Out and About in Madrid…But Not Too much- Yet

  
I am collapsed in the bed of my tiny room in the Conde Duque Grand Hotel in Madrid after a long first day of meetings in preparation for ClarinetFest. Upon arriving late Saturday morning along with most of the rest of the Board, we took the opportunity to walk around the city and locate the various sites that would house the many recitals, concerts,  and presentations during the five-day conference. I almost got left behind during our tour several times, as I was fascinated by the buildings, the streets, and people that we saw, and kept holding back for some quick shots. 

The doors of old cities fascinate me, just like in Florence. Assisi. and Rome.
  
   

I haven’t gotten to explore too much yet, but I am really liking Madrid. There is a cool laid-back vibe here, and not the frantic New York feel that I expected. Most everyone seems to be walking their dog with them- dogs in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They sit with their owners at the outdoor tapas restaurants, and amble down the streets with them. 

 

  
  Dog park…  
 

Our hotel is quirky, old and has tons of character. It is fairly quiet now, but soon hundreds of clarinetists will descend upon us. I am hoping my jet lag departs by then…the struggle is real as I attempt to sit for hours and type notes during our meetings.  

 The Conde Duque Grand Hotel lobby…   

   
And my tiny room….just enough space for my yoga mat.  

 
I am enjoying eating tapas style- late lunch after a nice breakfast. Lots of grilled vegetables and wonderful crusty breads with soft insides (the one treat I’m allowing myself). Dinner is too late for me, so I’ve been coming back to the room for a banana and some almonds from the local store, a bit of yoga, and blessed sleep. 

 Breakfast at the Conde Duque  
   
Meetings are going well- I truly love the International Clarinet Association and am so excited and honored to serve on the Board. Once the conference begins on Wednesday, we will be running all over the city to get to recitals and concerts…and to perform (Wednesday morning for me). I can’t wait until I can sneak away for a bit to visit the Prado Museum and some of the other sights of Madrid. History fascinates me, and J want to soak up the stories of this amazing city while I am here. 

Right now, however, it’s time to soak up some sleep for the long day that begins early tomorrow. I look forward to sharing more of this beautiful city with you as the days pass. 

Buenas noches!

  


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