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for our companions
travel guide to
many people holiday in Spain; but so few of them actually visit the
country. For the majority of holidaymakers, Spain is about 1200
kilometres long and a kilometre or two wide, a long beach stretching -
with a few interruptions - from Port Bou on the French border, to
Algiciras in the south. It is a country full of airports, modern
tower-block hotels, housing estates, golf courses, towns, motorways
, theme parks, pubs, bars, restaurant, swimming pools and
When Spain banned large advertising hoardings beside rural roads, one
hoarding was deemed too emblematic to get rid of.....
In this Spain, the principal tree seems to be
the palm tree, the main dish paella, the main activity leisure, and the
main smell sun-tan lotion. This is a modern Babel where people speak
many languages, among which Spanish and Catalan are just the two most
widely spoken. In this Spain, you can get a meal at any time
day and often of night too, the bars are always full and have Sky TV or
German channels on the telly, the sun is supposed to shine all day long
(though it doesn't), it's never meant to rain, and life revolves round
the three S's, Sun, Sand and Sea - and often a fourth S too.
About-Spain.net is not too much about that Spain. This is a
guide to the real Spain, an incomplete look at what Spain has to
offer , and how best to take advantage of the fabulous and
travel opportunities that this country provides.
While on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, the tourists often outnumber
the local population, for the rest of Spain that is certainly not the
case. Spain even has some bits of coastline that the Spanish have
managed to keep for themselves - and even then largely for those in the
know. As for inland Spain, it is a whole world waiting to be
discovered. Apart from the area round Madrid, inland Spain is a
sparsely populated area, with a few dozen historic cities, and beyond
them large expanses of agricultural land, prairies and grazing land,
plus hills and mountains with their rivers, streams and lakes.
Spain was once the most powerful nation in Europe, and the
world's greatest colonial power. Some of the great names of Spain's
history - Christopher Columbus or Magellan, for example, have left
their names and exploits to posterity. Today's Spain has many memories
and vestiges of the country's golden past - and also of the darker days
and ways of its history, not to mention the Moorish heritage,
present in Andalucia.
The historic heritage and also the natural
heritage of this large country are among the greatest and most varied
in western Europe.
About-Spain.net is for those who
want to learn a bit more about Spain beyond the beaches, about the
land, its culture, its life, and other bits of useful and practical
information for discerning travellers.
Photo top: the
walled city of Avila - copyright
useful sources of accommodation information: