lunes, julio 19, 2004

Rascafría

In Summer in Madrid it is polular to drive up into the Sierra for the weekends to escape from the heat of the capital. One possible destination is Rascafría, a small town where there are natural pools for fresh water swimming. Madrid is the only region in Spain lacking thermal spas however this is the best alternative. The river is divided into a number of bathing pools and as you walk upstream, the river narrows and you gradually get away from the crowds. A relaxing afternoon with friends of friends, swimming, sunbathing and having a picnic on the riverbank.

sábado, julio 17, 2004

Zum-Zueh in the Sala Galileo Galilei

The Brazilian group Zum-Zueh performed last night at the Madrid music theatre Galileo Galilei . I had already seen this group perform a few months ago at the Sala Clamores . however this provided the perfect opportunity to see them once again at one of Madrid'd best known jazz and world music halls. They perform a variety of traditional and contemporary music styles, ranging from and reggae through to maracatú and samba batucada with a mix of African, Brasilian and Cuban percussion instruments.

viernes, julio 16, 2004

Tosca in the Teatro Real

Yesterday I went to see a production of Puccini's Tosca at the Teatro Real. The theatre itself is quite spectacular inside though the rest of the internal installations are more modern and ostentatious. From the cafetería on the top floor there is a view across to the royal palace. Both buildings are perfectly aligned such that if you draw an imaginary line running from the two sides of the opera house, the lines would touch the sides of the Royal Palace. The sheer beauty of it, especially as the sun sets on the palace and lights up the city lights behind it. The view is also spectacular from the street level however from this height you get a real sense of the priviliged position from which royals and dignataries have looked out onto this central position in Madrid.

The opera itself turned out to be a first class production with marvellous scenery though from our position at the highest gallery it was not possible to see the full details of the secondary set towards the back of the stage on which from a better position one could see the truly dramatic scenes of torture of Mario Cavaradossi in all their gore. I had never previously scene Tosca and was thrilled at the portrayal of the basest of traits so prevalent in human nature.

Today I start the Summer holidays. I am still not sure where I will be going however one option would be to spend a few days in Ronda.