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It consists in many cultural shows such as music, ballet, theatre, circus...
This year, 2010, the Festival has been moved to Spring, so, the name is Festival de Otoño en Primavera (Autumn Festival in Spring), and it will take place from 12 May to 6 June.
Updated Apr 22, 2010
San Isidro is the Patron of Madrid and we celebrate the festivity on 15 May. It takes place in the Pradera de San Isidro. However, the attarctions take place during one week.
Address of the Ermita de San Isidro:
Paseo Quince de Mayo, 62
- Tel.: (+34) 91 569 18 36
- Web: www.archimadrid.es/sanisidro (Spanish)
How to get there:
- Metro: Marqués de Vadillo (line 5).
- Bus: 25 and 50.
- "La Pradera de San Isidro", painted by Francisco de Goya, one of the most important painters of Spain (main).
- Statue of Goya (2nd).
- Ermita de San Isidro (3rd).
- Some attractions (4th and 5th).
Updated Mar 8, 2010
I was quite surprised to see such long queues outside this shop in Sol.
Closer inspection revealed that it was a queue for lottery or lotto tickets!
During my trips to different Spanish cities, I'd seen lotto kiosks, and men selling tickets out on the streets, but not witnessed queues quite like this!
I later realised that they were probably hoping to buy the winning ticket for the Sorteo de Navidad, Gordo De Navidad or the name I was more familiar with - El Gordo, or the Fat One.
This tradition has been going on since 1812, where Spaniards, including those who don't normally gamble, buy a ticket or a few! Apparently the place to buy a ticket is Dona Manolita on Grand Via Colon, which has been open since 1931, and locals expect to win at least something in this Lucky Town.
The lotto is also played by many foreigners, but there have been quite a few scams- Where gullible people have parted with money on the promise of receiving a fortune.
The draw is made on National TV at 1100hrs in Madrid. This is considered the start of Christmas!
In 2007 it was on 22nd December.
please click here for info
Updated Jul 16, 2009
The Old Book Fair takes place every spring on Paseo de Recoletos, and you can buy old books maybe you could never imagine to find.
Dates: This year, 2.009, from 24 of April to 10 of May, and from 11,00 to 21,00 (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.).
Updated Apr 24, 2009
Saturday afternoon, leaving Meson 5j's, after my tapas of jamon iberico and a beer, I stepped onto C/Arenal, and came face to face with Homer Simpson!
A few steps further and I saw a pink elephant approaching - I was wondering how strong my cerveza had been!!
Later on along the street, I came across this clown - these characters were all carrying balloons, which they modelled into different shapes, and thrust them at any approaching babies, toddlers and children - not sure if there was a fixed price for these.
- I didn't actually see any mothers buying the balloons, but did spot some toddlers in buggies, clutching these brightly coloured rubber models.
In Sol, I came across Mickey Mouse - also trying to pursuade the mums to buy one of his models for their young ones.
Updated Jan 24, 2009
According to the organisers, "Madrid Science Week is held every year during November and it tries to spread the results of scientific researches by opening the scientific spaces normally closed to visitors. Its main aim is to stimulate the knowledge of science and technology among citizens. It offers more that 500 free activities addressed to all citizens without distinction based on age, gender, level of scientific training, or social category".
This year, from 10 to 23 November 2.008.
- Website in English.
Updated Oct 22, 2008
Phone: (+34) 91 720 05 42/04 89/00 13
Website: www.madrimasd.org/semanaciencia (Spanish)
The tap water in Madrid is safe to drink and if you ask for water at a bar, this is what you get. Not everybody that we know in Madrid, drinks it as it tastes of Chlorine. We drank it and we thought it was fine.
Written Aug 26, 2008
We were having drinks with a friend who lives out here. We had been served olives with our drinks as is custom (sometimes it is crisps instead). We were sitting outside and did not know what to do with the olive stones. She said that it is custom to chuck the stones on the floor. So we did. Then she was talking to the birds as they were picking up the stones and she didn't want them to pick them up. (Not sure that they understood her!).
Written Aug 13, 2008
Every summer, the City Hall of Madrid organizes a series of events such as concerts of all kind of music, theatre or ballet, normally, in the open air. Very nice indeed.
This year, from 1 July to 24 August 2.008.
For other languages:
Written Jul 20, 2008
Before going to Madrid, I had read about Spanish people's eating habits and, coming from Canada, I was wondering how long it would take me to get used to it. As it turns out, it was much easier than I thought it would be! Here's how a typical day went: when I got up in the morning I usually had a cup of coffee and a really light breakfast (a piece of toast or some biscuits), and went to school. Break time was at around 11:00 am, and most people would eat a muffin or a croissant to tide them over until lunch time. We usually got together for lunch at around 2:00 pm, and that was the most important meal of the day. Have a good paella or cocido in the afternoon and you'll be in no hurry to have dinner! Dinner was usually at around 9:00 pm and was always really light - you don't want to eat too much before going to bed anyway.
I found that Spanish dishes in general were delicious, but not very spicy at all. Pork is extremely popular in every shape or form (especially jamon and salchichas - ham and sausages), and so are fish and seafood which unfortunately I couldn't eat. Being a vegetarian in Spain can be a bit of a challenge but it's not impossible - you'll find vegetarian dishes in almost all restaurants and tapas bars.
Written Jun 21, 2008
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