Saturday, May 29, 2010

Madrid Scrabble Tourney 2010 First Day































A new playing weekend!

During this weekend we´ll have the Madrid Scrabble Tourney.

Some of my friends from other cities will come: Pochola, Topo, Patxi, Montse, Gloria and Santi will stay at home.

On the next posts I´ll share the pics of the weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland. My photos.



Yeaph! This time I´m sharing with you 2 pics instead of just one :D

Both had been taken at the Park Lazienki in Warsaw on August 2005. Warsaw wondered me a lot with magic places like this one. The park is big, beautiful and peaceful. A great place for spending a day! :D

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Prague Astronomical Clok. My photos.


I took this photo in Prague exactly 5 years ago, this is something really amazing because I didn´t notice about it till I wrote this post! : D

The astronomical clock of Prague was made on 1490. I enjoyed quite a lot to watch it and felt great admiration for the ones that created it with the technology they have at that time... and it still works perfectly!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Videos related with Lost

The last 4 minutes of Lost:



Sawyer´s world:




Other finals (parody):



Intense moments:



What they do now:



What Dharma recommends to do now:


www.Tu.tv

Monday, May 24, 2010

The end of Lost in Spain



About my own case:

I had been a t.v. adict years ago. Now I have few things I like to watch on t.v. but I´m not exactly the kind of coming back home in a hurry because something is about to start on t.v. Time to time with Curro we spend the weekend watching movies or all the episodes of a serial in order to not to have to wait for the conclusion so long.

In the last 10 years was being really dificult to find a serial that makes me to be hooked. I think in part this is because a lot of previous deceptions with serials in the past. What made me to be disappointed usually was the feeling of people behind the serial trying to make it to last more just due it had a success they haven´t prevent and want to get as much money as possible from that situation.

Lost hooked me during the first 2 seasons. I was really surprised about all the diferent new situations in each episode. But also in a moment I felt they were just trying to make it to last more due an unexpected success. Also because they were against the "laws" of the serials that mean things like not ever to kill a character who is having success with the public unless the actor wants to go out of the serial, so they kill him in a way that will "help to accept his death" to the fans. Not ever it was like that in Lost.

So, as I said, I thought it was just another serial with producers trying to enlarge the serial in order to get more money and I left it. It was my friend Edu the one that told me, after the end of the 5th. season, that it was worth view, that everything was being explained and that all matchs perfectly. So we saw the 5 serials in
several weekends and we were hooked again. We finish to watch them around September 2009, so we had to wait till February 2010 to watch, week by week, the last season.

The presentation of the last 2 episodes: a marketing hit

I am so impresive about the great way to present the last 2 episodes. I do think it will set a before and after for future successful serials. Just to submit the last 2 episodes simultaneously in 59 countries was already quite an event, but in some how we had already seen that with This is it! the Michael Jackson tribute. Here the special point was to do it exactly (or almost) at the same time all over the world. That made history. Plus that, to play them in cinemas, giving merchandising products for free and, in Spain, also giving chocolate with churros... wow! Great!  (Yes, I have to admit it, I work in marketing).

The only one detail that I think they didn´t took really good care about was the day to do it. You see, maybe it was the best day and time in USA, but it meant in Europe to watch it at 6.00 in the morning of a Monday. I do think if they would do that on a Sunday morning instead, the quantity of people watching it would be at least 20 times more.

Trying to understand that end:

Ok, it would be impossible to find an end that would like to all the fans. Point is that at least in Spain seems most of fans are dissapointed with it.



I think here a clue that almost everybody in Spain is not taking into account is that the serial is done in USA. In Europe all related with religion and heaven is in some how obsolete. In USA they still have religion as something so important. A wink is the name of Jack´s father: Cristian Shephard.
About all the unsolved questions of the serial, I found in internet (but in Spanish) a blog that gives a lot of hints for understanding that end and part of the comments of the blogger is: "about the unsolved questions, I insist, they are part of the game of Lost. This serial wasn´t ever been a free buffet of solutions but a misteries mix. To resolve the misteries would be to prostitute Lost, actually the strenght of the serial is the oposite".
I also think part of why the fans are disapointed comes from one of the answers of the producers some years ago, saying the island wasn´t a purgatory, point is they didn´t said they wouldn´t die.

Broadcasts on Fox and Four channel in Spain:

A lot of people is complaining about Fox failing to broadcast the subtitled version... point is it means quite a lot of complex work. From my point of view someone at the Marketing department hasn´t preview how many people would be awake watching this end in a Monday at 6.00. Of course that was a big mistake.
About channel Four, the complains are due some lost minutes and a moment of lost subtitles (but it was for no more than 2 minutes and the conversation wasn´t that important anyway). I repet: it meant a lot of work, I don´t think it´s a reason why to blame that hard to the channel.

I also liked that they made a forum after the chapter finished also with images at the cinemas. Just I would apreciate quite a lot if they would select better people to be there talking about the end, at least people that could have a real professional point of view.






Will the producers explain a bit more the unsolved questions?

Most of fans complains are about the unsolved questions. Seems the producers said at the presentation of the last episodes that it was the real end. Nothing else suposed to come later on. Problem is that a lot of fans are really feeling now: lost! ;P So I could bet after all ABC will push the producers to give something more with explanations to the fans.
My own conclusion:

I really admire a serial that in this time, with all what we already had seen, founds a way to captivate the public. To finish it with that great marketing not seen before, deserves my respect. The end? I still don´t know. Maybe for me the problem was that I felt it extremely accommodating to the public. All dead but with their loved ones. I also don´t know what to think about Kate. The whole serial was now it´s Jack, now it´s Sawyer, now again Jack, now I have to go back for Sawyer and at the real end she tells Jack she loves him. What I could say? I don´t know if I hate her or if she´s my heroine! ;P Yes, the end admits a lot of different interpretations... but that´s exactly the hallmark of lost! Actually I think I should watch it again (all the episodes) so I would enjoy more the final.











Here some links:

Lostpedia

ABC Lost official web

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hotel Marriot Guatemala

Hotel Marriot Guatemala

Known “in my times” as El Dorado, also one of the hotels with tradition at the City that I´m afraid had change the chain quite a lot of times, but it didn´t affected the good quality of this good hotel.



I have already talk about this at the post "Breakfast in Guatemala: Sunday Brunch" but someone advised me it will be more useful to place them in different posts, so here is it, it contains exactly the same of that post, in case of new comments about this place, I´ll write a new post.

Friday, May 21, 2010

BBQ La Chopera in Calatayud, Spain.

As I mentioned in my post about Termas Pallares Spa, this Eastern we went to spend some days to Alhama de Aragón.

The day we went to the Monasterio de Piedra, we went to eat to the BBQ la Chopera, in Calatayud. As far as the previous days we had seen the restaurants at that region were so crowdie and even in some places we weren´t able to go in, I made a reserve the previous day. At the phone the guy that attended me was so kind.

We had some troubles finding the place, because the I-phone works with google maps a s GPS and the address of this place was wrong located there, so we had to call several times to finally find the place.

Wondering, it was almost empty. It was our first time at this grill and we went due a recommendation found at 11870.com. The food was really good, that far the prices also wondered us. For example, I took this:


and it was no more than 7 Euros.

Irene, the lady that attended us, told us that she can remember better days with the place full every day. The problem was when the new road had open, their house stayed a bit apart and since then they don´t have the same quantity of public than before.

Due quality, prices and excellent attention, I do recommend the place to you! :D

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roma, Italy. My photos.


I like this photo because it gives a very different view of what usually you find when you search pics of Rome. I took it very close to Piazza Navona in December 2004.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My nails at the National Championship 2010. I love my nails!

This was the decoration of my nails at the Scrabble National Championship Spain 2010:



I used for them:

Nail Lacquer: MAC Cream Shirelle:

Konad plate No. 79 in white:


Yeap! They were a success! :D

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spain Square, Sevilla. My photos.


This photo was taken in Sevilla in 2004. I think it´s a different view of the Spain Square, but actually it was taken like this in order to have a better view of interesting details that usually are not shown on pictures.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yuly and Ramon Marcano visited us!

Yuly is a Scrabble player from Venezuela. She was part of the great organization group of the World Championship 2009.

Ramon, her husband, has cycling as hobby and his team will do the Santiago de Compostela route cycling, starting from Burgos.

We enjoyed a great night with them, also came Carlos, Clara and Antonio.

Of course we played a bit of Scrabble!


We also went to dine to the restaurant Vino Tinto, btw great food, normal prices for the area it´s located, great attention. They had to wake up so early the next morning, so we can´t go to the karaoke that was a real pity because Carlos and Ramon make a great duet signing Serrat songs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Celebration Gran Via, 100 Years


On May 15th. Gran Via has the best celebration for its 100 years. Here some videos and pics of the celebration.
They also tried to do a flashmob... watch the video and you´ll understand why this "tried" ;P


Concert with music of the 80s´at Plaza de España:





Some stores were open till midnight and with special discounts:



In fronto of a teather a DJ had been playing some hits:








A big cake:



Ending with fireworks:



Some people stayed there drinking:








Saturday, May 15, 2010

2005 Sun Eclipse. My photos.



I took this picture at the sun eclipse of October 3rd. 2005. It was midday in Madrid but the sky turned black for some minutes and the view was incredible. :D

Friday, May 14, 2010

A bin in fire. While passing by…

As I said at the introduction of this section, sometimes I´ll write about not nice things. This is the case today.

Few days ago I went to the bank. As it´s usual, I spend a bit of time talking with the ladies attending there. I came in around 13.30 and was there no more than 20 minutes. Once I said I was leaving, one of the ladies told me she will go with me to the door to close it (in Spain the banks close at 14.00). Then we saw it. The bin outside the bank, was burning! We were quite wondered because that agency has all glass, we were talking no more than 4 meters away of the door, we should see something, but nothing at all.

For me was also wondering that the ladies of the bank immediately went to close the door, I thought about that later, and of course they should, it could be a distraction for robbing the bank.

We were also wondered about how fast all happened, as I said, I haven´t been there more than 20 mins. but let´s think it was half of hour. When we saw it, the bin was liquid plastic with some cans inside (colas´ cans). That gave me the impression that the bins are made with a very bad material, actually I wonder why they don´t put fireproof bins. A car was very close to the place where the bin was burning, I really think the owner has no idea that his car is ok because the wind was going to the opposite direction; otherwise maybe the title of this post would be a bit different as well.



What really made me to be proud about was how quickly the fire department and the police were there. Or well, I´m not so sure if it was quickly enough, as I said, the bin was already liquid. But for me, they were there so quick.

Nothing else happened, just the bin fire.

From my point of view, I would say it was someone that accidentally threw a burning cigarette inside. I think no matter the reason; anyway they should put fireproof bins there.

The funny part of the situation was when we were watching it burning and the firefighters came... we at the bank were just females! :D We agreed that the fire department was better than the police one in Madrid! ;P The pity is the firefighters don´t extinguish the fire dressing the same they do at the calendars! ;D ;D

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dunkin´ Coffe ad. While passing by…

I saw it in Mallorca, when we went to visit the Scrabbalear Scrabble Club. We were walking at the old part of the city and once I saw this ad…


I burst out laughing!!!

For the ones not living in Spain, I´ll explain this. Some years ago a very well known t.v. presenter has done a t.v. program called “I have a question for you” where several normal citizen where invited for making some questions to the current President, Zapatero. In one program, a man started talking about how prices changed once the Euro started being the new currency, but not the salaries and then asked to Zapatero “do you know how much a coffee is?” Zapatero replayed: 80 cents… at that moment in Spain a coffee was around 1 euro and specifically in Madrid, around 1,20… and I´m not talking about fancy places.
You can watch it here, but I´m afraid it´s in Spanish:



Of course a lot of people all over Spain made quite a lot of jokes about Zapatero having no idea of the prices. That´s why it made me to laugh to see how, some years later, Dunkin´ Coffee uses this for their ads. I haven´t went inside to ask for a coffee, so I can´t tell if I would recommend it or not, but laughing… I laughed for a while, yes. :D

While passing by…

Yeahp! New section! :D

This time was while walking at the street, sometimes you watch at the street things that are nice, funny, strange, weird or even sad, you feel like sharing them and now that I´m with the “chip” of taking out the camera asap as far west holster ;P I thought… that´s it! New section for the blog! :D

As I said in the previous paragraph, I had been so loyal with the principle of this blog of sharing with you some of the things I enjoy the life with, having just few exceptions like what happened with the tours in Margarita Island or with the bill at the Termas Pallares Spa, but in this section sometimes I´ll place no positive things if I feel it´s needed to talk about something like that, and well, maybe a bit of claim time to time won´t be that bad or even due sometimes even at sad moments you find a reason why to smile a bit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Incident with the bill at the Spa Termas Pallares.


As I mentioned at the post “reserving”, we went to this Spa with a sale I found on internet. You should do the reserve before March 18th. I did it by phone on March 16th. and the total price per room, including taxes, was 278,20.

My friend has done the check out of her room around an hour before me.

When I made the check out with Curro, there were several people and we heard some of them complaining due the bills. Actually I haven´t pay attention to them, but Curro says usually the problem was due the bills.

Once it was our turn, it was wondering for me the total of the bill because even taking into account that you should pay the robe, sandals and the bathing cap as extra, any way the bill was more expensive of what I thought it should be. I asked the person that attended me to please explain me the reason of that and then I released the price per person of the room was 165 Euros instead of the 130 of the sale. I insisted to him this wasn´t the price so she showed me the papers they have of that sale and there it was 155 Euros per night instead of 130. I had nothing to probe that the price of my reserve was 130 so I had to accept to pay that.

Once out of there I asked my friend about the price she had pay, and actually they had charged just 130 Euros per night to her. I asked her to please leave me the bill for complaining. We were already far away from the Spa, no point to go back to complaining.

On the next Tuesday I had call and tried to explain the situation to a lady of the reception desk. She talked to me in a way that made me feel stupid. She insisted that the price that they had applied to me was the right one, I explained again to her it was a sale price for people doing the reserve before March 18th., she replied that then the mistake was what they charged to my friend because not ever in their story they had that low prices for Eastern time and that it was better to leave it like that because if I insist complaining what she should do would be to charge me the difference of what my friend pay less!!!!! (!!!???). Of course I was quite surprised and feeling powerless, having her still at the pone I searched again the sale banner at their web but I didn´t found it. So, at last I just told her that it would be a good idea if they include as a polite to send a mail confirming the rates, she replied they do but just if the client requires it.

Feeling so upset with the situation, I searched in Google, in Spanish “Eastern sale Termas Pallares” and… voila! There it was! At their blog, the banner with the price I made the reserve. So, I called again. This time the one that attended me was Eva, I told her that just few minutes ago I had been talking with a colleague of her and if it would be possible to talk to her again. Eva told me the other girl wasn´t there so I had to explain the whole situation again, adding that I had found at their blog the banner of the sale… and… Eva turned cocky with me! She told me so cocky, I insist, that those situations should be claimed at the reception desk when you do the check out, not once you aren´t there, otherwise a lot of people would claim a better rate because they found out an offer on internet after being at the hotel. I had to insist her 3 times to please stop and listen to me and once I told her that the one that have done the reserve for both rooms was me and that to my friend they charged the right price but not to me, then she controlled her tone and finally she accepted to give the extra money back to me. Not even once she said the magic word “apologize” or any other alike.

Finally I received the money back in my account on April 14th. but I had sent another mail before asking about it again.

MORAL: always ask for a writen confirmation and take it with you.

Defenetely this kind of “small” details are the ones that can spoil your experience in a place like that at all. Well, anyone can do a mistake (or 3… or 10… or 100…) but at least to tell “sorry!” Instead of that, once I placed my story with the bill at 11870 web, what I got was a mail of one of their managers telling me she was wondered about this comment at that web as far as in my survey I said all at the hotel was ok. Well, you see, I have answered the survey before doing the check out and… having everything at the hotel “ok” doesn´t mean this hotel made a “click” on your heart. As I already said at my post about the hotels of the Spa, yes, all was ok, just it wasn´t the style of hotels I like to stay in. Anyway, I still confirm I liked the Grand Hotel Cascada, the thermal lake is really nice and the region has a lot of amazing places. So, don´t be surprised if I stay at this place again… just it´s not like I´m dying for staying there again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The building of the old casino at the Spa Thermas Pallares.

According of what people of the staff told me, it was a time when people even lost fortunes at this casino. Now it´s not a casino anymore, its facilities are used for: meeting rooms, game room with pool tables and ping-pong, cafeteria with terrace.

I really liked this building a lot. When you are there is so easy to imagine the ladies with fancy dresses and the gentlemen in top hats.

The terrace really invites to stay there a bit enjoying the sun.

I just felt they could use this space a bit more. I think they could do more activities there… like a dancing space in one of its rooms. Even to have art exhibitions. I also think they could give especial attention to the views from there, in front of it is the parking area and a hotel, I do think they could arrange a bit better the garden no matter if it keeps on being the parking entrance and to give a bit of attention to the part of the hotel that you can watch from the casino, to makeup it a bit. :D

This is an emblematic building of the Spa and it even identifies it. Here some of my photos:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Retiro´s Park, Madrid. My photos.


This time I´m sharing with you a Curro´s photo. It was taken in July 2004, at Retiro´s Park, Madrid. It was a great afternoon and we had the very good luck to be there at the sunset, when the sky became a magic canvas touched by a wonderful artist.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Candy Grabber. My gadgets and other thingamajigs!

I start with the gift we gave to Curro´s father at the father’s day: the Candy Grabber.

It´s a very well done fair´s Candy Grabber´s replica but small version, for having it at the living room. So cute! :D

It works with batteries, has its own coins (and you need them for making it to work), even includes the fair music. You just have to buy the candies.

The best price I found was in IWOOT for 19,99 pounds, plus shipping costs. This company is located in UK, but they ship to several countries and takes no more than 2 weeks.

Here our video:



Seemed to be an easy cake! ;P

Friday, May 7, 2010

My gadgets and other thingamajigs! Introduction.

In the summer of 2008 I had the pleasure and honor to have at home several of my Scrabble friends. The whole story really deserves its own posts! But the point is that they freaked out with my gadgets and other thingamaigs ... yeah! I must admit it! I'm a gadgets fan! : D

So! New section! I´ll talk about my gadgets and other thingamajigs that are curious and/or very practical, many of them are for being use at the kitchen, but don´t be surprised to find nonsense things with not practical uses ... but that made a "click" on me once I saw them! : D

In the weekend I mentioned, Gloria named me as “lady gadgets”… yeaph, I am! ;P

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thermal Lake, Spa Termas Pallares.

Let´s give a look to their web´s explanation:

“THERMAL LAKE, THE ONLY ONE IN EUROPE


The hotels are surrounded by 68,000 square metres of parks and gardens, with a hidden thermal lake, which is unique in Europe and whose waters flow constantly at 32ºC due to the multiple thermal exsurgences on the bed.


With an average depth of 1.50 m and two peaceful islands on the interior, it is the ideal place for swimming at any time of the year, whilst your body enjoys the virtues of its mineral-medicinal waters.


BENEFICIAL EFFECTS FOR HEALTH


The temperature of the water means that the lake can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The enormous flow volume that comes from its multiple springs means that the water in the lake is renewed entirely every 32 hours. Furthermore, the Thermal Lake is considered as another treatment due to the effects that the mineral-medicinal water produces on our bodies.”
If you see it carefully it doesn´t really explain much about the water properties or why is supposed to be unique in Europe. I searched a bit in internet and I haven´t found those reasons. Anyway, the place is precious. The day I went was cold and no matter it was already 10 am, no one was there, I was there till 11 and came just few people, but they stayed on the sun beds. I swam a bitt. I was really excited with the idea of meeting this place, so not to swim wasn´t an option for me. I didn´t last long, because the sensation of water temperature, it wasn´t really warm enough.

I think the best is going there when it´s not so hot neither so cold. In my case at least, due I can´t manage to swim on it when it´s cold and I think that water when it´s summer time, would be so hot then.

I f you want to enter to the lake without staying at the hotels, you can do, it costs 20 euros per day, but you are not allowed to eat inside the lake space.

I like the lake a lot! :D

Here my video:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Termas Pallares: the Spa.

They have a lot of spa services, with prices starting from 25 Euros and on. About spa circuits, besides the Aquatherma that I talked about in a previous post, they also offer the termaspa with: aroma shower, warm hydromassage pool, toning pool, humid thermal bath, dry or finnish bath, cauldron, crosscurrent pool. This costs 50 Euros and last an hour and 15 min.

Rosa tried a massage with a cream with pearls. I was waiting her advice to decide to take an herbal massage or something, but finally I haven´t done it.

Something I liked a lot was that they also have a free doctor service. Sil had to go because cough problems and she was so kind, warm and professional.

The pity is that the Price of the room just includes one access to the Aquatherma, I asked if it was possible to exchange it and to have a termaspa instead, no matter if I should pay the difference of the price, but it wasn´t possible.

It´s a bit complicated for me to tell you if I would or not recommend the Termas Pallares Spa. The whole area is nice and close to it is the Monasterio de Piedra (I´ll talk about this place in other post), that place is precious and worth view. So, if you are going to Monasterio de Piedra and you want to stay at the area for several days, then it´s nice to go to this spa as well. Better if you stay at Gran Hotel Cascada. But, to do it as we did, that actually our aim was to have some relaxing days in a beautiful place and to enjoy the spa, no, that´s not something I would do again there. The reason is very simple: for me it means to travel from Madrid, 3 hours going and 3 hours coming back in a car. The prices of this spa are ok, I´m not saying they have so expensive prices, but as far as I already have in Madrid great options with cheaper prices, I don´t feel like needing to go to Termas Pallares for enjoying a relaxing weekend. Also is that I really didn´t like the detail of having included just hour and a half of one of their spa circuits and to have to pay extra for the robe and sandals.

But yes, I would go again, just in a travel where my priority would be to visit the Monasterio de Piedra, to enjoy a bit the whole Calatayud area and maybe to spend a night at Gran Hotel Cascada or at least to go to the Gastroteca to eat and to stay a bit at the thermal lake.

So! I´m still searching that marvelous place, out of Madrid, with spa, for going to enjoy a fantastic relaxing weekend time to time! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last Moments, Scrabble in Spanish National Championship, Spain 2010








 













































 Antonio Alvarez and Joan Lázaro:



Neme Moreno:



Serge Emig:



Patxi Navarro