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Viva La Espana

By Rachel Nash

Posted: 7th November 2012 10:18

What a glorious country Spain is.  They have given us paella and Penelope Cruz and welcome us with open arms whenever we visit.  Spain is full of interesting and remarkable culture that can’t be replaced or forgotten. 

Traditional Spanish bull-fighting is hard to find these days as animal-rights activists have aided the abandonment of the sport.  Despite this, it naturally falls on the ‘to-do’ list when visiting Spain and it’s defiantly worth hunting one out for an entertaining afternoon.  In most cities, bull-fighting is now banned but fortunately Madrid still holds the shows at their two bullrings- Vista Alegre and Las Vents.  The city also holds bullfighting festivals, with the most famous festival ‘Pamplona Running of the Balls’ held in July featuring bullfights and bull runs. 

Spanish food is famous for leaving you wanting more.  One of the best Spanish dishes to try is tapas but why not free tapas? In the small city of Granada, walk into a bar and restaurant and your tapas will come free when you order a drink.  Another famous dish, paella shouldn’t be ignored in replace for Spanish pizza or spaghetti; try food from its origin.  Seafood paella is the classic favourite but for a difference, take a trip to Valencia and dabble in the cities meat paella, the original dish.   

A trip to Spain wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Barcelona.  Take a walk up to the Roman Catholic Church, the Sagrada Familia that boasts a beautiful interior and exterior.  Barcelona cathedral, port and football ground are also worth visiting and we urge you to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic once it gets dark, every night it is lit up in different colours. 

For the best treat of them all, go and see a flamenco show.  The shows can be found anywhere; we personally recommend you head to Seville or Madrid for an un-missable performance that we guarantee will release your inner dancer.  Spontaneous performances can break out anywhere from gypsy weddings to prisons but you’ll still get an authentic show if you pay to see one.  Combine watching a show with food and wine (a ‘tablaos’) or pop into a flamenco bar for a more informal affair of guzzling sangria and dancing your own version of the flamenco. 

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