25 features of Spain as seen by tourists
Spain never ceases to amaze tourists with its diversity and uniqueness. It is impossible to feel and experience Spain by visiting only one part. In each region a completely new facet of history, culture and national traditions is revealed to travelers. However, the invariability of every part of the country remains the cheerfulness, friendliness and hospitality of the locals. From generation to generation Spaniards have passed down a special worldview, which has no place for suffering, because life is created for pleasure and joy, so they are open and emotional, they love to relax, have fun and know how to do it! Maybe that’s why Spain has so much that makes it truly unique, something you won’t find elsewhere in the world!
- If you didn’t study geography very carefully at school, you’ll be very surprised by the fact that Spain is not limited to Europe. To see all of Spain, you would have to visit the Canary Islands, and sail across Gibraltar to the African continent. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla, located there, are another highlight of Spain. And Gibraltar itself belonged to the then powerful Spain for a long time. It was given to Britain only in 1713.
- Spain, unlike much of Europe, practically does not part with the sunny weather. The sun does not leave the country for at least 280 days a year, which is extremely gratifying for tourists, but creates considerable difficulties for Spanish farmers.
- Spain is a country with a surprisingly diverse landscape. Within hours of traveling through Spain, visitors can encounter mountainous landscapes, plains, forests, ponds, beaches, frozen lava flows, and even volcanoes. There are 15 national parks in Spain, which impress with their variety and ecological richness.
- The most mountainous country in Europe is also Spain. Sierra Nevada mountain range attracts tourists not only with extremely beautiful views, but also a popular ski resort. It is here that the World Cup and other prestigious alpine skiing competitions are held.
- Spain is a country not only a unique landscape, but also unique architecture. To a great extent the uniqueness of Spanish architecture was created by one of the most famous Spanish architects – Antonio Gaudi. Intricate and fantastic style of Gaudi’s buildings have become world famous and today seven of his works are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Gaudí’s work is carefully preserved in Spain and never ceases to amaze and delight. For example, there are no straight lines in the design of the Casa Batlló, and the Mila house has a natural ventilation system so that even in the heat of Spain you can do without air conditioning.
- In Madrid is the largest museum of the Prado, which is not inferior to such colossuses as the Louvre and the Hermitage.
- The Gran Teatre del Liceu is not just one of the best theaters in the world, it is a legend. Like the Phoenix, the theater has been rebuilt twice from the ruins. A fire in 1994 almost completely destroyed the unique building with luxurious interiors, but literally within 10 years the theater was rebuilt “with the world. On its ruins sang Mancerrat Caballe, great opera singers contributed a lot, holding benefit concerts for its restoration, Spaniards and foreign citizens donated their savings. Today the theater has been restored and opera lovers can enjoy not only the performances of famous opera singers, but also the splendour and luxury of its interiors.
- Spain has given the world many famous artists: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Diego Velazquez, and many others. The famous Picasso museum, based in his home has about 3,000 works of this amazing master.
- Spain is a country not only for opera music. Music and dance is an integral part of any Spaniard’s life. The image of Spain for foreigners is inextricably linked with flamenco, passionate and temperamental. Many believe that it is in the rhythms of flamenco that the heart of Spain beats, but the Spaniards themselves hold a different point of view. The Spanish people are proud to keep their own traditions, this is why Aragonese people prefer the Jota, Castilian people the Segidilla, and in the Basque country the holidays are never spent without the traditional bolero.
- Spain and dancing are inseparable concepts. Isle of Ibiza is very popular around the world, its numerous clubs literally attract young people around the world.
- No other country in Europe has such a large number of bars, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. The first meal of Spaniards begins late – in the afternoon and they traditionally prefer to have breakfast in nearby cafes, where they are greeted with unfailing hospitality. Unlike us, Spaniards do not tend not to eat after 18. Dinner at 10 p.m. is quite usual here.
- Spain is justly famous for its cuisine. Not surprisingly, the restaurant, considered the best in the world, is also located in Spain. If you want to go to a restaurant El Bulli , you need to think about it in advance. First of all it works only 180 days a year, and secondly, you need to book a table in the very first day of the season and that despite the high prices even by European standards: the cost of food here costs about 250 euros on average.
- You can try a steak, cooked right above the mouth of the volcano on the Canary Island of Lanzarote, in the restaurant with a very eloquent name: “El Diablo”.
- The traditional Spanish cuisine is not characterized by pastries made of flour. Real Spaniards prefer potato cakes. But this refers only to the national cuisine, in everyday life Spaniards love fresh bread.
- Traveling through Spain, you can not be afraid of dying of hunger. Enough to order a drink, and almost all Spanish bars will be served free snacks, very nutritious and in considerable quantity: Jamon, French fries or a variety of mini-sandwiches.
- Spain is famous for many dishes, but the national product is still considered to be Jamon – salted pork ham, cooked by special technology.
- For dessert in Spain you must order the hot chocolate. Only here this drink is so thick that it looks more like pudding.
- One of the most famous wines is Jerez. Its name speaks eloquently of its origin, the city of Jerez in Andalusia. Although Spain is mostly known for its red wines, white grapes are grown in most of its vineyards.
- Spain is a leader in the production of olive oil. Olive oil produced in Spain accounts for 44% of world sales of this product. In Italy and Greece, production of olive oil is 2 and 4 times less than Spanish respectively. In addition to olive oil, Spain has excelled in the production of saffron. In this industry, it also has a leading position.
- It was via Spain that tomatoes, avocados, tobacco, cocoa and potatoes found their way to Europe. The Spaniards also claim to have invented fried fish!
- Spanish people are renowned for their quality of life: they value their free time, love holidays and the opportunity to have fun and relax. The Spanish holidays are filled with an inexhaustible supply of life and optimism. This is exactly the atmosphere at the annual tomato fight held in the village of Valencia. La Tomatina is one of the largest and most spectacular celebrations in Spain.
- Spaniards love soccer and it occupies an important place in the sports life of the country. The Spanish team even managed to win the 2010 World Cup!
- Spaniards are considered to be people who do not limit themselves with different complexes. This behavior is facilitated by the policy pursued by the state. For example, same-sex marriages were legalized in the country back in 2005, and walking around naked is allowed absolutely on all beaches.
- Spain ranks first in the world in organ donation, and third in the number of plastic surgeries per capita!
- Surprisingly, the country has a low birth rate. Explaining this fact, Spaniards complain about low wages, lack of good jobs, the high cost of housing.
There’s endless talk about the uniqueness of Spain, but it’s better to see everything for yourself and learn directly from the locals, so charge up Spanish optimism, practice Spanish on Skype and get ready for an amazing meeting with Spain!
Why is it comfortable to live in Spain?
Spain is not a rich country, but everything is done for life and for the comfort of people.
Transportation infrastructure. Both sidewalks and roadway for cars.
– Of course there are some not very smooth roads, but they are few and far between and you do not have to stop to avoid them. Many people use bicycles here, there are good and comfortable bicycle lanes everywhere. Parking lots are mostly paid, both surface and underground. But there are a lot of them and finding parking is not a problem. Roads in Spain are incomparably better than in Russia. Markings on the roads are lit in the dark, which does not require the installation of lamps.
– Public transport . Buses, trams, trains – all transport is new, clean and beautiful.
– Traffic jams. I can only say for our neighborhood. There are traffic jams in Alicante, but they are rare and happen because of accidents, rains and other circumstances. Traffic jams during “rush hour” are also there, but they are not hourly, but so to speak, “compacted traffic”.
2. Conditions for people with disabilities
For people with disabilities in general everything is done. In all the stores restaurants, cafes, public institutions, clinics (there are special cushions-elevators which you can get in and go down a couple of steps), parks, buses (low public transport (for example, a tram extends a special step on which a wheelchair person can get) wheelchair users can get in without problems.
And there are a lot of such people on the streets, they live their lives to the fullest without help, they meet with friends, sit in cafes and do their business.
There are ramps everywhere. And special entrances for the visually impaired:
Or the municipal pool has special chairs made for lowering into the water:
Often in the street with a random passerby if you meet with a glance – you can see a smile on his part and hear Hola, que tal! (Hello, how are you?) At first I looked around and tried to remember where we knew each other from, but as it turned out later, it was just a courtesy, which does not even require a response.
It’s the same with the neighbors at the elevator. Hola! Como estas? (Hello. How are you?) – Normal practice. You should say the same thing back. It is a sign of welcome. It’s the way things are done here.
Or, at the cash register, when you realize you forgot to take the OIL and you don’t want to run back and stand in line again, the people behind you will calmly react and wait until you run away. The cashier can also calmly say that we’ll wait) no pasa nada, no tenemos prisa (it’s okay, no one is in a hurry). This lack of nerves really amazes me.
How easy it is to get positive emotions, just to smile. To feel this you need to live among the smiling, friendly Spaniards.
4. There is no standard of beauty as such. They accept and love themselves for who they are. The best beauty is the sparkle in their eyes. They don’t go on diets. But they love sports.
5. Attitude towards children.
People have children here not because it is their age, but because they have grown old enough mentally and because they really want to. That is why the whole family is involved in upbringing from the day nurseries. Even on the playground you can see how a newborn baby walks on all the hands and gets pampered.
There will be a changing table in all institutions, cafes and restrooms. And in many commercial centers, special feeding rooms and baby toilets.
With the biggest stroller can go everywhere. There are, of course, in the city center elevators in apartment buildings are narrow, but I mean most.
As for playgrounds, there are plenty of them.
Maybe they are not as colorful as in Russia and not on every corner, but you can find both for young and older for every taste. If we talk about our particular area, there is its own site in the urbanization.
The only thing is that there are few cafes and restaurants with a children’s room inside. In Russia it is more common.
Also there are free circles at municipalities from 6 years old. You have to sign up in advance because there is a queue).
5. Do you like sports?
And I’m not talking about commercial fitness – centers, which are also for every taste. Here love to go to municipal sports complexes.
And with their registration in the area to get a discount to visit various sections.
So, for example, we go to the pool in winter (3.70 euros for a free visit = 3 hours)
And the sea all year round, whether SUP or swimming in a wetsuit. Beach volleyball. Soccer (you can take a team and rent a field to play). Biking and more.
Abundance of everything. Even our usual products can be bought in Russian stores.
Sausage and cheese paradise in Spain.
Vegetables, basically the same all year round. There is a season of artichoke (somewhere in winter-spring).
Each season, a new fruit.
– Autumn-Winter: pomegranates, mandarins, persimmons, oranges, kumquats.
– Winter-Spring: grapefruit, strawberries, cherries.
– Summer: figs, peaches, nectarines, watermelons, plums, nisperro, etc.
Minus, it’s the apples. I love Russian ones. Rarely can I find a fresh crop of apples here, so to speak.
Olive heaven all year round. You can try to pick and pickle yourself (the season starts in September).
Well, if you want, you can grow something delicious on your terrace in the apartment or in the house.
In general, for gourmets and culinary aficionados here will be free rein.
Clothing (Personally, for me). It is clear that you can not have a lot of things, but so that you understand that here there are no rubber boots, fur coats, etc.. That is, but it’s if you really want to. Gathering on the street takes a maximum of 10 minutes, even the children.
Summer: a pair of swimsuits, flip-flops, sandals, T-shirts, shorts, skirts.
Spring-Fall: sandals, sneakers, long-sleeved t-shirt, a pair of jeans, sweatshirt
Winter (for me): sneakers, half-boots, warm jacket, scarf
You can take the minimum and it depends on what time of year you are going. And keep in mind that you can buy everything here, especially good deals during sales (January-March and July-September).
The possibility of seeing on the street or in the park on the feet of an unsteady Spaniard with a bottle – equal to 0. Never saw a drunk walking and being led under the arm.
7. A lot of Russian-speaking people.
For me personally – a favorable nuance of comfortable life here. It is a connection, and just communicate, and help each other to find information on this or that issue. The same goes for language maintenance for the children. Why lose knowledge, especially of a language that may come in handy in the future. So, for example, in Alicante there are 3 Russian schools, which I know for sure there are. And one of them my daughter goes to.
8. Service in clinics private and state (if you really got with a serious problem).
9. They don’t put work and career on the pedestal, here they know how to just enjoy life. You won’t be treated worse if you haven’t reached any heights.
10. There is no special subordination. In just a couple of phrases you can switch to you. Or you start talking to people on the first name terms and nobody will look down on you. At school everyone is a friend: teachers, nannies, cooks. For example, if my daughter meets Monitor – her nanny from school – in the street, they exchange high-fives, or when we meet her former teachers, they are the first to run to hug her and ask how she is.
11. 11. Mornings start with sunshine and light.
12. 12 It is not scary to grow old here. The standard of living of pensioners is an indicator of a comfortable life in Spain. These are people who look great, look after themselves, walk in pairs hand in hand)) their life is not frozen after retirement, they travel, sit with friends in cafes, on the beach, etc.
13. Comfort of manners: you can sit in the subway on the floor, you can sunbathe topless, you can breastfeed your baby right in the cafe…
14. Sorting the garbage
I do not know why I included this particular article. But let it be.
I can not say that in Spain everyone sorts the garbage, batteries are thrown in designated containers and expired drugs are taken to pharmacies, but for the most part it is sorted, and that such a thing is even a great tribute to nature, and then everyone is up to his or her conscience.
The list could still be longer, but that’s the most basic…
P.S. Have you ever thought about leaving everything and going away?