Traveling in Spain is very different from South America. It is more like traveling in the U.S., except the language is Spanish. Spain´s infrastructure is more modern and well-maintained. Streets and bathrooms are clean! Life seems more orderly and routine somehow. A lot of the landscape reminds us of California.
The contrast between Spain and South America (or the U.S.) is in the antiquity of things. In the U.S. We get excited if something is more than 200 years old. Here it is routine to see things that are more than 2,000 years old. In many places we see the the traces of multiple civilizations in one location, such as in the Cordoba cathedral – combination mosque and cathedral with Visigoth remains below the main floor.
People are very kind and polite. The Spanish is quite clear and “easy” to understand (easy is relative, given our Spanish abilities).
We have met several people who want to go to the U.S. And drive Route 66! This is amusing to us because we think Route 66 is not the first place we would choose to visit in the U.S! In our view, it misses most of the best places, so it´s a shame that´s where so many people want to visit!
One thing that´s really impressed us about Spain is the amount of recent capital investment in public works. We´re continually impressed by the number of monuments, parks, public art pieces, pedestrian trails, bike trails, museums, high speed train systems, highways, and bridges. Many of more recent buildings look like they were built with no expense spared – the architecture is extraordinary. It seems that many of the older facilities are devoted to one king or another. It may be that the more modern ones were funded through low interest loans that became available when Spain became part of the European Union.