It’s a bit more than sun, sand, and sangria!

The temptation in this high-speed, cheap-flight, ‘been there, done that and would have bought the T-shirt if they’d had my size’ world gives the traveller the vague idea that he’s actually seen something of a country when in reality he’s probably only ticked off the ‘to do’ places in his Rough Guide or Lonely Planet.

Spain isn’t a country to ‘do’, it is a country to savour – in every sense, and not just in its gastronomic diversity. Most visitors will meander Madrid, bound around Barcelona or dabble their tootsies in the gently lapping waves of the Mediterranean. The inteligencia will have a gander at Granada, the energetic will salsa in Sevilla, the young will do their best to avoid being skewered during San Fermin, the running of the bulls in Pamplona. The enlightened will take it easy….understanding that to rush is to miss the very essence of Spain……

This blog is for those who want to experience more of Spanish life than the sun, sea and sangria of the coastal resorts, to visit places where a foreign accent is still looked upon as a rarity and where history is in the narrow cobbled alleyways shaded from the heat of the sun. To take walks where those earlier visitors, the Moors, brought civilisation, agriculture and much of the Spanish culture, or to join in one of the local fiestas that sometimes seem to have neither rhyme nor reason for their existence but will usually be buried in some ancient story. It is an opportunity to discover Spain in all its diversity.

If you would like to know more about Spain, visit my web site, Valpaparazzi are random notes about life in Spain.


2 Responses to “It’s a bit more than sun, sand, and sangria!”

  1. I like the web site and will signpost it on my blog. I agree with everything you say. I decided to look for real Spain on a golfing holiday to a dreadful place near Torrevieja in 2008 and on my travels I have been amazed by the immense diversity of the country. My favourite place is hard to choose but it might be Segovia or perhaps Ciudad Rodrigo? Or Avila or Santillana del Mar? Actually it is impossible to make such a big decision.

    • Thanks for your comments. I tend to think that when people say ‘real Spain’ they mean the romantic image most people have of the country. To me the brashness of Benidorm and the industrial cities such as Albacete, which has the two records of being the biggest maker of knives in Spain and the most boring city in the country, are equally as ‘real’ as any tiny mountain pueblo, just as Sheffield and Rotherham are just as ‘real England’ as any pretty Cotswold village. Part of the joy of Spain is it’s diversity. I understand what you say, though, because there has been some awful overdevelopment, but that, hopefully has come to an end.

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