Sunday, October 23, 2016

Madrid's Spanish Inquisition Tour

Saturday, 22 October, 2016:

Although it rained most of the day, it was still a GREAT day in in Osos Nation!

First there was good news from the Guadalajara Stings.

Stings hitting the pavement
in G-town for four hours

Last Sunday night we had a combination NFL viewing and Guadalajara Stings State-of-the-Club meeting at Hector Manzano's home in Alcalá de Henares.

The games were fun of course but I was happy with the ideas that we agreed upon to help bolster both the Stings' bank account and roster size.

The Stings wasted absolutely no time in implementing their new ideas as they started today, a mere six days after our meeting.

Team members sold lottery tickets, distributed posters throughout the city, talked to store owners and recruiter possible players at two large shopping malls in Guadalajara.

Celebrating a job well done with pizza

To sum things up, Hector e-mailed me that the day netted four new confirmed sponsors and a few other potential sponsors who showed interest.


And the good news kept on coming

The Knights, like the Stings, are one of the Osos Rivas feeder programs. Today the Knights took the six hour, 650 km/400 mile drive south to the U.S. Naval Station in Rota, Spain to play the Rota Admirals. The Admirals play for the high school on the base serving the children of the U.S. Navy personnel working and/or working on the base.

Final Score: Royal Oaks Knights 42 - Rota Admirals 30

Congratulations to Head Coach Marco Chomón Montaña for this big victory!

It was rainy again today so most of the day was spent reading, internet work and breaking down last night's Osos scrimmage tapes.

I made the decision early in the day to make the 19 stop, two Metro train transfers trip from Arganda del Rey to Madrid's bustling Puerta del Sol to attend the Spanish Inquisition Tour starting at 7:00 p.m.

The weather report stated that the rain would continue until 7:00 p.m. but then stop until after midnight.

Who was I to argue?

 People meeting on Puerta del Sol

It was 5:45 p.m. so it was
raining as promised

 The buildings were bright
as usual

 Interesting juxtaposition of
a crucifix and legs spouting
out of the Teatro Calderon

Nearing Plaza de Santa Ana

Sounded good but . . .

. . . I was headed to the Enrique
Tomas for needed sustenance

Jamón Iberico stuffed into a tortilla Española, great idea!

While eating dinner, the skies opened and a torrential downpour threatened to flood the streets.

The Spanish Inquisition Tour meeting on Plaza Mayor might be in peril.
Nearing Plaza Mayor

Still Pouring

 Plaza Mayor looking good
after a spritz

 There are some wonderful
eateries down those steps

Wedding Pictures on Plaza Mayor

The rain was letting up at the 7:00 p.m. tour time approached.

Our Tour Guide under
the umbrella on the right

 Some good, old time torturing
portrayed on the Plaza Mayor

 The skies cooperated

Our Tour Guide Enrique

He did a thorough job and was well informed on his topic.

From the "It's a Small World" file, Enrique lived for a year in Thousand Oaks, California about 15 minutes from Casa Contreras in Camarillo.

Moorish styled bell tower

Reflections on a rainy night

 A deserted plaza

Opera Building on the right

The Royal Palace

 Don't pee here!

 Nice doorway to an Inquisition
holding building back in the day

To be clear, the Spanish Inquisition executed about 6,000 people during its near 700 years (1480 A.D. - 1826 A.D.)  as an instrument of the Catholic Church.

Again, Enrique did a great job laying out the facts for us during our two hours together.

 I deserved this

 Casa de Correros on
Puerta del Sol

The tour was over and as billed on the Weather Channel app own my phone, it never rained on us.

The Puerta del Sol's famed
Tio Pepe neon sign

The COUNTDOWN continued . . .

. . . more days until Laurie joins
me in Madrid

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Atletico Madrid Museum Tour and Meandering About Madrid

Friday, 21 October, 2016:

I awakened with a powerful hankering for some churros and chocolate. Only one thing to do . . .

. . . get on the Metro and
head to Madrid's best . . .

San Gines

There was a line but the wait was short and the churros and chocolate were top notch as always.

After fueling up, I walked over to the Plaza Mayor to check on the Spanish Civil War walking tour that I took and thoroughly enjoyed back in 2012. I wanted to take it again but found out that that particular tour has been suspended. Instead the tour group's representative convinced me to take their Spanish Inquisition walking tour which starts at 7:00 p.m. seven nights a week. With my American football coaching schedule that means I'll need to take the tour on a Saturday or Sunday. Tomorrow night sounds good to me.

Now properly informed, I decided to start walking south through the La Latina section of Madrid. 

Arroz a la Cubana sounded good

But no, I was fully sated by my churros.

 Mahou Beer

That remind's me, Mahou beer is sponsoring the Arganda del Rey's Tapeando again this week.

A tapa and a beer for only 2.20 Euros, such a deal.

 A Madrid Ayuntamiento

Once again, an ayuntamiento is both a city hall and one of my favorite words to say in Spanish.

IKEA must be having quite a sale
to create a queue this long

 Interesting construction technique

 A random steeple

There are lots of antique
stores in La Latina

No Gracias

A quiet Metro station

I decided to board the green #5 Metro to get a closer look at Atlético Madrid's stadium.

Atlético is traditionally one of Spain's La Liga's best futbol/soccer clubs. They are currently atop the 20 team circuit with a record of 5 wins, 3 ties and 0 losses.

 Commie Lover?

Melancholy Street?

It seemed cheery to me as it led me to Atlético's stadium.

 Getting closer


 Lots of seating

I entered to gather information

All the seats are covered

Given the recent dicey weather, it's a nice touch.

Ticket prices for the next home
game vs. Malaga on Oct. 29th

Atletico hosts a UEFA Champions
League tilt vs. Russia's F.C. Rostov
on November 1st

I am going to buy a ticket to one of these two games. 

 An Atlético Legend

 A good spot to find out more
about Atlético's history

A miner's helmet?

Strange to see this in a soccer team's museum until you read that the club was formed in 1903 by a group of college students, most of which were majoring in mining engineering.

Cool 1903 Socio's team cap

Socio's are dues paying, card carrying team supporters.

The striped jerseys are traditional

 The 1941 club

 Atlético Pride

The Evolution of soccer
balls and cleats

They have evolved a
bunch over the years


There is a large statue of Neptune near the Atocha train station where Atlético fans congregate to celebrate whenever their favorite club wins a big game or a championship. 

 Atlético's Logo

 Championships won in their
old Stadium Metropolitano

 1930 Game Poster

Bull fighters love Atlético

So do artists

The world's first foosball table?

 Atlético's Trophy Case

They've won often over the years

 Spain believes in HUGE trophies

And ornate ones too

That's more like the foosball
tables we all know

The evolution of Atlético jerseys

Material and subtleties may change but never the stripes.

 There was a period of time when
Atlético joined forces with Aviation

After the conclusion of the Spanish Civil War, Atlético resumed play from 1939-1947 having united with the Aviación Nacional club from Zaragoza. 

 Atlético-Aviación Pride

More about the
Atlético-Aviación Fusión

 Action Cards

This was a good sports museum that I really enjoyed.

 A stop at the Atlético
souvenir shop was a must

I am now a proud owner of an Atlético scarf.

Time for more walking. 

Good looking building

The Puerta de Toledo

I'm hungry

Well worth it for 3 Euros

That's about $3.26 USD.

 Palacio de Cibeles

This ornate building is the former post office headquarters that is now a cultural center now known as the Cibeles CentroCentro of Culture and Citizenship.

Now that's a post office

Stained glass is always good

And a tiled stairway too

A great view of the Glorieta in
front of the Palacio de Cibeles

It was time to start heading home as my legs were getting tired and we had our usual 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. Osos Junior and Senior practices to conduct.

 Bird on a Fountain

One last photo-op for the day.

At practice, I got a chance to work with the six youngest Osos on their pass catching skills as they prepare for their flag football season.

Our Senior practice was highlighted by our first inter-squad scrimmage. As is the norm, we did some good things and some not so good things.

We videotaped the scrimmage and after studying and analyzing the tape, I'm sure that our players will continue to grow and improve as we prepare for the season.

I did do a lot of walking today

And the countdown continues . . .

. . . more days until
Laurie arrives in España