Category Archives: Notes from Spain Podcast

The Institute of Cold – Notes from Spain Podcast 69

[Download MP3]

Ben, PaulThis is a podcast in two parts. The first part says ‘hi’ from our balcony here in Madrid, and I fill you in a bit on what we have planned for the coming months.

The second part is a true story about the death of a friend, Paul, pictured standing next to me to the left of this text. It’s a story I’ve really wanted to tell for a long time, but as I explain in the podcast, I thought it was too long to publish straight on the blog as text.

Still, if anyone does want a text version to hang on to for any reason (but please listen to the audio first if you can), you can download a pdf version here.

Thanks and abrazos for Paul, somewhere.

Ramirez and the Spanish Classical Guitar – NFS Podcast 68

[Download MP3]

Ramirez Guitars Workshop, Madrid

The Ramirez family has been making classical and flamenco guitars in Madrid for over 125 years. We visited their workshops in Madrid, spoke to Amalia Ramirez (pictured at work below), and heard a professional musician play one of these world-famous instruments in their shop, near Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.

Listen to the podcast, check out all the photos on Flickr (try the slideshow!), and read on below for more information on everything mentioned in the podcast.

Amalia Ramirez at work

More information: Continue reading

The Cycle Ride of a Lifetime – Notes from Spain Podcast 67

[Download MP3]

Today we talk to Patricia Dawn Severenuk from – who in March 2008 is leading the Trans-Iberian Express, a 1,500 kilometer, 6 week cycle ride from one corner of Spain to the other.

If you would like to ride from the Basque country all the way down to the depths of Andalusia, then guess what, you’re invited! Contact Dawn via her site if you want to join her for some or all of the trip, and if you can’t make it, then you can always follow her progress on the trip via her blog,

Kaliyoga – Starting a Yoga Retreat in Spain – NFS podcast 66

[Download MP3]

Kaliyoga: Jonji, Rosie, Ben and Marina

Photo: Jonathon, Rosie, Ben and Marina, by Fred Shively

This week we talk to Jonathon and Rosie, who set up Kaliyoga, a holistic yoga and detox center in the Alpujarra mountains south of Granada. We talk about the difficulties of setting up a business like this in Spain, how they marketed their new business in the beginning, and the rewards they now reap a few years down the line…

Lanjaron and the Alpujarras – Notes from Spain podcast 65

[Download MP3]

Las Alpujarras

Ben and Marina take a trip to the wonderful Alpujarra mountains south of Granada. We talk to Arpi and Fred Shively – check out Arpi’s blog Andalucid, and Fred’s photos on Flickr.

The image above (large version) is of the view from the track up to the O Sel Ling Buddhist retreat. For more photos that accompany this podcast, click here.

The Bragas Factory – Notes from Spain Podcast 63

[Download MP3]


Retro-casting from our terrace, Ben talks about honesty in bars, gypsies, knickers factories, and the future of tourism in Spain.

Relevant links:

  • BBC news on the closure of the Delphi car parts plant in Cadiz
  • The closure of the knickers factory in Ronda (La Fabrica de las Bragas) harks back to the wonderful Jamon Jamon
  • La costa española es un lugar ideal para venir a morir: Houellebecq on the death of tourism in Spain, in El Pais
  • Discuss the last point, on the future of tourism in Spain, in our forum

Abadia Retuerta Vinyard – Ribera del Duero – Notes from Spain podcast 62

[Download MP3]

Abadia Retuerta vinyard - Ribera del Duero

Ryan from (best Spanish wine info on the net!) thought we might like to spend a day wandering around a vinyard and tasting wine… he was right!

Check out the podcast, and if you would like to visit the abbey and vinyard, full details are available at the Abadia Retuerta website (they also have a wine blog!) Check out more of our photos from the trip here, and view the map below to find out where to locate Sardon del Duero (the vinyard is just to the east of Sardon on the main road – click on the blue marker and use the controls to enlarge). Cheers!

View Larger Map

Patios Competition, Cordoba – Notes from Spain podcast 61

[Download MP3]

Rejas, Cordoba

Marina and I traveled down to Cordoba in May to check out the famous Patios and Rejas competition, when courtyards and windows all over the city are decorated with incredible floral displays.

Further info:

More photos from our trip (flowers galore!) over at Flickr.

Want to make your own salmorejo? Check out our salmorejo recipe and podcast.

We stayed at the simple, and highly recommendable Hotel Marisa and ate and drank wonderful things at Bar Santos, at Magistral Gonzalez Francés 3.

Bar Santos

Escape to Madrid – NFS Podcast 60

[Download MP3]

Ben and Marina chat to Jamie about an interesting way of spending a few months in Spain.

You can read about Jamie’s time in Madrid and subsequent travels on his blog. The organisations he mentions in the podcast are: Twin Work and Volunteer Abroad – the organisation in the UK that helped Jamie find the family placement, and RCI – their sister organisation in Spain – who helped enormously during the ups and downs.

You can talk about this episode, and ask Jamie questions, in this thread in the forum.