If you’re planning on joining the New Year fiestas (the “pre-uvas” on the 30th of December, and the “campanadas” on 31stDecember-1st January) in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, you’d better double check on the ways and means of getting there before setting out. Read on!
On 17 October 1919 King Alfonso XIII of Spain inaugurated the capital’s first ever subway line. It went from under the Puerta del Sol in the center of the city up 3.48 kilometers north to Cuatro Caminos. A century later, the fledgling underground transport system of a measly eight stations boasts 12 lines and 302 stations, spanning 294 kilometers. It is the third longest subway in Europe, and the world’s eighth. It is a vanguard of accessibility with its 1705 escalators and 530 lifts. It has always run on electrciity, even long before saving our Planet via the clean-air route has become an urgent task!
When the pedestrianization of the iconic Puerta del Sol is done, and the ongoing remodelling of the Plaza de Canalejas is completed, the Madrileños will enjoy “one of the great urban areas that any European capital must have,” according to the Mayor of Madrid.
In just a decade, the predictable two-party environment in Spain fractured into a wide breadth of parties and ideologies and may never revert to the what-had-once-been. This will certainly make for a more chaotic system, but a more interesting one as well.
"Since moving back to the states, I've had to rely on hotels and apartments for lodging when in Spain. I often opt for the latter, finding it nice to have a kitchen to prepare greens after a day of eating my all beige Spanish comfort food - croquetas, tortilla, patatas ali-oli, churros and natillas con nata. But I would like to alert everyone to the wide use of euphemisms to describe many properties"
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So have fun in Madrid – or any tourist places around Spain, for that matter – but be alert and always be on your guard
The Purloined Suitcase: "Where, oh where was my dark blue suitcase with the large bright pink bow???" <> The Sneeze and the March: "There were many protesters marching on the street below. After they were gone, no trash at all to be found. All of those people and no trash left behind. Amazing!" <> . . .The Bank: "The machine ate my card!" <> Chocolatería: "Best hot chocolate ever!"
In 1909 the Spanish winegrowers had such a bountiful harvest there was an excess of supply over demand. They had to think of a way to dispose of the surplus. They told the people eating a grape with each stroke of the clock toward the magic hour will bring prosperity throughout the new year. If, on the other hand, you don't join the ritual, you're cursed.That sent people scrambling to buy the grapes!
Afternoon sun dapples trees in front of the Royal Palace in early Fall
By Chris Collins