I have friends, in the U.S., that seemed in love with Spain. I didn’t understand their fascination with Spain and honestly didn’t know much about this country. Ive spent a little over a month here and feel knowledgeable enough to say, its AWESOME!
The history, arts, climate, food, nature and most of all the people.. Ive never felt in danger or threatened in any way, they didn’t even try to pick pocket me in Barcelona (I almost avoided Barcelona because of the stories Ive heard). When their was a language barrier people always stuck with me until the situation was resolved.
Biking showed me parts of Spain I would have never seen if I were busing or riding the train across the country. I feel that biking allowed me access to a part of Spain that could only be accessed by biking. I had people stop me on the street and want to take a photo with me.
MANUEL (the pharmacist) STOPPED AND TALKED THEN TOOK THIS PHOTO AND SENT IT TO ME
There are days on this Blog where I have more readers from Spain than the U.S.
The economic troubles of Spain (and many Mediterranean countries) are world renowned. The unemployment rate is 25% in Spain. For the youth of Spain the unemployment rate is 50%. The governments solution is to have the young people leave the country and work overseas. The other proposal is to lower the minimum wage, The minimum wage is currently about $30 a day, My travel budget is nearly 3 times that and I’m living in a tent and riding a bike. I haven’t a clue on how you can survive on that little amount of money.I don’t see much of a plan to truly solve their problems.
Spain has placed a lot of emphasis on growing and exporting food. They are the worlds 3rd largest exporter of food around the world. They have the opportunity to grow 4 crops a year on the same plot of land. I saw the use of water saving drip irrigation everywhere, hillsides where you could hardly standup planted with fruit trees.
NEWLY PLANTED AVOCADO TREES ON A STEP SLOPE IN ROCK! AMAZING
Biking and camping in GRAZALEMA PARK was a truly extraordinary experience. It was my first uphill bike walk, with many more to come. Riding through SiERRA DA LAS NIEVES was as beautiful as Yosemite Park in California.
I stayed in hostels, hotels and campgrounds, all were in working order, clean, safe and very affordable.
THE SAGRADA FAMILIA was a truly amazing architectural feat.
All the sun combined with the agricultural demands and tourism have made it necessary to build Europe’s largest desalination plant. It provides 20% of Barcelona’s fresh water. It is equipped with solar power too.
When I looked on the map on which countries bordered the Mediteraean Sea I thought , How clean is it?
You could see deep into the water, the shoreline EVERYWHERE was pristine. I was pleasantly surprised and happy from an environmentalist perspective.
I cant talk about Spain without mentioning Colera, my favorite! I met a super artist Nuria, who’s work is genius.
I GOT MY OWN ANT TO BRING HOME. I didn’t really like ants before, but since being in Spain (and Portugal) Ive learned to live with them and basically ignore them. I had hundreds of ants around my tent and just kept it zipped up. I also learned to keep my campsite clean.
I got to do a little gardening in Colera too, that was fun.
THERE WERE EXERCISE STATIONS IN EVEN THE SMALLEST TOWNS.
Its great that the government encouraged people to be healthy. But If they want a healthy population, QUIT SMOKING SPAIN! It seemed like 1/2 the people smoked, its actually only 27%.its 17% in the US.
I went kayaking in the bay in Colera my last night. I went for a sunset cruise. I didn’t go to far just followed the shoreline.
So Ill be back sooner than later.
ALL THE SPAIN PHOTOS ARE HERE