Where a Prime Minister hid his bonsai

Just besides the Prado Museum in Madrid you can find the Royal Botanical Gardens, a quiet place to reflect on the paintings you may have seen in the museum or simply to enjoy the tranquility and colours of nature. It is here that you can find the bonsai collection of former Prime Minister Felipe González, who found in bonsai cultivation a form of relaxation. Enjoy!!!

Bonsai in Botanical Gardens, Madrid

La Menorah...like going to a friend´s house for lunch

One of our favourite restaurants is La Menorah in Estepona (Malaga). I am glad to see that they now have a web page for all to see - but just tell your closest friends. 


"We'll always have Paris..."

In the film Casablanca, Rick tells Ilsa: "We'll always have Paris..." whilst on the airfield the engine of the plane to Lisbon turns over and the propellers start turning. Just thinking I have to go back soon.


A small town in La Rioja and the British Imperial State Crown

Many of you may have visited the Tower of London and would have seen The Imperial State Crownre-made for the coronation of King George VI and worn by Queen Elizabeth in her coronation, and every year since, for the State Opening of Parliament. What you may not know is that the big red ruby in the crown was a payment in kind to Edward of Woodstock, the Prince of Wales, also known as the Black Prince, by the Spanish King of Castile and León Peter of Castile for the help the former gave to the latter in one of the many wars of the 14th Century. The ruby adorned the figure of the Virgin Mary which up to this date is kept in the Monastery of Santa María la Real in the town of Nájera in La Rioja region of Spain.

© Crown copyright


A Madrid art centre you have not seen

If I appear certain that in your visit to Madrid you have not visited the Centro de Arte 2 de mayo (CA2M)it´s because it is located in the town of Móstoles, about 18 Kms. southwest of Madrid. Móstoles is nowadays, basically, a suburb of Madrid and is best known for having formally declared war on France on the 2nd May, 1808, following the popular uprising of the people of Madrid against the troops of Napoleon. CA2M is well suited for "installation art" and is currently showing: Pop Politics: Activism at 33 Revolutions and works by the Turkish artisit Halil Altindere.
A tip from one of the works by Altindere shown below: Some of the carpets sold in bazars in Turkey are laid out in the sun to wear down the colours so that they appear old and are sold as antiques.


Dinner with Madonna

Well, not quite, but you can have dinner where Madonna filmed the video clip for her song Take a Bow. The restaurant La Espuela  is inside the bullring in the Spanish town of Antequera in Malaga where the video was filmed. The town claims to have the most religious buildings in Spain and whilst I have not been able to confirm this, walking around the town would seem to support the claim. Antequera is bang in the middle of Andalucia and, thus, an important logistic centre, connected to Madrid, Cordoba and Malaga via the high-speed train AVE. About 16 Kms. south of Antequera be sure to visit the karst landscape of El Torcal and its geological formations.


Caruso, Karajan, Domingo, Pavlova...in Buenos Aires

The list of artists that have performed in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires since its inauguration in 1908 contains the names of some of the greatest all-time composers, conductors, opera singers, musicians and dancers. The theatre is considered one of the best of the world for its acoustics and the 2013 season is about to start with a programme of opera, ballet and concerts. A tip: On certain Sundays at 11 AM, starting 10th March, the theatre offers free concerts! Tickets can be collected from the ticket office 48 hours before each concert.

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