Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine Reopens March 2015 Reply

Abadia la Retuerta

With impressive momentum of first Michelin Star and new Spa and guest rooms coming July.

Travel Daily News.com, SARDON DE DUERO, SPAIN – Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, the newly restored, historic hotel located in a 12th century abbey surrounded by vineyards in Spain’s Duero winegrowing region, will reopen March 2nd with impressive momentum for a successful 2015 and beyond – driven by earning its first Michelin Star, the addition of a world-class spa and eight exquisite new guest rooms slated to open in July, and crafting specialty guest experiences such as mushroom foraging on the hotel’s medieval estate.

“Our vision for LeDomaine from the beginning has been to create a hotel that stands apart for its combination of historic atmosphere and precedent-setting guest facilities and experiences, and all of the components of this extraordinary property are coming together,” said Andres Araya, Managing Director. LeDomaine has announced that when it re-opens in March, after closing for three months for the holidays and to accelerate construction of the spa and guest rooms, it will offer a starting room rate in 2015 of $415 as well as a variety of packages including spa, gourmet, romance and special guest experience programs that take advantage of the diversity of the local terrain. On the ‘Mycological Experience,’ guests hunt for wild mushrooms in local forests and dine on gourmet dishes prepared with the freshly picked fungi.

More…

Spanish Winegrowers Reap Benefits of Chinese Booze Boom Reply

Priorat wine producers

Blend from Catalan vineyard is little known at home – but has just been named best in world by specialist Asian magazine

The Guardian.com–China’s wine market is one of the biggest in the world, with urban affluence having driven a decade of explosive growth in consumption. Now a small bodega in Spain stands to benefit from the Asian country’s huge economic firepower after one of its wines was named as the best in the world by a specialist Chinese magazine. “It was a complete surprise to us,” said Olívia Bayés, who with her husband, David Marco, runs Marco Abella in the mountains of the Catalan winemaking zone of Priorat. “They told us we had made it into the top 100 – we were really excited to get that far. Then they called us and told us to come to China because we had won the top prize.”

After more than six years pushing their products in China, the pair had entered Wine in China magazine’s blind-tasting competition in the hope of drumming up more business. The 14-member jury, made up of experts and sommeliers from China, Australia, the UK and US, gave top marks to the Marco Abella 2009 Clos Abella, awarding its blend of carignan, garnacha, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz grapes 97 points out of 100. The bottle retails for about €40-€50 (£30-£38) in Spain.

More…

Queen Letizia Looks Polished in a Plum Suit Reply

Queen Leticia Spain

  • The royal, 42, matched her lipstick and earrings to her deep-plum-coloured suit
  • She and Felipe attended Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts Ceremony
  • Presented awards at El Pardo Palace in Madrid, Spain

She’s become a global style icon known for her polished looks and Queen Letizia of Spain’s appearance today was no different. Looking composed in a plum-coloured suit, the Spanish monarch joined her husband at the ceremony of the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts Ceremony at El Pardo Palace in Madrid, Spain. The 42-year-old, who had clearly carefully co-ordinated her outfit, matched her lipstick and accessories to her clothes.

Despite cramming in several royal duties over the past few weeks – as well as helping her husband celebrate his birthday on Friday – the monarch was practically glowing as she presented awards at the event.  The couple beamed and applauded as they handed out awards to creatives and proved they’re still very much in love as they gazed longingly into each other’s eyes. The couple are barely seen apart. At the end of last week, the couple visited the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid when a well-wisher in a grey robe approached, brandishing a map.

More…

Spurred by Pope, Spanish Catholic Church Confronts Sexual Abuse Reply

Priestly contrition Granada

Yahoo.com, Madrid (AFP) — Spain’s Catholic Church, which has long been accused of silencing cases of priests sexually abusing children, is starting to take a hard line against offenders, spurred by Pope Francis. A judge in the southern city of Granada on Tuesday charged 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers with sexually abusing altar boys in their care, or being complicit in such acts, from 2004 to 2007. It is the biggest and most serious paedophilia case involving members of the Catholic Church known so far in Spain.

The case was brought to light by a former altar boy, now 25 and a member of the Catholic institution Opus Dei, who wrote to the pontiff to say he had been molested. Pope Francis called the unidentified man to offer the Church’s apology and in November the pontiff said he had ordered a church investigation into the case, saying it had caused him “great pain”. The young man who wrote to the pope “never imagined the issue would take on the significance that it did,” his lawyer, Jorge Aguilera Gonzalez, told AFP. “If it wasn’t for the pope’s intervention, it would still have been an important issue, but just one of many.”

More…

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Pedro Almodovar Among Spain’s Big Oscar Winners Reply

Javier Penelope Spain

Latin Post.com–Mexico is the top performing Spanish-speaking country at the Academy awards, but right behind the nation is Spain. The European country has been nominated 59 times at the biggest awards show in the film industry and has come away with 14 victories. The European giants are going to go home empty in 2015 with no victories, but the country’s performance is so strong at the Oscars that it is worth looking at how well the nation has done.

Spain has seen nominations in all four acting categories, but the big shocker is that all six have come from two actors. Javier Bardem and his wife Penelope Cruz have each managed three nominations apiece and both have managed one victory in the supporting categories. Bardem’s first nomination for lead actor came in 2000 for his turn in “Before Night Falls,” making him the first Spanish actor nominated in the category. He would become the first and only Spaniard nominated in the category when he managed a second nomination 10 years later for his turn in “Biutiful.”

More…

At Least 100,000 March in Madrid in Show of Strength for Podemos, Spain’s Rising Leftist Party Reply

Podemos demonstration Madrid

US News.com, Harold Heckle and Jorge Sainz write for AP–At least 100,000 people marched through Madrid on Saturday in a show of strength by a fledgling radical leftist party, which hopes to emulate the success of Greece’s Syriza party in the Spanish general election later this year. Podemos supporters from across Spain converged around the Cibeles fountain Saturday before packing the avenue leading to Puerta del Sol square in what was the party’s largest rally to date. Police said at least 100,000 people participated in the march while Podemos put the figure at 300,000.

Podemos (“We Can”) aims to shatter the country’s predominantly two-party system and the “March for Change” gathered crowds in the same place where sit-in protests against political and financial corruption laid the party’s foundations in 2011. The party’s rise is greatly due to the charisma of its pony-tailed leader, Pablo Iglesias, a 36-year-old political science professor. Hailing from the Madrid working class neighborhood of Vallecas, Iglesias prefers jeans and rolled up shirt sleeves to a suit and tie and champions slogans such as Spain is “run by the butlers of the rich” and that the economy must serve the people. “We want change,” Iglesias told the crowd. “This is the year for change and we’re going to win the elections.”

More…

Spanish Photographer Alberto García Alix: Front View, Boxer’s View Reply

Alberto Garcia Alix

Alberto Garcia Alix.com–Each boxing match is a story: a drama without words. Alberto García-Alix´s photographs are also condensed stories, silent but eloquent stories. These are images imbued with a lyricism and stripped of artifice, poetry that always finds a place to settle within the framework: the tension in the foreshortening of a face, the tip of a shoe, a skewered vagina, the body of a bird, fuzzy profiles of a building … Direct poetry that explodes before our eyes with the radiance of a whiplash. A vocational fighter, when García Alix concludes one of his joyful battles with images, there is only one winner standing on the canvas: his glance. A frontal view. A look of fighter. Pure epic.

García-Alix´s technique has evolved toward a meticulous use of black and white. His visual speech is composed in accordance with the maps that his life’s itinerary has sketched out, maps onto which the photographer sketches his mysterious, emotional and compelling artistic cartography.  A broad map on which objects and landscapes appear, photographs in which Alberto García-Alix captures the scenes of his own biography: houses, streets, roads and trails open up to infinity. Walls, facades and windows bounded by the camera lens. Open spaces on which his gaze jumps around and becomes introspective until enclosing itself in the four walls of a bare room.

More…

The Changing Face of Romania in Spain Reply

Ica Tomi Rumana

Immigrants from the Eastern European country are the Madrid region’s largest foreign community. Many are defying stereotypes and integrating into society.

El Pais in English–An uncomfortable silence descends on the room when a Romanian confesses to being a Romanian. For a few seconds, the other person quickly runs through his or her mental references about this nationality. “Ah, well, you don’t look it!” is the typical answer after this particular Romanian has been compared with the Romanian Gypsies who steal copper wiring, the Romanian prostitutes on Madrid’s Montera street and the Romanian pimps who play the slot machines all day long. Often enough, the conversation continues with a “I once had a Romanian house cleaner who…”

Romanians stand for begging, for mafias and for prostitution. They will themselves admit as much, but they also stand for much more than that. The 220,641 Romanian nationals registered in Madrid make up the largest foreign group in the region – far larger than the 87,077 resident Moroccans. Their desire to adapt is so strong that they often renounce much of their own culture, but without ever becoming fully Spanish: they are what they humorously refer to as Rumañoles.

More…

The Relentless Vision of an Old Spanish Anarchist Reply

Spanish Civil War

Huffington Post.com–Federico Arcos — “Fede” as he’s known — is 94 years old and currently in a Windsor, Ontario, hospital recovering from a recent heart attack. Federico, an anarcho-syndicalist, is a living link to one of history’s Federico Arc osmost remarkable episodes, the Spanish Civil War, and one of the most remarkable stories within this history: How the Spanish Anarchists, with a sizable following, were able to run a number of towns, villages, agrarian collectives and the entire city of Barcelona along anarchist lines, subscribing to anti-authoritarian principles. It didn’t last long — barely a year and wasn’t entirely successful — but it demonstrated some possibilities: If you removed the coercion inherent in any modern state (for example, cops) folks wouldn’t necessarily be at each others throat.

Federico Arcos anarchist

More…

Spanish Academy Gives Nod to Language Coinages Reply

Real Academia Española

Although the RAE is famous for being rather reticent to new words, some have found a spot

Julio Nakamurakare writes for the Buenos Aires Herald.com–We all know that some new words — coinages — have an easy time finding their way in common folk’s everyday parlance, most in the technological field. Some institutions, like the French Academy, famously — and catastrophically — failed in their effort to impose a French version of the Anglicized Japanese word “Walkman.” Baladeur did not come as close to the concept was back then, nor would it sound appropriate for today’s “mp3 player” or whatever format techno gurus decide to adopt.

Nor is Japanese immune to these gairago or loan words (borrowings), mostly from English but also from other Western languages and for more specific purposes (science, for example) to words phonetically “borrowed” from English but with a “made in Japan” meaning. Think “depãto” for “department store” (depãtomento stoa) and you find some kind of logic, even if the shopping experience is different in Japan and other countries. Whatever the case, linguists observe, language changes according to needs (technological, societal, developmental), and so a descriptive approach to semantics and grammar is preferred over prescriptive notions.

More…