Nights out in Madrid
I was in Madrid for a travel trade show, and stayed in the lively neighborhood of Chueca, which I highly recommend. On a budget, I roomed at the pocketbook-friendly Hostal Cibeles, which is probably one of the best deals in Madrid at the moment. The well-appointed, family-run hotel had it all, except for a restaurant.
Cibeles’ lacking of food and beverage forced me our onto c/Barco, where I was met by El Apolo Cafe, directly across the street from the hotel. El Apolo Cafe is small, busy, cozy and inexpensive. They serve simple breakfast items in the morning (no eggs and bacon here) and cocktails in the evening. There’s a long bar and several mismatched tables around a eccentrically decorated living room, where patrons sip gin&tonics (all the rage) on snug sofas and antique-looking chairs. It’s a very pleasant ambiance.
I don’t think El Apolo is a ‘gay bar’ but certainly Chueca is known for its gay scene and El Apolo was not exactly straight. Let me put it this way: whatever your persuasion, you’ll be happy at this friendly neighborhood bar. The only downside could be that it’s a small place and fills up quickly.
Calle Barco 18 – Chueca, Madrid
Post by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more at The Spain Scoop.com!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fibroblast/
Image Courtesy Cirque du Soleil
As someone who writes regularly on the Orlando theme parks in Florida, one of my most asked questions regarding nightlife options is which is better: La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil or Blue Man Group.
To be honest, I like both shows equally, but they are very different from each other.
La Nouba is the nightly show put on by Cirque du Soleil at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. It features a mixture of acrobatics, aerial acts and comedic acts that are weaved together in a loose storyline about dreams. The show is thrilling, but it is a passive viewing experience. It is housed in a huge white circus tent-styled building at the western edge of the Downtown Disney area.
Image Courtesy Universal Orlando
Blue Man Group is a mixture of performance art, music and sound. It’s a lot more interactive than La Nouba, to the point where audience members actually become part of the show itself. It is performed in a specially-built theater tucked away between the Hard Rock Cafe and the entrance to Universal Studios, in the CityWalk area of Universal Orlando.
So which show should you see if you can only see one? I would say if you want a more laid back serious theater performance type of show, go with La Nouba. If you want a high energy musically-inspired interactive show, then go with Blue Man Group.
Have you seen either show? Let us know what you think of them in the comments.
Beers in Dublin
A bar and a restaurant, O’Neill’s is especially crowded when football is on in Dublin. It was when we were there and we had a hard time finding a seat until the game ended. You can get food a O’Neill’s but in order to do so you need to be proactive. Servers will not come to you, so don’t wait (like we did). There is a sandwich bar where you can get made-to-order sandwiches, chips (or crisps, rather) and coffee or tea.Then there is another section where large hot lunches are served buffet style, and you must make a separate trip there if that’s the sort of meal you’re after.
If you just want a beer then you’ll have to go get that in the bar. All in all, you could be making quite a few trips back and forth to your table. In general, O’Neill’s feels like some sort of labyrinth. It’s hard to find the WC, and we didn’t even explore the upper levels of the place. Dark and cozy, it’s easy to understand why O’Neill’s is as famous as it is.
A couple sandwiches and beers will cost you about €23.00 which is not too bad considering it’s in the center of town. Check out their website because they often have live music.
Suffolk St, Dublin 2
Post and photos by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more of her travel tips at The Spain Scoop.
What do gators and opera have in common?
One of Barcelona’s strangest bars is undoubtably the Born neighborhood’s Palau Dalmases: Espai Borroc. I’ve just been once, and it is an experience I will never forget. The place is so bizarre, and totally worth a visit just to say that you’ve had a glass of wine in a 16th century Barcelona palace.
Unlike other bars, there is a doorman at Palau Dalmases who will decide if you’re fit to go in. If you pass the test you’ll go through several doors and a courtyard into the lavish bar space where taxidermy beasts watch you watch whatever show is on that night. Live opera is performed on Thursdays at 11pm and Bossa Nova is on every Sunday at 9pm. There is also flamenco performed occasionally.
Expect to pay at least €20 and maybe more depending on what you drink. For the right sort of date, Palau Dalmases is a unique and fun option. Dress up to make sure you’re allowed through the door!
Open from Tuesday to Saturday 8PM – 2 AM
Sundays, 6PM – 10PM
Post by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more of her tips on Spain at The Spain Scoop.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smoo