Experience the Creative Side of Spain
Experiencing the Creative Side of Spain
Travel means so much more to travelers seeking creative ways to learn about the people, tradition and cultures of the places they are visiting. Be innovative when preparing for your trip and creative about how you partake in cultural activities while touring the artistic culture of Spain, a place where people ‘Live on the Outside’.
Much Barcelonan art is on the outside of buildings and perfectly free for you to look at. A lot of the culture can be seen in the parks (such as cultural dancing) and even the commissioned artworks are often outside in the parks or on the outside of buildings. Walking tours of cathedrals can be taken or you can choose to do the research yourself and walk about looking at the history and culture of the spaces for free. Here are some suggestions of things to do to truly experience the culture of Spain.
Allow yourself be influenced by the artistic culture of Spain. Use your experiences as the gift you take home with you to share with others.
You can do this before, during and after your trip by:
- keeping a blog or diary
- learning the language as you keep an illustrated dictionary online
- make email cards and real time art gifts from this material to give to others when you return home
- keep a file of recipes and photos of the culinary pursuits you experience in Spain
Learn the Language
Maybe you have time to learn Spanish before your trip or once in Spain you may want to take a family class together where you can take lessons for great prices. You can also take advantage of daily Spanish culture classes or take organised tours to places such as Museo Dali and Cadaques. If you don’t have time for live language classes there is an excellent language App called DuoLingothat will draw you and your family into the fun of learning language through a highly successful gamified approach to interactive learning. This way of learning language is bound to keep the kids involved so long as you help them get started and will provide hours of enjoyment while on planes, cars and trains.
Managing Your Memories
Let’s talk about ways to be sure the whole family enjoys learning a new language and culture from the beginning. I strongly encourage you to keep a Blog of the journey to ensure your photos videos and drawings are catalogued, relevant and meaningful.
For example, click on the picture above - how much more impressive is this memory of the ‘edificios’ of Barcelona for kids who have seen the sand art on the ‘playa’? (There is a beach at the end of La Rambla) They can use the words associated with this activity as they make an email jigsaw to send home.
“Haciendo un castillo de arena con mis amigos.”
Keeping a digital diary will make your Spanish activities fun and deepen your families understanding of the cultural life of Barcelona. The images and words can become a treasure trove from which you send email cards to friends back home, and from which you can print up cards or make real wooden jigsaws when you return.
Drawing on Understanding
As a family, learning simple gesture drawing techniques will help you fit right into the artistic culture of Spain. As you walk through La Rambla you will see people sitting drawing and painting in little stalls. You will see art students and tourists looking for places to draw along the beach.
The techniques of gesture drawing are very simple to learn online and you will be able to practice your drawing skills in the places where the people are out actually doing their art. What better way to be drawn into the fun of the live sculptures that ‘reside’ on the end of La Rambla near Santa Monica Gallery?
Where else could you see someone dressed up in costume posing for you in such a still manner for so long?
The value of drawing for travellers is not always obvious. For example Park Quell is no longer a photographer’s haven. Once it was free for tourists to snap pictures, but now you have to pay. Try capturing memories in a drawing journal instead. You can even glue in tickets, maps and other memorabilia. These may come in use later if you decide to create a collage or scrapbook.
There is plentiful mural art and sculptures around Spain that even a walk along walkways such as the playa, you will gain a sense of the Spanish traditions that are embodied in the work.
A Sense of Spanish Tradition
Even the windows are art pieces in Barcelona. There is so much to see without paying a single euro. See for example this amazing ventana below.
If you want to see Picasso at the Picasso Museo you will need to pay a family pass fee. The Post Picasso Exhibition is well worth the entrance fee as is a day trip to Madrid to see The Guernica. But if what you want is to experience modern day Barcelona Art, then your best approach will be to take the Barcelona Contemporary Art Tour. In La Rambla you will find plenty to draw; the flower stalls make vivid, colourful attractions, the street life is exciting and you will be able to hire bikes to ride or try our the Go Cars if you’re a bit more adventurous.
Drama in Every Day Life
Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is part of the dramatic aspect of the tour. The kids will learn that communication is a two way street.
There is also a theatre bookshop in San Pau, a street that runs off La Rambla, that is filled with old documents pertaining to drama and theatre in Spain. Did you know that Almodovar was born in a town called Calzada de Calatrava, and Salvador Dali chose to reside in Cadaques? A visit to these places is delightful. And for something the whole family will enjoy - the dramatic experience of attending the theatre in Barcelona – check out the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
There are many venues in Barcelona where the whole family can learn dance. Places like the Los Gitanos School of Spanish Dance welcome all students over the age of 7 and enthusiasts of all levels. In a friendly family environment, you will be introduced to the vigorous and expressive music and dance of flamenco. They also have workshops and classes in Escuela Bolero (a classical Spanish dance) and you can learn to play the Castanet here as well.
With the strumming of guitars, stomping feet and brightly coloured costumes, there is a lot to learn about dance in Spain. Traditional dances from Spain's various regions weave together to create a tapestry of rich colours and patterns handed down through the ages. There are places where you can learn Spanish and dance together – this will leave you equipped to join in festivities.
Camino de Santiago
The whole family will enjoy a pilgrimage the Camino de Santiago or St. James Way where there is an amazing network of natural trails that pilgrims from all over Europe have been walking since the 9th century to visit the Tomb of Saint James Apostle and see historic bridges, churches, inns and more. This is a great way to meet people and make friends with other ‘pilgrims’ from all over the world. You can chose to walk the entire journey or just part of it, ride a bicycle or even a horse.
Many people go to Spain for the fashion and it’s true that fashion and design is exceptional in Spain. Barcelona, in particular, is known for the bright colours and flair of Desigual, which makes for a fun shopping trip. Now you can go back through your drawings and photographs and you will see that these traditional patterns can be detected throughout the various activities you have attended like bull fighting, dancing, theatre and street art. Many of the patterns you see have been handed down through the ages.
Taking a cooking class can be lots of fun for the family too. You can explore the various kinds of fruits and vegetables and many more goodies as you stroll through the Boqueria Markets – there’s nothing like local markets to give you a taste of a true culture.
Music has the ability to hold children’s attention again and is a great way for them to learn to sing and use popular Spanish phrases. You will find buskers in the streets and there are always some great musical events to check out. You’ll notice that the flamenco guitar is an integral part of Spanish culture.
If you decide to visit the Guernica, or other attractions in Madrid, you will be happy to know that train travel can be affordable and very fast. The AVE (high speed) train between Madrid and Barcelona ranges from €119.80 - €141.40, but keep your eye open for discount fares. Public transport in Barcelona is excellent and is worth the time it takes to plan day trips to places such asCadaques and the Costal Regions.
Salvador Dalí once said of the town that inspired much of his work: "I have spent a delightful summer, as always, in the perfect and dreamy town of Cadaqués. There, alongside the Latin sea, I have been quenched by light and colour".
As you can see, there is a lot to see, do and experience in Spain. The whole family will be entertained through the large number of cultural activities available. Have fun