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When in Spain
49 minutes | a month ago
Loco for locos! Slow trains around Spain with travel writer Tom Chesshyre
Travel journalist and writer Tom Chesshyre joins me to talk about his slow train adventure all around Spain. As research for his latest book Slow Trains around Spain: A 3,000-Mile Adventure on 52 Rides, Tom spent 35 days on the tracks and clocked-up 95 hours and 20 minutes onboard all manner of different types of trains, from funiculars, cog trains, narrow gauge, metros and even an aluminium mine train. Tom shares his experience of going unprepared and traveling in an ad-hoc way with a rucksack and an armful of books. We look at the history of Spain’s railways, train stations, train museums, George Orwell and the trenches near Huesca where he fought in the Spanish Civil War. Tom shares some anecdotes about his fellow train passengers, hostel owners and station managers and talks the politics of the Spanish train network.
74 minutes | 2 months ago
Wandering Madrid and talking Cost of Living in Spain
Hola Spain fans! This is a kind of hybrid episode. Lots of sounds of Madrid as I wander its squares, shops and markets and stop off in a few cafes and bars. Along the way I talk all about the cost of living in Spain. I look at renting and buying property, utility bills, groceries, healthcare costs, running a car and average salaries. I make lots of comparisons between costs in a handful of different Spanish cities and also compare the cost of living in Madrid with London and New York. So join me to find out some useful facts and figures as well as immersing yourself in Madrid on a sunny Friday afternoon! Check out the amazing market atmosphere towards the end of the episode. A very immersive and colourful experience! For more detailed show notes head over to wheninspainpodcast.com
64 minutes | 2 months ago
Spain’s liquid gold: olive oil adventures with Lucas Soler
We transport ourselves to the majestic olive groves of Jaén to talk all about Spanish olive oil with special guest and olive oil aficionado, Lucas Soler. Lucas was born in Barcelona but even though he has spent nearly all of his life in the US, olive oil has always remained in his blood. Since a young age ‘liquid gold’ has been a staple of his diet. When Lucas’s mother bought an olive grove for the family in Almería 25 years ago, his passion for olive oil was re-ignited. Faced with a lack of good quality EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in the US, Lucas spotted a businesses opportunity. He set up his own company called Olive Oil Grove oliveoilgrove.com where he imports the best possible quality Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the US market. In the episode Lucas talks us through the different grades of olive oil, the health benefits and what you should look for when choosing great quality Spanish olive oil. We even do a virtual transatlantic olive oil tasting where we compared notes on the Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil that Lucas has sourced from a grove in Jaén following a trip there last year in the midst of the lockdown – a story he also shares in the episode. Lucas also dazzles us with some truly incredible facts and figures about Spanish olive oil and I run through the ancient history of olives and olive oil to find out how it became so popular in Spain. Find out more about Lucas, his business, Olive Oil Grove at oliveoilgrove.com. Also find him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oliveoilgrove/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OliveOilGrove/
55 minutes | 3 months ago
Mallorca with Gina Vasquez – Miró, Michael Douglas & Missionaries
In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I explore the Balearic island of Mallorca. Joining me to scratch beneath the surface of the island is guide and long-time Mallorca resident, Gina Vasquez who runs Visit My Mallorca https://www.visitmymallorca.com/ Gina talks us through the ancient history of Mallorca and recommends things to see in the island’s capital, Palma, including the city’s impressive gothic cathedral, La Seu. It has one of the world’s largest stained glass windows. We also get out across the island and look at Gina’s favourite towns, villages, beaches and natural beauty spots to include on a visit. We talk about the artist and sculptor Joan Miró who lived and worked on Mallorca – Gina’s husband knew Joan Miró personally and she recommends a visit to the the Fundació Joan Miró where you can see Miró’s workshop and numerous pieces of his work. https://www.fmirobcn.org/en/foundation/ Gina also tells us about a fascinating slice of Mallorcan history. The small town of Petra is the birthplace of St. Junípero Serra (1713-1784), a Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco. Places and other things we mentioned in the episode: La Seu Cathedral, Palma Santa Catalina neighbourhood, Palma Plaza d’Espanya, Palma Olivar Market, Palma La Llotja de Palma Across the Island Sineu (with its 15th Century market) Sóller Portopetro Portocolom Cala Figuera Biniaraix Banyalbufar Sa Calobra Formentor Mirador Es Colomer Parc natural de Mondragó Estellencs Deià (Robert Graves called it his home) Drach Caves (Porto Cristo) Sant Elm (San Telmo) Pollença (Family beaches) Bakery in Palma to buy Ensaimada – Fornet de la Soca https://fornetdelasoca.com/ TV Series – The Mallorca Files https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9204128/ RESOURCES Miró https://miromallorca.com/en/ government tourism site https://www.illesbalears.travel/experience/en/mallorca/sant-antoni-and-sant-sebastia transportation island-wide www.tib.org Palma city bus. http://www.emtpalma.cat/en/home One of Gina’s favorite restaurants in Palma, http://www.larosavermuteria.com/en/restaurants
53 minutes | 3 months ago
Sketches of Menorca – deep water, mayonnaise, horses’ private parts, gin & Georgian palaces
In this episode we delve into the curious history, culture and untouched landscape of the balearic island of Menorca. Joining us to guide us around this lesser-discovered island is Lorraine Ure. For Lorraine, Menorca was love at first sight when the cruise ship she was working on docked in the port of Mahón. She has since had a 25 year love affair with the island and now proudly calls it home. Does Mayonnaise really come from Menorca? How did gin become the island’s most famous tipple? When is it acceptable to touch a horse’s private parts? And why are there so many English words used in Menorquí – the local language of the island? Find out in the episode as Lorraine talks us through the unique Menorcan culture and traditions. She also recommends towns, villages, beaches, long walks, food & drink and great restaurants for anyone planning a visit to the island. Lorraine has also edited a beautiful book of watercolours of Menorca called Menorca Sketchbook packed with beautiful paintings by her partner Graham Byfield. It’s available to buy on Ebay and will soon be available on Amazon. Find out more about Graham and his work here. In the episode Lorraine also talked about the tiny neighbouring island of La Isla del Rey and its beautiful 18th Century Royal Naval Hospital – the first of its kind in the world – which has been renovated by a team of volunteers for the last 17 years – something that Lorraine has been keenly involved with. Soon it will be possible to visit the hospital. Find out more about it here: https://www.islahospitalmenorca.org/en/home/ Some of places mentioned in the episode: Es Migjorn Gran Es Mercadal Monte Toro S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park Cami de Cavalls (The Path of Horses) Cova d’en Xorio (A cave bar to watch the sunset from in Cala en Porter) Beaches and Coves: Binibeca, Alcaufar, Cala Mesquida, Platja de Cala Galdana, Platja de Son Bou, Platja de Binimel·là Restaurants: Restaurant S´Amarador in Ciutadella de Menorca, El Grill, Carretera del Aeropuerto, Mahón.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Spain’s secret beaches, rivers, waterfalls, canyons & caves with Lola Culsán & John Weller
Let’s banish the winter blues with a trip around some of Spain’s most beautiful and secret swimming locations. Forget the packed beaches of the stereotypical ‘costas’ and let’s transport ourselves to secluded coves, white sand beaches, emerald pools, craggy canyons, wild waterfalls and relaxing rivers… Guiding us around these of the beaten track slices of watery wonder are Lola Culsán & John Weller. Lola and John live in London and both are avid swimmers. So much so that they have written and produced two beautiful books all about wild swimming in Spain both inland and on the coasts. Their first book is called, Wild Swimming Spain – Discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of Spain. They also have a brand new second book coming out on March 1st 2021 called, Hidden Beaches Spain – 450 secret coast and island beaches to walk, swim & explore. In fact for their latest publication, Lola and John were lucky enough to take a year out from their jobs in London and spend a whole year driving the coasts of Spain in their camper van all in the name of research! What a tough assignment! In the episode John and Lola are going to guide us around some of their favourite places to swim, kayak, dive and hike (or just relax) all around Spain and also offer practical advice if you want to some wild swimming in some wild locations. If you would like to get a copy of their books you can pre-order Hidden Beaches Spain on Amazon or via Wild Things Publishing at http://www.wildthingspublishing.com/shop/ and their first book, Wild Swimming Spain is already available from the same places. Can’t wait until March 1st for Hidden Beaches Spain? No problem! You can immediately download the super exclusive pre-launch digital edition from Wild Things Publishing’s website for £7.99 To find out more about Lola and John check out their social media: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wildswimmingspain Twitter https://twitter.com/wildswimspain Instagram @wildswimmingspain List of locations mentioned in the podcast episode: L’Alta Garrotxa – Girona Lago Ausente – Castilla Leon Huesca – Barranco de la Nata de Arro, Sierra de Guara, Cañón Del Río Vero, Salto De Bierge Pozas Pígalo – Zaragoza Cangas de Onís – Asturias Fiesta de las Piraguas (The Canoe Fiesta of Asturias) https://www.turismoasturias.es/en/descubre/fiestas-de-interes-turistico/fiesta-de-las-piraguas-descenso-internacional-del-sella Río Deva, Panes, Pechón Playa – Cantabria Cave of Altamira – Cantabria Castro de Baroña – A Coruña Bolonia, Baelo Claudia, Costa de la Luz – Cadiz Cami de Cavalls – Menorca Cala Pudenta – Menorca Praia Barreira (Beekeeper Beach) – Galicia Cíes Islands – Galicia Praia da Coviña – Galicia Playa de Mónsul – Almería Cala Estreta – Girona Costa Calida, La Manga, Cala del Cuevo, Cala de las Cañas – Almería Denia, La Cova Tallada – Alicante
64 minutes | 4 months ago
How to buy property in Spain
Planning to buy a property in Spain? Maybe its a future ambition to own your dream Spanish home. Whatever the case this episode will give you a detailed insight into buying a house or apartment in Spain and is packed with practical advice on buying in Spain. It’s a meaty subject so I decided to enlist Spanish property consultant Felix Joseph who shares his expert advice. Felix runs his own property consultancy on the Costa del Sol called Property Under One Roof. He’s also written a book called How to Buy a Property in Spain: everything they wont tell you about buying a property in Spain. Felix first caught the property bug at a young age when his father unfurled the plans for a house he was going to buy in his native Caribbean. Felix studied an economics degree and then worked in IT for 15 years before investing in property in the UK and building up his own property portfolio which allowed him to semi-retire to Spain with his family. In 2002 he left IT to set up his real estate company ‘Property Under One Roof’ and then moved to Spain in 2006 and pivoted into property consultancy where he offers a wholistic service for people from outside Spain looking to buy. In the this episode we look at: The paperwork you need to get in order in order to be ready to buy property in Spain, including visas and the golden visa Whether now is a good time to buy property in Spain or not in light of the situation with Covid 19 and for British citizens, Brexit. The costs associated with buying property in Spain. The property purchasing process in Spain and legal issues involved. Mortgages and financing options for buying property in Spain. How to find a property in Spain Taxes Sage advice and what pitfalls to watch out for when buying property in Spain. Plus a few questions that When in Spain listeners sent in. For more information about Felix Jospeh and his property consultancy check out his website and social media below: Website: http://howtobuyapropertyinspain.com/ His book available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Felix-Joseph-ebook/dp/B087QST5M9 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YOURPUOR
70 minutes | 4 months ago
Seville and slow, sustainable travel with Aldara Arias Saavedra
Sit back and join us for some armchair travel to the capital of Andalucía. That’s right we’re of to the 2,200-year-old city of Seville or Sevilla if you’re feeling Andaluz! Our guide for the journey is native Sevillana, Aldara Arias Saavedra. Aldara produces and hosts her own podcast about food and slow, sustainable travel in Seville called Slow Tasters Podcast. She also works as a tour guide in Seville and the wider Andalucía region of Spain and has a passion for promoting slow and sustainable tourism and finding ways to reduce our impact on the places we visit. During the episode Aldara walks us through the city’s intoxicating mix of resplendent Mudéjar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes which are home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Real Alcázar A magnificent marriage of Christian and Mudéjar architecture, Seville’s royal palace complex is a breathtaking spectacle. The site, which was originally developed as a fort in 913, has been revamped many times over the 11 centuries of its existence. www.alcazarsevilla.org. Catedral & Giralda Seville’s showpiece church is awe-inspiring in its scale and majesty. The world’s largest Gothic cathedral, it was built between 1434 and 1517 over the remains of what had previously been the city’s main mosque. Highlights include the Giralda, the mighty bell tower, which incorporates the mosque’s original minaret and the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus. The Archivo General de Indias The General Archive of the Indies, housed in the ancient merchants’ exchange of Seville, Spain, the Casa Lonja de Mercaderes, is the repository of extremely valuable archival documents illustrating the history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Philippines.. Aldara explains the city’s past as a showcase Moorish capital and later as a 16th-century metropolis rich on the back of New World trade. She also gives us an insight into the sevillano art of celebrating and the city’s great annual festivals, notably the Semana Santa and Feria de Abril. Later in the episode we talk about alternative parts of Seville to wander and get away from the touristy sites and soak up the neighbourhood atmosphere with the locals. Food and drink with a special recommendation. To round-up Aldara shares her philosophy of slow travel, sustainable tourism and why she thinks we need to reduce our impact on the places we visit and how we can go about doing it. PLACES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE Feria neighbourhood San Luis San Luis de los Franceses Alameda Square Basilica de la Macarena Plaza de España Catedral & Giralda Real Alcázar The Archivo General de Indias Triana FOOD Antigua Abacería de San Lorenzo to eat a Montadito de pringá. Calle Teodosio, 53, Sevilla http://antiguaabaceriadesanlorenzo.com/ DAY TRIPS FROM SEVILLE Parque Natural Sierra de Hornachuelos Constantina Cazalla de la Sierra Find out more about Aldara here http://aldaraas.com/ and follow her on Instagram here @aldaraas
43 minutes | 5 months ago
Starting from zero in Spain at 70 – The personal story of Hollywood director & author Marsha Scarbrough
Thinking about moving to Spain? Think it’s too late? Join me to hear the inspirational story from Marsha Scarbrough who proves it’s never too late to say yes to a new life in Spain. Marsha left her native California to start afresh in Madrid when she was 70 years old after losing everything in the 2008 financial crisis and declaring herself bankrupt. Marsha spent 20 years working as an assistant director on films and network TV shows in Hollywood but by the time she hit 50 se knew she wanted to leave the LA rat-race behind. In 2017 she moved to Madrid and has never looked-back. I caught up with Marsha in the barrio of Chamberí that she now calls home. Marsha shares her experience of making the move, we talk paperwork, visas, healthcare, finding somewhere to live and much more. She also gives us some insights into life in Madrid and Spain and her favourite places in the Spanish capital. Also find out how Marsha found herself plastered across the Spanish press when she first arrived in Madrid – think Donald Trump! Later in the episode Marsha talks about her award-winning memoirs Medicine Dance and Honey in the River. Find out more about Marsha on her website http://www.marshascarbrough.com/ and check out the International Living website that Marsha writes for here https://internationalliving.com/author/mascarbrough/ Interested in her books? You can find them here on Amazon
56 minutes | 5 months ago
Sephardic Roots – Jewish History in Spain & Sephardic Ancestry Citizenship
In this episode of The When in Spain podcast we’re talking about Jewish history or Sephardic history – to use the Hebrew word – in Spain. We’ll also be talking about a law that Spain passed in 2015 that has laid a pathway for people of Sephardic descent to reclaim Spanish citizenship – and one of those who is going through the process joins me in the episode. I’ll be chatting to Nichole Martínez Kruse who relocated from San Diego in the US to Zaragoza in the Spanish region of Aragon after a family member and amateur genealogist discovered Inquisition records dating back to the 1500s proving that Nichole’s Spanish ancestors were Jews. This culminated in Nichole applying for Spanish citizenship via Sephardic ancestry. (CORRECTION – Important to note that Nichole has not yet obtained Spanish citizenship as I incorrectly said in the episode.) Nowadays Nichole helps others looking to gain Spanish citizenship through their sephardic roots through her boutique immigration firm, Welcome Home Sefardi. https://www.welcomehomesefardi.com/ Nichole is going to be sharing her personal story and offering some practical advice for those interested in embarking on the same ancestral journey. We’ll also look at Jewish history in Spain and how she finds her new life in Zaragoza. At the end of the episode I’ll be running through a few historical locations across Spain that should be on your radar to visit to if you’re interested in exploring the history of Sephardic Spain.
61 minutes | 5 months ago
The Basque Country with David Bumstead
Drizzle, green hills, pintxos, cider, pelota & bull running. We must be talking The Basque Country! Tucked into the corner of northeastern Spain, País Vasco, or as it is known in the regional Basque language, Euskadi is one of the lesser-known Spains for many. To talk us through the landscape, cities, beaches, language, traditions and food and drink is David Bumstead. David moved to San Sebastian from the UK in 1983 and never left. Join us as we explore this unique corner of Spain and everything it has to offer. In the episode David talks us through the landscape, cities, beaches and countryside of The Basque Country. We also delve into Basque language and traditions, including pelota and bull running in Pamplona. Of course, we talk food and drink, from pintxos to the region´s renowned yet secretive gastronomic societies. We round off the episode looking at ETA and its history and how Basques feel about it today. Useful links and places mentioned in the episode: Bilbao Guggenheim – https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en Gernika Gernika Peace Museum – https://www.museodelapaz.org/ San Sebastián International Film Festival https://www.sansebastianfestival.com/2020/film_registration/1/3514/in Beaches Getaria Hondarribia Inland walking Txindoki Mountain Parque Natural Aralar Ordizia Txakoli Wine – https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/eat/txakoli-wine Basque Cider Houses – https://www.sansebastianturismoa.eus/en/eat/where-to-eat/cider-houses Pamplona – San Fermin (Running of the Bulls) – https://www.sanfermin.com/en/ Film and TV Patria Ocho Apellidos Vascos (Spanish Affair) La Línea Invisible LEARN A FEW WORDS OF BASQUE BEFORE YOUR VISIT Kaixo = Hello / Agur = Goodbye Bai = Yes / Ez = No Eskerrik asko = Thank you Mesedez = Please Zenbat balio du? = How much? Ez dut ulertzen = don’t understand Bi garagardo = two beers Ezkerra = left / Eskuina = right Ba al dakizu ingelesez? = Do you speak English? 📺Subscribe on YouTube: https://bit.ly/2SOrKrL 👨👩👧👦Join the When in Spain Facebook Group. https://bit.ly/2CdDgWt 📷Follow on Instagram to see photography from across Spain. https://bit.ly/2D5p6IJ WANT TO SUPPORT WHEN IN SPAIN? 💚 Make a small donation $1-$5 via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wheninspain
84 minutes | 5 months ago
Covid – a mixed blessing for Spanish politics, economy & society? With Alan McGuire
Madrid-based British writer and podcaster, Alan McGuire joins the When in Spain podcast to talk about Spanish politics, society and the economy since the 2008 financial crisis and the struggles that Spain has faced since then. Alan also talks about how Covid-19 has affected Spain and highlights the problems the pandemic has exposed. We also look at how Spain could or should use the vast pandemic recovery fund that is being made available from the EU. Where should Spain spend the money? And is this an opportunity for Spain to restructure its economy and move away from its dependence on the tourism and construction sectors. In the interview we talk about unemployment, jobs and education, small businesses, regional governments and corruption, party politics and the politicisation of the Covid pandemic, as well as looking towards the future to see where Spain needs to improve. Alan hosts and produces his own podcast about Spain called The Sobremesa Podcast, where he focuses on Spanish politics and society. He has many great guest on the show so be sure to give it a listen! In fact when we recorded this episode Alan also interviewed me for his podcast so head over to The Sobremesa Podcast to hear me talking about the global perception and reputation of Spain and whether it has changed since Covid-19. You can also find out more about Alan and his writing at https://alanmcguire.com/
55 minutes | 6 months ago
Ernest Hemingway’s Madrid with historian Stephen Drake-Jones
In this episode I look at the American writer, Ernest Hemingway´s relationship with Madrid and wider Spain and how Spain and the Spanish capital inspired and influenced his writing. Ernest Hemingway is commonly associated with a handful of places around the world, most notably Paris, Pamplona, Havana, Key West and Ketchum, Idaho, where he took his own life in July 1961. But, Ernest Hemingway also had a lifelong love affair with Madrid and many of the city´s locations inspired his works such as, The Sun Also Rises, Death in the Afternoon and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Don Ernesto, as Hemingway was affectionately called by the Spanish, spent numerous stints in Madrid. He was here for chunks of the late 1920s, late 1930s, and parts of the 1950s, with his last visit in 1960. Joining me in this episode to help trace Hemingway´s footsteps around Madrid is Stephen Drake-Jones. Stephen is a historian, lecturer and tour guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of various periods of Spanish history and is also an expert on Ernest Hemingway´s Madrid. Stephen and I met up in one of Ernest Hemingway´s favourite Madrid hangouts – La Cerveceria Alemana – on the leafy Plaza Santa Ana and we pulled up two chairs at the exact table in the bar´s window where Hemingway often used to sit and drink. In fact it is where he gleaned much information for his classic, Death in the Afternoon. He wrote the appendix to the book in La Cerveceria Alemana, picking the brains of the numerous bullfighting aficionados who would hang out there.
37 minutes | 7 months ago
Spain: today’s issues & future challenges with William Chislett
In this second episode talking to writer & journalist William Chislett we look at current economic, societal and political problems that Spain is dealing with and the future challenges the country faces. William talks us through the education system, unemployment, the Spanish economy, pensions and the implications of the EU’s €140 billion pandemic recovery fund that Spain is set to receive. William is a former Madrid correspondent for the UK´s Times newspaper. He was based in Madrid and reported first-hand on Spain’s transition to democracy from 1975-1978. He even interviewed King Juan Carlos. He subsequently worked for the Financial Times based in Mexico covering Central America, before returning to the Spanish capital in 1986, where he still lives. William has written numerous books on Spain including, Spain – What Everyone Needs to Know and he writes a monthly article called Inside Spain – A lively look at Spanish current affairs – for the Elcano Royal Institute think tank. Well worth reading if you´re interested in Spanish politics. William´s work can be found at https://williamchislett.com/
40 minutes | 7 months ago
The death of Franco & Spain’s transition to democracy with William Chislett
In this episode we look at a fascinating and monumental period in Spanish history – The death of Franco in 1975 and Spain’s transition to democracy that followed in the late 1970s. In this part one of a two part podcast I had the great pleasure of talking to writer and journalist William Chislett. William is a former Madrid correspondent for the UK´s Times newspaper. William was based in Madrid and reported first-hand on Spain’s transition to democracy from 1975-1978. He even interviewed King Juan Carlos. He subsequently worked for the Financial Times based in Mexico covering Central America, before returning to the Spanish capital in 1986, where he still lives. In the interview William reflects on what life was like in Spain following the death of Franco, what the atmosphere was like and talks us through the key developments that lead to the 1977 elections – the first free elections held in Spain since 1936 – and the enactment of Spain´s 1978 constitution. William has written numerous books on Spain including, Spain – What Everyone Needs to Know and he writes a monthly article called Inside Spain – A lively look at Spanish current affairs – for the Elcano Royal Institute think tank. Well worth reading if you´re interested in Spanish politics. William´s work can be found at https://williamchislett.com/
38 minutes | 7 months ago
Charming Chinchón – Garlic, Goya, Anis, John Wayne & a picture-perfect plaza
Join me for a walk around a little slice of deep Spain, right on Madrid’s doorstep. Located on the Tagus-Jarama river basin, Chinchón is just 45km from Madrid but worlds apart. Although it has grown beyond its village confines, visiting its antique heart is like stepping back into a charming, ramshackle past. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Chinchón has an iconic Plaza Mayor, flanked by 15th-17th century galleried houses, staggered roofs and 234 green wooden balconies and even doubles up as the town’s bull ring. Over the years, it has hosted royal announcements and celebrations, mock spear combats, bullfights, livestock fairs, public executions and even film shootings (Cantinflas, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and John Wayne all took part in movies shot in Chinchón). Chinchón has a tower without a church and a church without a tower,’ the popular saying goes. The Clock Tower is the only remnant of the old church, whereas the new(er) church, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, has no tower, although it does boast a painting by Goya entitled Assumption of the Virgin Mary. I soak up the sights and sounds on the town’s Plaza Mayor, take a look at the church and clock tower and find out what the connection is with this small back water and the artist, Goya. There is also a medieval castle, which, however, is somewhat damaged and also closed to the public. Its last use was as a distillery producing Anís de Chinchón known commercially as Anisette, an anise-flavored high-alcohol liqueur which the town has been noted for centuries. I sipped a glass for the first time in the square and there are three varieties – Chinchón dulce, seco, or extra seco. The sweet version is less potent! Chinchón became famous thanks to its aniseed spirit, and above all because of the Countess of Chinchón, who was responsible for the discovery of quinine, isolated by Pelletier and Caventou in 1820. The wife of the Count of Chinchón, who was also the Viceroy of Peru, had been cured of a tropical fever in the 17th Century, thanks to a remedy prepared by with Peruvian bark, and so she had some brought back to Europe. The Swedish scientist Linné gave it the scientific name of chinchona in her honour. Though small, Chinchón is known for its festivals, a big draw for people from nearby Madrid, and those visiting it. Two of the biggest are the Chinchón Festival de anis y vino, a celebration of locally distilled anisette and wine, which takes place at the end of March, and the October garlic festival. In October of each year the central plaza is the site of a temporary bullring, with the profits from the bullfighting going to charitable causes. In February, the square plays host to Carnival celebrations and a huge Medieval Market, featuring, parades, shows and an arts and crafts market. The event commemorates one of the times the Catholic Monarchs visited Chinchón. In August, during the local fiestas, the square turns into a bullring hosting bullfights, shows, verbenas (traditional outdoor festivals), running of the bulls, and sporting and religious events. October brings the Bullfighting Charity Festival, followed by the Garlic Festival. On Easter Saturday, around 250 locals take part in the re-enactment of the Passion of Jesus. As a prelude to the bullfighting season, the first running of the bulls of the year takes place on 25 July, followed by a novillada (a fight with young bulls and bullfighters). Getting to Chinchón. Take the bus 337 from Metro Stop Conde de Casal. The journey takes just under and hour and buses leave every half an hour. Tickets cost 4.20 each way.
37 minutes | 8 months ago
Aranjuez – A day trip to Spain’s Petit Paris
Join me for a day out to the Royal City of Aranjuez, a worthwhile day trip from the Spanish capital. I hop on the Cercanías light-rail commuter train from Madrid’s Atocha Station and make the 45 minute train ride through the middle of the harsh Castilian plateau, to the haven of peace and tranquillity of Aranjuez, which lies in a green fertile valley between the rivers Tagus and Jarama. Wander with me as I explore this opulent, former Royal Spring retreat and walk its grand boulevards, squares and parks – that seem to remind me of a mini version of Paris. I talk through the royal comings and goings over the centuries, take a look at the Royal Palace, stop off in a very traditional Taberna to soak up the history – and noise – over a beer and some Buñelos de Rape. Then off to cool down in the vast Jardín del Prícipe, probably Spain’s largest park. Tune in to find out about the famous modern classical concerto that the Prince’s Garden inspired and what the ‘Strawberry Train’ is all about. At the beginning of the episode I also talk in more detail about Madrid’s Cercanías train system and the places of note you can visit easily and affordably by using it. More info here: https://www.renfe.com/es/en/suburban/suburban-madrid I didn’t go inside the Royal Palace but you can find more info about ticket prices and the timetable here:https://www.patrimonionacional.es/en/visita/royal-palace-aranjuez Enjoy the When in Spain podcast? Please support the show by becoming a When in Spain Patron: https://www.patreon.com/wheninspain?fan_landing=true Check out more info and podcast episodes at https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/
48 minutes | 8 months ago
The world of Sherry with culinary adventurer Annie B
This week I’ve got a great guest for you Spain lovers – I’m going to be chatting all about that famous Spanish wine, Sherry with Annie Manson – aka Annie B! Annie is a foodie, food writer, Sherry expert and qualified Sherry educator. Annie who hails from Scotland, ran her own successful catering and corporate hospitality company in London for 15 years before falling for, and deciding to stay in the beuatiful white-washed Adaluz town Vejer. Annie runs Annie B´s Spanish Kitchen, where she cooks out of Casa Alegre, her home and the official centre for Peña Gastronómica de Vejer – The Gourmet Association of Vejer. There, she runs culinary adventures – cooking courses using local ingredients. She also hosts food tours across Andalucía and as far away as Morocco and Menorca. But her true passion is sherry which she shares through her expert Sherry tastings. Annie is going to run us through the history of sherry, a fascinating connection between sherry and Scottish whisky, the different varieties available, the famous Sherry triangle, home to the three cities where sherry is produced and the production process. “If it swims: Fino and Manzanilla. If it flies: Amontillado. If it runs: Oloroso.” Annie is going to run us through the history of sherry, a fascinating connection between sherry and Scottish whisky, the different varieties available, the famous Sherry triangle, home to the three cities where sherry is produced and the production process. Stay tuned to the end of the episode to hear Annie share food pairing inspiration and her favourite bodegas and bars to visit along with some practical advice for visiting bodegas and drinking sherry. (Listed below) Find out more about Annie and her Spanish Kitchen here: https://www.anniebspain.com/ Annie B Annie and her Spanish Kitchen on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/anniebspain/?hl=en Bodegas & bars Annie mentioned in the episode: Jerez https://www.tiopepe.com/ https://www.lustau.es/ Tabanco San Pablo https://www.tabancoelpasaje.com/ Tabanco Banderillas El Puerto de Santa María http://www.gutierrezcolosia.com/ https://www.osborne.es/en/ Bodegas Obregon Sanlúcar de Barrameda https://lagitana.es/ http://www.casabalbino.es/ http://www.entrebotasrestaurante.es/ Types of Sherry by Annie B Fino de Jerez – the driest and youngest of all Sherries (3-5 years old). The newly pressed wine is fortified up to 15% where a layer of protective yeast forms within the 3/4 filled barrels. This layer of yeast not only protects the wine from becoming oxidized, it also eats all the sugar in the wine, hence the bone dryness. Whoever was the first person to look into a Sherry barrel to see a huge layer of FLOR covering the Sherry, thinking ‘’that looks yummy, I think I’ll taste it’’ deserves to be sanctified! Manzanilla – not to be confused with Chamomile tea! Again a young and bone dry Fino but Manzanilla is from Sanlúcar – and nowhere else. Fino only come from Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria. Amontillado – Starts off as a Fino or Manzanilla for 3/5 years and is then fortified up to 18% and receives further oxidative ageing in barrel before bottling. It’s the air that gives Amontillado its brown tinge. Oloroso – The wine from the second pressing is immediately fortified to 18% and then entered into barrels where it remains exposed to the oxygen as long as +40 years. Palo Cortado – This is my favourite Sherry. You can’t make it – it just happens. It starts its life as a Fino/Manzanilla but inexplicably loses its layer of flor and, as a result, is exposed to the air thus requiring further fortification. It becomes an oxidized wine with the richness of Oloroso but the crispness of Amontillado. Cream Sherry – A typical Cream Sherry is a blend of Oloroso and PX Sherries. Croft Original is made for the British market and is a blend of Fino and Sweet Moscatel. Pedro Ximenez (PX) – The sweetest of all Sherries, the green PX grape is left to dry in the sun after picking where its juices concentrate before pressing.
32 minutes | 8 months ago
Ask me anything! Part 2 – Your questions on food, places, washing machines (!) & culture
Part 2 of “ask me anything”. I answer more of your questions about life in Spain from my point of view. In the second part I answer your questions about my favourite Spanish food and restaurants, moving to different parts of Spain, washing machines and Spanish culture.
59 minutes | 8 months ago
Ask me anything! Part 1 – Your questions on my story, moving to Spain, Covid & the podcast
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