Spain


Oh sunny Spain! It really is a beauty. It is modern yet full of historical character. You can experience all four seasons. You have beaches, you have mountains. You have cities full of art and life and you have idyllic villages with cobblestone pathways, maze-like narrow streets, mansions with heavenly courtyards, which could have jumped out of 1001 Nights stories. That’s why in many ways I find Spain to be very similar to my home country, Turkey despite all the many differences that also exist.

You find something you need and something different in every corner of Spain. No two regions are the same here. You may even feel like you are visiting completely different countries when you see Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, Andalucia…They are all wonders in their own.I have to put Seville on the top of my favourite cities in the world list. The city of Carmen is full of elegance and good-looking people, exotic houses and beautiful orange trees. Simply stunning!

Even though Spain has not been in peace with its Moorish, Jewish and Muslim past by building a tasteless chapel (no disrespect to chapels, I am referring to the style of this particular one) in the middle of one of the most important geometric and architectural world heritages, La Mezquita in Cordoba and by including pork products in every single food item, the dominance of the rich Moorish history is visible. The graceful Moorish minarets are converted into church bell towers. The intricate Andalucian houses and palaces have been inspired by Moorish architecture.

Ironically, in the minds of many, what makes Spain, Spain is Andalucia…the flamenco (with a Moorish, Jewish, Gypsy, Muslim past), the Al Hambra Palace, La Mezquita so on and so forth. And of course, the cruel bullfights. Many Spaniards are still passionately devoted to this barbaric tradition of pain, blood and animal cruelty.

Of course, it would be unfair not to mention Gaudi’s extraordinary architectural work in Barcelona as well as the Spaniards’ devotion to artistic innovation such as Park Guell.It is difficult not to appreciate the artistic depth of Barcelona and its people, especially if you visit the town after reading “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Another artistic and literary marvel from Spain…

It is really a massive shame that the beautiful cost of Costa del Sol has been contaminated with tacky and crowded hotels.Spain offers something for everyone and it is a place I could seriously consider habiting. My only concern would be the food. Even though the Mediterranean climate gifts Spain with an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables, the dominance of meat products in the cuisine may make it hard for vegetarians to survive there.

The rock country of Gibraltar, which is a small piece of land attached to Spain but belongs to the UK is a place to visit only out of curiosity. Here, you find a mini UK in the middle of Spain with a bilingual population. Besides the caves and the monkeys, which roam freely on this big piece of rock, there isn’t really anything new to experience here. Only a source of political frustration for the Spaniards and a stubborn strong-hold for the British…

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