Extremadura: Spain Covid Road Trip #1

Extremadura: Spain Covid Road Trip #1

Remote, poor, sparsely-populated Extremadura is the unrespected Rodney Dangerfield of Spain tourist destinations. It didn’t make Planetware’s top fifteen list for the country, or, for that matter, U.S. News’ top twenty. Rick Steves’ Spain ‘at a glance’ map represents the autonomous community’s 41,000+ square kilometers as a big blank area between Portugal and Toledo. Transit…

Spanish Loanwords: My Nominations

What follows is an incomplete list of Spanish words and sayings that might rate utterance by English speakers. The German weltschmerz, zeitgeist and schadenfreude get occasional play in the U.S. media because no English words so ably cover the same turf. Why not pagafantas and hombretón? I have discussed all candidates below with Spain born-and-raiseds,…

Madrid Quarantine

Once a week I shop. This is the only time I leave the building during the coronavirus quarantine in Madrid, practically the only time I leave my apartment. If I have to tote trash and recycling to the bins by the stairs I hold my breath until I’m back in the apartment with the door…

A Weekend in Galicia, Spain

A Weekend in Galicia, Spain

Galicia is a Hawaii-sized state autonomous community on Spain’s northwest corner. I asked Spaniards if I should visit. “¡Por supuesto!,” said they, while suggesting that Galicia would be: (♦) Beautiful! Woodsy green hamlets fronting windswept Atlantic coastlines. Like that. (♦) Rainy! Maybe not as wet as San Sebastian, but up there. (♦) Relatively isolated. Spain’s high-speed…

Visit to Ronda, Spain

Visit to Ronda, Spain

“You’ve got a lot of nerve,” a native Spaniard might tell me, “to book a tourist trip to inland Andalucia in August.” True. I’ve lived in Spain three years, know better. Andalucia cities regularly rack up summer scorchers north of 40° Celsius. (104° Fahrenheit. Ow! Ow!) I’ve listened wide-eyed as natives swapped anecdotes on surviving…

Spain Taxes for U.S. Expats

Must we? Didn’t we Yankees endow earthly civilization with the Big Mac, Love Boat re-runs, the Chia Pet? Isn’t it enough that we grace Spanish soil with our Stetson-crowned, Buckaroo-booted presence? Must we submit to the indignity of expat taxation, too? I’m afraid so. Presume yourself to be liable for a Spain tax on worldwide…