Discovering What’s New in Spain During Your Vacation
Spain became a hot destination for travelers following the dictatorship of Franco, thanks to its numerous beach resorts with extensive stretches of sand. In recent decades, it has become clear that Spain has much more to offer than just vast stretches of sand: exquisite cuisine, fabulous wines, spectacular historical and contemporary architecture, amazing fashion, film, and art.
FC Barcelona has been bringing home every trophy it could get its hands on since 2009 – the Spanish Triple Crown, the European Champions League Cup, the FIFA Club World Championship. It is internationally acknowledged as the world’s best soccer team. Its arch rival, Real Madrid won the King’s Cup, but Barcelona avenged its defeat by winning the Champions League and La Liga both. Madrid won in the Liga of 2012, but Barcelona won it back in 2013 with 100 points – a record!
The local governments of Spain are well aware of the benefits of bolstering their cities as shooting locations for films. Various scenes of the 2010 action comedy ‘Knight and Day,’ starring Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise was shot in Seville and Cadiz. The spy thriller ‘Haywire,’ starring Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Gina Carano, was shot in Barcelona. A remake of the Papillon is said to be shot in the Canary Islands.
In 2011, plans for a theme park of Paramount Pictures were announced. The park is expected to open in 2015 near Puerto de Mazarron beach resort. Along with the park, five hotels, shopping malls, an auditorium, clubs, and bars are also expected to set up business.
The arts scene witnessed many ups in 2012. After funding doubts, the Niemeyer Centre was made fully functional; the Patio de los Leones was renovated to its complete glory; and Madrid’s Prado Museum welcomes over 3 million guests. On the dark side, the government increased IVA tax to 21%, which resulted in a shocking drop in theatre- and cinema-going.
Spain has many air connections in its regionals nowadays, but the high-speed AVE trains of the national railway are tough competition. Although prices are the same, the duration of the journey is comparatively reduced. The AVE provides the most comfortable and fastest travel. More than any other European country, Spain has high-speed tracks under construction or already in service. Due to budget cutbacks, several routes of AVE (such as Granada-Seville and Madrid-Galicia) have slowed down construction.
Some sad news for lovers of the game; the Catalan Parliament approved a bill that banned the game in 2010. The conservative areas of Valencia, Murcia, and Madrid reacted to this bill, and proposed that the sport be given a legal status, as it is the Spaniards’ cultural heritage. Because this is part of the Spanish heritage, it is a hot issue in the political arena; activists of animal-rights have a battle in front of them.
The exquisite uncompleted basilica of the 19th century is undergoing construction for it to become a fully functioning church. It is expected to be under construction for at least the next three decades. Despite its incomplete form, the basilica is a major attraction for tourists from all over.