Dec 312011
Bird watching in Valencia, a terrific day out!

A couple of days ago, I had a wonderful day out bird watching in Valencia – something that none of my family thought I would do (let alone enjoy the experience). Well, it was a revelation! Probably like most women, I tend to get caught in the house during the Christmas period, barely able to escape from the constant round of meals, entertaining and tidying up.  And then, of course, there are the children to […]

Nov 092011
Bird Watching in Spain, the stunning diversity of Valencia

The east coast of Spain, particularly the area that lies within the Valencian Community, offers some of the best bird watching in Europe.  Of course, bird life in Spain is exceptional, by anyone’s standards, but this is all the more notable in the Valencia region of Spain.  Indeed, bird watching in Valencia is unusual for its extraordinary diversity.  This is due to two key factors: Firstly, the geographical position of Spain as a country means […]

Sep 212011
Spectacular views of the Spanish landscape

An institution that makes me consistently proud to be British is the wonderful Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) which has just produced a fascinating portrait of Spain as part of their new and quite extraordinary Hidden Journeys series.  If you like spectacular views of the Spanish landscape – then you really must have a look at what the RGS/IBG has just produced.  It is a marvel! In a groundbreaking way of showing world landscape, culture […]

Sep 152011
Animal cruelty in Spain, the Tordesillas bull hunt

Just occasionally I am deeply ashamed of Spain and utterly appalled by some aspects of the culture of Spain – with the annual Tordesillas El Toro de la Vega bull hunt a dreadful example of animal cruelty in Spain that casts a deep shadow on Spain as a modern, liberal society. The El Toro de la Vega bull hunt occurs annually during the September fiesta of Tordesillas, a small town of 9,000 people situated to […]

Sep 092011
Spain and the Iberian lynx

Some time ago I wrote an article about  Spain, rabbits and the Iberian Lynx.  You may recall that the article largely revolved around the question of how Spain (España) got its name and how there is some evidence to suggest that the name of Spain originally derived from the Phoenician for ‘Land of Rabbits’. In any event, I touched on the tragedy of the Iberian lynx which is the most endangered species of cat in […]

Mar 162011
Caterpillar processions in Spain, a natural menace!

Of course, now is the time of year when processionary caterpillars tend to be around – and every English language newspaper in Spain seems to be full of dire warnings about them.  So much so that it can seem a wonder that anything survives at all within the Spanish countryside… Certainly, processionary caterpillars can be dangerous.  They have poisonous hairs that can be irritating to humans (particularly to asthmatics) and they can cause a strong […]

Sep 092010
Fires in Spain, update

I thought that I should give a quick update following my last Post about fires in Spain, in which I described a wild fire that was occurring just the other side of my village.  Thankfully the fire is now out but it crossed over the mountainside it had set ablaze and then dropped down into the Barcheta valley causing terrible damage. The really sad news is that there were 9 fires across Valencia Province – […]

Sep 072010
Fires in Spain

Well, there has been great ‘excitement’ (if that is the right word) over the past few hours!  At the other side of our pueblo, a wild fire has been blazing away.  For hours now there has been the constant drone of planes full of water crossing overhead. These, once they reach the fire, launch themselves at it and water bomb the long base of the flames that stretch all the way up the hillside. As soon […]