Quiet Streets in Spain

During my travels, I enjoy walking quiet streets, having a chat with the old folks lingering on porches or tossing a treat to the odd stray cat. While in Spain this was particularly interesting because of the contrast between the old buildings and the new. Some of them date to medieval times, some from a few years ago. The town of Jerte showed this juxtaposition very well as you’ll see in this next video. It’s not brilliant footage, just documentary images of what was and what is. Take a look.

There was that friendly elderly couple on the bench and a cat, too. These elements add great authenticity to any place, including a native perspective on visitors like myself who are just passing through. Enjoy the journey.

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Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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La Perejila, Madrid

La Perejila is one of those old-time joints I enjoy most. It’s on Cava Baja Street in the old part of Madrid, Spain.

Here you can get a vermut, vino, or cerveza among local characters. The decor is from another time, including the caged bird at the entrance.

I’m not exactly sure what creates the atmosphere of places like this. Maybe it’s the age, or the clientele, or the little touches like the bird. Whatever it is, the process has to natural. In the United States, too many places try to force the vibe and fail miserably. Fortunately, we have jet travel to take us to places like Madrid where there are streets like Cava Baja and authentic places like La Perejila. Stop in, stay awhile, enjoy yourself.

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Posada Casa Vieja, Spain

Posada Casa Vieja, located in Turégano (not far from Segovia) stands on an old village square that will take you back centuries. The photo below hangs on the wall in the dining room, along with several others taken during the early days of photography through the 1920′s or so.

The posada itself is the building on the left with the three balconied windows on the upper level. Not much has changed in the past couple of hundred years as you can see from the next photo.

We happened upon this place in search of a good supper. (Sadly, supper the night before was awful and I needed culinary redemption to preserve my faith in Spanish cooking.) I saw local families loitering near this place and decided to pop in and see what was on offer. Upon entering the building you’re in the taberna, which is a welcoming spot for drinks and small fare.

The fellow behind the bar is the owner (third generation at this point) and he works hard keeping his customers happy, as does his waitstaff who left no need unfulfilled. So, we take a seat in the dining room where those photos are hanging.

After ordering, I scope out the photos which show village life back in the day in black and white glory. Things were not easy back then but the people have risen to the challenge. Then the food arrives. After a couple of salads, a sea bass filet comes.

Sorry about the shaky photography. There was wine, too. Then a bit or roast baby pig.

That dish is famous in this part of Spain. Don’t pass it up. Tasty, crispy, very good! After the meal, I learned my waitress was originally from Poland but now living in Spain with her husband and baby on the way. The owner and I also had a nice chat about my other favorite restaurant in Aruba, Casa Vieja, which is a Colombian joint. He laughed at that and my rudimentary Spanish. Then we were on our way for a good night’s sleep before trekking on through the hills and dales of España the next day.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Fine Snack

If I parachuted into Siberia, I’m sure I could find a pastry shop. In Spain, it is much easier as there are many fine bakers of sugary delights. In Trujillo, there was one on my route and I didn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the goods. A couple of cookies and pastries were wrapped up and I was on my way. Of course, I supplemented this with an ice-cold Coca-Cola back in my room at Posada Dos Orillas.

That’s a beautiful sight! The netbook was open to show that I was working a bit during this voyage of discovery. However, I never passed up the chance to sample the local flavor.


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