See The Spanish World!

The Top Seven Things To Know Before You Decide To Visit Spain

Spain is arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the Mediterranean boasting exciting festivals, beautiful natural surroundings, and some of the most interesting historical artifacts in Europe.  While many countries have remained older, Spain has embraced the modern lifestyle promoting tourism across their land.  The helpful people are welcoming, and travelers do find themselves enjoying surroundings; however, it is important to remember that the country is not your own and there are rules to be noted.  Spain is welcoming, but the culture is highly different and must be respected.  This article provides some information on the points to take into account when heading off to Spain with a focus on the top seven considerations to ensure you adhere to the cultural (and legal) guidelines.

1. Identify The Festival Dates

Tourism is a large source of income for Spain; however, the “tourist time” tends to begin in late July and end in the middle of September.  This period is set to align with the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months and embrace their warmer weather (although Spain doesn’t seem to get too cold).  Of course, while taking this into account when planning a vacation, it is also important to remember that Spain is a very religious country and there are religious festivals to be identified.  Many weekends will extend to include festivals for different Saints and it is important that you respect these times as a cultural rule.  The festivals or Saint day will result in the closing of stores or banks; therefore, be aware of these days before making plans to ensure you do not land up in Spain on a week devoted to religious worship if you aren’t religious yourself.

2. Opening Hours Of Banks

The Spanish banker has been noted as the most pleasant banker in Europe, possibly the world.  Why?  This is possibly because the banks in Spain have minimal operating hours (from 9 am to 2 pm) and rarely open after siesta unless necessary.  They do not operate on Sundays and are only available on Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm. This brings about the issue of siesta as well which influences the opening of all facilities from 2 pm to 4 pm.

3. Opening Hours Of Tourist Attractions

If you have decided to vacation in Spain and peruse some tourist attractions, such as museums, it is important to note that many of these facilities have minimal operating hours.  The churches are open for many hours on most days, except over siesta period; however, museums are closed on Mondays and all holidays.  In fact, smaller museums or historic attractions tend to operate on Sundays exclusively.

4. Be Aware Of Pickpockets

While Spain is a fairly safe country, there is always the chance of pickpocketing in the larger cities.  A tip to keep your money safe from this particular type of theft is to keep items close to your body (preferably on your body).  Many people would consider using an ATM card as payment for all items to avoid pickpocketing, but this can be detrimental as there are high bank fees when conducting international transactions.  Attempt to withdraw money before heading off and keeping this in a bag close to your person. One of our friends who works for (they travel to Spain a lot for work) got their wallet stolen while in Spain. Based on their experience, it is a good idea to keep your money and credit cards close to you.

5. Take The Train

Taxis are useful when in Spain; however, they are renowned for being slightly dangerous on the roads not taking note of rules of the road.  Also, there is always the chance that the taxi driver could be “dodgy” and you may find yourself in a life-threatening situation.  It is recommended that you opt for public transport when on vacation, which is highly enjoyable and exciting as you can view exciting features of Spain.  When booking, it is advised that you seek out discounts for train tickets using the national train or regional train networks.

6. Be Ready For Public Toilets

As with any country, there is the issue of public lavatories.  No individual, unless you are truly desperate, is willing to use a public lavatory and in Spain, there is an obvious sign of infrequent cleaning.  When visiting Spain, you must be ready to accept this and prepared to sneak into hotel lobbies to use cleaner facilities.  It may also be useful to stop for a drink at a bar just to use their toilet facilities as the Spanish restaurant owners will rarely allow non-customers to user their lavatory.

7. Not All People Speak Spanish

While the majority of people living in larger cities working in the tourism industry will speak some English, it should be noted that not all of them speak basic Spanish.  So, if you have learned basic Spanish phrases it must be remembered that there are regional dialects influencing the spoken language.  The individuals working in tourism may find your attempt to speak Spanish endearing (or at least pretend to); however, you must be prepared to not understand a word considering the area.

Coffee Secrets: Secrets Of Spanish Coffee

The Spanish adore coffee it is part of their daily lives as wine or tapas. A typical Spaniard always starts his or her day with coffee served with hot milk. Similarly, their days end once they have had their supper along with espresso style coffee served in either a tiny cup or glass with lots of sugar. Additional cups are consumed throughout the day served in different ways in a variety of cups or glasses.

Few countries can match the quality and variety of Spanish coffee, and the secret behind this lies in the bean. Spanish coffee is roasted then blended in an exceptional way resulting in a smooth, robust, and full-bodied cup each time.

Exceptional quality raw beans are always used and mezcal and natural are the two main blends produced with the former being the hallmark of Spanish coffee. The mezcal blend is as a result of ‘torrefacto’, whereby a small portion of raw beans is sprayed with a fine mist of sugar before roasting. These glazed beans are subsequently added to the rest of the beans and roasted slowly, and a dark roasted bean with a hint of caramel remains once the sugar is burnt off creating a deep rich coffee without a tinge of bitterness.

A variety of blends emerges after the beans have been roasted and ground each with its unique taste. The roasting and blending of the beans are however just the beginning. You cannot experience the real beauty of Spanish coffee if you don’t sit in a traditional Spanish bar where you can experience the aromas, enjoy the atmosphere, and try a real cup of authentic Spanish coffee.

Café solo forms the basis of all Spanish coffee. It is a strong black coffee usually served in a small glass. If you are into black coffee and feel the solo be too strong, then café Americano is what you need to try even though it is not traditionally Spanish.

Café con leche is another popular way to take coffee particularly the first cup of the day. It comprises partly half café solo and partly hot milk and is usually served in a tall, thin glass or a small glass.

One amazing thing about having your coffee this way is watching it being prepared in Spanish bard whereby the milk is poured into a small jug then heated repeatedly to a beautiful froth using steam from the espresso machine. Café cortado is another variation of coffee with milk whereby a drop of milk is added to strong black coffee.

Machado or café Sombra is another variation of coffee with milk but in this case, it is mostly milk with just a dash of coffee. The names Machado and sombre mean stained and shade respectively and imply that the milk is stained or shaded with just a small amount of coffee.

Café Carrillo is a truly delightful Spanish coffee and watching it being served properly is a pleasure in itself.

A very tiny glass is used, and a dash of brandy goes into it with a tiny glass of café solo set aside. The bartender sets the brandy on fire and uses a teaspoon to slowly spoon the brandy out of the glass before allowing it to drop back down again. The process is repeated for about one minute or so. Once the alcohol has burned off sufficiently, the café solo is then poured into the glass, and the result is the ideal morning tipple particularly for those cold days.

In bars is where you will find a more rustic variety of this whereby the café solo is served with a dash of whiskey or rum, aniseed, brandy, or even more fashionably, Crema Catalana, Baileys or any other cream rum liqueur.

However, nothing quite matches authentic café Carrillo which is something that should be on your bucket list.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can enjoy a variety of café con leche known as a café bombon, which refers to a tiny glass of condensed milk and café solo is poured slowly into it. The drink stays separated half white and half black until you mix it.

In the summer months, you can enjoy café con hielo or iced coffee. The right way to drink it is to have either a café con leche or café solo and a tall glass full of ice cubes on the side; you need to then pour the coffee over the ice to drink it the proper Spanish way.

Final Thoughts

The true beauty of Spanish coffee emanates from the fact that you are always guaranteed to enjoy an amazing cup of coffee regardless of the time of day or whichever the way you take it. It does not matter where you take your Spanish coffee, in fact, the most world-wore and rustic Spanish bars regularly serve the best coffee.

Why Some Individuals Don’t Wish to Learn Spanish

Discovering Spanish can be enjoyable and interesting. It could make you comfortable in situations where you would certainly be lost without knowing the language. Not everybody has the need to find out Spanish. These individuals have some factors for their reluctance.

Some people feel that they are too old to learn Spanish. They realize that children discover language quicker than anyone else. This makes them hesitant also to try. They believe it’s a lost cause, so why even try?

Actually, individuals of all ages could learn Spanish. It is true that the young are a lot better language learners. However, as has been stated, “There’s always someone better than you and someone even worse.” Just since you can’t be the very best, it does not imply you shouldn’t try. Possibly you will discover Spanish much better than most people adults if you just try.

People often decrease to discover Spanish since they assume that they won’t be taking a trip to any Spanish speaking nations in their lifetimes. Firstly, you never understand exactly what’s around the bend. You can even win a trip to such a nation. You never know just what could take you there.

Second, there are needs to learn Spanish even if you never talk a word of it. You could enjoy Spanish literature and movies. You could take pride in recognizing the words to tracks that could just stumble via. You can enjoy Spanish language news as well as discover Spanish national politics and also society. It can be an enjoyable activity.

For some, it seems like a huge activity to find out Spanish. They think it will certainly be among the hardest things they ever before do. They don’t want to function so hard at something voluntarily. They feel that Spanish is a hard language to learn.

This couldn’t be further from the fact. Spanish is among the easiest languages. In Spanish, if you understand what a word seems like, you recognize how it’s led to. If you understand just how it’s meant, you could pronounce it quickly.

Some of the words of Spanish are in common usage in the vocabulary of most Americans. Others are just mild variants. Of course, you will certainly have to deal with the gender of nouns, which is easy. Verb conjugations are harder, yet still are understandable if shown properly. If you want to discover Spanish, you probably can.

Money is a stumbling block for some people. They feel that to learn Spanish they have to shell out a substantial amount of money to institutions as well as teachers. They know they aren’t that well off, so they give up.

Although there are pricey methods to discover Spanish, there are more economical means too. Some area classes are virtually complimentary. If you like, you can look into publications to find out Spanish from your library. Some libraries even bring language finding out CD’s as well.

If you’re unfavorable, you can always locate a factor not to do something. Nonetheless, if you’re positive minded, you could learn Spanish without a lot of problems or cost. You just have to comprise your mind that you wish to do it.