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Loving Food in Spain, Discovering the Culture and Travelling around the country all year. Follow me to hear insider tips and the latest information around Catalonia, Andalusia and further afield

50 Books about Spain & Book Review: Coffee, Castanets and Don Quixote eBook
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 @ 10:35 AM

I have been reading quite a lot recently with the rainy winter days. I have also compliled a list of 50 books about Spain on my blog:

One of the books added onto that list was this one ´Coffee, Castanets and Don Quixote eBook: by Robert Noble Graham¨

Here´s my review of that book:

It is not very often I read a book in one sitting. This eBook about Spain had me hooked from the first few pages. Coffee, Castanets and Don Quixote covers four Spanish cities. Barcelona, Seville, Toledo & Madrid.

Having visited these locations myself I was particularly interested to read how the author would describe each city. I began to read wondering if I would agree or relate to the descriptions.  If you haven´t had the chance to visit Spain yet, you will appreciate the detail described in each situation. The explanations of the people, scenery and buildings will give you a sense of this magical and varied country. As you read the words will transport you to these places. If you are considering travelling to these areas it is a perfect starter to begin to plan your travel.

Having lived in Barcelona for over eight years I was surprised to learn some new information about the city previously unknown to me. The descriptions of the Gaudi buildings particularly stood out, allowing me to vividly imagine each building.

The writing manages to blend useful fact on the location, mix in several anecdotes and also includes detailed but not longwinded descriptions of these cities of Real Spain.

The four destinations are at no point over romanticized for the sake of the reader. This Scotsman really does tell it like it is. The steep hills of the old quarters In Toledo and the problems with pickpockets in Barcelona are outlined and explained. Instead of being played down to give a glossy brochure image of Spain.  The reader is invited during the chapters to enjoy the authenticity of Spain. We are encouraged to savour the local food, wine and delicacies.

We all make mistakes when travelling abroad, get lost in a cobbled alleyway or get flummoxed with the language. Robert Noble Graham is no exception despite being an experienced traveller. Through the book we are told of problems with Catalan language when he is trying his utmost to learn Spanish and practice when he came and of being irritated by noisy tourists trying to order non Spanish food. (Something I can relate with)  

The majestic city of Seville is originally described as the author links the monuments and buildings into different Operas. This gives a slightly different and refreshing perspective on these famous Andalusian landmarks. When we reach Madrid the huge array of paintings and art that the capital city has on offer is explained in glorious detail. Although there is also a visit to the bustling Rastro street market held each Sunday morning in Madrid.

The writer´s passion for Spain is clear but this does not pollute the honesty shown in these tales of travel through these contrasting cities. At just under 70 pages this is a short but intense read for anyone interested in Spain.

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