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March 05, 2018

3 Reasons Why Spain is so Enchanting

Spain

When I was taking courses for my major in Spanish at university, I decided to take a trip to Madrid on a whim. Like many of our guests, my only trip to Spain had been a two day stop in Barcelona, but I quickly learned that there is more to this beautiful country than I ever could have imagined. I fall in love every single time I come back and always find something new to experience and explore. I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the best attractions in Spain, so that you might be able to see what makes this place so enchanting.

Art

Spain is not often on people’s lists of art destinations, but it has some of the most exquisite collections (especially works by Spanish painters) in the world. Madrid alone has the Prado Museum with works by Goya, Velasquez, and El Greco, and the Reina Sofia Museum with more modern works by Picasso and Dalí. Barcelona boasts the Catalonian Art Museum as well as one dedicated to Juan Miró and another to Picasso. Learn the history of the country through works of some of the most influential painters like Guernica by Pablo Picasso detailing the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War or Goya’s El Tres de Mayo depicting the bravery and spirit of Spaniards in the face of Napoleon’s invasion.

Andalusia

  

To immerse yourself in the true spirit of Spain, you have to visit this country’s southwestern region. From the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol to the unique history of the Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra in Granada, Andalucía possess the true essence and full history of the three cultures that influenced the foundations of Spain. The yellow and white washed buildings of Seville are as entrancing as the rhythms of the guitar and the cacophony of the dancers swift moving feet in Flamenco theatres. There is something magical about sitting outside sipping a tinto de verano, feeling the warm summer air enveloping you while sampling cuisine from the vendors at the Mercado Lonja de Barranco along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. This is the same river that originally brought all of the wealth from the New World back to Europe.

Food

 

One of the biggest crazes in American cuisine is the tapas restaurant. These small plates originated as a way to keep flies out of glasses of wine and now can be any small amount of food meant to be shared. If your eyes are often too big for your stomach, Spain is the perfect place to sample a plethora of food without paying a lot of money. Valencia provides the birthplace of the paella, a rice dish cooked with saffron and chicken, seafood, or rabbit. The Central Market in Valencia is a great stop for fresh ingredients to make your own. In between meals, hold yourself over with Manchego cheese and red wines from Rioja or sparkling Cava from Catalonia.

Spain travel caters to a diverse set of interests and experiences. The country can be many things, but I promise you will never find it boring. There are too many sites, culture, and food to absorb in one trip that you'll leave asking for more. The locals may never be in a rush because they know the best way to experience life is to take a slow stroll through the city with people you care about, great food, and if you want, a glass of wine in your hand.

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