First, it’s the motherland of the language. Back when Christopher Columbus landed, the Spanish language did too and it spread throughout the land. Now it’s arguably second only to English for most widely spoken languages in the world. We also kind of liked the ‘th’ pronunciation of c and z. So we booked three months attendance at a language school in Malaga, Spain. I didn’t even know how to say hello in Spanish when I went there. That, it turns out, is not really the best way to take advantage of a language school, but it worked out pretty well anyway. We chose Malaga because it was pretty much the most southern part of Spain we could get and it was right on the Mediterranean.
Second, it’s the setting for two of our favourite books by James Michener: the Drifters and Iberia. The Drifters takes place in the mid-1960s. It’s about several young people from various places all over the world meeting up in Torremolinos, Spain. Malaga is about a 20 minute bus ride to Torremolinos which is another reason we chose Malaga. Iberia is Michener’s own journal and thoughts about Spain. He absolutely loved Spain even though he is brutally honest about all of its faults. It’s a country of so many mysteries. My husband, after reading the Drifters when it first came out in 1971, said some day I want to go see Torremolinos. And so we did.
Third, I was fascinated with flamenco and the horse culture in Spain. We met a couple who owns a flamenco school and do regular performances in Malaga. Kelipe Center for the Art of Flamenco is in the heart of Malaga. It felt like I was tapping into some ancient wells from my ancestors when I listened to and watched the flamenco performances. After all maybe my ancestors journeyed through the Iberian peninsula on their way to England. The J2 haplo group does show up with about 10% frequency.
Fourth, we were interested in the Celtic history of Spain. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get to the north of Spain where most of the celtic settlements were.
Last but not least, it’s where the spaghetti westerns were filmed. Clint Eastwood and his “Man with no Name” trilogy made the Tabernas Desert their setting. We found the small town called Agua Caliente at Los Albaricoques in the Andalusian region of Spain.
And that’s five reasons among others we chose to live in Spain for 6 months.