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GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (1) Knowlege In-Depth »
In our own day [i.e. in 1969] when 20 million foreigners swarm into Spain every year, the rage to sum up, to label, to praise and criticize, to explain, dissect and generalize on Spain has been an almost compulsory urge of travellers. Most, however, are content to accept its inhabitants uncritically, happy to loll on the beaches without racking their brains about the ultimate truths of the Spaniard. At any rate, Spain is changing and even its most entrenched characteristics are undergoing modifications as they are buffeted by the impact of modern communications and ideas.
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (2) Unique & Picturesque »
The rage for travel in Spain came into vogue after 1825. In those early days there was one word that cropped up more than any other among the tourists: picturesque. "The picturesqueness we were seeking was found in abundance," wrote Théophile Gautier
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (3) Food & Culture »
While for Gautier Spain was a stamping ground in which to delight in voluptuous sensibilities, for Ford it was a vast storehouse of culture and customs, a veritable way of life with which to whet his erudition and invigorate his body. Dumas spent his whole trip in Spain trying to palliate his gourmet’s taste.
GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “SUMMING UP THE SPANIARDS, AN ACCOUNT OF HOW SOME FAMOUS TRAVELLERS HAVE SEEN SPAIN,” 3 OCTOBER 1969 — (4) Barbers, Bandits, Bulllfighters & Beautiful Women »
Brenan sees Spain's waiters one of the most striking and representative of the country. They move with the ballet dancer's precision and operatic air. So are the barbers in their own way. A most favorite subject is the bullfight, said by some to be a barbarous and pagan left-over from the days of the Romans. But not Hemingway who finds it complex and compelling. And there are the women. Dumas: "There so many beautiful women along the Prado that only a plain woman is remarkable." As numerous in the travellers' mind are the bandits, thinking Spain is full of them.
There exists in the landscape of the mind an ideal place where every sense is touched by velvet and time cannot intrude, the Alhambra
On a high stool in Wauna’s Bar, a crop-haired betrousered dowager listened enraptured as a bearded youth in an ankle length silk green gown serenaded her on the flute. Enrique snapped a photo and was rewinding his camera when a menacing crowd gathered. "Go home, Squares!" someone growled. "The Seventh Invasion of Ibiza. First the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Carthaginians and the Romans, then the Catalans, the Moors and finally…these!"
Wax representation of the old Café Gijón at the Museo de Cera in Madrid
A Guidepost Reprint
Café Gijón, The
I’VE just got back from Pamplona and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it and will repeat it again a thousand times; Never Again.You can quote me next year. I’m bearing the scars of several cornadas, mostly in the region of the liver (pronóstico: muy grave.) and that last bit of the trip, after the car blew up in flames sixty nine kilómetros outside Madrid played hell with my gout. So on that happy note of goodwill and Christian charity, I will leave you to retire to my local clinic. And a happy Sanfermines next year to each and every loving little one of you.
It is summer time now when all movement is poured stickily out of a bottle. It is no time to do anything at all. And so here’s a Torremolinos without movement in, and for, a summer afternoon.
One of my unfailing delights of living in Spain, undiminished after 17 years, is the spectacular and varied range of its landscapes and natural beauty. Crammed into the roughly five hundred thousand square kilometres of its bull-hide shaped geography, one goes from the dazzling white villages of the south with immense vistas of olive plantations, red earth under a diamond-hard blue sky, to the vast wheat plains of Castile