Discover the Spanish culture!
We know better than anyone that as a motorcyclist you travel to the south of Spain to drive there, but Spain has so much more to offer than just its road network.
Culture or civilisation is the set of customs and (behavioural) rules that belong to a people or tribe. What has touched me most, and to which I have also lost my heart, is history and its culture in the south of Spain, Andalusia. Apart from the fact that in the Netherlands people sometimes complain that the culture is subject to change, the south of Spain has had a hard time in the past with dominions of other cultures. Especially the 800 years of Arabs domination has left its mark and that is what makes this part of Spain so special. The influence of Moorish rule is still clearly visible when visiting the Andalusian cities, but also in the villages many things remind us of the time when Andalusia was still called Al-Andalus.
Andalusia: hard voices, soft hearts
Andalusia is also often referred to as the real Spain, because it is here that the roots of Spanish culture emerge most clearly.
The passionate flamenco music, so many feasts that sometimes last days and nights, the bullfights, the elaborate meal at noon and the siesta afterwards are important features of it. Especially during the midday meal, the most important meal of the day, people always take all the time they need to relax. It is then often difficult for the tourist to understand why we talk so loudly with the radio or TV at maximum volume in the background and all the other sounds. Take it from me when you find this you are well placed to make it a great moment.
Spaniards live on the street
The life of the Spaniards takes place on the street, do you want to meet someone and or see them in a bar or restaurant. This is what the tourists often love about going on holiday in Andalusia there is always life on the streets and squares until late at night.
Spanish nightlife starts with aperitifs in restaurants and bars, followed by a late evening meal. With friends you will then go to a bar or discotheque where you can party late into the night. For the diehards, there are bars and clubs that are open all night, or visit an ‘afterhour’ or ‘morning club’. And finally, the next morning, a nice breakfast with churros and chocolate.
Street life in Spain is abundantly present in the various regions and cities, so also in Andalusia, the common denominator is that as a tourist you are always welcome to participate.
Meet Flamenco and Duende
Duende is an untranslatable and very mystical Andalusian term, a moment given by the gods when everything falls into place and for a moment there is a tangible bond between the performers and the audience. The origin of such a moment can be just as unexpected when someone in a village pub bursts out in a mood of melancholy, sorrow or love and is answered by the bartender in song. Perhaps the term ‘goosebumps moment’ comes closest. In its original form, singing and clapping of hands, called “toque de palmas”, were the only sounds accompanying the dance. As the range of flamenco grew, however, musical instruments were added to the performance.
Contemporary flamenco dancers use small portable percussion instruments called castanets that click to the rhythm of the music. The enchanting movement of the arms, hands and fingers creates a magic that is essential for flamenco. Movement of the arms is called braceo and movement of the hands and fingers is called floreo. The posture and coordination of the arms with the rotation of the wrists during braceo is very important and distinguishes flamenco from other dance styles.
Holy Week in Spain (Semana Santa)
The Holy Week of Málaga, has an ancestral tradition dating back to the time of the Catholic monarchs. The city of Malaga is the capital of the Costa de Sol and is located in the south of Spain, a country that in the 21st century perfectly blends modernity and its traditions. The best known of these traditions is undoubtedly the famous Semana Santa in Malaga. For more than 500 years of uninterrupted history, the Holy Week of Málaga has remained present in the religious and popular feeling of the people of Málaga. On 16 February 1980 it was declared of international tourist interest. A spectacular event of a religious, social and cultural nature that attracts millions of visitors to the capital of the Costa del Sol.
Feria ( funfair) in the big cities
Fairs in the south of Spain are celebrated big, it is also the happening of the year to have a great time. Inner cities are completely decorated, people are dressted up wonderfull with tradicion cloches. The bulls are taken out of their stables for the Arena and the fun actractions are on a local terrane together to enjoy the rides.
This kind of festivities run from April to November through Andalusia, the most important of which are the fairs in the capitals such as: Seville, Cordoba, Malaga and Granada. These fiestas and fairs often last longer than a week where normal daily life comes to a complete stop.
Andalusia is realy different!