Spanish travel stories;

August 1st, 2010

Travelling around Spain on a scooter

Entertaining video from the Guardian here showing a woman travelling around rural Almeria on a Vespa scooter.

Best tapas bars in Palma de Mallora

The Guardian has this article on the best tapas bars and bodegas in Palma de Mallorca, home to an an impressive ranges of good eateries. I particularly liked the sound of Bodega Bellver:
Tucked up a side street around the corner from the theatre, Bellver is about as far away from Palma’s gleaming 21st- century tapas bars as it’s possible to imagine. Dark and shadowy, with shelves lined with dusty bottles and wine barrels, and rickety wooden tables scattered around the small space, it is steeped in history, atmosphere and the smell of spicy pork frying on the tiny grill beside the bar. Order up icy beers and pinchos and settle into a slice of unchanged Mallorquin life.

Trekking in the Sierra Nevada in June

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4660213865_9357f49ce4.jpg I enjoyed this post on the iberianatureforum by Maria: Outside the tapas bars of Lanjaron temperatures reached 30 degrees. 2500m above we donned our duvet jackets as an icy wind tore across the white snow filled plateau. Such are the contrasts this year in southern Spain’s Sierra Nevada, a legacy of the worst winter weather in living memory. Read the original story here:

Travel guide to Osana

Good review of the county of Osana here from Barcelona writing. On food of Osona
Pork and its by-products may be the most emblematic food of the county, but Osona has much else to offer gastronomes. The truffle (trufa), a black mushroom that grows underground and is highly prized, and a wide range of bolets (Catalan mushrooms) including pinetell, rovelló, rossinyol, cep and fredolic are found locally, as are the white beans (mongetes) of the Collsacabra Mountains, characterised by their small size. For dessert, the pa de pessic de Vic (sponge cake) is worth trying as are the regional cheeses, curds, honey and jam.

Snowshoeing trip in the Sierra Nevada

Interesting post about a recent snowshoeing trip in the Sierra Nevada by Maria of Spanish Highs on the forum. “Difficult snow conditions and at times blizzard conditions made it an epic and, at times, very testing journey… Read here

The Camín Real de la Mesa

paisaje_con_cabaas_425 The Camín Real de la Mesa, is an ancient Roman trail linking Asturias and León, and forms a tributary of the famous Ruta de la Plata. The trail takes you through some of the most spectacular, least-known scenery in Europe. “For centuries the Camín was one of the few points of contact between the provinces of León and Asturias. It is essentially Roman in construction, but the route has been used for trade for 5,000 years, traversing a mountain range with peaks of 2,000m, reaching into some of Spain’s most wildly beautiful and otherwise inaccessible landscapes. More from the Guardian Looks very tempting.

Peninsular War battle sites

Vimeiro If exploring battle sites of the Peninsular War is your thing this site gives a comprehensive and well written treatment of the different places involved with maps included.

La Alhambra receives most tourists in Spain

According to El País, La Alhambra in Granada has been named the most popular tourist attraction in 2009, beating the Sagrada Familia into second place and El Prado, third.

English Tourists shun Spain because it’s ‘no longer foreign enough’”

The relentless spread of English bars in coastal resorts is eroding Spain’s attraction as a holiday destination because Britons no longer consider it foreign enough. The Times. Picked up on Notes from Spain here who note it says a lot more about the Brits (who aren’t aware of strange out-of-the-way places like, say Madrid) than Spain…

Sheep farming in Granada

BBC radio documentary with author Chris Stewart talking about sheep shearing and farming in Granada . Listen here

Secret Spain

Sandi Toksvig talks here on the BBC’s Excess Baggage to two Hispanophile and an Extremaduran about parts of Spain that are often underrated or still relatively undiscovered; green northern landscapes that look just like Cornwall, a western province with fields of sweet pímenton; a southern desert used as a film set for spaghetti westerns and a Balearic island named after an ancient god of dance, Bez. Listen here

Truffle farming in Castellón

BBC’s Radio 4 travels programme Excess Baggage looks at the province of Castellón. where Jason Webster has created, with his Spanish wife, not only a home but a garden in an area ravaged by fire and drought. Jason wrote an account of his dream come true story in a new book entitled Sacred Sierra, A Year on a Spanish Mountain. Listen here Jason Webster’s journey to Spain culminated in him setting up life as a truffle farmer on a sacred mountain. The Guardian.