We will start with the 28th Festival de Jerez, then go to Florence, Barcelona, and Madrid.

Patricia and I thought long and hard about whether we would return to Jerez this year for the Festival de Jerez. Not because we were tired of flamenco or Jerez, but because our travel list is getting longer, and not shorter.

We explored returning to Italy, visiting Greece again, going back to England, Scotland and Wales, or heading back to Ireland before all the tourists got there. We even thought about Morocco since it has been a while since we were in Fez.

But the lure of the festival overcame all these other possibilities. We will visit a couple of old / new cities, though. After we leave Jerez, we will make a short visit to Florence, Italy before returning to Barcelona and ending up in Madrid. It has been more than 20 years since our last visit to Barcelona.

Why Florence? you may ask. We had planned to visit Valencia and Granada as well as Barcelona, but in early November Patricia saw an article in the New York Times about a new room being opened to visitors in the Medici Chapel in Florence. (Michaelangelo’s Secret Room). Visits to the room will be limited in number and the room may only be open until late March. We thought it would be really interesting to see the room but I was sure I would not be able to get tickets. Nevertheless, I found tickets for a day when we would be in Spain and we decided to leave Jerez a day early and fly to Florence for a short visit which will include a visit to the “secret” room. That meant changes to the rest of our itinerary, of course. In the end, although we had to remove Valencia and Granada from the itinerary, we ended up being able to spend a couple more days in Madrid–which is not a bad thing.

I am still trying to figure out how I will do posts this year. We aren’t going to any really late performances but I may not post each day given how long it takes to do a post in the same was I have been doing for the past several years. I’ll write and post pictures as I can, though.

You can see our music schedule for the trip, look at a calendar, check out the pictures and posts, all under this heading.