A popular destination for many when it comes to holidays, but how much do we really know about Spain?
Today there are 50 provinces in Spain that have been in place since the territorial division of the country laid out in 1833. The country has undergone many transformations before this time. It has a dramatic history of numerous colonies trying to take power over much of Spain.
The Spanish Coast – Miles of Beaches
Present day, Spain has a lot to boast about. From rocky pebbled stones to the soft sand and clear waters; Spain has over 8000kms of beaches to choose from. Many of which are nudist beaches! Currently there is no law against nudity, anywhere! You could, by law, walk down the high street in nothing but your birthday suit.
You may, however want to put something on when entering one of the many bars Spain has. It is known that Spain has more bars than any other country in the EU! Although drinking a pint of San Miguel naked by the bar is frowned upon.
It is somewhat surprising how many bars there are in Spain when you discover the religious history. It was once ruled by the Muslims for over half a millennium. After their reign the Roman Catholics would be in power. Spain was to become a population of 98% roman catholic, present day 76%. It’s a substantial amount.
When not in bars or on the beach, the Spanish over the years have produced other interesting things. Such as Chupa Chups! The famous and very much loved lollipop, now a worldwide brand. Did you know that Salvador Dali designed the logo for Chupa Chups? Other names that Spain can also be rightly proud of, as well as Dali, include Picasso, Gaudi El Greco and Goya, whom all contributed fine works of art, which still inspire today.
If you have travelled the world you will inevitably hear different languages along the way. Being the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, you wont be far from hearing one of the 329 million native Spanish speakers. It is not surprising that over 100 million people speak Spanish as a second language and that there are more native Spanish speakers than native English speakers.
From using our mouths for speech, now lets use our mouths for taste.
Spain surpasses when it comes to the delights of delicious cuisine. Using fresh colourful ingredients for their dishes and world renown for their Mediterranean food. Did you know that it is Spain who distributed the likes of tomatoes, potatoes, avocados and cocoa to all of Europe? Brought from America, the produce was sent out to Europe. If that wasn’t enough, Spain is the only country in Europe who produces bananas. And people love bananas!
Whether a fan or not, when talking about Spain, it is only a matter of time before football is mentioned. I will keep it brief and to the point. Football in Spain is like a religion. Not only the preferred sport of the Spaniards, but a way of life for many. The first official football game was played in Seville in 1980 March 8, between Recreativo de Huelva and Sevilla FC. Present day, the two main rival teams are Real Madrid (most popular football club with over 228 million supporters) and FC Barcelona (the national football team). To go in more details about football in Spain would need an article in itself to do it justice.
About Spain – Quick Facts
Quick facts for you to keep as you’re own, and repeat in public to make you look “oh so cosmopolitan darling”:
The name Madrid comes from the Arabic “magerit” which means ¨place of many streams”.
The Spaniards invented the mop.
Spain was not part of the first or Second World War.
The name “Spain” comes from the world Ispania, which means the “land of rabbits”.
And finally, be careful when eating the traditional and well loved dish Paella, as some variations of the dish do indeed have rabbit in there. Taste great, but don’t tell the kids if they are fans of Bugs bunny.
Long live España! So much to tell, but it is time for a siesta. Which in actual fact is not just a Spanish custom, but also very popular in China, Taiwan, India and Italy, Greece and even France (no surprise there).