Pumpkins

 Great Vegetable Stand

 Character filled store front

An upscale barrio needs
an upscale mercado

 It also needs a great bar like
La Bodega de Casanova with a . . .

Vintage motorcycle in front

 The served warm coffee
and a great . . .

. . . desayuno with . . .

. . . some atmosphere to boot

Well, that didn't take long

I had successfully steered Laurie away from many of the high end stores in the Salamanca barrio but after our good desayuno I caved in at a place called El Capote located next door to La Bodega de Casanova.

El Capote's hands-on owner

El Capote is the pink and yellow cape that bullfighters use at the start of the corrida. The owner makes several of his items out of the same capote material.

The one-eyed matador in the picture is his good friend Juan José Padilla who we saw at the bullfights in Valencia last year. Padilla was fearless that day but his one and only bull that day keeled over dead from a heart attack just as the courageous Padilla was about to go in for the kill.

Our owner is in the picture with Padilla. He is the one who has the famous matador on his shoulders.

Bullfight themed El Capote Store

What theme would you pick, of course!

I bought Laurie a nice wallet to momentarily store money and credit cards before spending wildly on future forays into shopping malls.

 Juan José Padilla
El Capote spokesman

Time to enter the Mercado de la Paz to see what they had to sell.

What are these green things?

 Artichokes

Olives for Laurie

Pickles floating in that red sauce?

The Mercados Italian Restaurant

Nicely dressed shoppers

Near Plaza de Colon

Monument to the Discovery of
America by Christopher Columbus

That's a HUGE flag

The new Torres de Colon
in the distance

Interesting

Christopher Columbus and
another Christmas tree

Goodness snakes alive!

Near Madrid's Hard Rock Cafe, I needed to buy a Madrid themed t-shirt and this place always has man-sized t-shirts.

Back aboard the Metro, we were off to two more side-by-side barrios . . . 

Chueca and Malasaña 

Good architecture in Chueca too

Our goal was simple, our Lonely Planet Spain Travel Guide stated that Chueca's Casa Julio " . . . is widely touted as the home of Madrid's best croquetas."

We had to find this spot for research purposes.

Eclectic but no

 Getting closer

Laurie liked the succulents

 Artist going to the studio?

Oh the memories of Catania

One of our favorite beaches
in California

EUREKA!
We found it!

The wine was good

The company was better

And the croquetas were
OUTSTANDING!

But are they the best ones in all of Madrid?

More research will be required before we publish our final results.

Seemingly unaffected by
Castro's recent passing

My sentiments exactly!

 A Pharmacy and a Bar

Interesting concept in marketing.

 Renovating a Malasaña store

Multipurpose plaza

A Five Guys on Grand Via near
Plaza de España

Madrileño friends, if you are hankering for a great, truly American style hamburger dining experience, then going here is a MUST!

Although we did not go in, the Five Guys chain ranks #2 on my list of hamburger spots behind #1 In-N-Out.

 Christmas Tree on
Plaza de España

Grand Via architecture

Archery practice

More of Grand Via

Old Mural

Shouldn't this be in Sweden?

GREAT glasses!

Save that building!

Iglesia de San Luis Obispo

Son Michael and I will probably stop in California's San Luis Obispo for breakfast on Friday on our way to the PAC-12 Championship Game between 11-1 Washington and 10-2 Colorado.

GO DAWGS!

Love the bar scene near
Puerta del Sol

Ratón Pérez birthplace

Ratón Pérez is Spain's equivalent to our Tooth Fairy. Father Coloma was a priest who wrote the original Ratón Pérez story while living in this building as a story for the boy King Alfonso XIII.

The marker states that Ratón Pérez once lived here in a box of cookies.

 Another El Corte Inglés
Christmas Display for kids
of all ages

 Great old convent

We were headed to this Asturian
restaurant for a late lunch

DAMN!
Closed on Mondays

No problem, we'll be back on Tuesday!

 Fall colors near the Royal Theater

We needed coffee . . .

 . . . and churros and
chocolate too !

No, seriously, this is really
healthy for us daily

Puerta del Sol
was all spruced up

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, too bad our Swedish friends could not have stayed one more day to enjoy it.

This point at Puerta del Sol is
kilometer zero

All distance measurements to other points of Spain from Madrid are measured from this spot.

King Carlos III
on Puerta del Sol

 Puerta del Sol's
HUGE Christmas Tree

Enjoying the day on
Puerta del Sol

We had a great day but it was time to head home, we still had a couple of Junior and Senior Osos Rivas practices to conduct.

Armanda del Rey by night

Juniors Two-on-One
Pass Rush Drill

A One-on-One
Pass Rush Drill too

Too much speed for #46

An example of our
state-of-the-art
practice/game field

There are several spots like this on our field.

Unfortunately for us, during our Camioneros game two weeks ago, a receiver for the Coslada 11 was found wide open for a 40 yard TD pass over our middle. Our defender was in great position until his foot found one of these loose strips, slipped and fell down thus losing his about to score receiver.

Football is a game of inches, sometimes inches of poor turf.

I'm relieved again that Laurie was told that she could only wear sports shoes on the field while taking game photos so that she did not hurt our pristine turf.

As for our Senior practice, the numbers were a bit light but we got a lot accomplished because of our players' attitudes.

A fun day all the way around!

Reading Is FUNdamental

Finally finished with
Book I

This first of two Don Quixote books was 462 pages long and I found it an interesting insight into the Spanish psyche.

I plan to read Book II when we get back to California as I need to return my current copy of Cervantes' tome to the Arganda del Rey Public Library before our flight home.

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