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Pools and Water Parks near Madrid…By Kirsty Leggatt

June 8th, 2016 by

 

poolLast July I posted about pools and water parks near Madrid and I thought as the warmer weather is upon us, I would re-visit this post.

Yes, it gets HOT in Madrid and it’s this time of year where I miss the lovely sea breeze and beaches of Sydney!

If you are like me and live in the city, you most likely won’t have easy access to a pool. Some of you, I know, have a pool attached to your apartment complex (or to your house in the suburbs) but as I live in an older, very central building, I don’t have this summer luxury. So I thought this week that I’d re-post my similar post of July last year and list some of the local pools and water parks where we can go to cool off and take some much-needed respite from the Madrid heat.

You can find information about all of these locations on the Internet but for ease of reference I’ve listed some of them here.

PUBLIC POOLS:

Centro Deportivo Municipal Casa de Campo

Located in Casa de Campo/Moncloa-Aravaca

Centro Deportivo Municipal Francos Rodríguez

Located in Ciudad Universitaria / Moncloa-Aravaca

Centro Deportivo Municipal Peñuelas

Located in Acacias/Arganzuela

Polideportivo Vicente Del Bosque http://www.barriodelpilar.com/pol_barriodelpilar.htm#Piscina_de_Verano

Located in Barrio Del Pilar – near Torre Espacio

Remember that these pools do get busy and don’t open until 1100.

 

NATURAL POOLS:

The natural pools, I’ve discovered are pools that use natural water from nearby springs or rivers. These are located outside the city in the mountains and are large, have extensive grassy areas and shade and would make an interesting day trip.

There are quite a few of these located all over Spain but I’m listing the three closest to Madrid.

Piscinas naturalas de Cercedilla

This is probably the closest to Madrid but apparently there is quite a walk from the train station.

Located in Cercedilla

Piscinas naturalas Buitrago del Lozoya

Located in Buitrago del Lozoya

Piscinas naturalas Rascafría (Las Presillas) 

Located in Rascafría

 

WATER PARKS:

Aquópolis San Fernando de Henares

This is the closest waterpark to Madrid.

Aquópolis de Villanueva de la Cañada

The above pools and parks are just to give you some ideas. Why not take a day trip this weekend and hit some of the lovely natural pools that the region has to offer!

Hace calor – Mucho! by Kirsty Leggatt

July 7th, 2015 by

You will hear the expression — “hace calor!” nearly everyday in summer. Your local shopkeeper will tell you this, a stranger standing at the lights with you will comment the same way and invariably your portero will utter this expression at least once a day. Your correct response should be — “mucho!” spoken with much enthusiasm and gusto!

Yes, it is HOT in Madrid at the moment and it’s this time of year where I miss the lovely sea breeze and beaches of Sydney!

If you are like me and live in the city, you most likely won’t have easy access to a pool. Some of you lucky people, I know, have a pool attached to your apartment complex but as I’m in an older, very central building, I don’t have this summer luxury. So I thought this week that I’d do a little investigation and list some of the local pools and water parks where we can go to cool off and take some much-needed respite from the Madrid heat. You can find information about all of these locations on the Internet but for ease of reference I’d thought I’d list some them here.

PUBLIC POOLS

Centro Deportivo Municpal Casa de Campo 

(Located in Casa de Campo/Moncloa-Aravaca)

Centro Deportivo Muncipal Francos Rodríguez

(Located in Ciudad Universitaria / Moncloa-Aravaca)

Centro Deportivo Municipal Peñuelas

(Located in Acacias/Arganzuela)

Remember that these pools do get busy and don’t open until 1100.

 

NATURAL POOLS

The natural pools, I’ve discovered are pools that use natural water from nearby springs or rivers. These are located outside the city in the mountains and are large, have extensive grassy areas and shade and would make an interesting day trip out of the city.

There are quite a few of these located all over Spain but I’m listing the three closest to Madrid.

Piscinas naturalas de Cercedilla

This is probably the closest to Madrid but apparently there is quite a walk from the train station.

(Located in Cercedilla)

Piscinas naturalas Buitrago del Lozoya

(Located in Buitrago del Lozoya)

Piscinas naturalas Rascafría (Las Presillas)

(Located in Rascafría)

 

WATERPARKS

Aquópolis San Fernando de Henares

This is the closest waterpark to Madrid.

Aquópolis de Villanueva de la Cañada

The above pools and parks are just to give you some ideas. Why not take a day trip this weekend and hit some of the lovely natural pools that the region has to offer!

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, (Earning a Spanish Driver’s License), by Trevor Leeden

February 17th, 2015 by

As you may know, there are only a few countries outside the E.U. that have license reciprocity with Spain. Those of us arriving to Spain from outside the E.U. must have a Spanish driver’s license within the first six months after receiving our residence card. This process is exceedingly frustrating & time consuming. As usual, Trevor manages to add a humor to this very Spanish experience. http://thelegsyboys.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/aint-no-mountain-high-enough.html

Fast and Furious Birthday Bash Madrid Style! – by Trevor Leeden

May 28th, 2014 by

The Leeden family decide to celebrate their daughter’s birthday in true spanish style…on a go kart track with speed and adrenalin.

                                                                  
Finally, the Aimster’s birthday is over for another year. The celebrations wound up yesterday with a go-kart party and then several friends coming for a sleepover….they’ve all gone home now and peace has descended upon the Hacienda once more.I have to say that the Carlos Sainz Go-Kart Center (their spelling, not mine) is the best of its kind I’ve ever seen. It’s very professionally operated, the drivers are taken into a briefing room for 20 minutes to go over safety and related driving regulations, and all are kitted out in proper racing gear – red overalls, padded neck braces and full racing helmets…the kids were all in their element.
WOO-HOO!
WOO-HOO!

IMG_2041

Even in the outside(weather permitting).
Even in the outside(weather permitting).

The track itself twists and turns its way both indoors and outdoors, and there are different karts depending on experience, but all are powerful enough to provide a proper racing experience, thrills, spills, and spin outs. Some of the kids were a little nervous at first, but they quickly settled in and had a ball. The fastest time of the day was recorded by Buzzy (who has now changed names to ‘Fangio’) at 1:33.354 minutes with Birthday Girl 2 seconds behind him in 3rd place (1:35.579 minutes).

Birthday Girl
Birthday Girl
Fangio
Fangio
...and they're off!!!
…and they’re off!!!
Birthday Girl fangs it.....
Birthday Girl fangs it…..
Fangio - I have a need for speed!
Fangio – I have a need for speed!
...and they're turning the corner!
…and they’re turning the corner!

IMG_2027

The centre catered for a party celebration with a nice cake, pizza, warm cheese croquettes and other assorted health foods. Finally, as mentioned above, we threw ourselves on the sword and four of the kids came back with us for a sleepover, bringing to a close a ten day tweenage celebration. Phew, a lot different to when I was 12 – the only Kart I was aware of was the one the ‘night watchman’ rode on!!

Happy 12 year old
Happy 12 year old
Note: For minor age privacy reasons there are only photos with Aimee and Buzzy.

While living in Spain, have you had a birthday party for your children that was worth remembering ? Share it with members…. ! Send your experiences to blog@incmadrid.com.

Bilingual Education in Madrid for Toddlers by Jill Stribling

April 25th, 2014 by

Jill Stribling is a new INC member who runs a bilingual school in Madrid. She has just opened pre-school for children to learn for ages 1 to 4 that follows the American education system. She reveals with INC members her passion for bilingual education that is often not found in pre-schools in Madrid. Tania is having an open house to introduce her pre-school program and has extended an invitation to all INC members.

Learn Creative child

 

 

 

 

 

When I look around at the life I have today, how blessed I am in my personal and my professional life, I sometimes wonder… How in the world did I end up here?!

So much of what I am doing now would have been so difficult to foresee 12 years ago.

I have a Degree in Psychology and Child Development and a Masters in Education by the University of California, and I came to Spain with a very definite plan to work at a school for 2 years. Afterwards, I would be on my merry way, exploring the world and eventually settling in my home state, California. Sound familiar..? Instead, during that time I fell in love and, like so many American women before me, I found myself settled in Spain.

children

After a few years here I realized there was a problem with the way English was being taught, and given my experience with the L.A. Department of Education I knew I had a lot to offer. I came up with my own teaching method, and in 2008 launched my business venture, English for Fun.

The English for Fun method is based on a natural language acquisition, through a fun and hands on approach that engages the 5 senses. In our workshops we sing, dance, cook, make crafts, play group games, use the smart board and role play. Most importantly we promote confidence and self-esteem, improving not only their fluency, but their lives. We want all our kids to KNOW that they are superstars and they can change the world!

I am fortunate to be able to say that my business went well, we have continued to grow and expand, even through the crisis, and we now have several business lines (camps, SAT/ American university prep, birthday parties, English for Work, Preschool, and workshops for all ages). I started with a few children in my living room, and now have a lovely children’s center located in Calle Darro 5 in  Madrid and have expanded with an adult center nearby.

In the meantime, as I was growing my business, I was also growing my family. I have two beautiful children, Nicolas and Olivia, and through my concern for their education, I rediscovered a passion which gave way to what, in my opinion, is our newest and most exciting project, our American Preschool program!

As an educator I started off my career in Preschool, and I know how important it is for children at a Preschool age to be in a learning environment where they are engaged and stimulated, and they can develop independence and the social and life skills that will be of paramount importance throughout their lives.

I wanted my children to go to Preschool, and at the same time, living in a Spanish environment, I wanted to be sure my children would be bilingual.

But more than that, so much of what I love about the American education system, creative problem solving, critical thinking skills, emphasis on self-esteem and promoting independence, a hands on approach. This is not  found in the curriculum of many of the best schools in the city especially in  pre-school programs and certainly not in English.

For these reasons,  I decided to create the Preschool that I wanted for my children. At English for Fun we have created a nurturing environment which fosters love of learning, with small groups, individual attention, and certified and native teachers.  The program focuses on the child’s global development, and allows them to grow socially, physically, and intellectually, always while favoring a positive self esteem.

The curriculum follows California Standards & Frameworks (Go California!), and we are currently undergoing accreditation by NAEYC, the most prestigious Early Childhood association in the U.S.

We are just finishing our first year with a small group and have had amazing results! For 2014-2015 we will offer Preschool for ages 1 through 4, and our goal is to grow with them until age 6.

To all the young mothers out there, I encourage you to stop by and learn more about our Preschool. It is my pride and joy, I have put in all of my love and experience into creating this program and I know there is nothing better out there for your children.

We are offering a Preschool Open House next Tuesday April 29th at 1 PM for INC members. To register please send an e-mail to elviso@englishforfun.es. I hope to meet a lot of you there!

English for Fun-El Viso, C/ Darro 5, 28002 Madrid. Telephone no. 914412233

www.englishforfun.es 

The Butcher’s Lingo – by Mercedes Escudero

March 18th, 2014 by

Mercedes Escudero writes a column for INC members  called  Tips and Hints for Expatriates. Here she provides tips on how to ask for certain meats when visiting a spanish butcher. This may come handy as we all try to order the same cuts that we are all familiar with back home. As Mercedes says, “A cow is a cow.” Right ? Not always. Take these list of tips with you on your next visit to the butcher !

The primary things that make us at home are our senses.  The things we see that are familiar to us, the sounds and smells, but also the tastes. In an attempt to bring our home to wherever we go, and right after unpacking, we go to the supermarket in order to fill up the fridge and the pantry with all the stuff we need to ‘home-conquer’ the empty kitchen.

The most popular topic in your e-mails is the ‘Butcher Lingo’, paraphrasing our fellow expat Kelly P. The reason why it is so hard to find equivalences for our favourite pieces of meat is because in Spain, we do not have the same meat cuts as in England, the USA or Argentina. Some cuts might coincide whereas others might not. But don’t worry.  After all, a cow is a cow everywhere, isn’t it? I will give you the tips and hints you need to enjoy your favourite beef dishes here in Spain. This time, we will get focused on the equivalences between British and Spanish beef cuts in Veal “ternera”, Cow “vaca” or Ox “buey”.

You may want meat for braising steak “carne para ragout”, mince meat “carne picada” or stewing steak “estofado” from the neck “pescuezo”, the chuck “aguja”, the blade “espaldilla, the clod “pecho” or maybe from the silverside “contra”. For a good stew I would recommend the meat from the shin “morcillo”, great for the Cocido Madrileño as well, but you will also find it in the supermarket from the thin flak or brisket “falda”.

In England, there are many types of joints “piezas enteras” for pot ”olla , oven ”horno” or grill roasting “asar”. In Spain, the most common parts are the eye of round “redondo”, from the back part of the animal and the thick flank “babilla”, knuckle “corazón de babilla” or even topside “Tapa” or Rump “cadera”. The term Rolled is “enrollado” as in Rolled Brisket “falda”, also corresponding with thin flak.

When it comes to the word ‘Filete’ in Spain we refer to a thin sheet of meat for stir-frying ”plancha” or to fry “freir”. Depending on the part of the animal, the “filete” will be class 1st or 2nd , A or B, and you will see this in the price. For instance, sirloin “lomo” is A, and heel muscle “contra” is usually B.  For the thick ones we use sirloin “lomo” but you can also ask for Rump Steak “filete grueso de cadera”.

The ribs’ world is not so big in Spain. We don’t have as many different cuts from the ribs portion of the animal, but the most popular one is the part of the thin flak “churrasco” which is good for BBQ. So if you want short ribs you will have to explain it to the butcher and see whether he can get that cut for you “ costillas superiores con tendon y espina dorsal cortadas en corto” or just say  escalera de Jacob”.  The general term for our ribs is rack “costillar de ternera” or slab “tira de costillas”.

Finally the noble parts are: the fore rib with the single rib “chuletón de llomo alto” or Forerib Roast “pieza de lomo alto con costilla”, rib eye steak “chuletón deshuesado”. The sirloin steak “entrecote de lomo”, the tender loin “solomillo” and the fillet steak “medallón de solomillo” are the good ones. However, the T-bone “chuleta de costilla con lomo” and the Fore Rib “chuletón de lomo alto con parte del costillar” are not common cuts.

Now that you know it all about meat cuts, make yourself at home and Bon Apetito !

Thanks for all your e-mails. For further questions on this subject, feedbacks or new concerns I’ll be more than happy to receive all your inputs with subject “ tips and hints” at mer@ayudantia.com.”