Tag Archives: espana

Radikal Readings: The Ghosts of Spain

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If you scroll through my blog you’ll notice that I usually post about one book review a week, however, lately that hasn’t been the case.  That’s not to say I haven’t been reading.  I actually decided to re-read my favorite author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and favorite set of books, Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven, which I do every so often.  For that reason I’ve been behind on my Radikal Readings posts.

All three of Zafon’s novels are based in Barcelona, Spain which help feed my obsession with the country.  Re-reading them left me longing to return to the place that stole my heart, but alas that just isn’t feasible at the moment.  So I did the next best thing, read a book about it.

The Ghost of Spain by journalist Giles Tremlett had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time but never got around to picking it up, but this was the perfect moment.  It begins with an in depth look at the country’s history with dictator Franco at the helm and turns into a look at modern social history and a travelogue rolled into one.  Having visited the modern Spain only for a short time, the look in on Spanish life and how the country has dealt with, or hasn’t with it’s dark past is fascinating.

Admittedly, while well written, it does get dry at times, as Tremlett repeats himself aplenty.  However, it is still a great read for anyone interested in knowing a little a bit more about Spain, or a Spain fanatic like me.


Spain, My Love

IMG_0294That’s me in Malaga, Spain. I had been on vacations before – Hawaii, Canada, Australia, the Fiji Islands and more, but Spain? Spain changed my life.

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with all things England. I listened to the BBC, I watched British television, I wanted to live in London and above all I wanted to be British. So naturally, I always thought my first trip across the pond would be to London, but it just so happened to be Spain.

A night of drinks at a cousin/best friend’s house turned into coordinating dates, looking up flights and choosing which cities we would visit. March 2012, 3 girls, 10 days and 4 cities – Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla and Malaga.

The country stole my heart, between the awe inspiring architecture, the beautiful and genuine people to the late night dinner culture and afternoon sangrias and tapas – there’s magic in Spain. Days were spent walking around each city, taking in everything we could, devouring the cathedrals, cobble stone streets, cafes, restaurants and bars.

However, one of the most beautiful aspects of the country is that beneath the bright, beautiful surface is an undeniable darkness. Streets that hold so many stories of pain and blood. It’s history is haunting. Yet, that makes it all the more beautifully intriguing and that much closer to my heart.

I love you, Spain. If I could have another life time, I would want to be born in that magical place.