Back to Spain
Alright...heres my deal. In the sixties I lived in Barcelona. In the seventies in Valencia and in a the town of Torrente in the outskirts. Been back recently: short stops in Barcelona, Malaga...
Very different now of course and this may be a case of 'you cant go home again'. I loved the Spain of the early years though I think in many ways things are better now for the people and especially women. I know the food is great everywhere but maybe someone can suggest a place away from the tourists, where my wife and I can practice our spanish, eat tapas, make friends. A small city or town thats beautiful to walk in etc. I'm a sculptor and we could spend a good part of the year in the right place.Read your posts and will look into whats already been suggested. Appreciate your input.
Girona maybe? Aside from proximity to El Bulli, it has a lot of other things
going for it. Beautiful old town glued to the side of a steep hill. A river. Close
to the Mediterranean (where you seem to like to be) but out of the Five Language
Menu Zone. Not overrun with non-Spanish tourists although it's become
something of the epicenter of international professional bike race training, so
you'll meet coulorfully dressed reminders of the outside world every once
in a while. Also: excellent oddly new-age vegetarian restaurant downtown the
name of which I seem to have forgotten.
Not too hot and not too cold. I am downloading the article and will translate with a dictionary nearby. If we can find the right place, we could spend one or two months a year there. Probably a pueblo , a few bars, bodegas and a few restaurants. Is that a pueblo?
There are many, many beautiful small towns that are virtually untouched by foreign tourists (though have plenty of Spanish tourists on weekends, puentes, and holidays). Rural tourism is very, very popular among Spaniards. But tourism shouldn't necessarily be viewed as a bad thing in my opinion, it ensures that a town has a decent economy. More important for someone who lives here and wants to learn the language is to steer clear of the Costa del Sol Mediterranean towns with large numbers of British residents.
A couple of questions... Are you looking for a pueblo or a small city? Can you survive a very cold winter and hot as a frying pan summer days of the Meseta? Or the raininess of the north?
Some ideas off the top of my head:
Arcos/Jerez de la Frontera
Toro (a pueblo near Zamora)
Covarrubias (more a pueblo)
Lots of tourists, but still worth considering:
Santiago de Compostela
Here's an article from a while back on the 30 prettiest small towns in Spain (in Spanish):
Thank you Heather and Theresa. I remembered after my post that I neglected to mention living in Sevilla for 3-4 months in 1969 and it was a great experience. I'll see what I can find about Ubeda. I realised in thinking about this that the Spain of my 'wild' days is gone i.e.';Hemmingway's Spain' and the place that I'd like to find there , without tourists everywhere is precisely the kind of idyllic location that attracts tourists. One thing I'd like, though its not a big deal would be to hear castillian spanish. What about towns near Madrid?