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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