Why the British love affair with Spain

July 13, 2017

Uncategorized

There’s a lot more to Spain than beaches, bars, ferias and fiestas.

For those that have never been to Spain, don’t believe all you see on British TV, depicting a life of bars and rowdy behaviour. Spain can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.

Consider the beautiful mountains, the fascinating white washed villages, the stunning cities, architecture so easily identifiable with the creator, the carefully preserved buildings giving us insights into the history of Spain and the many different cultures that happily live side by side?

This is a country that’s proud of its roots and unashamed to express passion and its culture.

There is still respect for families.  Families regularly meet for sacred, long Sunday lunches and talk … yes actually communicate verbally.  Mothers and fathers are given time, grandparents are visited and included in family days and youngsters are cherished, they are part of the conversation, hugged and coveted by all family members.  Family is a key part of Spanish life.

It’s true it {probably} has the best fresh fruit and vegetables in Europe, a great deal of which is exported to northern Europe.

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Typical Spanish produce

For an arid country, it produces exotic plants, trees and shrubs, impacting our senses with delightful aromas and colours, invoking powerful memories that last a lifetime.

Perhaps other countries could learn the lesson …. Just how does Spain keep its beautiful parks and gardens watered?  Hose pipe ban?  Not often in Spain.

It’s beautifully clean, bins are emptied usually nightly.  Even in heavily populated areas, drive home late at night and you will see the bin vans and hardworking teams of street cleaners washing down streets to keep the dust and grime at bay.

What about the many different regions and communities of Spain?  It’s a huge country … did you know that England is about the same size as Andalucia!

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Different languages are spoken … Castellano is the national language of Spain, but there is a myriad of dialects and languages in different regions.  Most people are aware they speak a different language in the Cataluña area which includes Barcelona, but did you know in the north Basque is spoken, Galicia too have their own language.  Valenciano is a dialect spoken throughout the Valencia Community including the Balearic Islands.  Spain is a large country, full of mountains and contrasts, so it´s unsurprising that it´s not just the countryside that is changes.

This beautiful peninsula is indeed dynamic and diverse and worthy of exploring.

So why would you visit Spain?  Spain is often referred to as the new gastronomic country of Europe.  Those that live in Spain are all too aware just how good the food is.   It is simple and uncomplicated, often locally grown, caught or reared.  The flavours are vibrant and rich in colour and ultimately healthy.  We have all heard of the Mediterranean diet … that depicts true Spanish food.  No wonder the Spanish share their dishes.  It´s too good to keep to yourself.  And what of the bodegas?  There is so much to enjoy and learn from this beautiful country.

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Journey by car, plane, train, or take a hot air balloon flight.  This magnificent country is worth visiting and then returning again and again to further stimulate your senses.

So, don’t just go to Spain for the beach … experience inland, the villages, the mountains, watch eagles fly freely.  Experience the stunning beaches of northern Spain, Vitoria, Santander or the vibrant wealthy city of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum. Madrid and the stunning Palacio de la Zarzuela or Salamanca, the old city is a World Heritage Site and of course Barcelona with a wander through Las Ramblas and then onto the magnificent Sagrada Familia or the Gothic Quarter.  Travelling by high speed train (AVE) is always a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the ride.

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Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Eat where the Spanish eat … it may not be glitzy, but your taste buds will be rewarded and you will be welcomed with open arms.

Don’t believe sensationalist TV … Spain is more than just stags and hens.

It has something to offer everyone, from skiing, golfing, tennis, the family fun of paddle (no not in a boat, but a cross between tennis and squash) hiking, bird watching {it’s a haven for twitchers}, dolphin and whale watching, surfing, kite boarding, alternative therapy retreats to a whole lot more.

If you are searching for something a bit different, Spain can deliver and all just over a 2.5 hours flight away.  Driving? The motorways are empty apart from through major cities.

Yes, Spain still retains its beauty and charm.  If you stay in your hotel, you may get the relaxation that you so urgently need, but please return, it is steeped in history and culture.  Explore … you won’t be disappointed … Spain is an elegant and beautiful lady.