Thursday, 20 December 2012

Feliz Navidad!

If you are in Spain this Christmas.. You are a very lucky person.

Rather than wrapping up in a thick jumper whilst sipping on hot, mulled wine.. You could be on the beach sipping on Sangria!

.. Where would you rather be this Christmas?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Week for the Elimination of Violence against Women

If you are in Spain, you may know that this week (19- 25 November) is celebrating the elimination of Violence against Women.

On the occasion of this week, some Spanish cities celebrate major events which culminate in the Sunday 25th of November with a demonstration because of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

These major events are carried out by lots of non-profit organisations such as AmnestyInternational, AFAVIR, Red Feminista or FAVIDE. Although these events are varied (conferences, theatre, Cinema..) they have just one objective- which is to raise awareness about gender violence.

Among these events, it’s worth highlighting some conferences that have been organised in Ciudad Real by the prosecutor Jesús Caballero Klink- which is taking place next 22th of November in the old casino or the theatre La herida luminosa (The Luminous Wound). This is carried out in the Principal Theatre of Castellon, next Saturday 24th.

This week is celebrated with great sensitivity, respect, longing and pain; it should not be forgotten that more than 40 women have been killed so far this year in Spain because of gender-based violence- more than 800 women dead in just 12 years.

Next 25th of November thousands of people will be on the streets of many Spanish cities screaming No more gender violence.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Churros are a great delicacy in Spain. A wonderful dish bringing families and friends together for many decades. It can be referred to as a Spanish doughnut, despite some similarities they are truly one of a kind and must be tested to  understand how incredible they are.

Churros are a Hispanic fried dough treat, typically served for breakfast. However, many people eat it as a dessert or a snack due to it's sweet nature.

There are two types of churros in Spain: one which is thin and 'star shaped' and the other is very long and thick. Both are usually sprinkled with sugar and accompanied by hot chocolate (not the drinking hot beverage many are familiar with but a thick melted chocolate) for dipping. When consuming churros for breakfast it is also often dipped in coffee.

Once the churro batter has been made, a piece of machinery called a churrera (translated literally to churros making machine) is used to extrude the batter into churro shapes and goes directly into a deep fryer. When they are golden brown they are ready to be eaten!

The thinner, star shaped churros can be found throughout the majority of Spain, on the other hand, the thicker variety is primarily found in the southern regions of Spain. This kind is fried in teh shape of a continous spiral and cut into portions afterwards- truly a sight to see!

The best churros will be served at a 'Churreria'- a cafe serving only churros and will most likely only be open in the morning until around noon time. However, if you are a confident cook you can check out how it'd one here!

We really hope that you all get a chance to try this traditional Spanish dish when you visit Spain!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Five things not to miss in Andalucia

Andalucia is great destination for a holiday or study break. There are many different attractions in the region: here is a list of our top five.

1) Seville Holy Week

Holy Week, or Semana Santa, is celebrated throughout Spain, and is the country’s most important religious festival. Nowhere is it more important than in the cities of Andalucia, with Seville’s celebrations being the most extravagant and popular. 

Processions organised by the city’s Catholic brotherhoods parade through the streets every night, carrying sculptures and wearing clothes that tell the story of the resurrection.

They are watched mostly in respectful silence. If you want to visit Seville for Holy Week, why not combine it with a language course at Clic Seville? Visit the Spanish courses department page for more information. Learning the Spanish language will really help you understand the festival.

2)   Jerez Horse Fair

Jerez is known for the incredible equestrian performances that take place at the Andalucian School of Equestrian Art. The Horse Fair, held every May, dates back around 500 years, when it was simply a place to buy and sell horses. Today it includes music, flamenco and partying until dawn. 

3)   Granada International Music and Dance Festival

Also known as the Granada Music Festival, this event has its roots in the court performances put on by local dancers and musicians at the Alhambra in the late nineteenth century. It has grown to become an incredible celebration of Spanish classical music and dance.

Performances are held at venues throughout the city in June and July. Many of them are open air, with the city as an atmospheric backdrop. Many others are held in the city’s many beautiful historic buildings, including the Alhambra. The festival attracts about 30,000 people each year.

4)   Cordoba May Crosses Festival

This is a religious festival celebrated in many towns and cities throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It has particular importance in Andalucia, and especially in Cordoba. The festival celebrates Saint Helen.

After converting to Christianity, Helen went on a search for the true cross, and found three crosses. She realised that the true cross would be able to perform miracles, and set about testing them, healing the sick in the process. She is celebrated at the festival with crosses made of spring flowers, flower- covered floats in procession, and music and dance events.

5)   Malaga Fair

The Malaga fair is held every August to celebrate the re-capturing of the city by Catholic kings in 1497, from its Moorish rulers. The first festival was held as a street procession, and grew to include bull-fighting, fireworks and more. 

Today’s festival is celebrated day and night, and today, with music and dancing, drinking and tapas in the streets and parks of the city. It combines tradition with modern Spain, attracting tourists and locals from across the Costa del Sol.

Useful links Calendar
A calendar of events in Andalucia. 

Travel and events in Spain. 

Official site of the Granada festival.

Spain on a Plate

If you can't go to Spain, bring Spain to your home, or more specifically, to your plate. We all know the tapas, these appetizers full of different flavours, but they require time and skills to make. But don't worry, there is an easier dish that anyone can do and that is as traditional: the Spanish omelette, also called tortilla.

All you need are some potatoes, some eggs and a large non-stick pan. However, to make this tortilla tastier, you should add some veg and if are not vegetarian, some kind of meat. For a real taste of Spain, choose some chorizo, but prawns or bacon are also an option.

First, you need to boil some potatoes, about 500g, with their skin on, until they are cooked but not too soft (we are not doing mash). Then, cool them while getting the rest ready.
Slice a couple of big onions and fry them in some extra virgin olive oil along with some chopped veg, peppers or mushrooms. If using chorizo, start frying it without oil and use the natural oil to fry the rest.

Once the potatoes are cold, peel them with a knife and roughly slice them. Add them to the pan and gently mix with the rest.

In a bowl, break between 4 and 6 eggs, whisk and season. Herbs such as parsley, rosemary, tarragon or basil add a great taste to a tortilla. Pour the onion and potato mix into the eggs and mix everything together.

In the pan (preferably clean), heat some olive oil until pipping. Pour the egg mix into the pan and flatten with a wooden spoon or a spatula. After a few seconds, shake the pan from left to right and back a few times to ensure the mix doesn't stick to the bottom.

Reduce the heat and cook for a few minutes. Once the inside looks solid, cover the pan with a plate or a board, and turn the tortilla on it. Return it to the pan so the other side will cook, or put the pan under a grill.
Serve hot or cold on a bed of salad, with some bread and a dash of olive oil. Buen provecho!

For more information about the tortilla, check this.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Things to do in Spain in September

Once the holiday–makers have gone back home and the heat of the summer is more bearable, September is a great month to travel to Spain. It is still warm and you have more chances to interact with the locals and discover the real Spain and its culture. If you have the opportunity to take your holidays when everyone is coming back to work, there are few things to choose from in Spain.

Religious celebration
Religious events are of course important in Spain, one of the oldest one being the Fiestas Patronales de La Virgen de Gracia, on the 8th. These celebrations have taken place for more than 400 years in Albacete in honour of the local Virgin. Expect procession and flower offering to the Virgin, but also fireworks, music and gunpowder!

Wine festival
The Rioja is certainly one of the most known Spanish products and it has its own festival, held around the third week-end of September on the day of San Mateo. In fact, this wine has a very important place in the Spanish culture and its harvesting is celebrated in Logrono, the capital of the Rioja region.

If you need a little help with the language before going to Spain in September, try this.

Friday, 24 August 2012

How to enjoy Barcelona in the August heat

August is the hottest month in Spain when temperatures run up to 40 degrees. Whether you like hot weather or not August isn't the best month to visit vibrant Barcelona. Luckily the city has enough to offer for you dare devils out there. So there are plenty of ways to enjoy Barcelona in the middle of a heat wave.

First:  copy the locals and stay inside

You will notice that the majority of shops and even a few tourist attractions are closed during the afternoon.  Nobody in Barcelona wants to face the blazing August sun during the day.  There is simply no fun to be had in the 40 degree heat so stay inside your air conditioned apartment or hotel room. Only come out when the sun sets and the city comes alive again.

Second: be cultural 

The majority of museums in central Barcelona are open until late. They often organise some pretty awesome events during summer.  You could combine a visit to Casa Mila with some jazz music and fine wine. Or you could go to one of the events organised at the CaixaForum on Wednesday nights. The beautiful surroundings host a number of great shows including theatre, music and dance.
Third: discover the joy of dining underneath the stars
Barcelona offers you the best opportunities for enjoying a scrumptious meal outdoors. You can choose from anything in between a homemade picnic in the park or the terrace of a four star restaurant.

Fourth: go and experience Spanish cinema

There are multiple venues throughout the city that have organised outdoor cinema screenings. The most impressive venue is probably the Castle on top of the Mont Juïc. Whilst you are there you might also want to consider a night tour around the area.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Made in Spain

Spain is known for great food, beautiful beaches and amazing football.  What many people don’t know about the Mediterranean country is that the Spanish have invented many everyday objects. Just to name a few:

The submarine

Isaac Peral designed the very first submarine in 1887. The military officer never received credits for his design that included an electric motor, a periscope and a torpedo because his superiors dismissed the idea.

The digital calculator

Leonardo Torres Quevedo is responsible for the joy of the digital calculator, the remote control and cable carts.

The radio

The radio was invented by Julio Cervera Baviera who also founded the Spanish Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in 1902.

The space suit

The first person to ever design an astronaut suit was Emilio Herrea Lineras.

The pencil sharpener

Ignacio Urresti designed and created the first pencil sharpener in 1945.

The classical guitar

Although there is no specific person who invented the guitar, it is believed the Spanish started playing it in the early 13th and 14th century. The music instrument gained popularity after the 17th century when the 6th string was introduced to the formerly 4 string instrument. 

The cigarette

Beggars in Seville made roll ups from discarded tobacco and rice paper in the sixteenth century. They later on sold them to sailors and ship merchants. These customers brought the method home and the cigarette gained immediate popularity all over the world.

The disposable injection needle

Miguel Jalon invented the mop as well as the disposable injection needle.

The laryngoscoop

A laryngoscoop is a medical instrument used to examine the larynx.
The well-known opera singer, Manuel Vicente Garcia invented the instrument when he was studying the anatomy of the larynx. The instrument was introduced to the medical world by Johan Czermak.

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