I have discovered that Spain is a country of immense diversity. Geographically it is quite magnificent with green forests in the rainy north, mountains and vast plains in the central regions and deserts in the extreme south east. With an area of just over five hundred thousand square kilometres Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe after France and with an average altitude of six hundred and fifty metres it is the second highest country in Europe after Switzerland.
Spain is also a country of different people and the description ‘Spaniard’ it seems is just a convenient way of bundling them all together. Richard Ford was a nineteenth century English traveller in Spain and in his ‘Handbook for Travelers in Spain’, published in 1845, acknowledged now as one of the very first travel guides, was one of the first to identify that ‘Spain is a bundle of local units tied together by a rope of sand’, and Gerald Brennan in ‘The Spanish Labyrinth’ similarly observed ‘In what we may call its normal condition Spain is a collection of small, mutually hostile or indifferent republics held together in a loose federation’.
And these are the links to my journals about visiting Cities and Towns in Spain: