3 Must-Have Spanish travel experiences

After a looong hiatus, I’ve decided to start blogging again! So why not start with some summer vacation stories!

For fellow travelers thinking about hitting the south of Spain (Andalucía), I’ve got some suggestions for a unique experience!

1) Sleep in a Cave Cuevas el Abanico, Granada, Spain

I’m not a huge fan of experimentation when it comes to sleeping arrangements. My entire day can be ruined by a lack of sleep, and I am slightly murderous before my morning coffee, but this is something I highly recommend to everyone! Not only does it have a natural cool temperature (no air conditioning required!) but the bed is comfortable and the cave comes with a kitchen and living room area as well! I wouldn’t recommend a visit in the middle of winter, as it might get too cold inside, but it’s a perfect resting place for a summer visit to Granada!

Avg price/night – 60€ for two people. Reserve here.

  

2) Sleep in a castle – Hotel Castillo Santa Catalina, Malaga, Spain

Who doesn’t want to feel like royalty for a night? You can have a temporary fairy tale and prance around the beautiful gardens of this spectacular hotel. It is a REAL castle, mostly used as a wedding venue nowadays. Make sure to book ahead of time, as they only have 8 bedrooms available! My iPhone pictures don’t do it justice. 

Avg price/night – 140€ for two people. Reserve here.

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3) Eat deliciously fresh seafood – Pedregalejo, Malaga, Spain

Pedregalejo is a small fishing village outside of Malaga city. It features a series of restaurants right next to the water, where you can enjoy a romantic evening on the beach while the chef cooks your meal right in front you!

Avg price -dinner for two 30-40€

  
   
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5 Strange Spanish Expressions

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Spanish is one of the most beautiful languages in existence. If you speak Spanish, you can agree that not only is it the language of love, it is the language of creative cursing and expression. If you want to sound more like a local on your next trip to Spain, try incorporating the following expressions into your conversation (the English equivalent is listed below).

These idiomatic expressions are in Castilian Spanish, meaning from Spain. They may or may not make sense in Latin American countries.

1) Tomar el pelo.

Literally: “Take someone’s hair.”
English equivalent: To make fun of, poke fun at, or pull someone’s leg.
Example: “Mis hermanos siempre me toman el pelo.”
Translation: “My brothers always take my hair.”

2) Poner los cuernos.

Literally: “Put the horns on.”
English equivalent: To cheat on, to be unfaithful.
Example: “El ex novio de mi hermana le puso los cuernos.”
Translation: “My sister’s ex put the horns on her.”

3) Tener mucha cara.

Literally: “Have a lot of face.”
English equivalent: To have nerve.
Example: “Hace falta tener mucha cara para hacer lo que hizo el ayer noche durante la fiesta!”
Translation: “You need a lot of face to be able to do what he did last night at the party!”

4) Ponerse las pilas.

Literally: “To put your batteries in.”
English equivalent: To get yourself together, get a move on, get your sh*t together. This expression was believed to be originally used in Colombia. The idea of having a “low battery,” and therefore being unable to complete a task, is used in various languages.
Example: Ponte las pilas! Vas a suspender el examen!
Translation: “Put your batteries in! You’re going to fail the exam!”

5) Tener mala leche.

Literally: “To have bad milk.”
English equivalent: To be mean, unkind, bitchy. The origin of this expression dates back to medieval times, where noble women often gave their newborns to women of lower classes so that they could be breastfed. Women of the upper classes didn’t want to be bothered with this task. The “host mothers” were usually of Jewish or Moorish origin and therefore thought to “have bad milk” that would be passed on to the child. The expression was generally used as an insult.
Example: La profesora de ingles tiene muy mala leche.
Translation: “The English teacher has really bad milk.”

I “get myself off” in Spain.

Mastering a language is always a difficult thing, especially when you suddenly find yourself in a foreign country and nobody speaks English.

My first few days in Valladolid, Spain, were filled with hand gestures and online translators in the fall of 2011. I was about to begin university, and I didn’t know anyone yet, so obviously I had to embarrass myself in someway or we wouldn’t be talking about me.

Once you get into the higher level classes (year 3-4) at the university, the classroom sizes are greatly reduced. So obviously, the first thing they do to welcome international students is to have them present themselves.

On the verge of peeing my pants, I kept going over the few sentences I memorized. “I’m from Canada, I love football (soccer), and running. Running is my favourite thing to do, and I do it every day.”

Now, reflexive verbs are a tricky thing for English speakers. In Spanish you would say “me ducho” o “¿te afeitas?” literally meaning “I shower myself” and “do you shave yourself?” In English, we don’t have this distinction between the regular and reflexive verbs. We say, “I shave” and not “I shave myself”.

So the professor says, “next” and I’m up. “Hola me llamo Aleks, soy canadiense, me encanta el fútbol y me corro todos los días. Me corro porque es mi cosa preferida y lo hago todos los días.”

The problem lies in the “me corro”. If I wanted to say “I run everyday” it would be “Yo corro todos los días” or “corro todos los días”. If you say “me corro” it means “I get myself off everyday” meaning…I masturbate.

I told the class I get myself off everyday and it’s my favourite thing to do. I’d say it could be worse, but no, it really couldn’t be.

The real problem was that NO ONE corrected me, so I repeated this in ALL of my classes. THANK YOU FELLOW PEERS. Finally, a guy who spoke English fluently leaned over and stated, “you told everyone you like to orgasm.”
Surprisingly, except for a few smirks, no one really reacted to my bold statement. The Spanish are pretty liberal so, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing, right?

**if you want to share your athletic abilities with the Spanish, it’s always YO corro, never ME corro, unless of course, you do want to share that part of your day with your new foreign friends.

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