I still travel through the backstreets of Madrid with city plan close at hand. But at every opportunity I carry “Los Nombres de las Calles de Madrid” and let myself get lost – lost in the rich, exciting history that was, is and continue to be Madrid. The book is more than mere recited facts: it is an historical perspective of Madrid during many phases of its development, peppered with insights into tradition, customs and culture. It is a fascinating compendium of personalities, historical, mythical, religious, aristocratic and legendary figures, as well as geographical locations, trades, important battles and other well-placed events, which have all lent their names and distinction to the Spanish capital.
The radical right is “a political ideology, the core element of which is a myth of a homogeneous nation, a romantic and populist ultranationalism which is directed against the concept of liberal and pluralistic democracy. . . It wants government by the people, but in terms of ethnocracy instead of democracy.” Thus, one of the biggest political stories in Spain these days, as a young but stable demo crary, is the sudden and perplexing rise of the reactionary far-right Vox party. In the 10 November 2019 snap election, Vox won no less than 15.09% of the vote. Overnight, it has become Spain’s third largest parliamentary party. Should Spain — and Europe — begin to worry?
Since 14 October, when Spain’s Supreme Court decision to sentence the separatist leaders to years of jail terms was published, there seems to be an scalation of violence in the Tsunami Democràtic demonstrations. In the middle of it all, Catalonia President Quim Torra has provocatively declared that there will be a repeat of the illegal referendum on the independence of Catalonia before his term ends in 2020. Torra not only advocates civil disobedience; he headed up one of the demonstrations. Not exactly what a President of all Catalonia would do.
Founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library, the National Library, as it is called today, has a rich history, apart of course from its impressive collections. No wonder it is officially the State Repository of Spain’s Cultural Memory.
Spain never let up, overpowering its Championship rival from start to finish. The final score was Spain 95 – Argentina 75. The Basketball World Cup in Beijing is Spain’s second Championship win, the first being in 2006, beating Greece 70-47 in Saitama, Japan. But while still basking in the glow of its recent coup on the court, La Roja is now setting its sights on the gold medal at the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo!
Being able to actually touch the ocean is a wonderful thing when you live inland. I hope you were able to do it this summer, and if not, plan for next year!
The Acting Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, held several working meetings in London to evaluate and strengthen the contingency plans of the Government of Spain in the event of a no-deal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. “Strengthening contingency plans before Brexit is a government priority,” she says.
The fast approaching European Mobility Week is spotlighting safe walking and cycling as a means of clean and sustainable transport. Join the campaign!
WEF: “The popularity of Spain, which has claimed the top spot in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index since 2015, is bolstered by a world-class ranking in natural and cultural resources – from its vibrant cities to sunny beaches, and a diverse cultural programme that spans medieval festivals to contemporary art. Infrastructure is another important measure of a country’s travel competitiveness, and on these criteria Spain rates highly.”
TRIPLE DELIGHT: FIESTAS DE EMPANADA & VIN0, AND A WITCHING ANDALUSI HOUR. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK! »
Summer is all but over. You’d think, so are the fiestas. But wait, in bracing September the fiestas that combine folklore and gastronomy keep on going on. To name just three: the Fiesta de Empanada (Pie Festival) in A Coruña; the Embrujo Andalusi (Andalusi Bewitchment) in Malaga; and the Ferias y Fiestas de San Mateo y de la Vendimia Riojana (Fairs and Fiestas of St. Matthew and of the Grape Harvest) in La Rioja.