85 episodes

Want to live and work in Spain? Maybe just visit? Or just curious about the Spanish way of life? When in Spain offers practical advice, real-life observations and travel ideas for anyone figuring out Spain and the Spanish culture.

When in Spain is a weekly podcast series that shares 'warts and all' observations and insights on life and culture on the Iberian peninsular. The show also offers practical advice on how to move here, live, survive and thrive in this country of countries.

When in Spain Paul Burge

    • Places & Travel
    • 4.8 • 31 Ratings

Want to live and work in Spain? Maybe just visit? Or just curious about the Spanish way of life? When in Spain offers practical advice, real-life observations and travel ideas for anyone figuring out Spain and the Spanish culture.

When in Spain is a weekly podcast series that shares 'warts and all' observations and insights on life and culture on the Iberian peninsular. The show also offers practical advice on how to move here, live, survive and thrive in this country of countries.

    Covid – a mixed blessing for Spanish politics, economy & society? With Alan McGuire

    Covid – a mixed blessing for Spanish politics, economy & society? With Alan McGuire

    Madrid-based British writer and podcaster, Alan McGuire joins the When in Spain podcast to talk about Spanish politics, society and the economy since the 2008 financial crisis and the struggles that Spain has faced since then.



    Alan also talks about how Covid-19 has affected Spain and highlights the problems the pandemic has exposed. We also look at how Spain could or should use the vast pandemic recovery fund that is being made available from the EU. Where should Spain spend the money? And is this an opportunity for Spain to restructure its economy and move away from its dependence on the tourism and construction sectors.



    In the interview we talk about unemployment, jobs and education, small businesses, regional governments and corruption, party politics and the politicisation of the Covid pandemic, as well as looking towards the future to see where Spain needs to improve.



    Alan hosts and produces his own podcast about Spain called The Sobremesa Podcast, where he focuses on Spanish politics and society. He has many great guest on the show so be sure to give it a listen! In fact when we recorded this episode Alan also interviewed me for his podcast so head over to The Sobremesa Podcast to hear me talking about the global perception and reputation of Spain and whether it has changed since Covid-19.



    You can also find out more about Alan and his writing at https://alanmcguire.com/



     



     

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Ernest Hemingway’s Madrid with historian Stephen Drake-Jones

    Ernest Hemingway’s Madrid with historian Stephen Drake-Jones

    In this episode I look at the American writer, Ernest Hemingway´s relationship with Madrid and wider Spain and how Spain and the Spanish capital inspired and influenced his writing.



    Ernest Hemingway is commonly associated with a handful of places around the world, most notably Paris, Pamplona, Havana, Key West and Ketchum, Idaho, where he took his own life in July 1961. But, Ernest Hemingway also had a lifelong love affair with Madrid and many of the city´s locations inspired his works such as, The Sun Also Rises, Death in the Afternoon and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Don Ernesto, as Hemingway was affectionately called by the Spanish, spent numerous stints in Madrid. He was here for chunks of the late 1920s, late 1930s, and parts of the 1950s, with his last visit in 1960.



    Joining me in this episode to help trace Hemingway´s footsteps around Madrid is Stephen Drake-Jones. Stephen is a historian, lecturer and tour guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of various periods of Spanish history and is also an expert on Ernest Hemingway´s Madrid.



    Stephen and I met up in one of Ernest Hemingway´s favourite Madrid hangouts – La Cerveceria Alemana – on the leafy Plaza Santa Ana and we pulled up two chairs at the exact table in the bar´s window where Hemingway often used to sit and drink. In fact it is where he gleaned much information for his classic, Death in the Afternoon. He wrote the appendix to the book in La Cerveceria Alemana, picking the brains of the numerous bullfighting aficionados who would hang out there.  

    • 55 min
    Spain: today’s issues & future challenges with William Chislett

    Spain: today’s issues & future challenges with William Chislett

    In this second episode talking to writer & journalist William Chislett we look at current economic, societal and political problems that Spain is dealing with and the future challenges the country faces.



    William talks us through the education system, unemployment, the Spanish economy, pensions and the implications of the EU’s €140 billion pandemic recovery fund that Spain is set to receive.



    William is a former Madrid correspondent for the UK´s Times newspaper. He was based in Madrid and reported first-hand on Spain’s transition to democracy from 1975-1978. He even interviewed King Juan Carlos. He subsequently worked for the Financial Times based in Mexico covering Central America, before returning to the Spanish capital in 1986, where he still lives.



    William has written numerous books on Spain including, Spain – What Everyone Needs to Know and he writes a monthly article called Inside Spain - A lively look at Spanish current affairs - for the Elcano Royal Institute think tank. Well worth reading if you´re interested in Spanish politics.



    William´s work can be found at https://williamchislett.com/ 

    • 37 min
    The death of Franco & Spain’s transition to democracy with William Chislett

    The death of Franco & Spain’s transition to democracy with William Chislett

    In this episode we look at a fascinating and monumental period in Spanish history – The death of Franco in 1975 and Spain's transition to democracy that followed in the late 1970s.

    In this part one of a two part podcast I had the great pleasure of talking to writer and journalist William Chislett.



    William is a former Madrid correspondent for the UK´s Times newspaper. William was based in Madrid and reported first-hand on Spain’s transition to democracy from 1975-1978. He even interviewed King Juan Carlos. He subsequently worked for the Financial Times based in Mexico covering Central America, before returning to the Spanish capital in 1986, where he still lives.



    In the interview William reflects on what life was like in Spain following the death of Franco, what the atmosphere was like and talks us through the key developments that lead to the 1977 elections - the first free elections held in Spain since 1936 - and the enactment of Spain´s 1978 constitution.



    William has written numerous books on Spain including, Spain – What Everyone Needs to Know and he writes a monthly article called Inside Spain - A lively look at Spanish current affairs - for the Elcano Royal Institute think tank. Well worth reading if you´re interested in Spanish politics.



    William´s work can be found at https://williamchislett.com/ 



     

    • 40 min
    Charming Chinchón – Garlic, Goya, Anis, John Wayne & a picture-perfect plaza

    Charming Chinchón – Garlic, Goya, Anis, John Wayne & a picture-perfect plaza

    Join me for a walk around a little slice of deep Spain, right on Madrid's doorstep.



    Located on the Tagus-Jarama river basin, Chinchón is just 45km from Madrid but worlds apart. Although it has grown beyond its village confines, visiting its antique heart is like stepping back into a charming, ramshackle past. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Chinchón has an iconic Plaza Mayor, flanked by  15th-17th century galleried houses, staggered roofs and 234 green wooden balconies and even doubles up as the town's bull ring.



    Over the years, it has hosted royal announcements and celebrations, mock spear combats, bullfights, livestock fairs, public executions and even film shootings (Cantinflas, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and John Wayne all took part in movies shot in Chinchón).



    Chinchón has a tower without a church and a church without a tower,’ the popular saying goes. The Clock Tower is the only remnant of the old church, whereas the new(er) church, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, has no tower, although it does boast a painting by Goya entitled Assumption of the Virgin Mary.



    I soak up the sights and sounds on the town's Plaza Mayor, take a look at the church and clock tower and find out what the connection is with this small back water and the artist, Goya.



    There is also a medieval castle, which, however, is somewhat damaged and also closed to the public. Its last use was as a distillery producing Anís de Chinchón known commercially as Anisette, an anise-flavored high-alcohol liqueur which the town has been noted for centuries. I sipped a glass for the first time in the square and there are three varieties - Chinchón dulce, seco, or extra seco. The sweet version is less potent! 

    Chinchón became famous thanks to its aniseed spirit, and above all because of the Countess of Chinchón, who was responsible for the discovery of quinine, isolated by Pelletier and Caventou in 1820. The wife of the Count of Chinchón, who was also the Viceroy of Peru, had been cured of a tropical fever in the 17th Century, thanks to a remedy prepared by with Peruvian bark, and so she had some brought back to Europe. The Swedish scientist Linné gave it the scientific name of chinchona in her honour.

    Though small, Chinchón is known for its festivals, a big draw for people from nearby Madrid, and those visiting it. Two of the biggest are the Chinchón Festival de anis y vino, a celebration of locally distilled anisette and wine, which takes place at the end of March, and the October garlic festival. In October of each year the central plaza is the site of a temporary bullring, with the profits from the bullfighting going to charitable causes.

    In February, the square plays host to Carnival celebrations and a huge Medieval Market, featuring, parades, shows and an arts and crafts market. The event commemorates one of the times the Catholic Monarchs visited Chinchón. In August, during the local fiestas, the square turns into a bullring hosting bullfights, shows, verbenas (traditional outdoor festivals), running of the bulls, and sporting and religious events.  

    October brings the Bullfighting Charity Festival, followed by the Garlic Festival. On Easter Saturday, around 250 locals take part in the re-enactment of the Passion of Jesus. As a prelude to the bullfighting season, the first running of the bulls of the year takes place on 25 July,

    • 37 min
    Aranjuez – A day trip to Spain’s Petit Paris

    Aranjuez – A day trip to Spain’s Petit Paris

    Join me for a day out to the Royal City of Aranjuez, a worthwhile day trip from the Spanish capital.



    I hop on the Cercanías light-rail commuter train from Madrid's Atocha Station and make the 45 minute train ride through the middle of the harsh Castilian plateau, to the haven of peace and tranquillity of Aranjuez, which lies in a green fertile valley between the rivers Tagus and Jarama.



    Wander with me as I explore this opulent, former Royal Spring retreat and walk its grand boulevards, squares and parks - that seem to remind me of a mini version of Paris.



    I talk through the royal comings and goings over the centuries, take a look at the Royal Palace, stop off in a very traditional Taberna to soak up the history - and noise - over a beer and some Buñelos de Rape. Then off to cool down in the vast Jardín del Prícipe, probably Spain's largest park.



    Tune in to find out about the famous modern classical concerto that the Prince's Garden inspired and what the 'Strawberry Train' is all about.



    At the beginning of the episode I also talk in more detail about Madrid's Cercanías train system and the places of note you can visit easily and affordably by using it. More info here:  https://www.renfe.com/es/en/suburban/suburban-madrid



    I didn't go inside the Royal Palace but you can find more info about ticket prices and the timetable here:https://www.patrimonionacional.es/en/visita/royal-palace-aranjuez



    Enjoy the When in Spain podcast? Please support the show by becoming a When in Spain Patron: https://www.patreon.com/wheninspain?fan_landing=true



    Check out more info and podcast episodes at https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Cazza Wilson ,

When in Spain

Love these podcasts - real insight in to Spanish current affairs, great content - from a Scot living in Madrid.

Paully7 ,

Wonderful podcast!

An absolute must listen to anybody with a passion or interest in Spain and anything Spanish. Paul effortlessly and expertly transports you to Spain where you will explore and discover its food, history, famous sights, culture and everyday life.

gerardfornos ,

Spain for everyone!

This is Your post if you want to come to Spain and you want to start to understand the spanish culture! 🇪🇸🇪🇸 oléé!

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