Kaley at the Lago de Sanabria
Ok, get excited guys! I am starting (yet another) new project on my blog! The Expat Files. So, my thinking is that Spain is a diverse and rich country in terms of its history, culture, art and geography, (though not so rich in the financial sense of the word-Burn! Sorry, Spain!) There are 17 different regions in Spain and they are all mixed and varied, even within the same province. I really want to showcase this on my blog.
I have been to almost every region in Spain (minus Extremadura, Asturias, and Murcia), and as much travel insight as I can give about them, it will never compare with what people who actually live there can share with you guys. I’ve chosen to start a project where I interview different people, mostly expats, who live in these different regions about what they think are the best places to eat, see, and visit. Both a local and an expat’s guide to Spain, if you will.
So I decided to launch my new pet project by interviewing one of my favorite Spain bloggers. Kaley of Y Mucho Más was crazy enough to go along with my scheme. I have been following her adventures in Castilla y León, a big region northwest of Madrid. I am especially fond of her blog because she was living in the same area where I first fell in love in Spain, when I was studying abroad in Salamanca in 2007-2008. Castilla y León embodies traditional Spain, from the pure Castilian Spanish spoken, to the traditional meals, to the elegant, medieval villages and the Camino de Santiago. Kaley captures all of this on her blog, along with negotiating an international engagement and the cross-cultural mishaps and adventures that make up the life of an expat in Spain.
1. Describe Spain in 3 words
Festive. Historical. Beautiful.
2. How did you end up there? What made you decide to move to Spain? Why did you chose to live in Castilla y León?
Long story, but I was in Salamanca, met a boy, and wound up as an auxiliar de conversación in his hometown, Zamora. I have grown to love CyL, because of its beauty, history, and authenticity.
3. What’s your favorite food in CyL? The best place to find it?
My favorite food is definitely salchichón, but I’m a big snob and I only like the kind my suegros (in-laws)make — nothing else can compare. But I also love lentejas (lentils) which are hearty, healthy, and delicious. I will eat jamón ibérico (spanish cured ham) any day, too. I’ve gotten way more fond of it this year, which I didn’t expect. I guess I eat all of my favorite foods in my suegros‘ house. If not there, probably friends’ or family’s houses. I love the homemade foods.
4. What do you think is the most beautiful spot in Castilla y León? The best view?
Plaza Mayor, Salamanca. I think it’s the best Plaza Mayor (main square) in the world. Not biased at all! I think the best view I’ve had in Castilla y León was of the Lago de Sanabria.
Sometimes I get annoyed by the apparent “coldness” of the people. In the Midwest, people are open, smile at you, and say “Sorry” when they bump into you. Not here. People here are most definitely not rude, but they aren’t overly polite. I don’t like the cold either. I mean, it’s Spain, so isn’t it supposed to be 75 and sunny all the time?
Wellll, I say: a Spanish wedding. I know, you can’t really just go to a Spanish wedding, but if you have the chance, do not miss it! They embody so many great things about Spain: the love and appreciation of great food, the history (due to the lovely churches and cathedrals), the great parties, the amazing wine … I’m serious. They’re the most fun parties I’ve ever been to.
Interested in participating in The Expat Files? Want to show off your region or city in Spain? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org