Aeropuerto de Zaragoza: 2º del país en transporte de mercancías, por delante de Barcelona

El año pasado escribí un artículo en el blog donde hablaba del extraordinario crecimiento del aeropuerto de Zaragoza en transporte de carga desde 2003 (fecha coincidente con la apertura del centro logístico de Inditex).

AENA ha sacado hoy una nota de prensa con los primeros resultados consolidados de 2019 y para los principales aeropuertos españoles. Pues bien, ha ocurrido lo que se preveía: desde 2019 Zaragoza se ha convertido en el segundo aeropuerto de España en transporte de mercancía, por delante del aeropuerto de Barcelona y por detrás de Madrid-Barajas.

“Los cuatro aeropuertos que registraron mayor tráfico de mercancías fueron Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, con 558.566 toneladas (+7,4%); Zaragoza, con 182.659 toneladas (+9,5); Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, con 177.271 toneladas (2,5%) […]”

Esos cuatro aeropuertos representan el 92% del volumen nacional de carga. Madrid y Zaragoza crecieron por encima de la media nacional (5,6%) respecto a las cifras de 2018, Barcelona lo hizo por debajo (2,5%) lo que, junto con el crecimiento de Zaragoza, explica el que haya caído al tercer puesto.

Dejo debajo la misma gráfica que realicé el año pasado actualizada con los datos de 2019. En dicha gráfica no se muestran las cifras de Madrid-Barajas porque al ser el volumen el triple que el de Zaragoza, si se incluyese no se apreciaría bien el crecimiento de este último.


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Aviation safety evolution (2019 update)

Yesterday, the Aviation Safety Network released the 2019 airliner accident statistics showing a total of 20 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 283 fatalities.

Aviation Safety Network is a private initiative from the Flight Safety Foundation which curates an extensive database with aviation incidents, hijackings and accidents, from 1946 to nowadays.

The tweet with which they made the announcement is below:

Which includes the graphic below.


If we take a quick look at the figures (which report commercial aviation flights (passenger and cargo)):

  • Number of accidents: 20, up from 15 in 2020, though still the 7th safest year in history (in number of accidents).
  • Fatalities: 283, down from 556 in 2018, the 3rd safest year in history (in number of fatalities).
  • There were 5 accidents with over 10 fatalities (details here).

The graphic above from the Aviation Safety Network provides the view of the evolution of accidents. However, in their database they provide some more figures with which I produced the graphics below.

Evolution of accidents per million flights

The database provides figures of the evolution of the number of world air departures since 1970, together with the evolution of accidents (above). The database includes a ratio: fatal accidents per million flights, which I have plotted below together with the evolution of flight departures. You can see that the ratio has decreased 12 fold since 1970, from 6.35 to 0.51 last year.



Global air traffic vs fatalities

The database provides no ratio with the figures of fatalities, but they can be related to the amount of passengers carried. In aviation there is the concept of revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) transported, which is compiled year by year and can be found in publications from ICAOIATA or aircraft manufacturers. I have plotted below both the evolution of traffic growth and fatalities since 1970, together with a 5-year moving average for the fatalities.


Within the evolution of traffic there are two variables that have grown over the years: the number of passengers carried per flight departure and the distance covered. Therefore, together with the decrease in the evolution of fatalities (taking the 5 year average) I have plotted below the evolution of the ratio of fatalities per trillion RPK. You can see that the ratio has decreased 81 fold since 1970, from 3,218 to 40 last year (5-year average).



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A380 transport convoy (Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit)

One of the most recognizable features of the Airbus industrial system, with factories in different countries, mainly in Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and France, where the main components and the aircraft are assembled, is the transportation of those components by the iconic A300-600ST Beluga aircraft.

Arriving TLS

Image credit to Brian Bukowski.

However, as most of the A380 components are too big to be carried onboard of the Beluga, a special transportation system was required to be put in place. It included transportation of the bigger components from the plants in Hamburg, Broughton, Saint-Nazaire and Cadiz by ship to the port of Paulliac, close to Bordeaux. From there, they travel by barge up the river Garonne to Langon. Then they are mounted on special purpose trucks to travel the road from Langon to the final assembly plant near Toulouse.


Ever since I came to work to Toulouse nine years ago, I had wanted to go and see one night the A380 transport convoy on the road. I kept postponing it, until last month. Airbus announced in early 2019 that the A380 programme would come to a close with the last aircraft to be delivered somewhere in 2021. Therefore, not many such transports were left to be seen.

Fortunately there is a public website with all the information required to prepare the visit: Itinéraire à Grand Gabarit. It includes: maps of the route that is followed, a yearly calendar with the days in which the transport will take place, a detailed schedule with the time slot in which the transport will pass by the different villages along the route and support documentation.





With that information I set out to see the convoy last December on the night between the 18th and 19th. Firstly, I went to see the convoy at their stop at L’Isle Jourdan.


I then followed part of the route with the convoy, seeing how the team removed sign posts along the way and marked some points as reference for the truck drivers.



Then I drove to Lévignac, a village where the pass is rather tight and slow. At Lévignac I found a group of about a dozen enthusiasts dressed in yellow vests who come to see every single convoy since years ago out of pure pleasure of watching such a magnificent sight.


The convoy arrives at Lévignac at 2:23am and normally takes 12 minutes to pass by (see the detailed schedule above), but this time there were many cars parked in the streets which needed to be displaced: either by the tow truck or pushed by hand. Careful measurements were taken by the operators to ensure the convoy would pass.


With all the checks properly done and cars removed, we enjoyed the slow pass of the 6 trucks:


I got to see the convoy of MSN (manufacturer serial number) 270, an Emirates aircraft. There will be just two more aircraft to be built after that one, MSNs 271 and 272, with their respective convoys, which dates remain to be announced in the above-mentioned website at the time of writing this post. If you have the chance, do not miss it!

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Summary of (my) 2019

Time to look back and reflect on how the year which is about to end developed. Brief recap of my 2019. (1)

The main event of the year: I switched jobs and started working at widebody marketing in Airbus.

Class of 2019_2

Having said that: other personal objectives for 2019 have been moderately accomplished to different extents. Now, let’s review the year in more detail.

Flying. It took me until March to make the first flight of the year, and did not fly much until September, I only then flew enough to renew the license for the next two years. In total I flew 13 flight hours, including 36 take-offs and landings. I also passed an exam to renew the radio communication qualification in French for another six years.

If I recall it well, this year my work colleagues Carlos and Aleks, my mother in law Wijnanda and fellow pilot Marc flew for the first time with me at the controls. I flew as well with my father in law, Meine, with Luca, Andrea and David a couple of times. Believe me, there are very few things more enjoyable than flying with friends. I am sure that in 2020 that will be the case with some more.

This year again I took part in the rallye aerien of our aeroclub ACAT. It was a great experience again, even if this time we had more trouble in finding ourselves. On the other hand I could not take part in any of the fly outs organized by our Aviation Society.


Other things aviation. This year, I visited the Polish Aviation Museum of Krakow which was a great discovery. On top of that, I read some aviation books: “Buying the big jets”, “Straight & Level, Practical Airline Economics”, “Nuts!” and “Skygods, the fall of Pan Am”. And at the very end of the year, and after having lived in or around Toulouse for 9 years, I finally got to see the A380 convoy in its route from the ship offloading in Langon to Toulouse:


Airbus. After nearly 4 years working in the development of the Airbus A330neo, and seeing its entry into service, as mentioned above, I switched jobs within the company. This time I moved to the commercial side of it, in the product marketing team which regards at the positioning of our aircraft, future developments to be made and supports sales campaigns. Quite a fun job. The move started with a four-month-long training which felt very much like going back to aerospace engineering school; studying again aircraft performance, mission requirements, impact of aircraft configuration on the mission, aircraft economics, etc.

Believe it or not, there were other things than aviation in our lives in 2019:

Public speaking. I stayed rather active in our in-company Toastmasters public speaking club until I switched jobs. In this coming 2020 I shall re-start with it.

Blogging. This year I managed to write only 17 blog posts, well below previous years. The blog received nearly 34,000 visits in 2019 (less than in 2018) and above 402,000 since I started it in 2010.

Reading. Since moving to our new house, we have dedicated one of the rooms to be a family library (call it a pet project). We keep on buying books that we consider good enough and place them there, keeping our curiosity and the thirst for good reads always alive. This year I kept up with the reading pace, up until starting the training for the new job. I then faced some months of slow pace reading until the last quarter. In the end I read 17 books and nearly 5,000 pages (less than in 2018). For the complete list of books, see the post I wrote about my 2019 reading list with a brief description of each book.

Running. In 2019 I have run just below 1,200 kilometres, slightly higher than the previous year but a very low yearly mileage since I arrived to Toulouse in late 2010. I completed 6 races, less than in previous years, including 2 marathons (Krakow and Porto), a couple of trails (Ronde des Foies Gras (26 km) and Trail du Cassoulet (24 km)) and the Christmas’ races at the end of the year. I found myself with little training some weeks before each of the marathon and the running this year has been putting up mileage some weeks just ahead of those races to ensure that I could finish them.



Skiing. In 2019 we have repeated the wonderful all-family skiing week in the Alps (Vars) as we did in 2017 and 2018, and as we will do again in a few weeks in 2020. This year, Luca and I were placed in different groups and Andrea continued making progress, jumping two levels to earn her “Garolou” medal. In the afternoons we enjoyed going altogether to practice some luge near the hotel with David.


Bull fighting. This year again, I managed to attend a  couple of bull fights: the Feria de Pâques de Arles (France), at the great Roman amphitheater, and the Feria de Pentecôte at Vic Fezensac, a small lively village in the Gers (France) and later on in Arles (France).


Travelling. This year we visited Madrid, Aix-en-Provence, Digne-les-Bains, Vars, Orange, Arles, Vic-Fezensac, Krakow, Saint-Tropez, San Remo, Genoa, Vernazza (Cinque Terre), Tuscany (Pisa, Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, Vinci, Lucca), Alassio, Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat, Millau, Porto, Blois, Amiens, Wijchen, Amsterdam, Fontevraud, San Sebastian… Many of these places have meant repeat visits, but they are lovely and we’ll continue to go there.


Now it’s time to rest, celebrate and soon to plan how we want the 2020 to turn out. For us it will include David starting to speak English and skiing, hopefully lots of flying and running (including at least a marathon in Madrid), some books to read, museums to see, trips and excursions to enjoy… For now, I will close 2019 celebrating my sister’s birthday, running the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid with friends and enjoying a last dinner with the family.

I wish you the best for 2020, enjoy it!

(1) You can see here my 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 recaps.


Filed under Personal development & HR

My 2019 reading list

In this post I wanted to share the list of books I read along the year (1) with a small comment for each one and links to some Twitter threads where I shared some passages that caught my attention while reading the books. I have also included a small rating from one to three “+” depending on how much I do recommend its reading.


  1. La Biblia blanca” (by Ángel del Riego Anta and Marta del Riego Anta) (+++): this is a great book mainly for Real Madrid supporters. It provides a good overview of the history of the club with plenty of stories and anecdotes, adopting a curious structure: that of the Christian Bible with its old and new testaments, and drawing parallels between many of the chapters of the Bible and that of Real Madrid’s history, and between the main characters in both. I enjoyed it and learnt quite a few things from the football club.
  2. Limpieza de sangre” (by Arturo Perez-Reverte) (++): This book is part of the series of books about the character Captain Alatriste. In this one the plot takes place in Madrid and includes some real historical characters such as the writer Quevedo, an acquaintance of Alatriste. The plot of the book starts with the murder of woman and Alatriste is involved in its investigation which involves the Inquisition. [I leave here a link to the Twitter thread with some quotes or passages that captured from the book while reading it]
  3. Buying the big jets” (by Paul Clark) (+++): This is a great book about the processes and methods involved in the decision-making of buying large commercial airplanes. The book is a great tool to understand some key concepts of fleet planning, network planning, aircraft performance and economics, etc., and how they influence the investment decision of acquiring airplanes. This was a great recommendation from my colleague Peter. [Twitter thread].
  4. Le Misanthrope” (by Moliere) (+): I read this play after having read three others from Moliere (École de femmes, Tartuffe, Don Juan) and this is the only one I didn’t really like, while the three others were very engaging and entertaining. In this one, Moliere criticizes society’s hypocrisy by portraying the different personalities of Alceste and Célimène along other of her lovers. [Twitter thread]
  5. Une ville flottante” (by Jules Verne) (+): Published in 1871, this book covers the trip from Liverpool to New York of the Great Eastern, a large ship transporting thousands of travelers. The book mixes some technical descriptions and explanations about the boat, the navigation or other engineering works, with the day to day life of the passengers, very much in Verne’s style. However, I must say that I found it quite dull at some times. [Twitter thread]
  6. Leonardo Da Vinci” (by Walter Isaacson) (+++): This book was a present from my mother in law and I read it in this 2019 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo, well ahead of our summer trip to Italy where we saw some of his greatest paintings and where we visited is birthplace in Anchiano, close to Vinci. The biography is great. It takes you through the life of the artist, showing and explaining his personal struggles at the same time that it offers an insight into the techniques he developed (smufato, sketching, use of light…), an analysis of his works and possible interpretations. A great painter, even if not constant with completing the works he was commissioned, a frustrated military engineer, a complex character and without a doubt a very talented and innovative individual. [Twitter thread]
  7. Straight & Level, Practical Airline Economics” (by Stephen Holloway) (+++): This is a detailed review (over 600 pages in the edition I read) of the airline industry economics, operating revenue and cost (traffic, price and yield, output and unit cost), capacity management (network management, fleet management and revenue management) and the relationships between all those concepts. The book is extremely thorough in the presentation and discussions of the different concepts and the variables influencing them. Not for the faint reader. [Twitter thread]
  8. The Customer Rules” (by Lee Cockerell) (+++): I had this book at home after having received it from the magazine The Economist following a response to one of their surveys. I decided to read it thinking it would be good fit with the new job I was about to get, closer to the customers. Written by Lee Cockerel, a former Disney executive VP, the book is structured along 39 tips to improve customer service. With plenty of anecdotes, experiences, very short chapters with no nonsense, the book is an enjoyable fast read. [Twitter thread]
  9. La Chanson de Roland” (possibly by Turold) (++): This is a French epic poem written in the XI century describing the battle in Roncesvalles (Roncevaux) in 778 between Spanish Muslims of the king Marsile, based in Zazragoza, and the army of Charlemagne. The main character, Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew, antagonizes with his stepfather who sets him up to cover the rear of the Franks’ army and is then fatally attacked by the Muslims. His call for help, sounding his horn, comes too late to be helped by Charlemagne and he dies in Roncesvalles along with his companion Oliver. I found it especially interesting 1) the outcome that the book gives to his sword in comparison with the many legends about it that have reached our days (Rocamadour, Gavarnie, church in Roncesvalles…), and 2) the many references to Spain and the kingdom of Spain. [Twitter thread]
  10. La Republica o El Estado” (by Plato) (+++): In this book of dialogues, Plato portrays Socrates discussing about justice (giving what’s due and appropriate), education, virtues, the arts… but what I liked the most was the book (chapter) in which he discusses the different forms of government, what defines them and how the abuse of some aspect in them leads to the adoption of another subsequent form of government. I loved to discover that among the different models he presented, the one presented as the ideal one was aristocracy and not democracy. So much for… [Twitter thread]
  11. Etica a Nicomaco” (by Aristotle) (++): Aristotle’s text book on ethics, possibly compiled from the notes he used in the Lyceum. Where he defines and discusses virtues, distinguishing from virtues of character and moral virtues. Then he discusses happiness to end with the need for education.
  12. Nuts! Southwest airlines…” (by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg) (+++): Great book about the airline Southwest. The authors had been consulting for Southwest before they decided to write the book and they are a couple of cheerleaders of the airline (they even include such a disclaimer at the beginning), and despite of that the book is very enjoyable with an extremely positive note. There is no criticism to the airline in the book but plenty of details and anecdotes compiled from dozens of interviews with employees. It is written as a kind of business management book which can also be applied for personal development, with a sort of reference check list at the end of each chapter. If I had to highlight a single takeaway from the book it would the going the extra mile by the individual employees to provide what they call positively outrageous service, and only afterwards thinking about who will pay, what the procedure says, what their boss would say… [Twitter thread]
  13. Primo Viaggio intorno al Globo” (by Antonio Pigafetta) (++): I decided to read this book on the first circumnavigation of the Earth to celebrate the 500th anniversary of their departure from Sevilla and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The author, the Venetian Antonio Pigafetta, was one of the few survivors that completed the round the world trip that lasted three years. He started as a secretary to the expedition commander, the Portuguese Magellan. He describes with detail the adventures they went through, the navigation, what they ate, the illnesses they suffered, the landscapes, how they procured food, gold, silver and other materials. He described the exchanges with the different local rulers, which surprisingly were mostly delighted to enter into commercial terms with the king of Spain. It is interesting to note that even though after the death of Magellan in Mactan (which is described in the book) the Spanish Elcano became the commander of what was left from the original expedition, Pigafetta does not mention him not even once in the book; plausibly due to differences with him, as he described tensions and rivalries between the captains of different nationalities taking part in the expedition.
  14. The Reckoning” (by John Grisham) (+): In this book Grisham shows very early the facts: the victim, the killer, the sentence. What is left unknown is the motive. Most of the book then is dedicated to backtrack the life of the killer, from rural Mississippi to West Point, his marriage and family building, life as a farmer, his participation world war II and the sequels that it brought… However, I must say that I found it too long, though I confess that I loved the final twist.
  15. Skygods. The Fall of Pan Am” (by Robert Gandt) (+): This book about the rise and fall of the airline Pan Am is very easy to read, a bit repetitive with some expressions, not very elaborate, but entertaining. I found interesting in it the explanations about the many things that didn’t work and didn’t make sense in the operation of Pan Am: from not having a domestic network to feed their international destinations, to being politically denied one time after the other the possibility to develop or acquire such network, the madness surrounding it (seeking super sonic trips, trips to the moon, the NY headquarters, keeping the 747 flying empty to the most exotic locations…). At the same time, Pan Am was a pillar of the American landscape of the time: flying the Berlin service, its standards of service (including its lounges around the world, more like embassies), its support to the military by flying troops as part of the civil reserve fleet, etc. [Twitter thread]
  16. Camino Island” (by John Grisham) (++): Interesting novel in which Grisham deviates from the legal world and dives into characters of the book industry: writers, editors, sellers, dealers, collectors. The story runs along the robbery and placement in the black market of some manuscripts of Scott Fitzgerald novels, in parallel with the investigation to find the manuscripts and the people involved in the crime. A nice read.
  17. Cinq semaines en ballon” (by Jules Verne) (+): This book describes the journey of doctor Ferguson and his two companions from Zanzibar to Senegal in a balloon, in their quest to find the sources of the river Nile and confirming many of the discoveries in Africa of previous explorers of their time while avoiding many of the dangers of traveling in Africa by doing so through the air instead of on the ground. On the positive side of the book are the technical descriptions of the physics behind the balloon, the devices they use and may the operations and maneuvers they perform. That is a mark of Jules Verne. A negative note is the language used to describe Africans in general, black people or Arabs, clearly a language that may have passed in 1863 when the book was published but not today. [Twitter thread]

During this year, I have been able to read at a good pace during the first and last quarters (not so during the middle months while switching jobs and going through training) thanks to the rigorous approach following these two tips:

  • a blog post from Farnam Street blog “Just Twenty-Five Pages a Day“, which was published well after I had adopted such an approach to reading but captures it very well,
  • the Wikipedia article about the Pomodoro Technique, which enables you to efficiently use the last hours of the day.

I wish you all very interesting reads in 2020!

(1) You can find here: my 2012 reading list, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 ones.


Filed under Books

Maratona do Porto 2019

Last Sunday, November 3rd, together with my friends Juan, Manuel and my brother Jaime, I took part in the Porto marathon, with nearly 4,000 runners registered.


The four of us subscribed to the marathon following our series of marathons abroad (to combine tourism with long distance running) that has taken us to run together in RomaAthens, RotterdamSevillaMadrid, Millau, LisboaViennaKrakow and now Porto.

As with the previous marathons in the past two years, I arrived to Porto short of training, with just 427 km in the legs (in the previous 16 weeks), a new minimum and some 30 km less than for Krakow and 20 less than for Vienna, a solid between 200 and 300 km less than when I have closely followed the training plans in the past years. As you can see below, I found myself at 6 weeks before the race without having consistently trained for two weeks in a row and about 10-12 kg overweight, and then I put myself to the business of mitigating the damage. The same story than for the previous two marathons.


In the those last weeks of the plan I averaged 50 km per week, but I only did a couple of long runs while running some trail races (of 24 and 26 km) and did only complete 2 series sessions the week before the marathon. Meanwhile, I lost some 4 kg (but still at 89 kg) and arrived with the confidence of being able to finish it even if the final time was uncertain.


The profile was nearly flat with a few short climbs. The race started at a park close to Matosinhos village and then goes towards Porto by the road following the coast with great views of the waves breaking at the shore. Once in Porto the marathon goes back and forth on both sides of the river, to later come back to the same park. Before the race I thought I would not like the passing many times over the same places but it helped to mentally break the race into pieces.


The temperature was fresh, the sky was mostly covered and it could rain but did it only for a few minutes. My strategy was to start with the 4h15′ pacers until I could not keep up with them, hoping to come with them until the km 30 and then see.

With just 4,000 runners taking part in the race, we could easily run after the first kilometre and I quickly caught the pacers. Then, I started running a few metres in front of them and a few seconds faster than the target pace until around the km 25. I continued at about the target pace until the km 32, when the pacers overtook me. I then continued to follow a softer pace but found myself quite comfortable till the end, with a couple of kilometres taking longer due to stopping some seconds at the water and food supply posts.



In the end, I clocked a net time of 4h17’57”, a time around of what I expected (~3′ worse than 4h15′) in view of the lack of training and overweight. It was my 21st marathon completed, easy to say today but not so on April 30th 2000 when I completed my first one in Madrid.


With the 4h17’57”, I was again above the 4-hour mark, and finished in the 2442nd place of the 3804 finishers, that is in the percentile 36% (bottom half). That time makes it my 4th worst marathon, after 2 of the first 3 that I did almost 20 years ago and that of Vienna a year ago.


This marathon left me some memorable moments:

  • as the circuit has runners going in different directions in both sides of the road for most of the time, I could see the winner, my brother a couple of times, my friends Juan and Manuel, the former world champion Marti Fiz.
  • just after the km 32 the race enters into the tunnel “da Ribeira” for around 150m in which the organization had placed several screens and speakers playing the theme from Vangelis for the film “Chariots of fire”. That was overwhelming.

After crossing the finish line, I stayed in the park cheering fellow runners as they approached the last metres of their race while I waited for Juan and my brother.



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Mi pronóstico de las elecciones generales de España del 10N 2019

De nuevo, con la ocasión de las elecciones generales en España el próximo domingo 10 de noviembre, quería aprovechar para hacer un pronóstico de las mismas.

La metodología de mi ejercicio es simple: me he construido una base de datos con los porcentajes de voto por partido y provincia a partir de los resultados de las últimas elecciones generales y autonómicas desde 2011. Y, a partir de esos resultados, viendo las tendencias, he intentado pronosticar el porcentaje de voto de cada partido en cada provincia, lo que después, haciendo uso del sistema de reparto D’Hondt, proporciona los escaños.

Para hacer ese pronóstico me he basado principalmente en mi “gut feeling” sin mirar qué dicen las encuestas. Debo aclarar que el ejercicio no se trata de una encuesta (no he ido llamando a nadie), ni de una media de encuestas.

Como recordatorio: en España tenemos 52 circunscripciones (provincias más Ceuta y Melilla) que aportan desde 1 diputado (Ceuta y Melilla) a 37 (Madrid). El total son 350 y la mayoría absoluta se consigue con 176 escaños.

Dicho esto, la tabla y la gráfica siguientes resumen todo el trabajo:


Pronostico detallado_2019_10N

Me sale que las elecciones las ganaría el PSOE, con unos porcentajes de voto a escala nacional para los grandes partidos en el orden de:

  • PSOE: 27.7 %
  • PP: 21.6 %
  • Ciudadanos: 12.1 %
  • Unidas Podemos: 11.6 %
  • VOX: 10.4 %

Como curiosidad, los siguientes bloques obtendrían las siguientes sumas de escaños:

  • PP + Cs + VOX : 160
  • PSOE + Cs : 158
  • PSOE + Unidas Podemos + Más País / Compromís : 156


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Krakow marathon (2019)

Last Sunday, April 28th, together with my friend Juan and my brother Jaime, I took part in the Krakow marathon, with above 6,300 runners registered.


The three of us subscribed to the marathon following our series of marathons abroad (to combine tourism with long distance running) that has taken us to run together in Athens, Sevilla, Madrid, LisboaVienna and now Krakow.

As with the previous two marathons in 2018, in Vienna and Dublin, I arrived to Krakow short of training, with just above 458 km in the legs (in the previous 16 weeks), some 15 km less than for Dublin and 10 more than for Vienna, but between 200 and 300 km less than when I have closely followed the training plans in the past years. As you can see below, I found myself at the end of the 8th week of the plan (beginning of March, just after the skiing break) without having trained much and with 8 weeks to go and about 10-12 kg overweight, and then I put myself to the business. The same story than for the previous two marathons.


In the 8 weeks prior to the marathon week I averaged 49 km per week, but I only did a couple of long runs (of 25 and 27 km) and didn’t complete series sessions as after the increase of volume in the 10th week I started having pain in the hip, so I kept up the volume, softened the pace and forgot about the series. In the last 3 weeks, however, I did not keep up with the good volume of the previous ones. Meanwhile, I lost some 6 kg and arrived with the confidence of being able to finish it even if the final time was uncertain.


The profile was nearly flat with a few short climbs. The temperature was fresh (10 degrees Celsius at the departure time), the sky was covered and it rained from the beginning to the end. My strategy was to start with the 4-hour pacers until I could not keep up with them, hoping to come with them until the km 30 and then see. Juan started the race with me and we ran together for about 14 km ahead of the pacers.


With less than 6,000 runners taking part in the race (a few hundreds of those registered didn’t start), we could easily run from the beginning and in fact we did the first couple of kilometres a bit faster than intended so we softened the pace. Since then we ran more or less at the target pace (5’41” per km), at the km 14 Juan dropped a bit backwards as he had announced much earlier, and at the km 26 I was caught by the first of the 4-hour pacers, the last of which overtook me at the km 29. I tried not to lose much distance with them but after the km 32 I was feeling the legs much stiffer and I started to soften the pace with only 10 km to go and the only mental objective of finishing the race.


In the end, I clocked a net time of 4h11’17”, a time around of what I expected (5-10′ worse than 4 hours) in view of the lack of training and the rain; it was a tough day of running (a bit better than the feelings in Vienna though). It was my 20th marathon completed, easy to say today but not so on April 30th 2000 when I completed my first one in Madrid.



With the 4h11’17”, I was again above the 4-hour mark, and finished in the 3204th place of the 5184 finishers (see the diploma below), that is in the percentile 38% (bottom half). That time makes it my 4th worst marathon, after 2 of the first 3 that I did almost 20 years ago and that of Vienna a year ago.




After crossing the finish line, I crossed the market square of Krakow, entered the hotel, took a picture with the finisher medal (above), took a shower and waited for Jaime and Juan to share the experiences of each other and start thinking of the next marathon.


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Feria de Pâques de Arles (toros)

Este fin de semana fui con Luismi, un compañero de trabajo, y su hijo Luis a la Feria de Pâques (Pascua) de Arles. En esta entrada quería dejar una serie de fotos de los distintos eventos taurinos y otros que había durante el fin de semana.


La plaza de toros de Arles (arènes), como la de Nîmes, están ubicadas en los anfiteatros romanos que hay en cada una de las dos ciudades. El anfiteatro de Arles data de finales del siglo I, con lo que tiene cerca de 2000 años. Durante la Edad Media se usó como fortaleza, se reforzaron los muros y se construyeron unas torres, que le dan una imagen característica.


El principal atractivo de la jornada del sábado era la corrida con Morante de La Puebla, Jose Maria Manzanares y Álvaro Lorenzo, con 6 toros de la ganadería Garcigrande.


La presencia de Morante atraía una gran expectación, como se podía leer en los periódicos locales, sin embargo no tuvo suerte en el sorteo y tampoco tuvo un buen día.


El triunfador de la tarde fue Manzanares, que cortó tres orejas y salió por la puerta grande. Lorenzo cortó una oreja y también dejó una buena sensación.


Morante de La Puebla.


Alvaro Lorenzo tras cortar una oreja.


Jose Maria Manzanares.

Además de la plaza de toros en el anfiteatro, para la feria se instala otra pequeña plaza desmontable donde se organizan diversos festejos con los jóvenes de la escuela taurina de Arles. El sábado por la tarde había unos jóvenes toreando unas vacas camarguesas, simulando una corrida.


El domingo por la mañana había un grupo de raseteurs con otras vacas desarrollando una corrida camarguesa, la cual es un festejo diferente a las corridas a las que estamos acostumbrados en España y que ya describí en este otro post hace años.


Corrida camarguesa.

En distintas calles de la ciudad se celebraban distintos encierros. En la rue Voltaire se organiza un encierro parecido a los que se organizan en España, aunque no con los toros bravos de lidia que se torean por la tarde, sino con un reses de raza camarguesa con las astas enfundadas. Las reses se sueltan desde un camión en un circuito circular cerrado con barreras verticales.


En el boulevard des Lices se celebró el sábado por la tarde un festejo originario de la Provenza que se llama “bandido” o “abrivado”, dos términos provenzales que hacen referencia a sacar a las reses a pastar al campo y luego a recogerlas de vuelta a los corrales. En dicho encierro, en los extremos opuestos del boulevard (cerrado con vallas) se instalan unos camiones y con la ayuda de caballos se conducen a los toros y vacas de un extremo al otro del boulevard. Los jóvenes a su vez intentan retener a las reses en su avance.


Además de los distintos espectáculos taurinos también hubo conciertos de las distintas bandas de las peñas locales, conciertos, un desfile de calesas y sevillanas.




Para alojarnos la noche del sábado estuvimos en un hotel a las afueras de la ciudad con la casualidad de que estaban allí alojados los toreros Lorenzo y Chamaco (que volvía el domingo a torear después de no hacerlo desde hace años). Un sitio ideal para descansar.

Y aquí los tres antes de la corrida.


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Mi pronóstico de las elecciones generales de España del 28A 2019

De nuevo, con la ocasión de las elecciones generales en España el próximo domingo 28 de abril, quería aprovechar para hacer un pronóstico de las mismas.

La metodología de mi ejercicio es simple: me he construido una base de datos con los porcentajes de voto por partido y provincia a partir de los resultados de las últimas elecciones generales y autonómicas desde 2011. Y, a partir de esos resultados, viendo las tendencias, he intentado pronosticar el porcentaje de voto de cada partido en cada provincia, lo que después, haciendo uso del sistema de reparto D’Hondt, proporciona los escaños.

Para hacer ese pronóstico me he basado principalmente en mi “gut feeling” sin mirar qué dicen las encuestas. Debo aclarar que el ejercicio no se trata de una encuesta (no he ido llamando a nadie), ni de una media de encuestas.

Como recordatorio: en España tenemos 52 circunscripciones (provincias más Ceuta y Melilla) que aportan desde 1 diputado (Ceuta y Melilla) a 37 (Madrid). El total son 350 y la mayoría absoluta se consigue con 176 escaños.

Dicho esto, la tabla y la gráfica siguientes resumen todo el trabajo:


Pronostico detallado_28A

En contra de lo que dicen la mayoría de las encuestas (a falta de 3 semanas) me sale que las elecciones las ganaría el PP en vez del PSOE, con los siguientes porcentajes de voto a escala nacional para los grandes partidos:

  • PP: 24.7 %
  • PSOE: 23.2 %
  • Unidas Podemos: 15.6 %
  • Ciudadanos: 13.8 %
  • VOX: 9.3 %

Como curiosidad, los siguientes bloques obtendrían las siguientes sumas de escaños:

  • PP + Cs + VOX : 172
  • PSOE + Cs : 138
  • PSOE + Unidas Podemos + Compromís : 149

Finalmente, aunque no tiene mucha utilidad dejo también el típico mapa por provincias con el color del partido que me sale más votado en cada provincia:


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