Spain occupies the biggest part of the Iberian Peninsula, the southern point of which is separated from Africa, only by a narrow strip of the Gibraltar Strait (whose width is approximately fourteen kilometers). From located in the neighborhood France, Spain is separated only by the great and hard to get Pyrenees Mountains, which brought to its relative isolation from Europe for a few centuries. Also the Balearic Islands archipelago belongs to Spain, which is located in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean not far from the west coast of Africa. Life of the country has always been very connected with the sea – the total length of the Spanish mainland coast is about three thousands two hundreds kilometers
Located in the southwest of Europe, in a warm and fertile climate zone, the Spanish coast is a real paradise for people who enjoy the beach rest. On the biggest part of the country dominates the subtropical Mediterranean climate with hot sunny summers and mild winters. Spain, along with a few other Mediterranean countries can be proud of the clear weather and the biggest number of sunny days per year in Europe.
The official language of the whole country is Spanish (Castilian). Some autonomies like (Catalonia, Valencia Community, Galicia, Basque Country), also speak their own national languages.
On the continental part of Spain and on the Balearic Islands, the time is behind Moscow for two hours (for example: when in Moscow it is ten o’clock in the day time, in Spain it is eight o’clock in the morning. Time in the Canary Islands is behind the Moscow time for three hours. You can call any country in the world, while using the services of one of the telephone booths, as well as from public pay phones, which are located directly on the street. Calls from hotels are more expensive.
In Spain, the land transportation is widely supported by an extensive network of roads and railways. Regular air services are operated between all the major cities. There is a net between the mainland with the African continent, Balearic and Canary Islands also provide a regular passenger ships.
The majority of commercial establishments are opened every day except Sundays, from nine in the morning to one o ‘clock in the afternoon and from four o’clock in the day time till eight o’clock in the evening, on Saturdays the stores are usually up only till one o ‘clock in the day time. Large stores and supermarkets often have a continuous schedule ten o’clock in the morning time till nine o ‘clock in the evening time, and sometimes they are opened even on Sundays. During the holiday season stores that are located in the cities on the coast are opened even after nine o’clock in the evening time.
In general, museums are closed on Mondays. On Sundays and public holidays, they usually work only in the morning.
In Spain, all the beaches are considered to be public, which is why they are opened to everyone and everywhere for free. Within the resort towns on the beaches usually there is an extensive infrastructure of services, including rental of deck chairs and sun umbrellas, organization of various entertainments such as (water skiing, windsurfing, riding on a “banana” and so on), rental of pedal boats and water bikes.
The largest cities in Spain are: Madrid (the number of population here is approximately four million of people), Barcelona (the number of population here is almost three million of people), Saragossa (the population in this town is almost one million of people), Valencia (the population here is approximately seven hundred fifty thousands of people), Seville (the population here is almost six hundreds eighty three thousands of people), Bilbao (the population here is approximately three hundred seventy thousands of people).
Madrid is situated in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, right in the center of the Castilian plateau at the height of six hundred forty six meters above sea level. In the course of a long time, Christian and Muslim countries fought for the right to control the city, and this reflected on the unique appearance of the capital. Madrid’s historical legacy is enormous.
By tradition, the center of the city is considered to be the Puerto del Sol square, with three statues and old Post House (that was built in the year one thousand seven hundred sixty eight ), on the top of which is a clock with four dials, under which the residents of Madrid celebrate the New Year. The square is decorated with the symbol of the city – with the bear and strawberry tree.
The Blanes – is the most southern of all the tourist attractions of the Costa Brava, where for four kilometers stretch sandy beaches. This is the perfect place to relax in pleasant and quiet atmosphere. A special attraction of the city is represented by two botanical gardens.
Blanes offers a lot of fun to its tourists: it’s the fish auction, which takes place from Monday till Friday afternoon in the port, where local fishermen every morning, bring their catch, and the weekly fairs on Monday, and folk festivals, and the opportunity to try some water sports and, of course, lots of places of entertainment, discos, bars and restaurants that stretch along the seaside boulevard where you can enjoy fresh seafood. Many people try to come to Blanes in late July to get on the international fireworks competition, which is arranged directly on the beach. Within five minutes of drive from the city there is a water park which is called MARINELAND, where are shows with dolphins and sea lions. Officially, the tourist season in Spain starts on second may.
The Calella city is famous for its rich tourist tradition; it is the largest resort and the capital of the tourism in Costa del Maresme. It should be noted the quality of the offered here services, the hospitality of local residents, a wide range of various services: commercial, catering, sports, culture and entertainment.
Ibiza is considered to be the Pearl of the Balearic Islands – this is the island of youth and fun. Here people from all over the world come not only to rest but also to feel the atmosphere of love, to visit the largest and most famous discotheques in the world.
The island’s capital – is the city of Ibiza, is interesting for its preserved Dolt Vila fortress, on the narrow streets of which where there are small and cozy bars and restaurants, souvenir shops and stores. Ibiza is waiting for you with the fun of its beaches, with a wonderful service and excellent conditions for recreation.
Playa den Bose is modern resort situated just in ten minutes drive from the airport and five minutes drive from the center of Ibiza town. It is famous for its sandy beach that stretch for more than three kilometers, as well as lots of bars restaurants, shops and discos. Here you will find the famous disco “Keys”, famous for its “foam” parties and a water park.
Due to its length Majorca is considered to be the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago. It is the island of the sun and rest, romance and inspiration, the island with untouched corners of nature and amazing unique landscapes. Mild Mediterranean climate, beaches with fine white sand, clean sea and mountain scenery and diverse flora that makes this island a paradise for tourists.
Here you can enjoy windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, fishing, and enjoy the underwater world of scuba diving. The island is famous for pearl jewelry and the fact that here usually rests the royal family. There are no people, whom came to this island, and do not want to come back here…
Near the town of Palma it is located a tourist-residential zone Kalama and Ileitis, where neighbors rest in a friendly atmosphere, peace and live entertainment. Excellent transportation to the Palm makes the area more attractive. Here in the Marivent Palace, a couple of Spanish kings are resting.
Spain –is a country of magnificent beach resorts, guests from all over the world. However, resorts in Spain are not just a beach holiday, but also skiing, spa centers, specialized sports facilities and much more. Here we describe only some of the most popular resorts.
Costa Blanco is literally translated from Spanish as “White Beach”. This is one of the top resorts in Spain. The popularity of holidays in the Costa Blanca between tourists from all over the world is very high due to extremely favorable weather conditions: according to statistics, in the Costa Blanca are approximately.
Costa Brava Costa Brava or the wild coast” is located in the northern Mediterranean coast of Spain Therefore, the beach season starts here earlier than in more southern resorts – and lasts from early June till late October. The coastline of the Costa Brava is comprised of scenic rocky cliffs, surrounded by sandy beaches.
Costa del Sol is not the best choice for a beach holiday. Because of the cold sea water, even at the height of the season the seawater temperature does not rise above twenty one degrees here. Nevertheless, there can be made successfully sunbaths. In general, the Costa del Sol is known primarily as an area that is ideal for sightseeing trips.
Tenerife – is the largest and perhaps the most famous island in the Canary archipelago. This island is known as a very romantic and attractive place – this island is an island of eternal spring. But honestly speaking the weather in Tenerife looks more like eternal summer.
Sierra Nevada – is one of the most southern ski resorts of all Europe –it is situated in the south of Spain, just in thirty two kilometers from Granada. In a good sunny day, you can see straight from the ski slopes the Mediterranean Sea and the hazy outlines of Africa. The ski season in the Sierra Nevada lasts almost as long, as in other European resorts, which is a very attractive thing for the tourists.
An a evening walk through the town in order to see friends is called “Paseo” and it is an old Spanish tradition, as well as its inevitable consequence, “Osio,” which means an idle conversation. Spaniards are doing it anywhere and anytime. People here are already familiar with the beauty of life outside the city, away from noise and air pollution, and they feel a need to meet friends and stroll through the streets arm in arm with a spouse. Many of those who got tired to live outdoors, in the end, return to the noise and bustle of the city because life in the suburbs seems to them unbearably boring for them. The Spaniards are always afraid that while living outside the city, they will miss something interesting.
Traditionally Spanish people have some double names, and to understand them, it takes some effort. While getting married, women do not take their husband’s name; they keep their own last name unchanged. But their children will have first their father’s last name followed by the first surname of their mother. For example: – Pilar Gomez Diaz who married Felipe Rodriguez Fernandez, remained Pilar Gomez Diaz. – But if they will have a daughter Mercedes, then here name will be Mercedes Rodriguez Gomez. – If Mercedes Rodriguez Gomez marries with Juan Garcia Martinez, then her name will remain Mercedes Rodriguez Gomez, but the full name of her son Pedro will be Pedro Garcia Rodriguez, and his sister Carmen’s name – Carmen Garcia Rodriguez. Luckily, in business communication it is only the first surname. So, Felipe Rodriguez Fernandez will be likely known as Senor Rodriguez. In some business documents in order to avoid errors, the wife takes her husband’s name, thereby recognizing that she belongs to him. So, Pilar Gomez Diaz, wife of Felipe Rodriguez Fernandez, may sign as Pilar Gomez Diaz de Rodriguez.
The hyphen in these double names is not used usually, except for the case of true double names, like those worn in England. But in this case the person with such a name will have three names, like for example: Fernando Gonzalez Molina-Torres, where Molina-Torres – is a double name, like English surname. And if it happens that both spouses have a double (hyphenated) name, then their child will have four names, like for example: Javier Aguilar-Pasqual Lopez-Matias. In order to make your life easier, the Spaniards traditionally quite often give their name to their sons and their daughters – get mother’s name. So eventually it is quite usual to meet several Eduardo’s and a few Margaritas, in one family, but they will be called by a nickname. For example: Francisco = Paco, José = Pepe = Manuel= Manolo, Enrique Quique =; Maria Isabel = Maribel, Providencia = Provo, Inmakulada = Inman, Remedios =Remi; Dolores = Lawley, and so on.
It should also be noted that quite often the boys name is Jose Maria, and the girl’s name- Maria José. Then in your place I would not very often invite them to tea in order to avoid unnecessary confusion.
But all of this – is a piece of cake, if compared with a Spanish telephone directory. The rooms here are listed in order of the names of the lucky owners of the unit. Felipe Rodriguez Fernandez will appear here as Rodriguez Fernandez, F. But since he has a whole bunch of relatives with the same name, the phone book you will find many Rodriguez Fernandez, F. So if you have not got his address in advance, then you are likely to have to abandon the intention to call him. However, it is not scary because he still is likely to drink coffee somewhere.
For the South American television series that captured the minds and hearts of mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, that is, those who usually follows the birth, marriage and death in the family, children, weddings and funerals as a quietly receded into the background. Spaniards are now so concerned Manuela and her niece are not pregnant, or if the half-sister had the same beautiful but despicable young man. And yet they still spend a crazy amount of time and energy and more money on children’s duds, cribs, strollers and toys for a newborn, not to mention the entire states which went to the daughter’s wedding or an elegant coffin for the deceased relative. Spaniards bore approximately the same as other people. Except for the fact that Mom is usually sent to the hospital on the twelfth, but not at the eleventh hour, since the beginning of contractions, it recognizes only after repeated shrug – she believes that waiting for her at the hospital, Spending time is not very pleasant, and therefore, possibly delaying it, as much as she can. Not one Spaniard was born in a hospital ward or in his father’s a car or in a taxi careening smoke-filled streets to the maternity hospital because no one could find his future daddy, because at this point he just drank Coffee with the taxi driver. Birthday is usually celebrated twice a year in Spain. First time- it is celebrated a real birthday, and the second time (much more important) -is a birthday (the day of saint in whose honor the child was named), because in Spain there is no person not named in honor of a saint. This, as you understand, gives the right to the parents to invite grandparents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and sisters and their nearest and next of kin for two, not once. Weddings here are the same as in the whole Christian world, that is, along with the bride’s uncle and a video camera, flying around the altar, to this process it is paid much more attention than to the most religious ceremonies. The bride is surrounded by a lot of witnesses and friends around her, confetti and rice scattered all over, and the traditional flying bouquet on order to point at the next victim of marriage. But funerals in Spain differ from the funeral in the other countries and are very fast. If by the hand is not a cold morgue, than the deceased must be “buried” within seventy-two hours. But if the morgue is situated nearby, than there are no restrictions. People in Spain are not buried, but they are tucked in “niche” as the granite complicates the work of grave-digger a lot. The body is completely pushed into the hole in the brick and is buried in the same brick. Niches are usually not sold, they are rented and from the local council, which belongs to the cemetery. If rent is not paid on time, the coffin containing the remains is pulled out of the niche and is buried at the general cemetery, while the “released” niche is waiting for the next occupant, whose relatives are able to pay his “residence.” The tradition of mourning garments is quickly disappearing. And if in the past, a wife, daughter or sister of the deceased were going into wearing the black for many years, now merry widow in bright colorful clothes – is a quite common thing. Since 1980, divorce in Spain – is a simple matter. By mutual agreement of the parties the divorce can be obtained within two years. If one party does not want a divorce, the other has to appeal to some harsh measures – such as: leave the house or open to change spouse to legally formalize the relationship. And only after five years you can get a divorce.