Archive for the ‘Lugares’ Category

One of the most tasteful Christmas street market in Alicante is the Xixona’s. This year it has taken place at the long weekend of December (from 5 to 8, when Spaniards celebrate the Constitution’s and St. Inmaculada’s days) in the inland town of Xixona, but the dates can change depending on the year.

During four days, about a hundred stall that form the market fill the Xixona’s main street with delicious traditional sweets (turrón, polvorones, peladillas, fruta escarchada…), fragrant perfumes, smart clothes, heady wine, scented flowers and a wide variety of gift articles and food. The traders offer samples of their products so you can taste them and choose the appropriate for you. Walking along the market you can feel the real essence of Christmas time!  

Tradicional spanish sweets – stall at Xinona’s Crhistmas market

The market opens at 10:00 am and the hustle and bustle of customers, traders and tourists continues all day long. Besides the market, thevisitors can enjoy a huge variety of activities like theatre, live music, art exhibitions, Christmas carol performances, parades, traditional gastronomic tastings, storytellers and other activities for kids, guided visit of the old part of the city…

Xixona's Christmas market - december 2013

Xixona’s Christmas market – december 2013

So, if you are keen as mustard of Christmas, Xixona’s Christmas market is the perfect place where you can do all your shopping! However, if it isn’t your cup of tea, there are a lot of activities to enjoy and I’m sure if you visit the market you’ll change your opinion and you’ll agree with me: Xixona’s Christmas market is worth a visit!

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The city of Ourense (Galicia, Spain) is famous for its natural hot springs, “As Burgas”. The springs are located in the middle of the city where the water gushes out from three sources: “Burgas de Arriba”, “Burgas do Medio” and “Burgas de Abaixo”. The main characteristic of theses naturally high mineral springs are their high temperature, between 64ºC and 68ºC. “As Burgas” water has long been used for therapeutic purposes because of its healing properties.

Romans were the discoverers of the springs. There are several theories about the origin of their water. There are people who thought the water cames from a spring situated under the cathedral, but other people thought it comes from a subterranean volcano. Nevertheless, the water comes from rainwater and turns hot 2.5-3km under the ground.

In 2005, the construction of a spa near the springs caused the loss of part of  “As Burgas” volume flow. That event accelerated the recognition of the springs as a cultural interesting place. In July 2010, it was built a big thermal water public pool in the “As Burgas” square. Since then, Ourense has been the only place in the world where you can have a relaxing therapeutic bath in the centre of the city.

“As Burgas” springs are just one of the attractive of Ourense. If you decide to visit the city and the region, you will discover some of the most beautiful and charming places in Galicia.

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Scotland is the land of castles. For that reason, you might not be surprised to know that many Scottish myths and superstitions are related to them, but what are their origins?

In most cases, myths were born several centuries ago when people was unable to explain what was happening in front of their eyes because they were very scared and influenced by their religion superstitions. However, those legends continues being an important part of our popular culture nowadays.

More than the typical British superstitions, the Scots have got their own ones, so visiting Edinburgh is a good idea if you want to discover the most deeply-rooted myths in the UK. For example, one of the most famous Edinburgh legends is related to its castle. It is said that if a university of Edinburgh student passes through the castle gates, she/he will fail her/his exams. Be careful! Nobody knows if it has got the same effect on other students… Although, if you finally decide to visit the castle, you can offset the bad luck putting a four-leafs clover into your pocket.

Even if you are a superstitious person or not, knowing about myths and legends of other places must show you how people thought in the past and where their currently costumes come from.

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Ponferrada, in the middle of the St James’ French Way, is well worth a visit. For those who want to live a medieval adventure, Hotel Temple is their place. There you can feel like a Middle Age’s man or woman: sleeping in a four-posted bed, eating in the award-winning restaurant and enjoying the armors and old-style features that, certainly, will carry you to an other time.

Hotel Temple, Ponferrada

Besides, this great four-star hotel is just a few minute’s walk away Parque del Temple (the biggest park in the city) and a stone’s throw from te centre of the town and its commercial zone. At night, you will relax and recover force at the hotel with traditional food like beans and meat casserole, stuffed courgette, roasted suckling pig and jerky. Don’t forget to try the delicious typical chestnut pie!

If this isn’t enough, you mus visit the Templar Castle that was built on the Sil river bank at the beginning of the 10th century.

Templar Castle of Ponferrada

Ponferrada an Hotel Temple are ideal for history lovers and gourmets.

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little versalles

The Royal Palace of “La Granja de San Ildefonso” is located on Guadarrama’s mountain, thirteen kilometres north of the city of Segovia. The place is close to Madrid, an hour by car. Its name comes from an old farm of Jeromes’ monks of the monastery of Segovia.

The building was built-in 1721, during King Felipe V’s reign. Its baroque style resembles the Parisian Versalles Palace. For that reason, King Felipe V called it “little Versalles“. Its first use was being the summer-house of the Royal Spanish Family since Alfonso XIII’s reign. Now, the palace belongs to National Heritage.

Two remarkable facts stand out in its history. First, the Palace was witness of San Ildefonso mutiny in 1836. The army demanded to regent Queen María Cristina de Barbón-Dos Sicilias the restoration fo 1812’s Constitution (knows as “La Pepa“). And secondly, in 1918, the Royal Palace suffered a fire in wich several rooms were damaged.

Fountain of Diana's bathsThe Royal Palace has twenty-four rooms, each one with its own name like Europe, America or Africa, the three known continents at the time of its construction. Moreover the interior, the most gorgeous part of the precincts is the enormous garden (six kilometres) with twenty-six elegant fountains (they only turns up three times a year) and an artificial lake. In the enclosure there is, also, a chapel where King Felipe V was buried.

The Royal Palace of “La granja de San Ildefonso” is one of the most delightful places of Spain.  It’s a very impressive site that well worth a visit. So if you ever come to Spain, don’t forget to visit it!

For further information visit: Spanish National Heritage – La granja de San Ildefonso

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