Trips to Catalonia

Trips to Catalonia

Catalonia is the triangular, Maryland-sized “autonomous community” that defines mainland Spain’s northeast corner. Its capital, Barcelona, attracts visitors from around the globe. Girona, Figueres, Lérida and other Catalonia urbs get less international attention. Catalans speak Spanish, even if some wish they didn’t, and a language of their own: Catalan, the mother tongue of roughly a…

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…