Spain, a dream travel destination for me.The culture, food, people and history of Spain has always illuminated my mind. It fascinates me, swallows me up and takes my imagination for a prisoner. One day I wish to discover this culturally rich countries secrets for myself. To walk its colorful streets, lounge on the sandy beaches and dip my feet into the Mediterranean sea. I wish to see the passion unfold as people dance flamenco, I wish to taste the spices of the country. What a wonderful place to visit.
Spain is a place bountiful with culture and history, having an enormous impact on many corners of the world. When I think of traveling to Spain I think of course of Barcelona’s beaches and the intense architecture of Madrid. But what else is there?
I was privileged enough to have some of my curiosities quieted when I spoke with Chape from the blog Chape Personal Trainer. Changing my perspectives on where I may want to travel within the country, and helping me gain a deeper understanding of how a local feels about a place that to me is so fascinating.
Let’s talk about your hometown…
Can you tell us about the city or town you were born?
I was born in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia´s capital. The only hospital was there in the older days. It´s about 60km from my hometown, A Pobra do Caramiñal. Pobra is a fishing town, mostly. It´s quiet, bucolic, traditional… Pobra is a wonderful place if you are looking for a relaxing holiday. It rains… a lot. (Side fact) The Galician language has 70 words for your “rain”.
If I just landed in your town, where should I go first?
If you land in the summer, head to the beach. In any other season, you should go get an umbrella. With your umbrella, you can go to any bar. I mean it, no cinemas, no malls, nothing.
What is your favorite thing to eat?
“Polbo á feira is a traditional Galician dish, meaning (fair style
Octopus). This dish is prepared by first boiling the octopus cauldron. Before boiling, the octopus is repeatedly dipped in and out of the boiling water, held by its head. The goal of this is to curl the tips of the tentacles. After the octopus has been boiled, it is trimmed, sprinkled with coarse salt and paprika (pemento picante) and drizzled with olive oil. The optimal cooking point is the one in which the octopus is not rubbery but not overcooked either. This is achieved after around 20 minutes boiling, provided that the octopus is left to rest for a further 20 minutes inside the boiled water away from the fire or heat.”
What should a foreigner be aware of while in Spain?
A lot of people don´t speak English. Other languages are not our forte. Not even in tourist places or big cities. They´ll speak good English at the hotel, but outside is a totally different thing.
What are some stereotypes you wish to change about Spanish people?
Bullfighting. Please, it´s not culture is torture. Also, a business protected by… let´s say “The Spanish 1%”
Let’s talk about you….
Where in the world would you want to live other than Spain?
I know Amsterdam is waiting for me.
How does being from Spain impact your perspective on the world in a positive way?
I´m grateful to be very critical.
Hearing Chapes description of his home has opened my eyes to many things about Spain that I never knew before. The first being gaining a little more insight into the very interesting Galician culture. Also being from the western world I often heard about Spain’s famous bullfighting often linking them together, so it has been eye opening to me that perhaps the mass majority of Spanish people are not so interested or supportive of it.
Thank you Chape for sharing a little bit about your hometown, country, and perspectives!
If you have any suggestions for questions to ask our Chatting Compass bloggers please let me know in the comment section below… Stay tuned for next weeks post.