Europe

Spain: Madrid by 3.1

We decided to get away for a weekend at the end of last month. Had tickets booked to see Muse at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium (home of Atlético Madrid), but it was a good opportunity to pace up and down the city too to see all the sights from when Patch used to live here for a little while.

Stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of Madrid on the Gran Via.

The hotel was ideally situated near a metro station and within walking distance of some of the popular areas like Sol (where you can find a paving slab that shows it as being in the centre of Spain, similar to how all distances in London are worked from a point just outside Charing Cross Station):

Lots of cool old stuff, buildings and quirky shops:

As mentioned earlier, our first evening saw us visiting Wanda Metropolitano to see Muse live (it was a bit Blade Runner-esque):

We roamed into the night (probably because this is the Spanish way, it seems), got a massive paella a some point after midnight, and then finished it off with a walk with churros, only to stagger back to the hotel well after 2am.

For two mornings on the trot, Patch got up early to go out and bring me back churros and coffee so I could have breakfast in bed (which kind of helped after the late nights):

We also visited a railway station with a beautiful concourse that felt like the Palm House in Kew Gardens. Behold, Estación de Madrid Atocha:

As is normally the case in whatever country I happen to be in, I happened to visit a lovely little railway museum just before commuting back to the airpot and flying home:

Gracias, Madrid. Hopefully see you again soon!

'TALK' by Visual System / Thomas Vaquié (2016) by 3.1

Some people have been asking on Instagram and Flickr about two particular photos I uploaded recently and where they were taken, an example of which you see at the top of this post.

I recently revisited Brussels for the first time in nearly 8 years and thus went over to see what was going on at the Atomium. It turns out that some of the spheres are now used as temporary exhibition space, and since April of this year, a sound and light installation by Visual System (with music from Thomas Vaquié) have filled this space. This also includes light and sound in the tunnels that connect the spheres together; the photographs I took were taken on one of the final escalators heading out of the temporary exhibition space.

To really get a feel for the work you have to visit the Atomium in person as the bass is nothing like you will get on headphones or a home stereo set-up and the acoustics in the massive spheres amplify the feeling and the sound, but the video I've embedded below gives you a quick taster of what it was like. I quite enjoyed it, and the sphere with the massive light squares on the floor that you could get right up close to as it transitioned with the music just had to be savoured instead of photographed (all the photographs on Visual System's website are much better anyway as they've got no crowds in them – when we visited, it was like a mini-rave!)

Make sure to head over to Brussels and the Atomium by 13th November 2016 if you want to experience this!

'TALK' on Visual System's website