Just by reading the title of this blog post, do you think that I have a trip planned to España? Can you imagine me luxuriously sipping champagne at a villa in Spain? Hhmm, unfortunately, not anytime soon!
However, one of the things I learnt when I was working for a tycoon developer is that when we set a goal, we must let as many people as possible know about it, so that we are accountable in achieving it. With this post, I hereby announce my wish to visit Spain one day. Hopefully, my statement spurs me to be there earlier, rather than later!
If you follow my blog, you will know that I am all about experiences, rather than destinations. Still, the only country in the European continent that I have visited is the Netherlands, thus I would relish Spain to be the second destintion. Why? Let’s go through, in descending order, the top 5 extraordinary experiences to be expected in charming Spain!
5) Participate in La Tomatina Tomato Battle
I watched this tomato battle on a Spain travel documentary a long time ago and it stuck in my fantasy list since then. Why would someone want to get involved in a tomato battle? Purely for entertainment! It is hosted on the last Wednesday of August, 29th of the month this year, in the town of Buñol, València. This annual tradition since 1945 looks like a lot of fun – nobody will get mad at you when you pelt them with tomatoes, and this can only happen during La Tomatina Festival!
Did you know that La Tomatina is only accessible by paid ticket? It’s inexpensive, though – only €10 per person. The ticket is to be exchanged for the festival bracelet on the day of La Tomatina Festival.
4) Indulge in an El Clásico Football Match
Regardless you are a football fanatic or not, when in Spain, one must watch an El Clásico football match, which is when FC Barcelona play arch rival, Real Madrid. These games are always intense, and even a non-footie like myself would vie for a seat in the stadium for its vibe. El Clásico means “The Classic”, after all.
Did you know that Barcelona and Madrid are Spain’s two largest cities? Their football clubs are among the world’s most successful. They also have large fan bases around the globe, including Malaysia. It’s easy to say that El Clásico is as high-ranking as any FIFA World Cup game. Luckily, we don’t have to wait four long years to watch each game!
3) Explore Game of Thrones Filming Locations
If you are a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT) television series, alluring Spain is the country to visit, because in Season 6, most of the southern unit (for locations with warm climates) was filmed there.
Join a Game of Thrones location tour and see how Barcelona’s castles of Zafra in Guadalajara and Santa Florentina in Barcelona were converted into the Tower of Joy and Horn Hill. Or how the deserts of Bardenas in Navarre and Tabernas in Almería jointly made up the Dothraki Sea! Other Game of Thrones locations in Spain include Seville, Córdoba, Almería, Guadalajara, Castellón, Navarre, Girona, Bermeo, Zumaia and Cáceres.
Did you know that Game of Thrones Season 6 began filming in July 2015, and premiered on HBO on April 24, 2016? The 10-episode season wrapped up on June 26 the same year.
2) Challenge your fear on the World’s Scariest Pathway: El Caminito del Rey
Suffering from acrophobia? The El Caminito del Rey, or The King’s Little Pathway, is the ultimate challenge to overcome your fear! Located at the modest Spanish village of El Chorro, thrill seekers know this passageway as the world’s scariest, understandably! Some call it the World’s Most Dangerous Walkway, having claimed a total of five lives in 1999 and 2000.
This one-metre-wide broadwalk was inaugurated in 1921 by King Alfonso XIII. Stretching a length of 100 metres, it hangs above the Gaitanes Gorge, off sheer vertical rock walls. Scenic it might be, so high up among the clouds, but that’s provided one is not paralysed by fear attempting to cross El Caminito del Rey from one side to the other!
Did you know that El Caminito del Rey was partially closed to the public for over a decade? It reopened to visitors in March 2015, following a €5.5million restoration programme that took four years to complete.
1) Travel from Spain to Portugal in a Zipline
While Spain is set to be my second European country, let’s make Portugal the third, and travel there in style, not by plane, car, ferry or train, but via a zipline! Can you imagine that? I have always been fascinated by 0km landmarks and demarcation lines between two places – this one tops the list of border lines across the world. And by crossing the border, we are also travelling back in time, by one hour due to the difference in time zones.
Did you know that LÍMITE ZERO is the world’s one and only international cross-border zipline? It begins from a small village called Sanlúcar de Guadiana in Huelva, Spain. The zipline crosses the Guadinana River, or Odiana, and stops at Alcoutim, a Portuguese settlement. The zipline is not long, only 720m, and ticket price is €18 per pax. However, the experience is an endeavour that cannot be placed a price tag on, in my opinion.
So, here you have it, the top five things that I would definitely do should I visit Spain one day. Of course, there are other experiences to enjoy, such as having a drink at Icebarcelona, the only beach ice bar in the world; dining at the 300-year-old Sobrino de Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant; watching a bullfight in Ronda, the oldest bullring in the country; be entertained by a flamenco show in Seville; and hopping the Balearic Islands.
Seriously, there are just many uncountable ways to indulge oneself while on a holiday in sunny Spain. Hola, España, let’s start saving up and make this dream a reality!
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