"Bienvenido a Espana - Welcome to Spain." Spain by Beach_dog
Spain Travel Guide: 54,411 reviews and 142,083 photos
My first involvement with this country was as a child. I lived here from 1969 until 1971, my father brought the family over from Wales during the period he was working here. Some years later in the mid 1990´s I started visiting Spain for vacations (often 2 or 3 times a year), my interest in the country was rekindled, often visiting places I had seen as a child and of which I had fond memories.
In June 2002 at the London VT meeting I met VT member Carmela71 (Carmen), to cut a long story short, in October 2003 I moved to Spain, where we both now live in Marbella.
I love to travel around the country and most months we fit in trips to other regions, cities or the countryside. I love the Spanish way of life, the food, the people, the culture and customs of the country fascinate me. I have this past year been learning the language, its not easy and I´m far from being perfect, but I manage to get by day to day.
Geographically Spain occupies the larger part of the Iberian peninsula, the other part being Portugal to the west. The Peninsula being surrounded by Cantabrian Sea (Biscay) in the north, The Atlantic Ocean to the west and south west. Meditteranean Sea to the east and south. It is separated from France by the Pyranee mountains in the north east. Morocco is a close neighbour in the south across the Straights of Gibraltar. Spain has many mountain regions and its climate is quite varied across its regions, due to its geography. The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are also part of the country, so to are the cities of Melilla and Ceuta on the north coast of Africa.
Historically Spain has been influenced by succesive groups of peoples, Greeks, Phoenicians, Celts, Romans, Visigoths, and Moors . This in many ways explains the complex nature of the various regions and its people. These successive groups of peoples have all left there mark on the landscape, Spain has a rich heritage of sites representing every period of history from the Pre-historic to the present day. I will add tips to give an idea of the best of historic sites that may be worth visiting.
Since the mid 1970´s Spain has been a Parliamentary Monarchy governed from the capital of Madrid. It has been divided in 17 Autonomous Communities, who each have regional governments to regulate their internal affairs. Spain is no longer the poorer neighbour in Western Europe that it was seen as in the 50's and 60's. In the 1960´s tourists discovered the Spanish costas, bringing in much needed revenue, but also altering the coastlines greatly. Today with membership of the European Union it is a modern and economically strong country.
One of Spain's appeals are that it has managed to keep many of its older customs and traditions, especially so outside the cities, but modernity is encroaching. Let us hope that they can preserve this for a little longer. it.
- Pros: Offers so much for the traveller, history, art, architecture and spectacular scenery.
- Cons: Avoid package holidays to the costa's, if you want to see real Spain.
- In a nutshell: Culturally very diverse, there is no such thing as 'typical Spain'.
The Roman conquest of Spain started in 206 BC as part of its campaign against Carthage. Spreading up into the peninsula,... more travel advice
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