Sunday, September 14, 2008

Show must go on!

104 countries, United Nations, European Union, Iberoamerican Secretary; 93 days, 2800 experts on water and sustainable development, 60.000 volunteers and 6 million world capital of water...Zaragoza... The 2800 experts that participated in the Water tribune debates helped to shape the Zaragoza charter which contains recommendations to face challenges related to water.... so this is it?..well, no. World Water Forum will take place next month in Istambul. And for Zaragoza, is this it? No, it is not. The office of UN for water (2005-2015) in Zaragoza, a brand new research center on climate change and other initiatives should ensure that Zaragoza remains focus on water and sustainable development... Many thanks to all the people that made this possible and see you around! Pd. Click on here to follow the fireworks at 22.15!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


No need of introduction for Mijail Gorbachev, so i will be very short and to the point: Mikhail Gorbachev will be next 5th of September at the Expo (event takes place outside Expo premises in Huesca just 80 km from Zaragoza) where this Nobel Peace Prize winner will deliver a speech, under the title 'Water for Peace', looking at the main initiatives implemented at international level in the last decades that have contributed to turning water into a peace element between civilizations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

an iceberg....

Everyone knows what´s
but difficult to imagine one in Zaragoza´s hot summer...with penguins included. Diffficult but not impossible...The world-famous Spanish director, Calixto Bieito is directing this every night (9.28 pm) miracle... The performance is a half an hour no (launguage) dialogue Dialogue between the iceberg, mankind and the Ebro, a dialogue of images and conflict mined by problems caused by climate change. Technically is a master piece gigantic show which wont leave anyone indifferent. The process is as follows: public gathers on one side of river Ebro and on the other side (yes...I haven't seen this anywhere else but it is an extraordinary idea...) the performance takes place. This is a multimedia show which -because of its impacting huge and sometimes dramatic, sad images- I wouldn't recommend to children...however it is a fantastic opportunity for all other audiences to end a day at this Expo on water and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Does water harm?

... that is the title of the last work of Nobel prize winner Dario Fo which is a call to wake up...using humor. I am delighted that -in addition to the everynight concerts at Expo Zaragoza 2008 Anfiteatro 43 the Expo and the Zaragoza city council has programmed a variety of cultural events. For the first time in history and due to Expo 2008, the Teatro Principal will open its doors in summer with theater, dance and music shows. Thus, from 13 August to 7 September, "Cómeme el coco, negro" by La Cubana. To end with this theater programme of the Expo period, from 11 to 14 of September, "Hamlet" directed by Juan Diego Botto. Also in September, from 17 to 21, it will be represented "Sitios Saragosse", a production of the Fundation Zaragoza 2008 with direction and playwriting by Mariano Anós. At another venue, the fantastic Auditorium Conference Hall where the most prestigious conductors, national and international orchestras and unique voices will meet in an excellent cycle of Classical Music directed by Zubin Mehta, for example counting with a Lyrical Gala with Montserrat Caballé and Montserrat Martí, next 5th of September... So Expo does promise something for everyone. Enjoy

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Russian pavilion: deepest lake in the world and more

The blog of Mr. Afilamazas (sorry only in Spanish...nice videos too...) explains that Expo Zaragoza is worth visiting for a number of reasons (architecture, knowledge & entertainment, etc) but warns visitors that some pavilions are just "selling" their countries ie. they are unrelated to the theme of the expo or if we are "lucky", they will show up with their best "water" achievements... Russian pavilion is much more than that. It is about water from Russian perspective.... Russia being the 2nd biggest world owner of water resources has an enormous stock of water which is managed the Russian way...Russians on top of being smart and intelligent as they are (for instance, you can see at the pavilion some Russian technological achievements such as a floating nuclear plant for water desalinisation) are emotional, warm maybe even spiritual as the audiovisual (a must see!) will allow you to know ... mixing water with science, religion and more...the video touches you in a way or another. Enjoy! Pd. There is a competition with nice prices like a visit to lake Baikal ...Russian warm hospitality included ;) More info at: en la página web '', hasta el 25 de agosto. Pd.2 in the Russian pavilion you have a shop too :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back to the future: return to EDO

At the Japanese pavilion in Expo Zaragoza 2008 you will be transported to the EDO times, more precisely 200 years ago...when Tokyo megalopolis was a 1 million citizens city called EDO. "In the land of Asian Monsoon climate and ragged terrain, with geographical limitations (more than 120 millions for a territory of approximately 2/3 of Spain!) surrounded by sea on all four sides, Japanese people have developed skills, culture and lifestyles that live in harmony and symbiosis with nature, rather than confronting it....". Or as Prince Naruhito put it during his visit to the Expo this week, you need to "look to our ancestors" for inspiration, noting that even without modern technology they were able to combat the problems of water, such as floods and droughts. After visiting the pavilion, I can say that this is a remarkable audiovisual experience where -despite all that we can learn from Japan - the video shown is not patronising at all...hope the message will pass as indeed seems to be happening as per the high number of visitors...anyway, at the end fo the 9 minutes trip, visitors will have a surprise: a real experience of water overwhelming power and beauty. After, you will be given forecast of possible future scenarios linked with climate change...and a cup with Japanese-Spanish tea (another surprise ;) digest the info and watch some artistic photographs...enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

500.000 reasons to visit the Expo

In only 12 days 500.000 visitors to the Expo on Water and Sustainable Development. By now visitors are more than residents (taking into account the average of more than 40.000 visitors per day). OK, yes, some of them come from Zaragoza but it is not by chance that the visitor 500.000 was Eckhard Andree & family….from Germany.

Monday, June 16, 2008

3 days to go, 1 minute to see and 2 years to build...without LEGO

Have you ever try to use LEGO to build a city? did you ever though of a drop-building? Now you can enjoy learning how you could have built it in 1 minute...well more or less

3 days visit plan: Goya and Expo

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes was born in Fuendetodos, on the Aragonese plain just over 45 kilometres from Zaragoza. This artist explained in the sleep of reason ... One does not need to be Mr. Freudthe innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual. So I propose you to flight to Madrid, visit the exhibition on "Goya: in times of war" at the Prado museum in Madrid, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence. You will see how he shows degradation of human dignity on both sides, war has not winner...just the sleep of reason ... Then from Madrid to Zaragoza you can take the high-speed 'AVE' train to Zaragoza (1h30m) where the Fine Arts Museum hosts an exhibition 'Goya in Italy'. He was there just for an year but that was one of the most important years for his career... In addition, you can visit Goya works in several other places in Aragon An the third day...EXPO exhibition where you can enjoy art .html, science, controversy and much more!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Midsummer night dream...of music at Zaragoza 2008 exhibition

Every single night of the expo there will be a concert featured...variety and quality guarantee we spend cool nights in Spain with the enthusiastic local crowd (the "maños") See you there! 14 de junio. Jessy y Joy, Aleks Syntek y Zabaleta. 15 de junio. Gilberto Gil. 16 de junio. Desde ese día, cada lunes y martes hasta el 9 de septiembre, se celebrará la fiesta "Love Zaragoza", con el DJ Pedro del Moral como residente. 18 de junio. Mayumaná: danza contemporánea. 19 de junio. Desde ese día y hasta el 11 de septiembre, cada jueves, orquesta JG Dancing Stars, con repertorio latino y una selección de éxitos. 20 de junio. Carmen París 21 de junio. Quique González y Teenage Fanclub. 22 de junio. Santiago Auserón y la Original Jazz Orquestra Taller de Músics. 23 de junio. Bob Dylan* 25 de junio. Día del mestizaje. 27 de junio. Camilo Sesto y el Dúo Dinámico. 28 de junio. Alanis Morissette. 29 de junio. Iggy & Stooges. 02 de julio. Zarzuela: "Gigantes y cabezudos". 04 de julio. Morente, Keita y la Orquesta de Tánger. 05 de julio. Noche de gospel. 06 de julio. Alisa y Tako. 09 de julio. Noche de ópera. 11 de julio. Dulce Estrella. 12 de julio. Fire of Anatolia. 13 de julio. Café Tacuba y Canteca de Macao 16 de julio. Paul Weller. 18 de julio. Youssou NDour 19 de julio. María Creuza y Toquinho. 20 de julio. Patti Smith. 23 de julio. Mohamed Mounir. 25 de julio. Festival ecuatoriano. 26 de julio. Chambao, Lila Downs y Susana Baca. 27 de julio. Robert Kray y Keb Mo. 30 de julio. Día de Arabia Saudí. 01 de agosto. Rubén Blades. 02 de agosto. Diana Krall. 06 de agosto. Abba: The Show. 08 de agosto. Viva Cuba Show. 09 de agosto. David Civera y Puturrú de Fuá. 10 de agosto. Toumani Diabaté e invitados. 13 de agosto. Yamato. 15 de agosto. Noche de divas flamencas. 16 de agosto. Peret y amigos. 17 de agosto. Stray Cats. 20 de agosto. Derviches. 22 de agosto. Gabriel Sopeña y Labordeta & Carbonell & La Bullonera. 24 de agosto. M-Clan. 27 de agosto. Spirit Bway. 29 de agosto. María Dolores Pradera & Sabandeños. 30 de agosto. Juan L. Guerra. 31 de agosto. Camino Soria. 03 de septiembre. "El Trovador". 05 de septiembre. Los Lobos. 06 de septiembre. Renzo Arbore. 06 de septiembre Enrique Bunbury* 07 de septiembre. Loquillo. 10 de septiembre. Sara Baras. 12 de septiembre. Antony & The Johsons+orquesta Milano Classica 13 de septiembre. Andrés Calamaro. 13 de septiembre Gloria Estefan* 14 de septiembre. Philip Glass. * Different venue. +8 euros

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

23rd April. Saint George - Aragon Day.

Today´s is Aragon´s day. A perfect day to guide you in a virtual visit to the origins of the Aragon´s Kindgom. The monastery of San Juan de la Peña is located below an enormous rock. The whole area is a natural park in the beautiful pre-Pyrenees mountains...and just 1.5 h from zaragoza by car. The most interesting is the marvellous Romanesque Cloister (in the Old Monastery, from the X century) but you shouldn't miss the summer pic-nic in the forest at the top of the mountain, nearby the new monastery (XVII century) where you can sleep. Pd. if you are around Zaragoza, watch out, concerts, soirées and open-air performances are waiting for you. Besides, the public institutions in Aragon hold an open-day, providing an ideal opportunity for people to visit the Pignatelli building (the Government of Aragón), the Aragon Parliament in the Aljaferia Palace, etc.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

UAE...the power of petrol

Imagine a country with virtually no fresh water....traditionally that wouldn't be the paradise for human development..., however with massive construction projects and rising population United Arab Emirates (UAE) proves that oil revenues and entrepreneurship together are able to achieve the unimaginable....with desalination plants providing most of the water...even to ski. UAE 500 square metres pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008 will sell and promote the UAE highlighting contributions in the protection of the natural, wildlife and marine environment. A number of films will show how closely the UAE's progress is tied to the supply and management of freshwater. The documentaries were made by famous freelance wildlife filmmaker and documentary cameraman Doug Allan According to Deputy Chairman of NMC and Head of the UAE pavilion supervising committee Salim Saeed Al Ameri the first objective of the UAE Pavilion is to provide visitors with a window through which they can see and learn about the Emirates, a secondary mission is to convey the UAE's very committed approaches to solving its needs for fresh water in a sustainable way. Priorities are priorities, I would say... Till we have the opportunity to watch the videos they will show at the UAE pavilion at the Expo, I leave you with 2 videos from this amazing country, one 14 minutes documentary that provides you an overview into the environmental & social situation in the UAE and a 2nd one, a cool add promoting the UAE in around 1 minute. Pd. The photo is from Dubai ski resort ...which btw is quite environmentally friendly as they "recycle" the snow they produce using it both for air conditioning and for irrigation purposes...maybe to irrigate the palms nearby too...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

1001 nights in Zaragoza

Well, sorry to say that Expo Zaragoza 2008 will be slightly shorter than that (June-September). However during the long and warm summer nights in Saragossa you can profit to go to magic places where you will be transported far away from XXI century, far away from Europe, even far away from hot summer in Zaragoza….promised.

Below just a couple of suggestions:
-El Pilar y la Seo: “El Pilar” is a fantastic basilique built where the Virgin Mary appeared in the year 40 to Apostol Saint Jacques. There inside you have “frescos” from Goya. La cathedral of “La Seo” is where previously was the mayor Mosque of the city.
-La Aljaferia: what can I say…you want to feel transported to exotic places like Marrakech. No problem. Enter this Muslim castle from XI century and start smelling the orange trees among small reservoirs of water and admiring the religious writings and symbols around the deliciously decorated ceilings. Note that the regional parliament is housed here…
Of course, many more things to visit. Many more things to live…imagine to have live music in a Roman amphitheatre…oh yes!

Imagine to enter in the modern building of a regional savings bank and discover inside “El Patio de la Infanta”, a nice renacentist “courtyard” from the XVI century, ….Zaragoza will surprise you!

Having said that, many European cities will have as much history in its shoulders as Zaragoza. So I want to run the extra mile and be really persuasive ….in one of the following blogs I promise a world exclusive…3 activities/experiences truly unique for a foreigner …

Friday, February 15, 2008

Expo Zaragoza 2008 world class shows

who is that man? this is a man that when hired to run the aerial design for Tarzan and other walt disney musicals a few years ago and asked by a national (argentinian) journalist whether he had the fear to be good enough he replied by saying:
No podés medir las alturas. Si te ponés a ver cuál es la altura de un pico, te asustás y no lo subís. Supongo que es como estar surfeando: se te viene una ola gigante y no la medís; te mandás....i suppose it is something like surfing: if a huge wave comes, you dont measure just surf...

This was 3 years ago. Now Pichon Baldinu has created a show called ""Hombre Vertiente" divided in 3 parts: one in the scene (mankind realises that it is a victim of...chaotic water), second one a transition between the scene and the arena (...remember the aerial theatre that made them famous as De la Guarda ...) and third and last one, the total communion...

4 million euros is the budget for this partly circus, partly theatheraerial and partly dance performance that will last for around 20 minutes with 6 daily shows...

You can see the other 2 permanent shows in previous entries : the iceberg and the snake chasing clouds shows. EnjoY!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Belgium at Expo Zaragoza 2008

Belgium is a paradoxical country in many aspects, just to mention one: despite being the so called capital of the European integration it is quite close to disintegrating as a country due to the continuous disputes between the Flemish and the Walloons.

The country is also divided in terms of water resources, with the North dependent from the South. Wallonia satisfies 55% of the national needs in drinking water when it counts only 37% of the population. Flanders and Brussels are not self-sufficient. The positive side is that Belgium people have mastered dialogue and consensus building, learning to live with multiple decision making centers...

In addition to the exhibit project of the Belgium pavilion , I can positively advise not to miss this pavilion for a number of other reasons, including to taste a good Belgium beer...I would give a try to Duvel, for provide the right environment for such endeavor, the Belgium commissioner´s office will install and manage a Belgium café that will be also used as a platform for Belgium artists performing there.

Talking about art, not to miss the expo from Jan Fabre at the Belgium pavilion. See above the man writing on water, an installation made up of seven bronze bathtubs where there is a sculpture-portrait of the artist seated in the second one, in the process of writing on the water with his finger...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Expo Zaragoza 2008 visits Brussels, capital of Europe

For those of you new to the Expo Zaragoza 2008 you might be thinking what the hell is that creature...

Well, the ET looking drop of water is called Fluvi and was overlooking us at the presentation of Expo in the European Parliament. There, the 27 countries of the European Union are represented and what is more, guaranteed they can use their national language as a working language (with simultaneous interpretation). I guess that was exactly what the institutional representatives (mayor of zaragoza, president of Aragon, etc) were just doing for this presentation....but without interpreters. Good thing, and that message did pass, was to see several Spanish political heavy weights from left and right. Believe me when I tell you that, these days (just before general elections in Spain) this is rather rare to have.

Coming back to real water, 50% of the contents of the pavilions should be dedicated to the theme of the Expo. Distribution of the countries takes place according to ecosystems will –no doubt- extra-motivate countries to focus on their specific ecological situations. Also great news is that the EU has committed to participate at the Expo with a 2.5 millon Euros, 577m2 pavilion....numbers.... I imagine, the EU will have a lot to say on the debates that will take place during the Expo around the central topic of water & sustainable development. I will let you know more in future posts on this. Oh I almost forgot, the introductions.... I was writing a blog about this Expo for a year and just now I am jgiven the opportunity to post from the official website of the expo. Thanks!
The idea of the blog remains the same ie. so far when talking with non-spanish friends about Zaragoza they usually are unable to put it ”on the map” often mentioning either Vasque Country or Catalunya as the region where Zaragoza is located. When I then mention Aragon it rings some bells but not that many…
Well, to conclude, I will be asking the roadmap of any other event outside Spain and –why not- the European borders to post the info here…in advance. From your side, please post here any questions you might have as I am sure many people from my region and beyond will be able to help you…

I leave you with a water thriller from Sergio Cannella ….Enjoy!