The must-experience while in Spain
The vast majority of people in case of choosing Spain for their destination plan their trip to Barcelona or Madrid (not to mention such places as famous destination Lloret del Mar or Ibiza where people leave the country without having felt the real face of Spain), being absolutely convinced those cities will describe them fully this utterly interesting country and its culture which is recognized worlwide. Ineed, isn’t it that we all distinguish the Spaniards and the difference in their behaviour? Once you’ve been to Spain or Latin America you’ll understand it’s totally true. They are extremely warm, merry, outgoing and helpful people. In case you’re just interested in getting to know them, socialize, make some friends, believe me each city you’ll go to, whether it’s in north or south, you’ll always meet warm and friendly people. My Spanish friends from the south used to joke that those from the north are colder and more ‘sosos’ (boring). Nevertheless, no matter which place you’re going to, I’m pretty sure you’ll always feel this special treatment towards you full of warmth, tenderness and friendliness. So if that’s your plan than you’ll spend a wonderful time in Barcelona and Madrid, since those’re beautiful cities with much to do. However, if you’d like to combine it with discovering the real Spanish culture, its roots, have a chance to listen to Spanish guitar and watch the Gypsies dancing the flamenco, well… you should head down south to Córdoba.
Feel the Spanish May in Córdoba
The best period when you could possibly come to Córdoba is May. Each year during whole month there is something going on. From the 28th of April to 1st of May there’s Fiesta de las Cruces (crosses). Traditionally this was a celebration commemorating Jesus’s death on the cross since Spain is a catholic country. All over the historical part of the city, especially in Judería (the Jewish zone) there are big crosses covered with the beautiful flowers. The whole celebration has got a socializing caracter, and so people tend to geather and have some drinks. It’s especially for the young people.
Next, from the 2nd until 15th of May takes place the Festival de los Patios de Córdoba which is absolutely worth seeing! It’s a competition for the best terrace (patio) of the traditional Spanish houses (especially those in the Jewish zone Judería). There’s such a variety of flowers, their species and colours and such a finesse of it all!
And finally, since 21st to 28th of June takes place Feria de Córdoba. It’s a one week celebration where most of the Spanish put on their traditional flamenco clothes and there’re around 50 different casetas (kinda club) with the flamenco and reggaeton music. People dance and have fun both during the day and night. It’s just amazing.
Flamenco in Córdoba
It’s not only during the Feria when you’ve got the possibility to listen to the flamenco music and watch flamenco (during the Feria you’ll get to see ‘sevillanas’ which is the easier form). In Córdoba throughout the year there are plenty of tabernas or peñas flamencas where you get to listen to the music and watch the dance. It’s worth mentioning that flamenco is a Spanish art form consisting of three parts: guitar (guitarra), singing (cante), and dance (baile). It originated in the southern regions of Spain called Andalucía , but it’s thought to be influenced by many world cultures. Originally flamenco dancing was not set to music, it was only singing and clapping of hands called ‘toque de palmas’. Some flamenco dancing still follows ancient tradition, but the use of guitars and other musical instruments has become more popular in modern flamenco.
If only have a chance stay longer
Personally, I went to Spain for a student exchange programme for one year. And this experience changed my life irreversibly because this was no longer just a journey, nor a weekend trip somewhere, it was a chance for discovering the culture from the inner perspective, getting to know many interesting people, share unforgettable moments with them, make real friendships which last until today, learn Spanish. This is also a type of traveling but so much more enriching. Thus, I highly recommend anyone to search for the exchange programmes, internships, job, volunteer work abroad. Don’t fear of its costs, there’re so many opportunities nowadays that you can do it low-budget or even that it costed you barely anything. If you’re European you could benefit from the Erasmus+ Programmes, finding some internship or job there, this way I’ve done most of my journeys, including distant ones and lasting a long period of time. If you only feel like getting to know the World and the real culture of the country you’re visiting, becoming a part of a local society, sharing your passions which some interesting people who are different but on the other hand complement you, then you should definitely give it a try! You won’t regret it. You’ll gain friendships, change your attitude towards life, be more open-minded, experience life in another part of the globe, find out about what do you like about your own country’s characteristics and see what can you learn from the others. Hence, that’s true if they say that “Traveling is the only thing which costs (if it does) that makes you richer”.