Sep 052011
The state system in Spain, an hilarious insight!

Well, you cannot keep a great gag down and my Spanish lawyer has just sent me a fabulous (short and hilarious!!) video about the state system in Spain.  In fact, I featured this video in an article on Culture Spain earlier in the year entitled Bureaucracy in Spain – but I think I am more than justified in highlighting the video again, in case you have not already seen it.  It is terrific: The thing […]

Aug 192011
The most perfect Art Déco house in Spain

Just occasionally, perhaps only once every four or five years, I come across a house in Spain that is truly extraordinary – somewhere that really does have the ‘Wow!’ factor.  Frankly, this is rare in Spain as many Spanish properties lack personality and this applies even to expensive villas on exclusive estates.  The latter can appear wonderful but often boast little more than anaemic luxury. Build: 500 m2 Reception Rooms: 4 Kitchen (x 2!) 3 bedrooms (with […]

Aug 022011
Gandia, Valencia Province, Spain

Gandia is a town located on the mid eastern side board of Spain.  It is within Valencia Province (one of the three Provinces of the Autonomous Region of Valencia Comunitat de Valencia) and is situated some 70 kms south of Valencia City.  The immediate area around Gandia is known as La Safor which comprises a number of small towns and villages of which Gandia is the ‘capital’. Gandia has a permanent population of some 80,000 […]

Jun 172011
Summer holidays in Spain – 10 things not to forget!

Are you going to be spending your summer holidays in Spain? If so – then make sure that you are well prepared beforehand and pack everything that you need.  After all, there is nothing worse than setting out for your holidays and arriving at the airport to find that you have left behind something critical! So, what should go on your checklist for a summer holiday in Spain? 1.   Passports! But are they in-date?  […]

May 282011
Spain, rabbits and the Iberian Lynx

Did you know that there is a really interesting connection between the name España and rabbits – and that the devastating decline of the Iberian Lynx is intimately bound up in both? Well, there are good reasons to believe that the name of Spain (España) derives from the Phoenician word ‘ispanihad’ which evidently means ‘land of rabbits’.  This word was adopted by the Romans who called Spain ‘Hispania’ which, over time, became España. No-one is […]

Apr 292011
Valencia City of Arts and Sciences

I defy anyone who comes to Valencia city not to be entranced by the City of Arts and Sciences. It is, justifiably, one of the greatest tourist attractions in Spain and a tribute to modern Spanish vision and design. Indeed, the City of Arts and Sciences is such a triumph that, alone, it makes any visit to Spain worthwhile. However, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia city is avowedly not just for intellectuals […]

Mar 012011
Running of the bulls Pamplona – the rules!

The first thing is never consider running with the bulls in Pamplona if you have not seen the encierro before.  Even if this is only the Spanish TV1 broadcast (excellent coverage every day of the feria de San Fermín from 7.30 to 8.30 am) which first transmits the run live, then has commentaries, then a re-run with a commentary, and finally a slow motion re-run with music.  Even an old film is better than nothing.  […]

Feb 162011
Las Fallas Valencia, the most incredible fiesta in Spain!

Las Fallas must rank as one of the most extraordinary fiestas in Spain.  Indeed, over the past few years it has gained international recognition as one of those remarkable events that you should see – at least once in your lifetime. Certainly, the sheer scale of La Fallas is astonishing with the main festivities taking place over five days (15th – 19th March every year).  However, the ‘work up’ to Las Fallas starts from February […]

Feb 072011
The Alhambra and the Moors in Spain

Some years ago, I was commissioned to write an article which ended up entitled ‘What did the Moors do for us?’.  This was, needless to say, a ‘take’ on the famous scene in ‘The Life of Brian’ where the same question was asked about the Romans. Before I started my research my answer to ‘What did the Moors do for us’ would have been ‘precious little’,  However, by the time I started writing I was […]

Jan 122011
La Tomatina (the greatest tomato fight in the World!)

Few people would argue that Spain has some pretty incredible fiestas.  However, one of the most bizarre has got to be La Tomatina – which is a massive tomato fight. Amazingly, some 30,000 people a year crowd into the village of Buñol to hurl rotten tomotoes at each other.  The mess is simply beyond imagination but taking part has become almost as important as running with the bulls at Pamplona. La Tomatina occurs on the […]

Dec 012010
Marbella or barrio?

Marbella villa or barrio? The doorbell rang.  It was Perla carrying a bucket full of fish.  They were small dorada and they were still wriggling.  When I had met him in the street yesterday he had asked me if we wanted any fresh fish and I had said yes.  This is what he normally does, as he has no phone, and he and his brother go out early every morning in their small 2-man boat […]

Nov 102010
The Sagrada Família and Barcelona

I have to say that whenever I find it difficult to get things done in Spain I think of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.  This fabulous building was started in 1882 and is still not finished – with the projected completion estimated to be sometime in 2026.  This means that if this date is actually met(!) the Sagrada Família will have taken some 144 years to build! Obviously, somthing important is going on – but […]