Spain is a tremendously popular tourist destination with a host of diverse attractions from city breaks to sun, sea and sand on the beach. The country has a superb climate nearly all year round and is easily accessible by many forms of transport. Package deals make Spain easy to explore for anyone of any age but with English speaking guides who know a great deal about the more popular sights in the country. But what if you don’t want to be park of the flock and visit places that are not so touristy?
English is spoken by many younger Spaniards, but to go beyond Flamenco and Castanets’ one firstly needs to have some ability to speak Spanish. Spain is a country that Spaniards are proud of and when exploring, the true passion and love for the country really emerges through the use of language. Being able to speak to the locals, beyond just getting directions, opens up so much more about any country and Spain is one of those countries that, just when you think you have seen it all, you discover something new.
Take the Wamba Ossuary. “An Ossuary?” I hear you say. In simple terms, an Ossuary is the resting place of human remains, and the Wamba Ossuary is one of the best in the world, and yet not too many people know about it. The collection of bones goes back to the 12th or 13th Century and the bones were transported to Wamba in the 1800’s and the place became a national historic site in the early 1930’s. Speaking Spanish at this unique attraction will allow you to hear the stories and tales that many may not get to hear making the visit that much more memorable.
Speaking Spanish opens up the country and its people to you. If dead bodies are not your thing, then a visit to a Spanish wine estate to sample some of the best wines in the world takes on a whole new meaning because you can ask questions to the people, farm workers who may have some interesting tales to tell. Wine and conversation go hand in hand and being able to converse in Spanish makes a wine tasting experience something memorable.
Having some control of the Spanish language allows a tourist to see the real Spain, whether you choose to spend some time in Madrid or Barcelona or even a small town in an area away from tourists and other travellers, language opens up a special adventure. Exploring how Spaniards live and work, visiting different suburbs, exploring by public transport and striking up a conversation with a stranger can lead to some fun and memorable times that without the language could never before be imagined. If you would like to learn Spanish before you go on your adventure, give VLLC a call!
The onset of winter in Spain during the last quarter of the year does not necessarily mean that fiestas Spain end during the month of November. A number of regional and national cultural fiestas and celebrations take place around Spain throughout the month of November alongside festivals that attract fans of film, music, and a myriad of forms of entertainment. It does not matter whether you would like to spend your time at a community celebration or just be inside a concert hall or theatre. One thing that is for sure is that there is plenty for you to do during the month of November in Spain. Here is a look at some of the main festivals and fiestas that you can take part in here in Spain for the month of November.
The Roman Catholic All Saints’ Day celebrated on November 1 is a major national holiday in Spain today. It serves as the best time for you to reflect on your life and remember your family and friends who have passed on. Those Spaniards who celebrate this day often attend masses at the local cemeteries where they give offerings to the dead such as flowers. Once the sombre mood is over, the atmosphere turns rather upbeat as people celebrate the good memories of the dead with traditional foods. This national festival is a time for remembering the dead, and is apt for the time of year. It is autumn and when nature dies little by little and prepares for winter.
There are many traditions connected with this time of year including gastronomic ones which brings us to the festival of the La Castañeda. In times gone by “la castañada” was celebrated after the family evening meal, the dinner would include roasting chestnuts and other goodies in an open hearth which where part of the ancient funeral meals. Nowadays the first Castaneros (roasted chestnut sellers) can be found on many street corners as the weather shows the first signs of the cold with winter ahead.
Secondly, Spain also becomes a major hotspot for Jazz during the month of November. The major cities of Barcelona and Madrid host major festivals that last all through the month of November every other year. The Barcelona Jazz Festival organizes concerts all throughout the month. Alongside Jazz, this festival also attracts world music, soul, rock, and fusion artists who come to grace different fiestas Spain has during this month.
Wine is part of the daily life for many people in Spain today and as such, many festivals in Spain dedicate festivals to celebrate local wine production Wine production is usually celebrated during the second week of the month of November. Visitors therefore have the opportunity to sample many of the countries best known wines alongside a range of local foods while enjoying performances and other festivities during November. Apart from food and wine, the locals can also be heard making a a lot of noise using contraptions made from old pots, pans, and cans. You can experience real Spain by learning Spanish at VLLC.
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.