All posts tagged: spain

5 Most Unusual Hotels

Are you tired of the usual hotel room with its stock standard decor, layout and design? Do you wish your unique travel experiences could extend to the place in which you stay? Below are five different hotels from around the world that will challenge every idea you had about holiday accommodation and make you want to visit toute-de-suite for a one-of-a-kind, who’d-have-thought type of vacation … My top pick for the most original, thought-provoking, witty, ingenious, artistic hotels I’ve ever seen is street artist Bansky’s newest endeavour. The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine, facing the wall separating Palestine and Israel, takes the concept of visiting a new place to a whole new level. Without bias or prejudice, the hotel tells the story of the wall through art, a museum and decor. And it’s clever – if tongue-in-cheek and black humour are your thing. The hotel’s name says it all. As do the floating cherubs with gas masks in the piano room (image above), the street art on the walls and the statues choking on tear gas. …

Pintxos at Atari Gastroteka in San Sebastian

Photo Essay | Spanish Food

Whether you’re a foodie or not, you can’t help but become one when you visit Spain and in particular San Sebastian which is renowned for its gastronomony. Even a simple meal of tapas is a delight. So hold on to your taste buds and sample some Spanish scrumptiousnesss. In the Basque region, tapas are called ‘pintxos‘ (pronounced pinchos) and are rather like substantial canapes. They sit on the bar so you can choose which ones you want, and go back again and again and again! Seafood, egg and cured meats are common ingredients. They are typically available from lunchtime till very late and are constantly replenished. A fantastic dinner substitute if you haven’t adapted to Spanish dining hours and can’t wait until 9 pm (at the earliest) to eat dinner. The top image was taken in one of the most popular and renowned bars, Atari Gastroteka, in the old town of San Sebastian opposite the cathedral.  You can have a ‘proper’ meal as well but you need to book a table at busy times. You can even sit on the cathedral steps …

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Photo Essay | Northern Spain

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll have noticed my Spanish sojourn and over the next couple of weeks I thought I’d share with you some of what I saw. Starting in Bilbao at the northern tip of Spain in the Basque region, the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry takes centre stage and must be visited, even if you only see the exterior and none of the modern art exhibitions inside. Artist Jeff Koons’ gigantic Puppy sculpture made entirely from living flowers announces your arrival with all the fanfare of a summer party. When I visited there was a retrospective exhibition on Jeff Koons’ wacky modern art such as this giant cerise Balloon Dog as part of his ‘Celebration’ series. More Jeff Koons’ shiny, happy installations. If you can’t get enough of Frank Gehry’s architecture pay a visit or, even better, stay at the Hotel Marques de Riscal in La Rioja. Set amongst the rolling vineyards of Spain’s famous wine region, the hotel, which is itself one of the oldest Rioja wineries founded in 1858, is magnificent. You can …