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I moved the CIA factbook info to Talk:Spain/CIA World Factbook 2002 import for reference. -- Evan 09:49, 18 Nov 2003 (PST)

Suggestion/Question for Sleep Section

I swore I either saw it here on Wikitravel or maybe it was on Wikipedia, but I can't seem to find it.

Wherever I found it, I recall that there are these monasteries in Spain that are reasonably priced that allow you to spend the night in the monastery with some monks (a lot like Shukubō in Japan).

Anyone know what I'm talking about? If so, maybe it should be added. --

i ve honestly no idea what you re talking about but what i do know is that the guide "lonelyplanet" gives a great overview over the "youth hostels" in barcelona... i wouldnt wonder if that would be true for all lonelyplanet guides. good book shops even have them in english language in spain!


So, I've checked a couple of other Web sites with region information for Spain:

We seem to be in rough agreement, I believe. --Evan 11:16, 17 Dec 2003 (PST)

About Languages in Spain

I am a Spaniard myself, so that I would like to comment (before editing anything) about the languages on the "Spain" page. Spain has one official language in the whole country (Spanish), which is spoken and understood by (almost) all the population. There are also three other coofficial languages in their respective regions (Catalonia, Basque Country and Galicia), which are spoken by a moderate number of people (catalan is, by far, the most spoken one of the three, and roughly 70% of the population in Catalonia can speak and understand it). The article seems to imply that Spanish is only spoken by ca. 74% of the population, which is totally inaccurate, an a likely source of trouble for people wishing to visiy my country. Could someone please change it to reflect the real stand of things? Thanks Miguel

-- More about languages in Spain: I'm a galician myself, don't know if a spaniard, and I would like to say that Catalan is not the most spoken regional language in tems of percentage in Spain. Galician language is talked as primary language by 80% of the our population, specially in the country areas, but it has less social recognition than Catalan, for instance. In some cities, specially in la Coruña, it's quite strange to hear it in the city center, but in virtually every small town, Galician is the first language for daily communication.

I am a long-time traveler to Galicia and to Euskadi. One needs to be very careful with terms like "region" - which I have commented on in my editing. It is important indeed to recognize that within an autonomy, a language such as Galician is know and used by a majority of the population. At one point Galician was spoken by 90% of the people. Travelers who use th elanguage may get odd looks, but it also opens many doors. I know this from over 25 years of experience and research on the area. Respect for the local character is vital for getting the most out of travel. And yes, it is entirely possible that less than 3/4 of the population of Spain speaks Spanish - as a native langauge, it probably doesn't even reach that high. Many people still recall that Franco used to sign death sentences for people who were from one of the nationalities on the periphery of the country. Kathleen

Of the three recognized regional languages, galician is not the one in the most precarious state... that dubious honour would fall on basque.-- 13:22, 22 October 2006 (EDT)

Well, now it is the turn for the Catalan, right? So I am a Catalan myself. I have ammended things such as the word Las before the word Islas because it does not belong to the name, like we don't say The United Kingdom but The UK. Also, I have to say that Catalan is spoken absolutely everywhere in Catalunya. The only regions you would not find that 100% of people speaks it is between, say, Salou and just after Barcelona in the coast. This is because it is the area with more tourisim and more immigration from in and out of Spain. If you are in the second town coast inside, this is like 10KM or so, you will have a hard time to find Spanish speaking people. Though, most of the people in Catalunya speak Spanish. I said most because there are a good percentage of people in Catalunya that speak Catalan period.
I would like to add that the names of the comunities are sometimes only possible in the language of the comunity. For instance, Catalunya is the only way to write it. This happens as well with Illes Balears, Girona, A Coruña, Ourense, Lleida, Vitoria-Gasteiz and ALL the rest of the cities of Catalunya and Illes Balears. With the Basque County, the standard Basque name is suposed to be used. In València, most of them can be referred as using both the Catalan and the Spanish word. This is official, decided in the Parliament. Here[1] you have a guide (in Spanish).
Also, I'd like to talk about the language of València. As a linguist I have to say that it is Catalan. As a human being that reads the news, I would say it is Valencià. The Statute of València says that Valencian is the language of València. They don't like it to be called a dialect of Catalan, so we should respect that. But, whatever it is called (I am fine if we say that the language of Catalunya is Valencià) we speak the same. Remember that "Catalan" per se does not exist, as all of us speak a dialect of a language that no one really speaks, i.e. we all speak either the variant of this town or this other place.
Also, I'd like to say that I have changed some influence stuff. It was said that Catalan has influence of French. But this isn't true. The same influence Spanish has of Italian. All this languages are dialects of the same Latin language. Perhaps in the middle ages we could talk about an influence, but not now. They are closely related, yes, but not influencied. If I speak Catalan to a French they will understand me as much as an English speaking to a Dutch. Also, about Aranès, I changed it to say that it is closely related to Occitan (There is the same problem like Catalan and Valencian: Provençal, Occitan and Aranès are very related and some say it is the same language, especially the first two).
Lastly I want to say, just as an addition, that in the Balearic Islands, most comonly, don't have this name of the language problem. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 7 Feb 2007

The Spanish Provinces

Spain subdivides it's regions into provinces. At the moment, I would feel that these are too small for Wikitravel and the regions would normally be all we would need. The problem is that the provinces all tend to be named after their main town. eg Malaga (city), Malaga (province), Granada (city), Granada (province), leading to confusion and disabiguation pages for all these places. Should we avoid creating the province article where possible??? -- DanielC 10:29, 4 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Renfe, fastest connection

i would add it myself but i cant express properly what i mean so i ll just give you an example:

If you wanna go from Barcelona to Salmanca (a town between madrid and portugal) the RENFE Homepage and the personal at the trainstation will only give you the DIRECT connection between Salamanca and Barcelona. They dont look up if it would be faster to take a train to Madrid and from Madrid to Barcelona. (or if the direct train is full)

I ve no clue why they dont do that...

So: You may wanna add that...

Topics, topics and more topics

This article is fulfilled with topics. E.g, it is said that southern Spain (Andalusian Country) is mostly desert.That's FALSE. Andalusia has high-mountain zones and very-green ones. The desert zone is Almeria, in eastern Andalusia.

Who has written it?

It doesn't matter who wrote it -- just go ahead and fix it. -- Colin 11:58, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
The contributors are listed at the bottom of the page as well as in the page history (click on the tab at the top). Again, please feel free to edit the page! Maj 12:09, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Of course, it was a "retoric" question. I've tried to fix it. Let's hope i've improved the article.

Toooooooooo many cities!

Who knows enough to edit down the city list to 9?

Here's a start...

  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Granada
  • Seville
  • Valencia

Cacahuate 11:14, 16 December 2006 (EST)

I would add San Sebastián and Cordoba (city). That makes seven, so can still add two more - How about Santander and Cadiz to round off? WindHorse 11:29, 16 December 2006 (EST)
Just realized that Madrid was not on your original list, so maybe skip Cadiz. It is an old city, but these days is not one of Spain's top commercial or tourist centers - though perhaps the north west corner is over represented with Bilbao, Santander and San Sebastian..... thoughts? WindHorse 11:39, 16 December 2006 (EST)
oops, I just went forward and made those first nine... I don't know actually, perhaps leave it until someone objects? Cacahuate 11:47, 16 December 2006 (EST)
I think you were making the change when I was adding the last comment. Anyway, I agree. Let's just leave the current list until someone offers a different opinion. WindHorse 11:52, 16 December 2006 (EST)
Sometimes these big lists indicate that the subject area has not been sufficiently filled out in Wikitravel. It's a good idea to ensure that each of the cities you're delinking is still linked to from somewhere. Thanks for working on this! I checked and it looks like just Ávila needs to be de-orphaned by being placed into some region. -- Colin 13:03, 16 December 2006 (EST)
Aaah, good point, will heed in future! Thanks! Cacahuate 13:22, 16 December 2006 (EST)

Top-level regions

The region list needs to be simplified. The official autonomous regions are sensible travel regions, but there's just too many of them listed here to get a handle on (the old 5-to-9 rule). Since one of the fundamental geocultural divisions of Spain are its language groups, I'm proposing that we use that as the top level. This means taking a lot of majority-Castillian territory and lumping it all together, and to a lesser extent with Catalonian Spain, but those regions can be broken down into the smaller autonomous regions. My knowledge of Spanish geography is all textbook-based, so please correct me if there are serious problems with this hierarchy:

The comment above is really wrong. Andalucia is not Castilian Spain. It's an autonomy with its own identity and culture, such as Catalonia or Basque Country. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I realize that each region of Spain is distinct, but I was hoping to come up with some larger groupings, based on language, and the people of Andalucia do speak castellano. Like I said, I'm looking for information, so please help me out. Or do you think that language is a bad way to organize Spain? How would you suggest doing it? - Todd VerBeek 08:12, 5 July 2007 (EDT)
How about, Madrid, Southern Spain (Andalucia and Murcia), Catalonian Spain (Catalonia and Valencia), Central Spain (Castila La Mancha, Castila y Leon, Rioja), Northwestern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabrias), Pais Vasco and the Spanish Pyrnees (Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon), The Islands (Canaries, Balearic islas). 7 regions in all.--Wandering 22:48, 24 October 2007 (EDT)

guidelines on Eat sections of spanish cities

<placeholder for what we've agreed so far>

After reading and editing a dozen of articles on Spanish cities, I came to conclusion that we need some guidelines on how to describe Eat general info and listings. Here's what I came to at the moment:

  • don't introduce in local article terms that are global for the whole Spain or its region (Catalonia, Basque Country, Aragon): menu del dia, tapas, pintxos, Jamón Serrano and Jamón Iberico, --instead, contribute your corrections to Spain article or to its region the info is specific for.
  • be sure that local dishes you introduce are really local, not available through all Spain--in the latter case, contribute your description to the Spain article
  • list tapas bars in Drink section, not Eat: it's impossible in most cases to have full-meal dinner or lunch in a tapas bar, and tapas is supposed to be eaten with alco drinks (beer, cider, wine) in most cases
  • for traditional restaurants (as opposed to tapas bars), define price range basing on main course: "Mains generally €X-Y". It's ok to allow few unregularly expensive exceptions that don't fit into a range, like lobster kind of delicacies.
  • for restaurants, state whether it offers menu del dia or other kind of set menu. If there're some restrictions (i.e. available only Mon-Fri, 1:30pm-4:30pm)--mention it.
  • (I would vote to define the same price ranges to be used throughout the country. Do we have many destinations that are priced much differently from the rest of Spain?)
  • split listings at least into Traditional Spanish food and Non-Spanish food--use categories like this as a sublevel under Budget/Mid-Range/Splurge top-level classification
  • create separate section for restaurants open during siesta (4:30pm-8:30pm)

I would welcome any comments, additions and objections on the above.

Another thing is how to make editors of any Spanish city aware of the guidelines we agree upon. I would welcome any ideas on that. --DenisYurkin 15:29, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

seafood notice is too generalized

> Spaniards are very concerned about the freshness of seafood and you may place an order only to have the waiter tell you that he can not serve this dish, because they did not receive this particular seafood freshly that day. It is very unlikely that you will find dishes prepared from frozen fish in a real Spanish restaurant

This is not true for many touristic places around Barcelona and Aragon.

With exception to specialized seafood restaurants and few specifically reputated general restaurants, I would not list this as a general rule. Any objections to removing it in how it is written now? --DenisYurkin 17:00, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

None. The person who wrote that statement has obviously not eaten in many low end restaurants where frozen fish is not unlikely. I agree that in coastal Spain fresh fish is more likely than not, but, in cheap 'real Spanish restaurants' in interior regions, especially around Madrid, fresh fish is hard to come by.--Wandering 22:41, 24 October 2007 (EDT)
Done, see Spain#Restaurants. Any further edits and clarifications would be welcome. --DenisYurkin 18:47, 9 November 2007 (EST)

coffee chains

I've re-edited the recent edit of Tea and Coffee section and invite do discuss it here.

My point is that, while we can dispute on quality of coffee at Star Bucks, theres no national chain which either has so many outlets or which is as consistent in its quality level as Star Bucks is. I would welcome to hear arguments and facts counter to my point. --DenisYurkin 17:50, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

As another removal of my text followed, I've made a third attempt to re-write my phrase. Is it still controversial to someone? --DenisYurkin 17:13, 21 November 2007 (EST)

mineral water

The article gives no hints on local mineral water. Which are the tastiest? Most famous? Have highest content of minerals? Most rich in taste?

Any recommendations? ;-) -DenisYurkin 18:22, 9 November 2007 (EST)

At restaurants, bars, etc., people just order "mineral water" without reference to any specific brand. While shopping at the supermarket, choice is primarily governed by concerns such as price, availability, and even shape of container (5 litre and 8 litre bottles are most common, and different designs offer varying degrees of convenience, e.g., for transport or when pouring the contents).

papas bravas

> The name of this plate comes from its sharp flavor, indicating that it has fire or temperament, recalling the first operation of I goad in which a goad nails to him so that he is brave in the bullfight.

I'm not sure I understand what is all this about. What is goad here? And I goad? A goad nails to whom? --DenisYurkin 08:46, 10 November 2007 (EST)

24-hour pharmacy

> Every city and town has at least one 24 hour pharmacy.

How universal is this rule? I think this is not the case in Alquezar, where it looked like no shops work 24 hours even in a hot season. --DenisYurkin 16:44, 19 November 2007 (EST)

It is completely universal, but complex anyway. By law, in any town in Spain there must be, at any time, an open pharmacy.If the town is so small that that would make a really nuisance for the chemist, that rule is applied to the shire(comarca), or to a group of surrounding towns, that are usually very close one to each other. In bigger towns and cities, there are always one or two open pharmacies during the night, and they're called 'farmacia de guardia'. The problem is that they're not always the same one: the pharmacies within the city usually take turns to open all the night around. However, if you come to need one during the night, and the one you find is closed, you should look next to the door of the pharmacy, for there you should find a poster that will tell you which is the pharmacy opened that night, and where to find it. In recent years 24 hours pharmacies are becoming popular in Spain, and in some big cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao,..) you may find one of those. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
I've tried to reflect the above in the article; correct me right there if I've misunderstood something. --DenisYurkin 16:32, 21 November 2007 (EST)

varieties of jamons

1. Looks like we have pieces from too many sources packed into a single paragraph on jamons:

Jamón (air dried ham): Jamón Serrano (Serrano ham): A tinned food obtained from the salt meat of the back legs of the pig and air dried. This same product is given the name of trowel or paletilla when it is obtained from the front legs. Also it receives the names of jamón Iberico (Iberian) and jamón of bellota (acorn). They are specially famous jamones that takes place in Huelva (Spain), in Guijuelo (province Salamanca), in the Pedroches (province Cordova) and in Trevélez (province of Granada). Jamón Iberico is made from free range pigs.

Could someone add clarity on what's what, how they are different etc? Right now it's so complex that it's nearly useless

2. From my experience, two most cited sorts of jamon are Iberico (min €80/kg) and Serrano (~€25/kg).

Is there anything worthwhile between €25 and €80, or it's purely "25 or 80+" choice?

--DenisYurkin 21:22, 23 November 2007 (EST)

The cheapest is just Jamón Serrano (Serrano Ham), Jamón curado (cured ham), then more expensive is Jamón Ibérico (Iberian Ham) made from better pigs. Finally Jamón de Bellota (Acorn Ham) and Pata Negra (Black Hoof) made from pigs fed mostly with acorns, and extremely expensive. Jamón de Jabugo (a region of Spain) is another expensive variety. Tasting serrano ham will do for most tourist, but the taste of acorn black hoof ham is definitely delicious but expensive. Do not trust somebody offering you cheap acorn ham or pata negra. is not so bad, as well as its links to varieties of ham. 13:19, 19 December 2007 (EST), why won't you plunge forward to edit this section according to your understanding of the topic? --DenisYurkin 07:32, 23 December 2007 (EST)

pintxos counted by toothpicks

I heard that somewhere in Spain, you pay for pintxos postfactum, by the number of toothpicks you leave on the plate. I have never seen that in San Sebastian. Anyone experienced similar practice somewhere? Where is this a common practice? --DenisYurkin 06:42, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Only in "faux" tabernas outside the Basque Country. In the Basque Country they rely on your honour and relative sobriety to tell them how many you've had.