Lisbon was fascinating. A beautiful city, rich in history and culinary delights. I could easily spend several weeks exploring its winding, cobbled streets and diverse cultural offerings.
A long luggage queue, courtesy of the LA Phil, awaits its spot on a plane from Lisbon to Madrid. Despite problems with the luggage tag printer, all bags arrived safe and sound in Madrid.
However, it is not to be as this morning we are en route to Madrid. I'm traveling with my fourteen-year-old son, Keith, who is finding the food challenging but enjoying the sights. We'll squeeze in a trip to the Prado Museum on Sunday afternoon, then Mahler 9 for me and homework for him. After that, we head out for some authentic Spanish Flamenco, sangria and last, but not least, a good night's sleep!
Thursday- free day: met with friends from the opera orchestra, toured the opera house Teatro de Sao Carlos. The building was originally destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and modeled after La Scala. We ate lunch by the river at their favorite location. Great fish, pastries and espresso.
Went for a walk and stumbled across the Re-Rite exhibit featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia. Needless to say, he looked rather familiar! Dinner in the Bairro Alto neighborhood at Largo- wild boar and local wine, excellent!
Friday- jet lag jet lag jet lag. rehearsal at Gulbenkian. Fascinated with the automated espresso machine at the hall. I recommend the 'long' cup. My daily espresso average- 4, I am a local.
I don’t get it. Slept great last night, had a good breakfast, practiced for three hours (apparently a little too much Adams), walked around town with our Principal Bassoonist, Whitney Crockett, got some dinner . . . did all the things one should do so that this doesn’t happen . . .
Maybe I shouldn’t have had that bacalhao or pulpo, or that second helping of domada . . . or any of the seven duseuti the chef of that tiny tiled restaurant pile on a plate for six gregarious, ridiculously loud Americans. Oh man, were those good. And man, were we loud . . . My tour nickname, apparently, is Fisheye. Don’t ask.