If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you
By Nick Kenrick.. on 2013-09-02 18:03:49
Ireland and Spain represent two different facets of European culture. While one country derives heavily from Gaelic and Celtic traditions, while still retaining a strong sense of the modern identity, the other represents an entirely different set of customs that stem from a history of Roman Catholic, Muslim and French rule. Nevertheless, both Ireland tours and Spain holidays reveal to us much of the unseen, giving us another peek into the immenseness of Europe. Here’s why both should be part of your agenda:
Located in north-western Europe, just east of Great Britain, Ireland is famous for its potato harvest and its writers (who often write about potatoes). Famed playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, poets such as William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney and writers such James Joyce and Roddy Doyle all find their roots in Ireland. Another massive cultural export of Ireland is perhaps Riverdance, a theatrical display of native Irish step-dancing. Sports, too, find their place in the culture of the nation. Handball and Gaelic football are two popular local sports, played most prestigiously at the Gaelic Games, organized under the aegis of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Ireland is also famous for its food and drink, with Irish cheese, whiskey and beer having gained global popularity. Local delicacies include rashers, boxty and colcannon.
The culture of Spain is a mish-mash of Catalan, Basque, Galician and Latin American elements. Spanish writing is one of the most widespread literary phenomena in the world, comprising not only writers from Spain, but also Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba etc. Fernando Arrabal, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis-Borges and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez are a few prominent names of Spanish-language writers. Spain is also home to flamenco, a popular form of dance and music characterised by intricate guitar chords, expressive singing, flamboyant gestures and aggressive handclaps. Sport prevails in Spain, too, with football being a national craze; Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are two of the world’s most successful football clubs. As for the cuisine, it is popular for its wine and Mediterranean influences with dishes such as the Valencian paella being prepared almost ritualistically.
If you’re looking to tour Europe without the rush and frenzy of a European tour package, you might want to stick to just one or two countries. And if you’re going to pick just one or two countries to visit, you might as well pick from the endless packages that offer Ireland tours and Spain holidays. You won’t regret it!
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