Spain: many of us wonder why the people in Southern Europe such as the Spanish have a so open character, as well as being sociable and extroverted. There is no doubt: climate and sunlight hours play a significant role in this peculiarity of these people, who are so open to every person visiting from abroad, which makes them feel comfortable and reassured.
Of course, that makes for a character that opens many doors.
However, wait a moment! They are not the ones who are travelling: it is us who are going to that country to discover, see and taste this touristic jewel so worthy for holidays, especially the sunny beaches and the culture it offers.
Let´s focus: The capital of Spain − Madrid. Its second city by population − the cosmopolitan Barcelona. While Madrid is more provincial, Barcelona is the more “European” of its cities, open to the Mediterranean sea and its commerce throughout many centuries.
But, what else? What about Seville, Huelva, Cádiz, Málaga, Alicante, Valencia, Toledo, León, Salamanca, San Sebastián, La Coruña or Bilbao? And what about its natural splendour in Extremadura and Mediterranean Murica, or its Asturian or Cantabrian gastronomy? There is much to see and, as you may think, so little time to embrace everything at once! Let´s start right now!
This country, whose geography resembles a bull’s hide by the form of its peninsula where it is located, is populated by 46 million inhabitants as registered in January 2014. Many centuries ago Spain was noted as ‘the country in which the sun never set’ because of its wide expansion throughout the planet; it is without doubt much smaller now than in that ‘Golden century’, which was the sixteenth.
Of course Cuba and the Philippines are no longer Spanish, but Spain has still many great things to be seen! Who has not heard about Goya or Velázquez? And about Cervantes (he of Don Quixote) or Quevedo? And the great Christian mystics such as Teresa de Lisieux and St John of the Cross? And La Roja, the best Spanish national football team ever? Spain has many reasons to smile: and not only because of its sun!
Spain is divided politically into autonomous communities, there currently being 17 plus Ceuta and Melilla in Northern Africa. Spain comprises a peninsula and several islands that make the oceans less lonely: the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Its climate is varied, from continental weather in central and northern Spain to Mediterranean and Atlantic or oceanic in Eastern Spain and Galicia, respectively.
Here you can also find cities with their own climatology such as happens in Benidorm, where you will rarely experience bad weather, even in winter, and in the Canary Islands, where you can wear a t-shirt even in December. Is that not luxury? Spain has too among its treasures some of the best accomodation facilities in the world, with a 3-star hotel in Spain being above many in the rest of the Europe. In this it is quite demanding!
Spain is a mixture, a mosaic of the different cultures that inhabitated this land from the beginning of time. Did you know that Spain was once Arabic? To be Christian-Catholic later? Did you know that in Spain are, among others, the Alhambra of Granada and La Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona? And that, by a slight change of plan, you can eat pescaíto on the beach there while you drink an ice-cold beer?
Spain’s official currency is the euro, as in many countries in Europe. And it will be with this currency you will be able to pay for your visits to the different museums and attractions, or restaurants in which you will taste its diverse gastronomy: from a Valencian paella to a potaje in Asturias or the rich and tasty seafood you will discover in Andalucia. Don’t just take our word, sample it all and see how tasy it is!
To visit the Kingdom of Spain, which, incidentally, changed monarchs in 2014 when the former Prince Felipe became King Felipe VI, you will need only your ID if you come from a European country or from the Schengen area. Now, advising you as a friend: Spain is most worthy to be visited, especially if you enjoy good weather, good life quality, a restful time and more – all these can be found there, as well as its famous gastronomy.
Sincerely, they know how to live well! But if you want to work hard, naturally you will be able to do that too! Many people still don´t know it, but Spain is one of the countries in Europe where longer hours are used and dedicated to work! Of course, that is not to say that finding a job will be easy! Spain suffers from an unemployment rate almost without precedent!
So go ahead and visit! If you want to understand why Spain has its own culture, its own way of doing things, its own idiosincrasies − visit it! Now smile, like its people! You´re in Spain!
Editing by: Catherine Parker