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Old 31st May 2009, 10:32 AM   #61
greytop
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We should also remember that the "enclaves" where these groups (not just British) gravitate to were built by mainly Spanish developers, encouraged by Spanish local councils. All sense of architectural sensibility, sustainability and even common sense was lost in the rush to build huge urbanisations where most locals would not want to live.
Even though I do not live in one of these places, I can also attest as to how difficult it is to "integrate" into a local culture. Yes, I could have made more effort perhaps, spent a lot more time or money on lessons, immersion courses, intercambios. I chose to stop after a couple of years for personal reasons so now I can "manage" most things but do little very well (linguistically). I should also learn another language to fit in locally as this is a Valencian speaking area.
In common with many expats though I do contribute to the economy of Spain in no small measure, despite being denied the vote as to how they spend my money.
Right, rant over - time for a look at the papers. Now should I buy an English one or a Spanish ......
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Old 3rd June 2009, 02:18 PM   #62
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Funny, there are a lot of Spaniards who want to live in Miami or Los Angeles for the exact same reasons -- Majority Spanish-speaking community where speaking English is unnecessary to live or work. Eva, I hope you're not one of those Spaniards who assumes that everything Spanish is perfect and everything Anglo is "cheap and disgusting."
Hi, not really. I'm Spanish, but married to a British guy, living in England and working in an English environment. Only speak Spanish to my mother, so I would be very unhappy if I thought like that. All my friends here are British or English speaker, and only know a couple of Spanish people I do not see too often. I am integrated, thank you so much.

We are far from perfect, just as British are. We have good and bad things, just a British have. But I have to say that I'm too used to seeing "cheap and disgusting" British tourism without any kind of respect towards the host.

For me it's simply a matter or good manners. It doesn't matter whether you are LIVING abroad or just VISITING.

Unfortunately many people do not seem to have good manners anymore. Drinking until you fall on the floor, stripping and taking a bath naked in a public fountain, dressing up like nuns and making abscene gestures towards the natives, such happened only a week ago in Greece is not funny and only shows a total lack of respect towards your hosts.

Yes,... there were British on a stag trip.

I like my drink, but I don't find any amusement in people who only know how to get drunk, not how to drink. I like having a good time, but not at the expense of others. I like a good joke, but find it unsulting when they are attacking public order with obscenity.

Not all British people are like that, but that is what I mean by "Cheap and disgusting", and unfortunately you have plenty of that, just as you have well educated and nice people.

Hope you will see my point.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 02:44 PM   #63
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We should also remember that the "enclaves" where these groups (not just British) gravitate to were built by mainly Spanish developers, encouraged by Spanish local councils. All sense of architectural sensibility, sustainability and even common sense was lost in the rush to build huge urbanisations where most locals would not want to live.
Even though I do not live in one of these places, I can also attest as to how difficult it is to "integrate" into a local culture. Yes, I could have made more effort perhaps, spent a lot more time or money on lessons, immersion courses, intercambios. I chose to stop after a couple of years for personal reasons so now I can "manage" most things but do little very well (linguistically). I should also learn another language to fit in locally as this is a Valencian speaking area.
In common with many expats though I do contribute to the economy of Spain in no small measure, despite being denied the vote as to how they spend my money.
Right, rant over - time for a look at the papers. Now should I buy an English one or a Spanish ......
Greytop, I agree with you. But you have to remember that in the 60's and 70's, when most of those monstruosities were built, Spain was a very poor country ("el grano del culo del mundo"), so people did stupid things in order to get money, easy money. If foreigners were willing to pay for sun and ugly buildings, we would make them.

It saddens me, but I completely understand why it was done. We have changed a lot in all these years, and if my grandmother lost 4 of her 8 children due to poor life conditions, my mother has seen her 2 children grow healthy and get University degrees. We are conscious of the change.

We have seen greedy promoters, city councils and a lot of "unte", which simply gets me mad, but you also have it in many of your beautiful areas. I think this is something to fight against when the location is so nice that needs to be protected, and it's a global issue.

Anyway, that is not the point of what I'm saying. I simply believe that if you LIVE, but even when you visit a foreigner country, you should try to integrate, learn a bit of the language and culture, getting to meet natives... And not simply limit yourselves to those terrible "Little Britains" which have invaded our coasts. For me is a basic manner to show some interest for the place and its people. And the problem is that a lot of British don't show these basic manners. Have you seen "Benidorm", the TV series? My point, exactly.

I can understand that, if people are only staying for a couple of weeks they do not bother to learn the language, but I cannot understand nor condone this when you are actually living in the place. You might know other expats, but you should also have native friends and speak in Spanish. If you have no other way out than to speak the language to communicate because nobody understands you, let me tell you, you will learn very fast.

As per not being able to vote, you are not alone, it happens to me and to all foreigners living in another country. You could always adopt the nationality, though

Please do not take my comments as a personal attack, particularly if you are one of those British who actually like and respect our culture. If not... well, I don't really mind how you take it
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Old 17th June 2009, 10:40 AM   #64
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Funny, there are a lot of Spaniards who want to live in Miami or Los Angeles for the exact same reasons -- Majority Spanish-speaking community where speaking English is unnecessary to live or work. Eva, I hope you're not one of those Spaniards who assumes that everything Spanish is perfect and everything Anglo is "cheap and disgusting."
A thing is the communities of foreigners that are mainly the Hispanics in cities like Miami in United States. Even so, most of that people, mainly the youths, speak English and Spanish. Then the Spaniards are people that when they will live to another country they are integrated in that country, I recommend you that you see Spanish in the world" (Spaniards in the world) in the First Chain of Spanish Television.
But the Englishmen, and Anglo-Saxon in general that come to Spain they think that because the English language is very international the other ones should speak to it and that is not this way, I believe that you are very mistaken.
Lastly, for the Spaniards the Anglo-Saxon products are not repugnant, I don't know of where you take out that deduction. Some of the main tourist points of the Spaniards are London, they love London and they buy many things there, and for via internet myself has also, videogames and computer products bought to England. Maybe you confuse the Spaniards with the Hispanics.
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Old 17th June 2009, 02:34 PM   #65
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Just going to London is like just going to Malaga, Costa Brava etc: there is SO much more to our country.

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Then the Spaniards are people that when they will live to another country they are integrated in that country
That's a very sweeping statement and in my experience not entirely true. I've met quite a few Spanish students that liked to stay in their own groups. But I'm sure just like Brits, there are plenty that *do* integrate perfectly well (como aquellos que se ven en aquella programa en la television) y son bienvenidos

por cierto, "I don't know of where you take out that deduction" => "I don't know how you reached that conclusion" o quiza "I don't know how you deduced that"
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Old 6th August 2009, 02:07 AM   #66
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We started coming to Spain about 10 years ago. My husband plays guitar and we heard Paco de Lucia here in Texas. Then my husband fell his head and couldn't remember anything, so to keep him from getting depressed I brought books on Spain to the neuro-ICU and we planned a trip to Spain...over and over, since he couldn't remember anything. Then he got better and we actually came to Spain, mostly Andalucia. Now we come every couple of years because we love the sense of alegria and the music and the flamenco. We like being able to travel on trains and buses and stay in pensiones and hostales...Spain on the cheap. We like it that if you are on a bus and don't know where to get off, everyone notices and will help you. Oh yes, and we love the food.
We plan to return in September with friends and visit a couple of off-the-beaten path towns: Ecija and Jubrique. I hope my Notes in Spanish will be a good review. The accents in the south of Spain are really tough for someone from the south of the US. If I want to try to write this in Spanish where should I post it?
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Old 6th August 2009, 08:31 AM   #67
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.... If I want to try to write this in Spanish where should I post it?
Anywhere you like really if you don't mind answers in any language. If you want posts only in Spanish then in En Español, ¿Hablamos?
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Old 7th August 2009, 02:20 AM   #68
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He escrito este en ingles antes. Ahora tratare de escribirlo Espanol. Muchas gracias si alguien puede corrigirlo.

Mi marido y yo vimos a Espana por la primera vez cuando el estaba recuperando de un golpe a su cabeza y no podia acordarse de nada. Mi marido toca la guitarra y habemos oido Paco de Lucia aqui en Texas.
Traje muchas libros sobre Espana al hospital y pasabamos mucho tiempo planeando nuestra viaje...los mismo planes cada dia pues que el no se podia recordarlos.
Por fin el se mejoraba y viajamos a Espana. Hemos visitado 6 o 7 veces ahora.
Nos gusta la gente, la comida, la alegria, los autobuses y trenes y pensiones y hostales. Vamos a Espana en Septiembre primeramente a Andalucia. Vamos a Ecija y Jubrique para nuestras lugares nuevos de esta viaje. Quisiera oir de alguien que ha visitado estos pueblos.

Y muchas gracias a Greytop por su ayuda y a Ben y Marina por este website estupendo.
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Old 7th August 2009, 07:14 AM   #69
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He escrito estoe en inglées antes. Ahora tratare de escribirlo en Eespañnol. Muchas gracias si alguien puede correigirlo.

Mi marido y yo vinimomos a Españna por la primera vez cuando eél estaba recuperáandose de un golpe a en su cabeza y no podíia acordarse de nada. Mi marido toca la guitarra y habeíamosmos oiído a Paco de Lucia aquíi en Texas.
Traje muchoas libros sobre Españna al hospital y pasáabamos mucho tiempo planeando nuestroa viaje...los mismos planes cada díia puesto que eél no se podíia recordarlos.
Por fin el se mejoró/comenzó a mejoraraba y viajamos a Españna. Hemos visitado España 6 o 7 veces por/hasta ahora.
Nos gusta la gente, la comida, la alegríia, los autobuses y trenes y pensiones y hostales. Vamos a Españna en Septiembre, primeramente ( y por primera vez a...) a Andalucíia. Vamos a EÉcija y Jubrique para nuestroas lugares nuevos de estea viaje (Vamos a Écija y Jubrique por primera vez, pues son sitios nuevos para nosotros). Quisiera oíir de (a) alguien que haya visitado estos pueblos.

Y muchas gracias a Greytop por su ayuda y a Ben y Marina por este website (página web/foro) estupendo.
Una historia muy bonita
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Old 7th August 2009, 12:07 PM   #70
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Maybe you confuse the Spaniards with the Hispanics.
Another broad, sweeping generalization we should avoid making. I descend from a spaniard and a hispanic and I can tell you that I enjoy experiencing other cultures and do not have a dying need to stick with my own.
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:35 PM   #71
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The first open question about reasons for learning Spanish has had some wonderful responses, so I thought it might be interesting to ask a similar question about Spain...

What first brought you to Spain? What kept you coming back? Why do you love it so much? What's special about the country?

Share your Spain story here!
La primera vez cuando yo visitaba España era porque quise mostrar mis hijos otros lugares de nuestro parte de nuestro país. Hace casi cinco años, visitabamos a Nice, Francia, entonces ibamos en coche a Elche. Hay una buena familia allí, y nos enseñó mucho cuando nos quedamos con ustedes.

Creo que está bien que ellos he aprendido que hay lugares diferentes que nuestros.

Esta vez, he visitado mi hijo. Es un estudiante en Madrid, y ha disfrutado mucho su tiempo aquí. Tambien ha aprendido mucho mas que puede sin vivir aquí tanto tiempo. Desafortunadamente, él es el único de mis hijos que quiere vive afuera de casa por ahora. Es posible que a mi hija le gustaría venir a España por un mes, mas o menos. Le gusta nuestro viaje aquí, pero no está segura sobre vivir lejos de casa por mucho tiempo. Quizás por poco tiemp, no lo sé ahora.

Mi hijo mayor visita conmigo esta vez, pero ¡de ninguna manera viviría tan lejos de casa!

En todo caso, ahora nos gusta mucho España, y quizás visitarlo mas en el futuro.
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Old 30th January 2010, 01:00 AM   #72
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¡¡¡GRACIAS!!!!

Tengo que decir que una de las cosas que realmente me disgustan de muchos Británicos es esa superioridad de "no tengo que aprender el idioma del sitio donde vivo, ellos pueden hablar Inglés", o el no mezclarse con los nativos y vivir en "Little Englands" con sus propios alcaldes, pueblos, tiendas, bares, periódicos, radios... eso no es vivir en España, es tan sólo robar tierra al país y crear una copia del vuestro pero con buen tiempo. Me apena mucho saber que hemos perdido tanta área principalmente en nuestras costas de esta forma.

Me alegro muchísimo de ver que hay algunos -aunque me temo que muy pocos- Británicos que no nos miran como inferiores y que no sólo vienen por el sol, para emborracharse, ligar, faltar al público y quejarse de que no hablamos buen Inglés.

Ojalá hubiera más como tú, Dough, el turismo Británico realmente es demasiado barato y penoso en demasiadas zonas de España, y no me importa el dinero que pueda dejar si a cambio tenemos que soportar este tipo de gentuza.

Siempre me ha molestado este tipo de turismo, y creo que incluso cuando estás de visita, es de básica educación el respetar a tus anfitriones.

¡Un beso, y a ver si hay más como tú!
Eva

--------------------------------------

THANKS!!!

I have to say that one of the things that I really find disgusting in many British people is that supperiority of yours, like "I don´t have to learn the language of the place where I live, they can speak English", or that not mixing up with the natives and live in "Little Englands" with your own local representants, villages, shops, pubs, papers, radio channels... This is not living in Spain, it´s simply taking land from the country and create a copy of your own but with good weather. I´m terribly sad that we have lost so much area particularly in our coast like this.

I´m very happy to see that there are some -although I fear very few- British that do not look at us as inferior people and that don´t come only for the sun, to get drunk, to be a public annoyance and to compain that we cannot speak good English.

I wish there were more like you, Dough, British tourism is really cheap and disgusting in too many areas in Spain, and I don´t care about the money it might leave behind if we have to suffer this kind of rabble.

I always feel upset by this kind of tourism, and believe that even if you are simply visiting the place, it is basic manners to respect your hosts.

A kiss for you, and I hope there will be more like you!
Eva
Evamar, although it is an expression of scorn and bad education toward Spain and the Spaniards, it doesn't bother me that the foreigners: British, German, Nordic etc lives in its guettos, that is already problem of them. But I don't like those people that live in Spain during many years and they don't know how to speak nothing of Spanish, only they say some loose words and that if it is a serious lack of respect to the country that welcomes them but also a serious problem for them, because if it happens them some problem, they need help etc but they cannot communicate, and that in some moment can even mean the difference between the life and the death.
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Old 25th February 2010, 05:01 PM   #73
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The first open question about reasons for learning Spanish has had some wonderful responses, so I thought it might be interesting to ask a similar question about Spain...

What first brought you to Spain? What kept you coming back? Why do you love it so much? What's special about the country?

Share your Spain story here!
My mother and I had been planning a trip to Barcelona to see the art and architecture but this was put on hold for about two years. Eventually we decided to go to Spain for two weeks last summer as a graduation trip for my brother. When we landed in Bilbao I immediately fell in love with the place… and as we went on to Barcelona and Valencia it didn’t take long for me to realise that Spain was indeed my favourite European country. The culture, the food, the lifestyle – everything just seemed to resonate with my personality, my upbringing and what I wanted out of life.

While I was there, I felt much more at home than I ever have in England – this despite the fact that I've been here for about four years now. I guess a large part of it is cultural differences, for instance I tend to speak very bluntly/directly and it gets tiresome when I have to mask everything with the standard niceties that everyone is expected to use.

I have no qualms eating lunch at 2 and dinner at 9, I tend to sleep quite late (1-2 am), absolutely adore food and strongly believe that meals should always be social occasions as well. I don't know if my body clock is just naturally attuned to the Spanish way because I struggle to do work between 2-4pm and usually get a boost around 10 at night.

In hindsight I suppose there is also a connection that goes back quite a long way... while I was growing up in Hong Kong, one of my favourite home-cooked meals was a beautifully simple recipe that my housekeeper brought from the Philippines. I never knew its name until I went to Spain last June, when I discovered that all this time I had been eating tortilla española without realizing what it really was!! Similarly, my first experience of Spanish was with some of 5,000 loanwords in the Filipino/Tagalog language, simple ones like "kumusta" (from "cómo está") and "gwapo/a". The Philippines were ruled by Spain for over 300 years so it's no surprise that the Spanish influence runs deep.
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Old 5th June 2010, 07:24 AM   #74
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Evamar, although it is an expression of scorn and bad education toward Spain and the Spaniards, it doesn't bother me that the foreigners: British, German, Nordic etc lives in its guettos, that is already problem of them. But I don't like those people that live in Spain during many years and they don't know how to speak nothing of Spanish, only they say some loose words and that if it is a serious lack of respect to the country that welcomes them but also a serious problem for them, because if it happens them some problem, they need help etc but they cannot communicate, and that in some moment can even mean the difference between the life and the death.
Is it really a lack or respect or just human nature, though? Are we too quick to judge, and to assume we know others' intentions?

My great-grandparents came to the US from the Azores and Brazil as young adults, and settled in Massachusetts, which has an enormous Portuguese immigrant population. They proceeded to live there the rest of their lives without ever speaking English. Why? Because they didn't have to. And for whatever reason, they didn't want to. It's hardly a British thing, or an English-language thing. It's actually pretty common. A lot of people are like water -- they go with the flow and seek the path of least resistance.

Here in New Mexico we have lots of people who speak no English as well. You can get by just fine here without it, and for those who are too nervous to make the plunge into a new language or lack incentive, it's just easier not to. And it doesn't necessarily even hold you back, socially or economically. I hate to clean -- just hate it -- so when I could afford it, I hired a maid. She's Mexican, only speaks the barest survival English. But she rolls up in a better car than I will ever hope to drive -- and not always the same one every week! (Seriously. I'm in the wrong line of work.) So she is obviously getting what she wants out of life without having to stray out of her comfort zone too much. It's not my business, and I don't judge her for it. It may be hard for those of us who are interested in learning a new language to fathom not caring to, but everyone has different interests, goals, and priorities.
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Old 17th June 2010, 09:38 PM   #75
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I first wanted to go to Spain as undergraduate to study there for a year, but wasn’t able to. However, what sold me on going to Spain were the Spaniards that I met in the U.S. who were living there, studying, or just visiting. So, when I was able, I took a trip to Spain and plan to return when I can.

Also, I’d like to add that many foreigners, wherever they are, may never learn to speak the local language to the satisfaction of natives who want to judge them as human beings based on their linguistic skills. Simply living in a country, desiring to speak the language, and putting the effort into learning is no guarantee of achieving any particular level of fluency. Some people are more gifted with languages than others, and some may be too busy working three or four jobs to support themselves and may not have the time, etc.

“No todo el monte es orégano porque la vida aunque parece muy sencilla luego es muy complicada” (Sabiduría de un ganador nato)


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The first open question about reasons for learning Spanish has had some wonderful responses, so I thought it might be interesting to ask a similar question about Spain...

What first brought you to Spain? What kept you coming back? Why do you love it so much? What's special about the country?

Share your Spain story here!
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Old 12th August 2010, 08:56 AM   #76
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I admire the man Juan Antonio Samaranch,the former president of the Olympic Committee.
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Old 30th August 2010, 11:41 AM   #77
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Not an easy thing to put into words.........
Love the weather, the people, the food, the smell of the air and everytime I step off the plane on my way to visit my Mum, my heart lifts and I relax.
I wish every day I could return for good but instead I stay here and earn and save and try to learn more Spanish and I WILL get back there one day!
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Old 30th August 2010, 03:05 PM   #78
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Not an easy thing to put into words............
Two friends came out yesterday after a stressful 6 months with business and house moving getting on top of them. After sitting this morning for an hour and a half in a local plaza with coffee followed by a beer, you could almost hear the tension falling away.
Good luck with the dream!
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Old 25th September 2010, 06:21 PM   #79
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I have family living in Spain, but had never been. My sister in law would send her children to spend the summers with me in Canada when they were young so they could learn English. I started taking a few spanish lessons to make it easier for them, fell in love with the language and finally went to the sunny Costa del Sol for the first time 6 years ago. What's not to love....good food, awesome sombras (coffee), spectacular views, and they just generally take the time to enjoy life more. What is better than a tinto de verano, plate of olives and a couple of tapas sitting outside on the patio at the beach? I have been back twice, the most recent was less than a week ago. Previously my Spain travels were mostly in Andalucia... Seville, Granada, Marbella, Ronda etc. This visit, I was trying to decide between Barcelona and Madrid and finally decided on Barcelona. I was robbed before I even made it to the hotel, and although that put a damper on things, even that couldn't ruin the beauty of the city. Next time, I will definitely be visiting Madrid and perhaps Asturias. That's the beauty of the country, 3 visits later, and there is still much I haven't seen.
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Old 10th October 2010, 03:38 AM   #80
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I see this is an old thread but what the heck? I'll answer the original question too.

What brought me to Spain? While a sophmore in college I saw posters for studying abroad. and since I was a Spanish major, Spain seemed to be the perfect choice for a place to learn Spanish. So, I applied, was accepted and spent my junior year of college in Madrid. and while I was rather homesick, it didn't stop me from seeing the sites and learning about this enchanting country with its many varied cities. I have a soft spot for Madrid too since I lived there an entire school year.

Last May I took my husband and 10 year old daughter on a 15 day trip through Spain. I had talked about it so much over the years that my husband said one day years ago "so when are you taking me?" And that began our saving for our trip this past May. And, ever since we had been trying to figure out a way to go back for our 20th anniversary in March 2011. Well, we figured it out and I've already booked our flights and I can hardly wait!!! We will fly into Malaga and spend 3 nights. then take the AVE to Madrid and spend 4 more nights. Both hotels are reserved already too. I can't wait!!!!

me encanta España.....it's hard to put into words. It is the architecture, the mountains, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, its very generous and warm people, the food, the squares.....the history, Rioja wine, manchego queso...on and on and on. me encanta España.....
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