Tag Archives: Spain

The Essentials To Traveling In Spain

When traveling or moving to Spain, you will want to get some basic information on Spain. There are fifty provinces in the country. The countries largest metro areas are Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga , Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao. Take some time to learn about the region where you will be staying. Reading travel magazines, newspapers and information online will help you get to know the area and culture.

Here’s some information on Spain: Passports and Customs

All of the documentation you will need to display to enter the country depends on your situation. If you are from a non European Union country you will need to show a valid passport to enter Spain. Even then, residents of some countries are required to show a visa.

If you’re a Resident of countries, which are members of the European Economic Community, you’ll need to show national identification documents. A few countries residents must still show a visa with these documents. Contact the Spanish consulate in your home country if you’re not sure what you need. They’ll help you find out what you need.

Becoming familiar with the rules of customs in Spain will save you time and stress when you arrive. For personal items, such as cameras, jewelry, video equipment and similar gear there are no customs charges. Be sure to ask for a receipt for these items at customs to justify your entry with them.

Customs charges and limits on some things apply when entering the country. The limits are on items such as perfume, cigarettes, and wine. If you’ve gone over the limit, you’ll need to pay additional fees. There’s no limit on the amount of money you can bring into Spain. This can be in either Euros or foreign currency.

You can bring your pets through customs, providing that you have the proper documentation. You’ll be asked to show a certificate of origin as well as a health certificate for your pet. You’ll also be mandated to show that the pet has had all necessary vaccines, especially rabies. Your veterinarian must sign the certificates.

Here’s Information on Living in Spain and Spanish Culture

There are variations in the food. Food represents the geographic cultural history of the residents. You’ll see the influence of the Moors in some of the spices used in Spanish cuisine, for example cumin and saffron. The cultural history of the countries peasants can be seen in the delectable soups and stews, as well as in freshly grown vegetables.

A popular dish in the Valencia region is Paella. The original recipe had its beginning in the Spanish Civil War. The original recipe consisted of rabbit, homegrown veggies, and rice. Paella is still popular in this region, as well as in other.

Definite Visits while Traveling Spain

Spain is such a big and beautiful country in Europe that there are so many lovely towns and cities, quiet villages and vibrant resorts to visit that it can be quite overwhelming when one wishes to visit Spain.

However, the best place to start checking out Spain is Barcelona. It is such an exciting and vibrant town that a visitor does not need to worry about being bored. This lively city is never dull and it is a good place to kick off your tour of Spain.

Barcelona

This city is full of life, especially in the summer; there is modernism combined with ancient quarters altogether here. Antoni Gaudi, the renowned architect, has done an amazing job shaping Barcelona alone with his creative architectural designs.

You will be able to view the impressive Casa Batllo as well as the Casa Mila with a leisurely walk along Passeig de Gracia. These ancient castles behold great art designs that are now available for public viewing. The Casa Mila offers a unique experience of enjoying a cocktail at sunset during the summer on its specially designed Alice in Wonderful rooftop. Stroll along the narrow pathways to the ancient quarters that are of Gothic origin to discover the magnificent Gothic Cathedral.

A little out from Barcelona in Figueres lies the most unique and intriguing Northern Spanish museum, which is known as the Dali museum. This masterpiece architecture was specially designed by the Dali himself with amazing art pieces that are a class above.

Barcelona’s coastline, Costa Brava, moves on to the French border to be known as the Mediterranean’s best vacation spot that is unspoiled and exclusive. There is no better place to enjoy vibrancy and life than at Catalonia’s lush and fruitful countryside that is spotted with the best of Spanish vineyards as well as rows of olive groves.

San Sebastian (Donostia)

San Sebastian contains a mixture of cosmopolitan and sophistication for a resort town. It offers the visitor all the desired luxuries that a big city offers on one hand while on the other, San Sebastian has a beautiful Atlantic coastline and beaches that are popular for its soft sand and fun in the sun. San Sebastian is considered the heart and soul that brings on the vibrant life in this Basque area. It has top quality restaurants and tapas bars that serve mouth-watering cuisine. Being strategically located close to the French border allows San Sebastian to enjoy the mix of culture and cuisine of both boundaries that is so unique. Take a bus ride to visit Frank O. Gehry’s home in Bilbao; Gehry designed the spectacular Guggenheim Museum which showcases amazing architectural designs.

Pamplona

This quaint historical town of Pamplona resonates loudly Hemingway’s famous quotes on the dangerous yet adrenaline-pumping bull runs. July would be the best time to visit Pamplona when the famous Bull Run fiesta comes on; it is called the La Fiesta de San Fermin. The fiesta lasts 14 days. The town’s population quickly triples during this time when all that anyone would be found doing here is eating, drinking or dancing anywhere and anytime until the next bull running.

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Why Traveling Independently Makes Sense

There is a changing tide in the travel industry. Traditionally massive package holiday companies have block booked villas, hotels, flights, tours and coach transfers from and to the airport. Individuals have lost out and the environment has been harmed Local economies have not experienced the full economic benefits of tourism. Today and in the future we will see change and the overwhelming trend is towards independent travel.

The independent traveler is on the scene and with the arrival and growth of the internet individuals no longer need accept a tin sardine holiday. The arrival of cheap airlines has helped persons make considerable savings by booking early and travelling in the low season and in the middle of the week. There has been more and more one way tickets purchased. The modern traveler wants more flexibility and will often extend or shorten their trips depending on how much they are enjoying themselves.

The reliance on packaged holidays has caused severe pressures on the infrastructure and environment of holiday hot spots like the Algarve and Majorca, Spain. Their ability to monopolise the accommodation market and dictate pricing has not only created ghost towns that are virtually deserted for most of the year, it has also conned thousands of people with misleading real estate opportunities and created a housing bubble and surplus as well as unnecessarily spoiling miles of coastline.

There are huge benefits in renting holiday villa accommodation with the owners direct over accepting a tin sardine holiday. There are fewer middle men taking their hefty commissions for renting the villa, apartment or hotel room to you. You can save money when these savings are passed on. You get to choose exactly which property you are renting. Rather than rely on massive companies often poor investigation and selection procedures you can personally speak with the owner of a rental property and satisfy yourself that the arangement is of superior value and high standard.

The idependent traveller has far greater freedom to change their plans and discover spontaneously. The trend towards independent travel has colossal benefits for the environment and local economies. Instead of profits being siphoned off into the already inflated bank accounts of mammoth corporations, small businesses and the local economy get a bigger slice of the pie. The season is extended as independent travelers take advantage of lower prices and less competition in the shoulder and low seasons.

Independent holiday makers travel further afield and to more diverse locations off the beaten path. Instead of large concentrations of people arriving in a single location in July or August the independent traveler will venture elsewhere reducing the environmental footprint and helping the economies of more rural economies.

In the traditional package holiday situation tradition and culture were at best artificial spectacles such as a flamenco night in Tenerife and at worst local people have felt exploited and tourists unwelcome. The mammoth companies keep sending the tourists and in locations such as Majorca where the package still rules restaurant proprietors needn’t worry about reputation or providing value for money because tomorrow a new load of pale faced tourists will be arriving.

With independent travel one is free. Free to choose, free to move, free to travel onwards, to follow ones intuition, to enjoy and interact with the local people, to see the real culture and to travel in a more environmentally sustainable way that benefits the local people and their economy.

Traveling To Europe How To Overcome The Language Barrier Once You Have Your Airline Tickets

So you’ve got your airline tickets and you’re ready to embark on what is sure to be a great trip. Clutching your airline tickets in hand your happiness soon comes to a standstill–you don’t speak anything but English. Then you remembered your agent at the travel agency kind of giggled when you said you didn’t speak any other languages. Now you’re nervous. Sure, it can be quite intimidating traveling to a foreign land without any knowledge of the native language, but there are things you can do to overcome the language barrier. If you’re traveling to Spain and don’t know anything besides the few words you learned in your high school Spanish class, you’re not going to miraculously pick it up in time for your trip. But that doesn’t mean that you’re stranded. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind while you’re on your European vacation.

1) When speaking, say things slowly and annunciate. Choose your easy words and pronounce each letter. Avoid using contractions. Speaking louder isn’t going to help someone understand you–they’re not deaf, they just don’t speak your language. So if you speak slowly and pronounce words fully, you’re more likely to be understood.

2) Don’t use slang. Slang is something that will baffle Europeans. Imagine learning English out of a textbook or classroom, and then coming to America only to find that everything you learned from your book is useless–slang is like a whole different language.

3) Keep your messages short and sweet. Instead of saying, “Excuse me sire, you would be so kind to take our photo?”, make the noun act as the entire sentence, i.e. “Photo?”.

4) Use words that are internationally understood. Telling someone you’re on vacation will probably elicit a blank stare. Holiday is used in Britan, and is more likely to get you a reaction. Toilet is also another universally understood word. Use words that are direct and simple, and you’re more likely to be understood.

5) Don’t be afraid of looking silly. It’s inevitable. Butchering the language is ok, at least your making an attempt to communicate in the native language, instead of arrogantly expecting everyone to speak English. (Europeans hate that.) Use body language if you must. Turn your quest for understanding into a game of charades.

6) Be a language detective–figure things out. Most European languages stem from or were influenced by Latin, so they all have a similar strain. Practice your understanding by studying the newspaper, brochures, even graffiti in bathrooms. It’s like a word puzzle. The more you play with it and experiment, the better you get.

7) Keep a small notebook and pen with you. If worse comes to worse, writing down the native words you’re trying to say and showing them to the person you’re trying to communicate with could help you tremendously.

8) Make educated guesses. Like a multiple choice test, choose the best option as you see it, and go with confidently.