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October 10, 2007 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent

Coming Up in Spain



­Expect to see interest in Spain heat up, as the tourist offices of Portugal and Spain have teamed up to promote the Iberian peninsula as a must-see destination in Europe. The campaign hopes to garner investments by providing U.S.-based tour operators and suppliers the necessary access and the capability to capture bookings. In addition, the promotion is expected to catch the interest of consumers through an interactive web site (

On October 30, Madrid’s Prado Museum ( will debut the fruits of its $208 million expansion. To celebrate, the museum will showcase more than 100 pieces of rarely seen artwork from the 19th century. Through April 24, 2008, 95 paintings and 12 sculptures will be on display in the Prado’s new exhibition galleries. Additionally, a selection of drawings by Goya will be featured, including the artist’s “Winged Bull,” the masterpiece’s first showing since it was acquired by the museum in 2006.

With the support of 13 countries and 22 venues, Madrid will play host to a number of concerts and dance and theater performances during its 24th annual Autumn Festival (, or Festival de Otoño, taking place through November 18. Events of interest include musician Philip Glass putting Leonard Cohen’s poetry to music in The Book of Longing; a performance of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days by The National Theater of Great Britain; and contemporary dance pieces performed by Japan’s Hioaki Umeda. Throughout the month, the Stardust Circus Company will perform Pirates! Pirates!, featuring acrobats from China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia and Russia. Various events are taking place in six municipalities near Madrid in Alcalá de Henares, Getafe, La Cabrera, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Torrelodones and Tres Cantos. The full schedule can be found on the web site.

From October 26 through November 4, Barcelona hosts the seventh annual Barcelona International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (, featuring 70 films from 20 countries showing short, medium and long feature films. This year, the festival is paying a special homage to Ingrid Caven, an actress who took the position of chairwoman of the festival’s judging committee earlier this year. 

The city is also hosting the 39th annual International Jazz Festival (, featuring musicians from around the world. The event takes place at the Palau de la Música Catalana on October 30 and again on November 16.

Chocolate lovers should take a trip the weekend of November 9, as Barcelona hosts its third Chocolate Fair (, an event attended by over 100 chocolatiers—all providing samples.

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