Madrid, Spain – Anticipation & Surprises – Part 1

Little were we aware of the “surprise” awaiting us as we disembarked the bullet train from Cordoba and made our way to the streets of Madrid just outside the railroad station.




Madrid Atocha Train Station

Cars had abandoned the streets and were replaced by large groups of people briskly walking toward our hotel at the Plaza de las Cortes.



Our guide explained that the bus was not able to reach our hotel and we had a walk of several large blocks. The result was that the luggage could not be delivered until some time later (which turned out to be close to midnight). Anyone needing medications or other important supplies was asked to stay behind to retrieve a small quantity of items to carry with them. And thus the walk began!



The home team had just won a recent soccer championship. Celebration and merriment were the theme of the moment!

As we made our way through the ever more crowded streets, we passed a massive living green wall. This was perhaps the most exceptional example I had ever seen so kudos to those vertical gardeners of Madrid!



This was the scene just outside the hotel as we arrived.



We had some time before evening was upon us so we headed out to do a quick walkabout and gain some familiarity with the local sights. We continued to be impressed by the beautiful colors of the houses as well as the interesting contrasts in this urban district.



On the following day, it was an early breakfast and off to visit the The Palacio Real or Royal Palace, located at the Plaza de la Armeria.



“The structure itself is enormous and an awe-inspiring sight (both inside and out). It measures 135,00 square metres and is separated into 3,418 rooms. That’s almost double the size of England’s Buckingham Palace or France’s Versailles.**”
**source:

Once the home of the Kings of Spain, the palace today serves as the site for state ceremonies, official banquets and other government functions. Upon entering, visitors are soon rewarded with a magnificent staircase and and royal trappings of red velvet and golden accents.



“The Grand Staircase is composed of a single piece of San Agustin marble. Two lions grace the landing, one by Felipe de Castro and another by Robert Michel. The frescoes on the ceiling is by Corrado Giaquinto and depicts Religion Protected by Spain. On the ground floor is a statue of Charles III in Roman toga, with a similar statue on the first floor depicting Charles IV. The four cartouches at the corners depict the elements of water, earth, air and fire.**”

**source:

This area of the palace can be very crowded at times which makes it difficult to arrange for a good photographic composition without milling crowds.



On the ceiling above the grand staircase is a painting by the Italian artist Corrado Giaquinto which is titled Religion Protected by Spain.



Regal ornamentation was on exhibit throughout the rooms in the Royal Palace.



Tapestries and opulence on display

There were a few tell tale signs of modernity such as the painting of the family of Juan Carlos I by Antonio López.



Pictured are King Juan Carlos I, Queen Sophia and their 3 children – Elena, Cristina and the new King Felipe IV.

“The Manchegan painter Antonio López has devoted 20 years to the painting The Family of Juan Carlos I. The final version of this work, after numerous modifications, is the culmination of the exhibition The Portrait in the Royal Collections…**”

**source:

As we left the palace, we took a brief walk to one of the “balconies” accessible via the plaza to view an area that is now a park, but once served as the hunting grounds for the Spanish Royalty.



Located south of the Royal Palace (at the other end of the Plaza de la Armeria) is another architectural wonder, the Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena. We did not have an opportunity to visit the Cathedral, but if we return to Madrid, it will be on the list of things to see.



As we were aboard the transport heading to another destination, we passed some of the beautiful gardens and parks surrounding the palace and cathedral.



There is plenty to see and admire in Madrid. A very popular tourist attraction is the Botín restaurant recognized as the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Tourists stop by to have their pictures taken in front of the wooden-paneled facade.



Read more about the history and current status of Botín

While strolling through the same neighborhood, we came across this whimsical modern art gallery.



There were numerous shops and floral displays to please the eyes and interests of passersby.



Closer to our hotel, we took another walk just about dinner time. Parking, as in most major cities, can be an issue in Madrid as this car parked along the side of the narrow street which appeared to be a walking only thoroughfare.



A visit to the Prado, Spain’s venerable art museum, was on our “things to do” the following day, but as we passed by on this day, there was a line going completely around the museum for blocks and blocks.



Out of curiosity, I stopped to ask a gentleman waiting in line what was happening and he cheerfully explained that there was free admission between 6 and 8 pm from Monday to Saturday (and other days as well) – check this web page if interested – https://www.museodelprado.es/en/visit-the-museum

That was enough for this day. It was time to rest a bit and prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.


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Read previous posts about our adventures traveling in Portugal and Spain:

Portugal – Alfama District, Lisbon Part 1

Portugal – Alfama District, Lisbon Part 2

Portugal – Lisbon Streets & Garden

Lisbon Portugal – The Belem and Tejo River District

Sintra Portugal – National Palace and Quaint Streets

Portugal – Seaside Resort of Cascais

Portugal – Lisbon’s Edward VII Park

Lisbon, Portugal – Walking the Avenue to the Rossio District

Lisbon, Portugal – Unique Gift Shop

Portugal – Evora’s Capela dos Ossos

Portugal – Historic Evora

Merida, Spain – Ancient Roman Ruins

Seville, Spain – First Impressions

Seville, Spain – The Alcazar

Seville, Spain – Around Town (Sights along the streets)r

Jerez, Spain – Horses and Sherry

Gibraltar – More than the Rock

Marbella Along the Mediterranean

Bridging the Gorge – Amazing Ronda, Spain

Romantic and Fabled Granada, Spain

The Alhambra Palace and Fortress – Granada, Spain

Cordoba, Spain and the Olive Country

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



A Sports Legacy for North Phoenix


Legacy Sports Arena Opening Sign

New ground has recently been broken in North Phoenix, both figuratively and literally. Just a short distance from the intersection of I-17 and Route 303, construction of the Legacy Sports Arena has begun as part of the Gateway Community.


Legacy groundbreaking ceremony

Cave Creek resident Robert Eaton and his team are working hard to complete an ambitious and profoundly different sports facility with an anticipated opening scheduled for the Fall of 2020. The plans call for two NHL-sized hockey rinks with the latest LED technology employed via glass flooring that can provide lighted boundary lines for basketball courts, dodgeball, soccer, lacrosse and for the fastest growing sport in the United States and Canada…a dozen pickleball courts!


Construction starting at the Legacy Sports Complex

As Rob pointed out during the groundbreaking ceremony, the name Legacy is a tribute to families and family traditions. The name also acknowledges the contributions of active and veteran military members and first-responders and the playing surfaces will be named to honor them.


Rob Eaton detailing the Sports Arena at the groundbreaking

The design was developed to bring the best experiences to both players and sports fans via open space viewing throughout the facility. The arena will incorporate some of the latest developments in green energy with both passive and active low-energy designs part of which will include rooftop solar panels generating electricity year round.

The Legacy Sports Arena portends to be one of the nicest sports facilities in the area and perhaps nation-wide with a restaurant, gymnasium, concession venue, artificial ice rink and other sports resources upstairs.


Drawing of the Legacy Sports Complex

The Legacy sports building would be innovative as a stand alone project, but Rob Eaton and the designers had more than that in mind when they created a vision for a destination facility. Hoping to attract tournament play, conventions, family vacationers and special events, in addition to the 170,000+ square foot sports arena, there will also be a hotel conceived specifically for players and spectators.


Drawing of the Legacy Hotel and Sports Arena

The lodging will incorporate larger team rooms and special amenities via available suites for team members as well as rooms for sports oriented families and guests.

Everyone who enjoys watching or playing sports should be excited about the future of the Legacy Sports Project. Congratulations to everyone involved for creating such a strong vision that will provide wonderful opportunities for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Best wishes for much success!

 


Follow the News and Development of Legacy Sports Arena

Legacy News and Updates

View the Sports and Target Age Groups

Legacy Sports Arena Logo

 

Read more miscellaneous stories on JBRish HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Humor: Taxes Eating Up Discretionary Cash!


We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant in March. We ordered Hot and Spicy soup for two, an Orange Chicken entree and a Hot Szechuan Pork entree. The prices were reasonable, but the taxes were a bit of a surprise.


I knew taxes were recently raised, but...

I knew taxes were recently raised, but really!

NOTE – Truth be told, the bill was corrected as this turned out to be a “computer glitch!”

See more humor posts on JBRish HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Something to Think About – Puzzle of Sorts

Here’s a puzzle (of sorts) for JBRish readers.

Preface: We live in N. Phoenix which is near Scottsdale, AZ. This area thrives on the winter vacation and part-time resident crowd and thus there are a multitude of restaurants. We have eaten at our share of the nearby eateries over the years and the last time we visited a local establishment that is popular with the locals and tourists alike, I looked in the dispenser that held the sugar packets and this is what I saw

NOTE – I have removed some of the markings to make this a bit of a challenge.

Have you ever seen one of these? Do you know what it is?



Don’t feel bad, it took me a minute and I had the entire form to look at. Here it is with one more clue added



By now you have probably guessed, so here is the rest of the item as I saw it when I took it from the container.



If you haven’t guessed by now, it is for diners to place their gum on this cardboard to be folded and discarded. Apparently, as confirmed by our waitress, so many people stick their gum under the table that it has created a big problem for staff who have to scrape and clean the bottom of the tables. Who would have thought?!


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


A Very Different Pointe of View – Septuagenarian Style

So what did you did you do this weekend? While this isn’t my actual birthday, life circumstances sometimes dictate the postponement of celebrations or, as in this case, the fast-forwarding to a special occasion.

It was with the greatest of ease that I slid from being a sexagenarian to that of a septuagenarian although the former did have a certain ring to it! It was almost painless and was less troublesome than I had thought a number years earlier.

My very best special friends of more than fifty years feted us in grand style. As a surprise, we were escorted to quite a dinner at the award winning Different Pointe of View restaurant nestled high into the hills overlooking downtown and north Phoenix.

This is the blurb from Hilton’s website:

“The award-winning Different Pointe of View offers modern American Cuisine and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.”

Sad to say I only had my iPhone, but I was able to gather a few representative pictures anyway and I hope they impart the beauty and elegance of the surroundings. The food was excellent as well and I will talk a bit about that too.

Here is the first photo I took looking north from the parking lot near the main entrance to the restaurant.

 

View looking North from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix

This is another picture in the same basic direction; perhaps a bit more westerly. It had rained the day before and the clouds still maintained some of their drama.

View looking North westerly from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix

Facing south, we can see the hills that surround the valley including South Mountain.

View looking South from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix

As a frame of reference, I placed an oval around the downtown area of Phoenix.

View looking South from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, with the city highlighted Phoenix

From the balcony of the restaurant, looking southeasterly, there were more mountains and houses off to the side of the hill. The sky was a beautiful color blue.

View looking South easterly from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant's balcony, Phoenix, AZ

Needless to say the food was superb as well. This is the entrée that I had:


The Pork Tenderloin entrée at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ
Picture courtesy of Hilton’s website.

The tenderloin was “spicy,” but not overly so. Those more gringo however, might want to focus on other offerings. Several of our friends had the short ribs which were reported to be outstanding. The bread service was unique in offering several toppings for the bread varieties. Everything was as it should have been; very good!

The view was equally stunning at night with the city lights, the lights of the cars and streetlamps adding to the romantic aura.

An evening view from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant's balcony, Phoenix, AZ

The patio was superbly landscape inviting diners to walk into the various outdoor “rooms” and nooks and crannies that abound.

The Different Pointe of View's beautifully landscaped balcony area, Phoenix, AZ

This picture shows the interior of the restaurant (left) with the door to the outside open (right) which melded the indoor and outdoor experience for total enjoyment.

An indoor/outdoor split view from The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

The hibiscus (below) and greenery were presented with dramatic flare!

A pretty, red hibiscus on the balcony at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

Naturally one would not expect the ordinary outdoor lamps at a Different Pointe of View.

Decorative outdoor lamps at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

Nice!

Decorative outdoor lamps (closeup) at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

The base of the lamp, with the associated shadows, also served in their role as a catchy design element.

Decorative outdoor lamp base (closeup) at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

While we had a lovely, well-paced birthday celebration, it was one those events that we would hope to prolong as much as possible, but alas the evening had to draw to a close. We made our way to the elevator where a spiraling staircase allowed some guests to descend at their own pace.

The spirial staircase at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

As we awaited the arrival of the car, we enjoyed the serenity of the fountains and started to fashion the memories of the evening just passed.

The tranquil fountains at The Different Pointe of View Restaurant, Phoenix, AZ

Thank you to my best friend and college roommate and his lovely wife (L & M), as well as our other very good friends Terry & Lora for making this a most memorable evening. Every time I drive by, I will certainly have a different “pointe of view.”

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Life in the Desert entries HERE