75 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
    • 5.0, 59 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.

    Spain’s scrap cathedral – An ex-monk’s 60-year labour of faith, devotion & castoffs

    Spain’s scrap cathedral – An ex-monk’s 60-year labour of faith, devotion & castoffs

    About 20 km east of Madrid, in the small town of Mejorada del Campo, stands a building that testifies to a former monk's lifetime of devotion to the Catholic faith. After eight years in a Trappist order at Soria‘s Santa Maria de la Huerta monastery, Don Justo Gallego Martinez was ordered to leave, for fear of infecting the other monks with tuberculosis that he had been diagnosed with.



    When his mother died in 1963 and bequeathed to him a large plot of land, including an olive grove in the center of the town, Gallego had an idea. If he would never again be allowed to enter a Catholic church as an ordained member of the faith, then he would express his devotion in a magnificent way. He would build his own church. In fact he would build his own Cathedral from scratch and make a shrine to “Our Lady of the Pillar”, or Nuestra Señora del Pilar.



    The incredible thing about this place of worship is that practically all building materials used to construct it have been scavenged or donated by local construction companies. As you walk around the cathedral you can see columns made of concrete-filled plastic buckets or air ducts and stairs whose lips are formed from coils of wire, among other things. Today, Don Justo, as he is known, is 95 years old. The Cathedral still needs at least ten years of work, years that its creator simply doesn’t have. Yet, such is his devotion that he still works on its construction every day, except Sundays.



    Today the frame of a huge structure, with a 50-meter-tall dome modeled on St. Peter’s in Rome, towers over the town of Mejorada del Campo. Like the cathedrals of old, it will not reach completion during Don Justo´s lifetime. What will happen to the building after Gallego’s death remains an open question. No one has yet stepped up to take over the project, nor is his cathedral recognized by the Catholic Church.



    How to get there



    Catedral de Justo is located in Mejorada del Campo, a small town just 20km from Madrid. To get there, there are two public buses from the center: Avenida de América (line 282) and Conde de Casal (line 341). The bus stop in Mejorada del Campo is called Calle de Arquitecto Antoni Gaudí and is located right in front of the cathedral. However, going by car is a better option, so you can continue your day-trip to Alcalá de Heneres, Cervantes’ hometown, which is about half an hour away.

    • 41 min
    Living in La Mancha – Valdepeñas, Wine, Quixote & small town life in Spain

    Living in La Mancha – Valdepeñas, Wine, Quixote & small town life in Spain

    In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I take a weekend trip two hours south of Madrid to the town of Valdepeñas with three friends, one of whom spent a year living the Spanish small town life in deep Castilla la Mancha before moving to the Spanish capital.



    With the help of Matt Jennings, friend and fellow Hispanophile - who incidentally wrote his masters thesis on Miguel de Cervantes´ most famous work The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha - we talk about what Valedepeñas and the wider autonomous community of Castilla la Mancha is famous for and what it has to offer. Think wine, windmills and of course Don Quixote. Also find out why Valdepeñas is classed as a heroic city or Ciudad Heroica. 



    Chris and Adam also join us as we sup beer and eat tapas in the centre of Valdepeñas, to talk about the differences between small town life versus big city living in Spain. We look at integrating with the locals, language learning and adapting to life in Spain.

    • 48 min
    20 things you should and shouldn’t do in Spain – Insights for an authentic Spanish experience!

    20 things you should and shouldn’t do in Spain – Insights for an authentic Spanish experience!

    A round up of do's and don'ts to make your experience in Spain as authentic and enjoyable as possible.

    Spain, like any country when we're not too familiar with it at first, can feel complicated and overwhelming. Especially when we don't have any kind of cultural compass to guide us along the way.

    Whether you visiting Spain on holiday or coming to live and work here, I share my personal insights and experience gained over the years of living in Madrid to help you get the best out of Spain. Have a listen to some of the cultural faux-pas I made so you don't have to!

    I run through 20 things you should and shouldn't do when your visiting or living in Spain so that you can be in sync with locals, integrate with the pace of life and live a truly authentic Spanish experience.

    In this episode I run through timetables and timekeeping, what not to eat and drink and what typical delicacies you should definitely try before you leave and where to buy them. Speaking of food, I give some pointers on dinner table etiquette in Spain and what conversation topics you might not want to get into - depending how well you know your hosts.

    I look at tipping, indulging in a leisurely sobremesa, going for a pre-dinner paseo and how to address elderly people when you give up your seat for them on a crowded bus.

    When the weather heats up should you wear flip-flops around the city? Is it ok to wear shorts everywhere? And when do you change from your Winter to Summer wardrobe? Plus, why shouldn´t you do anything on Tuesday the 13th - if you are superstitious? And finally, the Spanish Civil War. Should you even bring it up? Find out in the episode...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Madrid Secrets by bike – Masonic mysteries, an assassination, pelota & fishy streets

    Madrid Secrets by bike – Masonic mysteries, an assassination, pelota & fishy streets

    Hop on and ride with me as I cycle Madrid's streets to uncover some curious secrets and hidden gems of the Spanish capital.



    In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I sign-up to Madrid's BiciMadrid public cycle scheme and dodge the traffic to check out some fascinating locations which hide some surprising stories in the Spanish capital.



    More at https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/post/madrid-secrets-by-bike



     





    I puzzle at the Masonic symbolism on the Ministry of Agriculture building next to Atocha Station, visit the scene of the audacious assassination of Spanish prime minister Admiral Luis Carrero - whose car was catapulted over a five-floor apartment, visit Madrid's oldest sports venue, a hidden pelota court on a leafy city street and uncover a fishy story in the Malasaña neighbourhood.











    Listen to the episode to find what the giant bronze statues on top of the Ministry of Agriculture symbolise. In fact the whole façade of the Ministerio de Agricultura is littered with Masonic references. Find out what they mean in the episode.







    Next stop...The scene of the audacious assassination of Spanish prime minister Admiral Luis Carrero on a quiet street in the upmarket Salamanca district in 1973. Find out who was behind the murder of Franco's would-be successor and the incredible lengths they went to plant a bomb which sent his car and him flying over a five floor building where the scars can still be seen today.





     





    On a lighter note, I scoot over to the other side of the Castellana into the handsome neighbourhood of Almagro, home to a hidden 4000-square metre Pelota Court, otherwise known as Beti-Jai in Basque, which is where the ball game originates from. The huge open air court was left to ruin for decades after it closed in 1919. It had several reincarnations over the years including a practice ground for Falangist bands. In 2018 it was brought back to its former Neo-Mudejar glory after a long renovation project.







    Last stop, a fishy tale on Malasaña's Fish Street, Calle del Pez. Hear the sombre story of how the street got its name.

    • 47 min
    Granada – Spain’s Moorish heart with Marta Sánchez from Bite Granada

    Granada – Spain’s Moorish heart with Marta Sánchez from Bite Granada

    In this episode, I'm joined by native Granaína Marta Sanchéz to find out everything you need to know about the must-visit Spanish city of Granada.



    Marta is a tour guide and runs her own Granada walking tour company, Bite Granada. we take a virtual walk around this, one of Spain's most captivating cities which oozes the essence of Al-Andalus. In fact it's known as the Moorish city.



    More at https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/post/granada-with-marta-s%C3%A1nchez



    We begin our tour in Granada's bustling Plaza Bib-Rambla, from there we cut through the Alcaicería, an Arabic-style bazaar composed of narrow alleyways, which takes us to the cathedral, La Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación de Granada. It's the largest and first renaissance cathedral in Spain.



    We gaze at its lavish gold and white interior, famous for its stained-glass domed chapel. Next door we stop into the Elaborate Royal chapel, a mausoleum for Catholic royalty, including Ferdinand & Isabella. Just over the road we stick our heads into the Palacio de la Madraza, a University cultural center opened in a former Moorish school built in the 1300s.



    We then head up into the Albaicín, Granada's oldest neighbourhood and old Moorish heart of Granada, this steep, whitewashed warren of narrow alleys has barely changed in a thousand years. Next, the Mirador de San Nicolás to admire the magical views of the Alhambra just across the valley.



    Next we step inside the Alhambra and  transport ourselves to the era of the Nasrids. Marta explains the significance of this medieval citadel which includes the palace of Charles V, the Alcázaba and the garden palace of El Generalife with its tranquil gardens.



    Finally we talk food and Marta tempts us with traditional granada sweets including the local cake called Pío Nono. She also shares some of her favourite places to eat and drink including Casa Julio and La Tana.



    If you are planning a trip to Granada in the future check out the walking tours that Marta offers right here: https://bitegranada.com/  and her Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bitegranada/ 



    She has also just started virtual tours of Granada on her new YouTube Channel Biting Granada.



    Don't forget to visit the new When in Spain website www.wheninspainpodcast.com

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Córdoba’s Patios Fiesta with Karen Rosenblum from Travel Spain!

    Córdoba’s Patios Fiesta with Karen Rosenblum from Travel Spain!

    Think blue flowerpots of vibrant geranium flowers of every colour imaginable. White washed houses, the scent of orange blossom drifting through the streets, tranquil patios, trickling fountains and the sound of a distant guitar. 



    More at https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/post/cordoba-patios-fiesta



    This week we´re heading to Códoba´s annual Fiesta de los Patios (Courtyard Festival) - virtually of course. And joining us we have an expert guide, Karen Rosenblum, who many of you may remember joined me on the podcast episode about our favourite Madrid streets. Karen had a tour of the patios organised for this year but of course sadly had to cancel it. So, we thought why not take you there virtually!



    Cordoba´s Patios Festival takes place every year during the first week of May and is a long standing tradition of the city of Cordoba. Patios really means courtyards and the festival celebrates the art of elaborately decorating courtyards with hundreds of colourful flowers and plants.



    Since the first patios event in 1918, the Cordobeses have been cultivating and caring for their patios every day. These secret courtyards are privately owned, hidden behind the homes, doors and walls of the city, but for one week of the year they are opened to the public, who can come and enjoy the beauty of the flowers, plants and architecture.



    Check out other virtual Códoba Patios Festival events in Karen´s Travel Spain! Facebook group



    https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelspain/



    Karen´s Spain Less Traveled Website



    https://www.spainlesstraveled.com/blog



    Patio Routes



    https://www.turismodecordoba.org/archivos/2019/20190424091146000000.pdf



    Info on the Patio Festival



    https://www.turismodecordoba.org/-en-1-1



    Restaurante Casa Mazal - casamazal.es



    For as little as $1 you can support When in Spain by becoming a Patron – and it only takes a minute. You can sign-up to become a When in Spain patron at https://www.patreon.com/wheninspain



    The When in Spain podcast is an independently produced show. No adverts, no sponsors, no media company backing. All episodes are available to listen to for free. However, my time and resources for producing the episodes are not free. It comes at a personal cost.



    So if you enjoy the When in Spain podcast and don't want to see it disappear please do consider making a small contribution to help support the future of podcast.  Every listener donation, however big or small, is so valuable.



    https://www.wheninspainpodcast.com/

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

dabneyg ,

Next best thing to being there

I’ve been pining for a return trip to Spain (and a move there, to be honest) but that’s not possible given the pandemic. This podcast not only gives me a little virtual escape to Spain but insight into what life is like there. So excited to discover this podcast and the deep well of listening that it offers. Muchísimas gracias!

LadyBBH ,

Brings back happy memories

I love this podcast! A few months ago I started looking for Spanish travel podcasts to mentally transport myself back to my vacation to Spain this last summer. Now that we are physically unable to travel anywhere, this podcast is an escapist fantasy. Paul is a great host and it feels like I am almost there when I listen to him narrate each episode. Spain is still a (relatively) unspoiled country, and filled with so much wonder! Can’t wait to return with this podcast as a guide.

marshmallow_soda ,

Informative and entertaining - my favorite podcast!

Paul Burge is a delight to listen to and he offers a wealth of information about Spain on a variety of topics. There is something for everyone: culture, history, walking tours and interviews, the arts, super "how-to" guides. With every episode, I learn something new about the beautiful country of Spain. This podcast is excellent for people who just want to be entertained or who want to learn more about Spain specifically and anyone who plans on visiting or moving there in the future.

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