Jan 182012
Culture Spain and the weakness of Spanish government

I saw an interesting comment in El Pais recently, which stated that the President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, was justifying significant spending cuts as a way of ‘preventing Madrid from meddling with Catalan finances’.  This would, a colleague said: “blow away our financial autonomy” and “violate the rules of the game set down in the Constitution.” Yes, indeed! However, one of the questions that need to be asked at the moment is whether the Autonomous […]

Dec 192011
How to be a green traveller in Madrid

  Spain’s capital and its largest city, Madrid is a wonderful place for tourists to enjoy an environmentally friendly trip. The foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama act as a scenic backdrop for this young, dynamic city which has seen huge growth since the end of the Franco period. Madrid has more green surfaces and trees per resident than any other European city. Atocha, the main train station, is a place where visitors wouldn’t expect […]

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 122011
Madrid, culture capital of Spain

Madrid, of course, is the capital of Spain and the largest city in Spain with some 3.4 million people.  The next biggest cities in Spain are Barcelona and Valencia. Interestingly, Madrid is also the third biggest metropolitan area in the EU (with a population of some 6.2 million) after London and Paris and its importance within Spain as a cultural and commercial powerhouse should never be underestimated.  Most major Spanish companies have their headquarters in […]

May 202011
Protests in Spain: is democracy in Spain in danger?

A few days ago I wrote an article here about the general disenchantment of Spaniards with politics in Spain.  This had become increasingly apparent to me over the past month or so as the Spanish prepared themselves for the forthcoming local and regional elections in Spain (due to be held on the 22nd May). However, political matters have accelerated considerably over the past couple of days with the development of a movement that is exploding […]

Feb 142011
Madrid’s Cultural Attractions

Madrid, capital of Spain, is located on the river Manzanares and is the political centre of Spain. Although the city possesses modern architecture and technology, it endeavours to preserve the heritage of its past and offers many cultural treats: The Royal Palace The Royal Palace is the official residence of the King of Spain and is partly open to the public when it’s not being used for official business. The Palace is home to important […]

Sep 202010
The new ETA ceasefire, an end to terrorism in Spain?

A couple of weeks ago ETA, one of the last active terrorist groups in Western Europe, announced that it was giving up ‘armed actions’.  This, on the face of it, was excellent news.  However, to my surprise, it was met with almost universal scepticism in Spain itself. ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) is, of course, a para military organisation based in the Basque Country of Spain.  This is a ‘cultural’ region that encompasses a couple of the […]