In true Valencian form, we decided to escape the Fallas this year and head to Madrid. Madrid greeted us with sunny days and perfect temperatures. It was perfect for enjoying the city.
We arrived at the Westin Palace on Wednesday afternoon after a pleasant and short ride on the AVE. What a treat to have the rapid train connection between Valencia and Madrid. After a little lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant we explored the “Literato” neighborhood.
Evening we walked to Teatro Marquina to see “Bajo Terapia.” It was a very well acted and enjoyable play.
Our walk past the Palacio de Cibeles and the Fountain of Cibeles was a bit of a surprise. They are now both illuminated with colored lights. Very pretty.
We ended our evening with a couple of tapas at one of our favorite places, Cevecería Cervantes, which is just down the block from the hotel. The pulpo was delicious and tender, as always.
Thursday we spent a lazy morning. At 2:00 we met Carlos Adriano for lunch. Carlos is an Argentine magician who has made his home in Spain. His primary focus is magic for children. He has written several books and a periodic column will be appearing in the “Linking Ring” in English. Marty is doing the translating.
The conversation was lively and, as you can imagine, about magic. Carlos shared the story of his arrival in Spain which was fascinating. Marty did a magic trick.
Later we made our way to the “Espacio Telefónica.” Amazing space! We attended an “espectáculo didáctico” which was a combination of lecture on the history of magic and performance of some of the magic discussed. Miguel Angel Gea did the Magic while Ramón Mayata gave the lecture. After the performance we were invited by Camilo to join the group for drinks. Among the group was Jaime Figueroa, a magician we have enjoyed several time. He invited us see his performance on Saturday.
Friday morning started out with coffee with one of Marty’s former Westridge students. As I had discovered that there was an Escher exhibit in town, we then made our way to the Palacio de Gaviria to see it. The Palacio is a little tired to put it mildly by the exhibit was mind boggling. 200 works on display! It will be there until June 25 for those of you who might be interested.
Around 2:00 we caught up with Zahava and Klaus for lunch at Tandori Station. Best Indian food we have eaten in Spain. Everything was absolutely delicious and authentic.
Back to the “Espacio Telefónica” for another magic event. This time it was a one- man show discussing and performing the magic of Houdini and magicians of the period. The presenter-magician was Manu Vera. Manu did a good number of effects highlighted by a spectacular “Metamorfosis.”
Saturday we took the short walk from the hotel to the Thyssen Museum to see “Masterwork from Budapest from the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde”. Quite lovely. At 5:00 we presented ourselves at “Off Latina” and were surprised to see that Camilo and his wife were also there. Camilo is a magician that Marty has know for many years. We wandered to a nearby bar and had a cold drink as it was still early. We returned to “Off Latina” to see Jaime Figueroa’s show. We went down several flights of stairs into a rather unusual venue. It looked like it might have been a bodega once upon a time. I had seen Jaime perform before but this was totally different. “El Bazar de Jaime Figueroa” was an hour show with original music, a persona changing script and magic. I had no idea that Jaime had such a fabulous singing voice. Just loved the whole thing.
Then on to the Centro Cultural de la Villa at Plaza Colon. They were performing Fernando Ferán Gomez’s “Las Bicicletas son para el Verano.” Both of us were a bit disappointed in the performance.
Sunday we slept in. Then about 1:00 Ramón and Juan Diego came to pick us up. We headed toward Casa Parrondo where we had lunch reservation at 2:30. We found a nearby plaza, sat in the sun, had a drink and caught up on what we have all been up to. Ramón and Juan Diego have been quite busy with magic performances. Then on to Casa Parrondo. As usual the meal was outstanding. Ramon and I enjoyed a particularly good “cochinillo asado.” We ended the meal with a great “crema de licor.”
As the sun set we went back to the hotel and packed. Monday and our return to Valencia would soon be here.