Subject: Living in Madrid
Dear Ziners,

Being a "victim" of the telecom bubble, a year ago to this exact date, I was sitting on a course about something I donīt remember (communication, negotiating skills ... I donīt really know ...). For around two hours we had been trying frantically to contact our friends in Madrid, listening to the death toll rising and wondering who was behind the horror. We still donīt know who was the ideologue behind it (and I doubt we will ever know it, because there are too many people implicated, both in Spain and in other allied countries .. it would hurt our view of the world...).

But ..., I would have never thought of that, since two weeks ago I am working in Madrid. It has been a great change for me, greater than working abroad (it sounds silly, but I found better landing ground for me in Germany, Austria or Ireland), but for the moment I cannot complain. Job looks interesting, I found a lovely apartment, and Madrid opens a lot of opportunities.

I have already done a list of day and weekend trips, and I intend to become an expert on all things Madrid :) I guess that would come also handy for the Ziners ...

Things I have learnt until now :

- The metro line to the airport still departs from Nuevos Ministerios, even if on the ground you can see the burnt rests of the Windsor building towering over the Azca area (and disturbing the business in El Corte Ingles).

- Talking about the airport metro, it is really a great thing. If you want to find more about transports in Madrid, click on

- There is a new Tourist Travel Pass valid for up to a week that can cover the whole of the Madrid province (Aranjuez, El Escorial ...), and also reachs until Toledo.

- "Mamma mia" and "Cabaret" are two of the best musicals right now in Spain, and even if you donīt speak spanish you can certainly enjoy them (I would recommend "Cabaret", if only because you can order a dish of ham and a bottle of Rioja and have a great dinner while enjoying the show).

- If you speak spanish, check if "La cena" is still on in the Circulo de Bellas Artes theatre (another good place to have a coffee). Two of the best actors in Spain, Carmelo Gomez and Josep Maria Flotats (formerly of the Comedie Franįaise), duel as Fouché and Talleyrand in the aftermath of Waterloo. Ricardo Darín is also coming sometime this year with "Art" and you can also enjoy Miguel Angel Solá and Blanca Oteyza in "Mark Twainīs The diary of Adam and Eve". Many argentinian actors have been heading this way, and we are certainly lucky ...

- In June, Ralph Fiennes and the Barbican Theatre are coming to Madrid for 10 days with "Julius Caesar" (in english, donīt miss).

- The "Die Brücke" exhibition at the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum still runs until May. Go there and have a ball.

And of course, if you are heading this way, we can always have a GTG :) Just contact me and we will find a nice place (unless I am back in the green north of Spain, I am going to miss the rain ...).

Kind regards,

Covadonga Bilbao , Madrid - Spain