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My First Feria: Jerez de la Frontera

Though I already gave a quick overview of ferias in general, did I mention they’re absolutely beautiful?

The Andalusian horses, with their silky coats gleaming under the harsh midday sun.

The Jacaranda trees in bloom, in an almost unbelievable shade of purple.

The women dressed exquisitely in expensive flamenco dresses.

The men, dapper in suits upon their prized horses.

Paper lanterns, vivid colors, bright lights, soulful music, passionate dancing and copious amounts of regional food and drinks.

It was a blissful day.

Jacaranda Trees in bloom.

A man showing off his beautiful Andalusian horse.

No detail was left out; even the horses were dressed to the nines.

It was the Feria del Caballo, or “Horse Fair”, so horses were abound.

Pretty girls in pretty dresses.

Even little girls dressed up in their flamenco dresses.

I have a soft spot for paper lanterns.

This beautiful couple was happily dancing beside me.

The Jerez feria is BIG.

I felt transported to another time almost.

More dancing!

And the beautiful, bright lights that cast a warm glow over everything late into the night…

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Feria Season is Here!

Photo via Flickr: Anrapu

The colors, the traditional wear, the pageantry,the rebujitos! Feria (fair) season has finally arrived in Spain. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year, every town and village has their own feria, with it’s own unique flair, usually somewhere between May and October.

This weekend I’m off to my first-ever feria; the Feria del Caballo in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. I can’t wait to soak up the Spanish culture, sample Andalusian fare, and take entirely too many (is that possible?) photos.

The forecast is looking scorching. I couldn’t be more excited. ¡Buen finde a todos!

Check back tomorrow for an extra special (though entirely unrelated) post. :)

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The 10 Best Things About Living in Spain

Bouts of homesickness during the holidays are normal when you’re celebrating half a world away. Missing my second Thanksgiving at home in a row set off mild to moderate pangs that had me reminiscing of the ease of locating cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie filling in the grocery store, and a day centered around comfort food, football and family.

Celebrating Thanksgiving again in Spain, surrounded by friends, sharing my culture with Spaniards (and Basques!) got me thinking. Not just because Thanksgiving is a day where we’re told we need to think of things we’re thankful for, but because I didn’t come this far from home to be sad, soppy mess every time a holiday rolls around. Then, instead of missing home, I took some time to think about all of the reasons why living in Spain is de puta madre (f’n awesome!) :

Institutionalized Napping: The Siesta


Though I rarely take advantage of this, I know taking a mid-day nap is perfectly acceptable in Spanish society and I won’t be judged for it.

Landscapes

Ronda, a mountain village full of white-washed houses.

Golden beaches in the South and rolling green hills in the North. There is extreme diversity here from the people to the land they live on and it’s all breathtakingly beautiful.

Fiesta

San Fermin

Spain knows how to par-TAY. Where else can you celebrate by participating in the world’s largest food fight, or be chased down narrow streets by raging bulls all in the name of Saints?

Every town, big or small, has it’s own “feria” (festival), a week of eating, drinking, traditional dress and most importantly: no work. In fact, Spain has more festivals than any other place on earth. On any given day in Spain there is a feria happening somewhere.

Gastronomy

Jamon Iberico, Gazpacho and other Spanish delights

Spanish cuisine is consistently ranked among the best of the world and it’s easy to see why: fresh ingredients, unpretentious, and heavily influenced by the array of cultures that have stepped foot in Spanish lands over history.

Fútbol

Where Church and Sport intersect: Camp Nou’s Chapel

A sport worshiped more than any religion here. A typical questions here is “De que equipo eres?” or, “Of what team are you?” With team, player and coach coverage dominating the news, and one of the finest leagues in the world to watch, it’s impossible to not get sucked in to the world of fútbol here.

Bebidas


White Wine Sangria

Kalimotxos, Rebujitos, Sangría… and did I mention the wine?

Café Culture

Cafe Espresso

Hailing from the land of Starbucks (Seattle), I came here eager to try the coffee and was more than pleasantly surprised.  You can get a great cup o’ joe for mere pocket change as opposed to the $4 hot liquid sugar we guzzle down back home. Not to mention, to-go cups are virtually unheard of here. When a Spanish person goes to a cafe, they go to sit, chat and enjoy their cup of coffee. What a concept.

Architecture

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Gaudi is a household name in architecture, but in Spain it doesn’t stop there. From majestic palaces, to decadent cathedrals, colonial houses to contemporary museums, Spain is well-respected for their contributions to the world of architecture.

Art

Wall Mural, Ronda

Salvador Dali, Picasso, Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya…Spain has produced some of the world’s most well-regarded artists and the artwork here remains a staple in tourism.

The People

Performers at the Carnival in Cadiz

The Spanish are famous for their passion and it inundates their language and their lives. Their focus on their family is admirable and their way of life continues to make Spain a popular destination for travelers.

(Photo credits: mysza831 on Flickr for siesta photo)

(Source: flickr.com)

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I'm Christine - a 25 year old American expat living la vida Española on the Mediterranean coast in Spain!

Christine In Spain - Find me on Bloggers.com

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My Top 10 Spanish Foods
Alubias Vascas
Tortilla de Patata
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota
Chorizo a la Pimienta
Cocido
Paella
Fabada Asturiana
Bacalao a la Vizcaína
Pan y tomate
Salmorejo


My Recent Flickr Photos