Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Last weekend we had a barbeque at Nacho's cousins' apartment. They live in a new and modern attic apartment on the northeastern side of the City center. From it I took these pictures of the growing Madrid skyline.

Above are the four new skyscrapers being built north of the City, on the old Real Madrid practice complex. One of them (I THINK the one on the left) will be the tallest building in Spain.

Later that evening I took this picture of the sunset over the City. You can see the four towers on the right of the shot. Underneath the sun is a new hotel in Avenida de America that apparently holds rooms done by famous designers (it's the one half lit up in tons of red and orange). Behind the hotel is the Torre Picasso - the tallest building in Madrid until the towers are finshed. The Torres Kio are hidden by the building in the middle of the picture. But all in all it's a nice panorama of the City.

Back to the BBQ - a nice mix of Spain and America on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. After starters of mussels, potatoes and sausage, olives, and small fired fish, we went on to feast on steak, chicken, and sausage with a variety of sauces. There was, of course, a lot of wine and a ton of food and we finished lunch hours after we'd started. After the barbeque came the timba. (My dictionary defines timba as a "gambling party." For once I think we've found a word in Spanish that doesn't have a good English translation.) Before I arrived Nacho had taught his cousins (2 + 2 "spouses") how to play poker. So they were all ready to gamble once we had full stomachs and a slight buzz. we played for about 7 hours, I think. But it was hard to stop, sitting out on their gorgeous terrace on a perfect night, with good friends and good drinks.

The star of the night were the poker chips that Nacho and I found. We decided that morning to go on a hunt for some respectable chips - being used to the clay chips found, now, in every 20-something's game room. It turned out to be a difficult task. First I found out that a likely place was the corner bookstore. Apparently because they also sell novelty gifts. No such luck. But the kind shop owner sent us to a nearby store that specializes in board games. There we did find the chips. But they cost a smal fortune. About $140 for 200 clay chips! That's almost 10 times the cost in the States. We went on to El Corte Ingles, our last hope, and finally found some plastic chips in their tourism department (I know, don't ask). They might not make the nice clunk that the clay chips but they served us well.

No comments: