Tag Archives: history of spain

Charming Chinchón – Garlic, Goya, Anis, John Wayne & a picture-perfect plaza



Join me for a walk around a little slice of deep Spain, right on Madrid’s doorstep. Located on the Tagus-Jarama river basin, Chinchón is just 45km from Madrid but worlds apart. Although it has grown beyond its village confines, visiting its antique heart is like stepping back into a charming, ramshackle past. Surrounded by vineyards … Continue reading Charming Chinchón – Garlic, Goya, Anis, John Wayne & a picture-perfect plaza


Aranjuez – A day trip to Spain’s Petit Paris



Join me for a day out to the Royal City of Aranjuez, a worthwhile day trip from the Spanish capital. I hop on the Cercanías light-rail commuter train from Madrid’s Atocha Station and make the 45 minute train ride through the middle of the harsh Castilian plateau, to the haven of peace and tranquillity of … Continue reading Aranjuez – A day trip to Spain’s Petit Paris


Living in La Mancha – Valdepeñas, Wine, Quixote & small town life in Spain



In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I take a weekend trip two hours south of Madrid to the town of Valdepeñas with three friends, one of whom spent a year living the Spanish small town life in deep Castilla la Mancha before moving to the Spanish capital. With the help of Matt … Continue reading Living in La Mancha – Valdepeñas, Wine, Quixote & small town life in Spain


Madrid Secrets by bike – Masonic mysteries, an assassination, pelota & fishy streets



Hop on and ride with me as I cycle Madrid‘s streets to uncover some curious secrets and hidden gems of the Spanish capital. In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I sign-up to Madrid‘s BiciMadrid public cycle scheme and dodge the traffic to check out some fascinating locations which hide some surprising stories … Continue reading Madrid Secrets by bike – Masonic mysteries, an assassination, pelota & fishy streets


Paella & pyrotechnics – A Valencia walking tour with photographer Paul Knowles



In this episode we’re talking and walking Spain’s third biggest city – the beautiful Mediterranean city of Valencia. Guiding us around Valencia is photographer and guide, Paul Knowles who runs his own walking private tour, Streets of Valencia. In the episode Paul talks history and reveals some of Valencia’s most important sights, including the Catedral … Continue reading Paella & pyrotechnics – A Valencia walking tour with photographer Paul Knowles


Treading Toledo’s 2000-year history: Mosques, Monasteries & Synagogues



In this episode I pound the steep and winding cobbled streets of the former Spanish capital, Toledo to discover its incredibly rich and varied history. Once a city where Moors, Christians and Sephardic Jews all lived side by side. Capital of Spain until 1563, when the honour passed to the backwater village of Madrid just … Continue reading Treading Toledo’s 2000-year history: Mosques, Monasteries & Synagogues


Zipping around Zaragoza – a weekend in the capital of Aragón



Join me for a whirlwind wander around Zaragoza, the beautiful capital of the Spanish autonomous region of Aragón. I zipped up to Zaragoza on the AVE from Madrid to meet an old friend who lives in Barcelona. It´s the perfect half-way meeting place. In this episode I explore the city and visit some of Zaragoza´s … Continue reading Zipping around Zaragoza – a weekend in the capital of Aragón


Discovering the Arabic Influence on Spanish Language with David Bowles



What do the Spanish words Hasta, Loco, Barrio, Aceite, Moreno, Ojalá, Chaleco, Tarea and Fideo all have in common? They’re all Arabic origin words that have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Spanish has some 1,000 Arabic roots and about 3,000 derived words, so nearly 4,000 in total, that’s 8% of the Spanish language.  In … Continue reading Discovering the Arabic Influence on Spanish Language with David Bowles


When in Spain reading list: 16 must-read books on Spain



With the Summer holiday season just around the corner, you might be contemplating which books to pack to while away the hours while relaxing or travelling. Assuming you’re a big fan of Spain, I’ve put together a ‘When in Spain Reading List’ of 16 of my favourite reads about Spain. My recommendations include books on Spanish … Continue reading When in Spain reading list: 16 must-read books on Spain