La Sirena Madrileña
Swapping the sea, coral reefs, rocks, and water for the city, cafes, restaurants, and streets of what is now my sea...Madrid
The Madrid Mermaid

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On to new adventures...

If you would like to find out how to live as a local in Madrid:

Monday, June 4, 2012

...and it´s summer!

I give you this beautiful drawing done by my best friend Mariah Jakosky, like an adventurous mermaid myself, Mariah has swam to Sydney, Australia where she is now studying fashion.  With a passion for the sea, inspired by the sun and chic colorful beach life, Mariah is swimming ever so successfully in her cosmopolitan sea of Sydney. Keep eyes out, for soon you shall expect to see my creative, funky and free spirited best friend launch her first bikini line...  

That sound of the final click of my pen, the feeling of finishing the last exam,  walking out to a city covered by the June sun, seeing terraces upon terraces lining the streets of the Spanish capital...this is only an inkling of the beginning of summer.

As I begin to crawl out of the cave of studies, I can finally come back to writing about what truly inspires me: the colors, smells, events, new surprises and discoveries of my sea...Madrid.  This summer, both the months of June and July, I will not be leaving Madrid for the callings from professionalism have kept me to stay by doing an internship.  In August, also known as the "time to flee to the sea month," I will be in Croatia working for 6 weeks, reunited with The Yacht Week to give you more exciting surprises and insight on what goes on at this marvelous and international gathering of fun and sun.  6 weeks at sea, once again with my laptop, an international buzz in the air, new faces, and more surprises to awaken your curiosity.

As for now, let´s focus on one journey at a time...June and July in Madrid...couldn´t pick a better month to gather inspiration...the months of the rooftops terraces...long days...opening parties...colors...days by the pool...late runs in the park...bikini shopping...passion fruit sorbet...let the city take over...summer has arrived.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Yacht Week: Skipper Academy

Writing on top of water...

From the countryside back to the city and now off to the sea!  I will be leaving my beloved Madrid for two weeks, but will instead be reunited with the sea, sails, and The Yacht Week in Croatia.  I am going to be writing a blog for The Skipper Academy, where the skippers will be learning and preparing themselves on the route for the summer.  You can follow me on The Yacht Week website to check out the skippers in action, learn a bit about sailing, and the unique culture of Croatia. Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

The Skipper Academy Blog

...gone sailing

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marqués de Riscal: Tasting antiquity

Is it me, or do history and things from the past seem to always carry some sort of mysterious element with them?  Ancient jewelry from the Etruscans or one of Coco Chanel´s first designs today inspire, touch and fascinate people.  After all, as Petrarch said, we are like gnomes riding on the backs of the giants of history...

On our last day, we were fortunate enough to literally step into history through the door of the first wine cellar at Marqués de Riscal, founded in the year 1860.  Upon entrance, I immediately smelled the passing of time, saw the effects of years on the bottles grasped by cobwebs, and best of all...tasted a bottle from the year 1956, older than my very own father.

The deeper we walked into the cellar, the colder it got.  The feeling was eerie yet mesmerizing while at the same time the bloggers and I walked around with our glass of ancient wine.

After finishing the tour of the old winery, we were taken to the modern section, where shipments to over 60 different countries are currently being made.  I saw boxes labeled with Australia and the USA.  Marqués de Riscal is now participating in a huge process of changing the traditional unstable wooden crates to metal ones.

The tours came to an end and we were taken to Francis Paniego´s territory, the kitchen of Marqués de Riscal...where gastronomic magic happens.  Leaving the kitchen transposed us to the balcony where the kitchen keeps their very own herb garden, not to mention with incredible views of Elciego and Gehry´s architectonic overhangings.

Finally, we finished the #experiencia Riscal in the library of the hotel, reminiscing on the weekend and every moment that was filled with something important to learn about wine, social media, the importance of bloggers today and their contribution to the visual experience...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marqués de Riscal: Flavors come in pairs

Last night, in the Aula Marqués de Riscal, after having learned everything there is to know about white wine, we had a 2 and a half hour course dedicated to vino tinto.  I was surrounded by gastronomic professionals in the room that basically told me wine drinking is an art.  The more practice you have at tasting it, the more possible it is to develop a profound appreciation and desire for it.  

Based on color, is it ruby or cherry red?

Based on smell, does it have notes of chocolate, cinnamon, dried fruit, or a pastry shop?

Based on texture, is it smooth or difficult to swallow?

We tasted five different wines, each one older and more expensive than the first, so the best one was as you can imagine, saved for last.

After having been enriched of a day's worth of wine culture, we went over to enjoy Francis Paniego's gastronimic creations, one of the most internationally recognized chefs today.  The dinner was called Cena Maridaje-Dinner of pairs which means that every single course was paired purposely with a different type of wine that paired flavors beautifully together.

To name a few of the tastes of the night that may inspire you...

Truffle-chestnut soup with an egg yolk on top

Smoked red peppers in organic olive oil of the region

Mint lime ice cream with frozen bananas

Honey ice cream on top of a crunch caramel pastry and crisp apples

Never did gastronomy and the world of flavors look so vibrant and, not to mention, well-organized.

Francis Paniego

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marqués de Riscal: Incorporating the 5 senses

Gehry´s architectonic masterpiece appears to be a metallic scarf flowing frozen in motion in the strong winds of Elciego.  Waking up to this and the vineyards doused in the morning sun is like going into another dream world that seems too surreal to be grasped as reality.

From the vineyard to the technological process to the barrels and finally the tasting of the wine in the Aula Marqués de Riscal, I couldn´t be more happy to say that here at Marqués de Riscal, things are not done by stepping away from the norm, but rather climbing a whole ladder of innovation to truly take the history and knowledge of wine to a whole other level.  Today´s morning adventure was led by the director of the Aula Marqués de Riscal, Rafael Ruiz Isla.  

The Aula Marqués de Riscal is a course designed a la carte to teach professionals in the wine world to go deeper into the judging of what really is a fine wine. I tasted 4 different wines, each with a distint flavor. Here we were led by the expertise of Señor Ruiz. I am definitely not a connoisseur , nor am I of the age yet to be critical of what a good bottle of wine is and what is not, but today if there is one thing I have learned about wine is that it is not just the taste that must be judged but also...

The sight:

The smell:
-quality of the aroma
-characteristics: floral, fruity, spicy, bitter

The consistency:
-at the right temperature


Friday, March 23, 2012

Marqués de Riscal: Bloggers trip

About 350 kilometers and 4 and a half hours away from Madrid, I have arrived to the beautiful and eclectic winery Marqués de Riscal in La Rioja region of the north of Spain.  Marqués de Riscal developed from a dream and finally became a reality in 1858, leaving it today, one of the most internationally and nationally admired wines.  This winery is not only noted for its fine wine, but also for its luxury resort hotel designed by the Frank Gehry himself.  Here the avant-garde design of the Frank Gehrian masterpiece meets the tradition and history found within the very roots of the grapes that produce the incredible wines continuing to marvel the wine market today.

This weekend I am fortunate enough to join Spain´s most talented bloggers in the area of gastronomy and fine cuisine at Marqués de Riscal.  After miles and miles of untouched land, we finally arrived to La Rioja region where Frank Gehry´s architectural fenomenon struck an emotional note.  As normal bloggers, we raced out of the bus, pulling out our iPhones, Canons and Nikons to capture the first glimpse of what will truly be an enriching weekend.

Stay with me as we discover together the enchantment of Marqués de Riscal...