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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Drought in Spain...
21 November 2017

Reservoirs without water, expansive desert–like fields, lost crops, and wildfires. These are all symptoms of the persistent drought in Spain. The reservoirs are at their lowest levels since the 1990s. Those along the Segura river, which flows through Albacete, Murcia, Alicante and Almería, have reached alarming lows.

The European Environment Agency published a report early this year warning about the impact that climate change would have on the Mediterranean region of the continent, which is more exposed to global warming.
Many of these effects are already underway: reduced rainfall, wildfires, and heat waves that increase demand for air conditioning. The reservoirs at the head of the Tagus River are also at rock-bottom levels. Residents who live near the Entrepeñas and Buendía reservoirs, in Guadalajara province, want to protect their most precious asset.

But droughts are not just a Spanish problem. It is spreading all over the world. According to the United Nations, by 2050 at least a quarter of the planet's population will live in countries with a scarcity of this vital resource. Take a look at these alarming photos of scenes throughout Spain...

 

 

 


Like 2        Published at 18:30   Comments (3)


Dinner is served!
14 November 2017

The Royal Palace in Madrid, has recently restored the royal kitchens are now open to the public. However this is no ordinary visit: these are the oldest well-preserved kitchens of all the royal palaces in Europe. 

There are older ones, and ones that were bigger and better equipped, but they were all lost through indolence or renovations. The Italian architect Juan Bautista Sachetti designed these kitchens in 1737, and they were capable of turning out elaborate royal menus with as many as 42 entrees. The king could not, of course, eat everything, so the leftover delicacies would trickle down to feed his legion of servants and courtiers.

Enormous copper kettles, stone sinks the size of a bathtub, cold stores from the days of Alfonso XII, a large pot shaped like a turbot, cutting tables and knife holders, vegetable wringers, trays, ceramics and giant mortars... this is just a taste of what visitors will find inside.

The royal kitchens operated uninterruptedly for three centuries, but the last time that cooking took place there on a daily basis was during the Republic. Since then, these 800 square meters have been used to cater specific events held at the palace, including the 2004 wedding of Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

The current appearance of these rooms is the work of Queen Isabel II, who last redecorated them, although they also contain some changes made by her son and grandson, the Alfonsos, and some other items from previous centuries, for a total of 2,625 objects.

In the catalogue of the exhibition, written by the curator José Luis Sancho, there is a description of the kitchens by Luis de la Peña Onetti, who was a guard for Alfonso XIII. “It was certainly worth admiring the spectacle of those spacious buildings, full of old and modern china and utensils, where the copper accentuated its bright color. All this was cleaned and well organized by a small army of cooks led by the head chef…”

Royal Palace curator Pilar Benito discussed details and anecdotes at the presentation of the kitchens, including stories about Alfonso XII’s taste for roast beef, and the many diners who made use of what was cooked in the Royal Palace. The whole court took advantage of those kitchens and the food that the king rejected. And although there was a lot of French food served, there was never any shortage of cocido, that most Madrileño of stews.



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