How to prevent heat stroke. Travel safe during the summer

How to prevent heat stroke. Travel safe during the summer

If you are traveling Europe right now and especially southern Spain, then you have noticed that the temperatures have increased a lot during these past days. The first heat wave is here, and we want to give you some tips, so you can enjoy the hot weather without any problem.
Summer is here, and it is true that it makes everything more fun, going outdoors, to a pool, the beach, a beautiful park. But on days that the temperatures are especially high we have to be very careful. The heat and humidity could become a risk to our health, it is fundamental to be well informed, so it doesn’t affect us. It is important to know what a heat stroke is and pay special attention its symptoms to recognize if we are suffering one.
A heat stroke is the increase of our body temperature as a result of a long exposure to the sun or even doing physical efforts in places where temperatures are high or not well ventilated. Under these circumstances, the body suffers an important loss of water and has difficulties to regulate the body temperature. You will feel kind of dizzy and can even faint.

Symptoms of heat stroke

The signs of heat stroke vary from one person to the other, but it normally includes a body temperature extremely high, above 39.5 degrees, headaches, nausea, dizziness, red skin, warm and dry without any sweat. Plus, blood pressure and respiration become more and more weak.

It is very important to learn how to differentiate between just being hot to having an actual heat stroke. It is important to know that heat stroke is a very critical, not so common situation. Many people experience symptoms like dizziness or low pression without it being necessarily a heat stroke but just a regular warmth of the body that can de fixed by drinking cold water or going to an indoor, fresh space. Not everybody that feels that their body are getting to hot needs to go immediately to the doctor.
There are some things that you can try to lower your body temperature when you feel too hot. Having some ice or even taking a cold shower. If these doesn’t work, then the time to go to get medical help has come. Try calling a doctor you trust or if you are travelling ask locals for the nearest hospital, so you can be treated in the emergency.
General recommendations
– Do not eat heavy or abundant meals. It is better if you eat light food like fruits, vegetables, salads, nuts.
– If you are going out for some drinks be careful with those that increase the temperature of the body. Try having a cold beer, a tinto de verano or drinks that come with ice and can refresh your body.
– It is good to avoid drinks that are too cold or too hot or those that have a lot of sugar or caffeine. They will stimulate your body making it work faster than usual. Be careful with alcohol as well, it tends to rise your body temperature and fluids loss.
– Keep yourself hydrated, specially with water. Drinking at least 2 litters of fresh water during the day will keep your body temperature controlled.
– Don’t do any intense physical activity in warm environments or places that are exposed to the sun. If you want to exercise while you are travelling is better to wait for the night time. Mornings and afternoons tend to be extremely hot.
– Wear Sunscreen, Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

-Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that will keep your body cooler.

The most important thing during your summer holidays is to be informed, stay cool and stay hydrated so you can be safe while traveling. Now, put on your bathing suit and enjoy the good weather in southern Spain.

The traditional flamenco of Granada: Zambra Gitana

The traditional flamenco of Granada: Zambra Gitana

Without a doubt, the flamenco is the most important dance not only from all Andalusia but Granada as well. Each province in Andalusia has their own typical form of flamenco. Not everybody knows the amazing story behind the zambra gitana (The traditional flamenco of Granada). In this article, we are going to the very roots of this amazing form of art.  In order to understand the roots of the flamenco in Granada we would have to look back and learn about the very core of flamenco, The Sacromonte. The name of the sacromonte (whose translation would be sacred mountain) has an uncertain origin. Some historians considered that it was called like this by the christians in the XIV century due to an old muslim cemetery.

The main characteristic of this place is its troglodyte settlement. The habitants of this area have dug up their homes inside the mountain for centuries. They have created a traditional type of andalusian house called caves. If you see them from outside, they look just like any other normal house, although you will be able to notice that their front part is under rock. The interior has been dug in a very particular way that makes them unique in the world.

The Sacromonte is one of the most known places for Flamenco in Spain. After Granada was conquered by the catholic kings, all the Moroccans were forced to abandon the walls of the city and left to the sacromonte. Once in there, they mixed with the gypsies, a nomadic tribe that had arrived to the sacromonte some years before, also moved by the conquest of the catholic kings.

From that moment on, both cultures coexisted and mixed in different ways. There was a great affinity between them due to the fact that they were all considered outcasts of society. In 1499 a new law approved by the catholic kings forced the gypsies to abandon their nomadic way of life. For this reason, and the definite ejection of the moroccans, the sacromonte became an exclusive gypsy neighborhood.

The origins of La zambra, the traditional flamenco granadino, can’t not be understood without deeply analyzing its name. Zambra comes from the arabic “zumra”, which means party. It was the traditional ritual of the moroccan weddings which was forbidden by the inquisition in the XVI century. Although it kept being celebrated underground. This tradition of the zambra was absorbed, learnt and transformed by the gypsies of the sacromonte, who at one point just considered it as their own tradition. These gypsies are the only remaining proof of this amazing traditional moroccan dance. The only ones that kept this old moroccan tradition and the ones who made it evolve to the flamenco dance that we know today.

Between the XVII and XIX centuries, when the romantic writers and poets arrived to Granada, the zambra and the flamenco were appreciated as an artistic expression in the whole world. It was this recognition that transformed the flamenco into a discipline and a musical style rather than the traditional gypsi dance. It was for this reason that some members of the “generación literaria del 27” began to worry. The flamenco had been always considered like a people’s dance and to see it become something more commercial really troubled them. They felt that all this recognition and fame was making it lose the essence and people were doing it just as a form of entertainment for tourist and travelers and a way of making money.

It was in this moment that the sacromonte caves became famous. Travelers would go to the caves to have an encounter with the most pure and unique flamenco culture. Travelers, painters and writers began to paint and describe the andalusians like colorful people all dressed in flamenco dresses who were always at the doors of the caves waiting for tourist to come inside and enjoy their flamenco shows. The first family to go outside of the cave and started to dance was the family that collected all the money, that is why they were always ready and dressed up to perform.

The Zambra is today an unique and genuine artistic expression of Granada, of the sacromonte and their gypsies and an spectacle you cannot miss while visiting the city.

The Alpujarras of Granada, a true dream

The Alpujarras of Granada, a true dream

The Alpujarras is one of the most visited regions of Granada. For many years it has been featured in many legends and Spanish stories just because of it´s amazing charm and hidden location.

It is located in a mountain with a narrow and curvy road. It´s spectacular views, the beauty of it numerous towns and the peace that you can find here make the trip totally worthy. Trust us, once you get to this beautiful towns, you would never want to leave.

The alpujarras go from the Sierra Nevada to the sea, to the east you can find Almeria province, to the west is next to La sierra de Lújar and to the south it almost reaches the ocean, including the Sierra de la Contraviesa.

It has remained almost untouched since the catholic dominated the Arabic’s and still has the original architecture unique in Spain. It was just in the end of XIX century that the artists, bohemians and travelers arrived to the area. The Alpujarras of Granada have fascinated foreigners, especially British. Many of them have made this towns their homes.

They have become very popular in the last year and during the weekends you can find a lot of people, especially in the most touristic places. Some of the most beautiful towns you can find are:

LANJARÓN

Around 50 km from Granada city and the first town you come to in the Western Alpujarras, Lanjarón is considered the gateway to the region. It is famous for its mineral water which is sold throughout Spain, while its spa waters have been celebrated for centuries for their curative properties and are considered to be some of the best in the country. Also, the balneario is a great place to relax while you soak in one of the purest waters of the world.

ÓRGIVA

A curvy road will take you to Orgiva, Capital of the lower alpujarra just next to the river guadalfeo. This beautiful river reaches its peak during spring and where it can be seen going down full and fast due the melting of the snow of sierra nevada.

Órgiva is a town that is easy to see from the distance thanks to the twin towers of its church, the main one in town called Nuestra señora de la expectación-. From here you can find the roads that lead to the highest towns in the alpujarra. To the hidden, magic towns next to imposing huge cliffs that formed here due to the centuries of ice melting in the sierra. The further you go up roads get more curvy and defiant.

TRÉVELEZ

In the Alpujarras the roads are very narrow and curvy going through the imposing mountains. In the small towns of Pitres and Pórtugos, before arriving to Trévelz, you can find the most antique examples of architecture of the XIX century. After this small towns we will continue our journey straight to the bottom part of the Mulhacen where we will find Trévelez. At almost 1500 meters above the sea level. Here, rivers flow fast and furious do to the melting of the snow. Trévelez is the highest town in Spain and it has three parts: high, medium and low. Being the first one the most famous thanks to the great amount of Jamon serrano (Prosciutto ham) that fabrics you can find.

BARRANCO DEL POQUEIRA Y PAMPANEIRA

At the end of the road that leads to the high alpujarras you can find El barranco del Poqueria known for being like a small miniature town and just next to it is Pampaneira, one of the nicest towns in all the mountain. Just at the entrance you can read a sign that says “Viajero, quédate a vivir con nosotros” Or in English “Traveler, stay and live with us”

All the towns in the Alpujarras share a typical urbanistic and architectonic structure. The streets are narrow, and steep filled with asymmetric squares. Just above Pampaneira you can find Bubión y Capileira from where you can take the roads that will take you to the Veleta Y Mulhacén, the tallest mountains in all Spain and very well known for their amazing hike trails.

The Alpujarras is definitely a visit that you shouldn’t miss during your stay in Granada, we promise you, you won´t regret it.

Best beaches in Granada

Best beaches in Granada

When you think about Granada the first that comes to your mind is the stunning Alhambra and the ski station in Sierra Nevada. But, not everybody knows that Granada has also really nice beaches at just a short drive away. We will tell you here about the best beaches close to the city. So, take note because they will surprise you. Come enjoy the tropical coast.

The coast of Granada, also known as the tropical coast, is famous for its wonderful weather where the sun shines nonstop and also has amazing beaches. Bet you can imagine yourself spending some cool holidays here.

We guarantee you, once you step on the sand you will totally fall in love with it´s beautiful crystalline and calm waters. So, let’s start with the list:

Salobreña

Salobreña is a known touristic destiny in Granada province. It has a very peculiar medieval structure full of small alleys and small white houses. Also, it has a stunning castle, spectacular views of the mountain that surrounds it and wide and well-equipped beaches.

All of this make this small town the perfect place to spend your holidays in. The most famous beach is without a doubt the “Playa del peñon de salobreña” or playa of the rock in salobreña with 1850 mts of thick sand and beautiful water that surrounds the big rock. The beach has a lot of access and amenities for people with reduced mobility.

Calahonda (Motril)

The 1200 meters of this urban beach are known for its dark and thick sand, while it´s blue, crystalline water have recently gained the blue flag. An award given thanks to the great number of amenities available in the beach: Toilets, showers, cleaning, decks, lifeguards, red cross and facilities for people with reduced mobility.

The beach is busy almost all the time, especially during the summer months but, being so wide it´s not really overwhelming.

The charm of the beach walk, the hotels, the small restaurants among the more than 100 parking spots and the bus stop just next to the beach will make you like this beach even more. Now you know why it´s part of our best beaches list.

Cantarriján (Almuñecar)

This small beach, with only 380 meters length is located in the Parque Natural de Maro- Cerro Gordo. Approximately at 79 meters from Granada city. It´s sand is thick, and the water is clear and calm. In this beach you can go diving without a problem since it is forbidden to fish here.

This beach is provided with a lot of facilities and services: Toilets, showers, cleaning, decks, lifeguards, red cross and facilities for people with reduced mobility. Also, you can enjoy a good meal in one of the many restaurants around.

Even though the access is not so easy, It is also a very busy beach. To get here you can do it by car (There are more than 50 parking spots available) by bus (You can take from the same parking of the beach) or by boat. It is a place to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

La Joya (Motril)

Looking for a beach where you can be nude? Then La Joya is your beach. It´s 600 meters of sand and small rocks are surrounded by cliffs and big rocks that protect it.

Having a difficult access (you have to go down 200 stairs of a small stair) and the lack of amenities and services make this virgin beach a really nice place to spend a quiet time and, why not? To enjoy it completely naked.

 La Guardia (Salobreña)

It´s 110 meters of dark sand is one of the most remarkable charm of this calm beach. However, it is famous because of its picturesque cabins where the locals spend the weekends. Here there is also the possibility to make a BBQ in the beach. It has also a lot of facilities and people come here often to do kayaking,

These are only some of the many beaches you can find in the amazing tropical coast of Granada but, we guarantee you there are plenty more. Is just a matter of getting a car or the public transportation and go out explore. You won’t regret it!

How to travel Spain

How to travel Spain

Are you planning a trip around Spain but are not quite sure how to move around the country? Don’t worry, we will give you all the information and tips you will need to enjoy a great trip trouble free.

Travel by bus:

Spain is perfectly connected by bus. From all of the main cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla o Bilbao to all the small towns in between so you can reach any corner of the country travelling by bus.

One of the longest rides to do by bus is in Spain is from Cadiz to Bilbao, it is done through Madrid and it will take about 14 hours. But don´t worry, there are luxury buses perfectly prepared and with all of the amenities to enjoy this trip. It is not the fastest transportation but is highly recommended to move around the country.

Inside the cities, it is also a good option to move by bus. The main cities in Spain have a network of interurban buses very frequent, punctual and that connect most of the corners in the city.

Also, there is always the option of the bonobus for taking several rides at a lower cost. Some of them, even are multifunctional which means it can be used for the train, bus and metro. This is a very useful option to use if you are planning to stay several days in one city.

Travel by Train:

The national train network called RENFE connects all the capitals of Spain with Madrid and it is adding more and more high speed trains every time. Thanks to these speed trains called AVE it is possible to get from Valencia to Madrid in as fast as 1 hour and 45 minutes. Or from Madrid to Barcelona in 2 hours and a half. The only down part is that the tickets for the trains tend to be a little expensive, unless you buy them with a lot of time in advance. But, do not worry. Almost all of Spain is connected with and old train network that even though, they are a lot slower than AVE, are still reliable and can take you to any point of the country. These trains are comfortable, efficient and very frequent so they are still a very good option if while touristing in Spain you want to get to know two or more cities.

Travel by plane:

To travel Spain by plane is not a bad option, just notice that the tickets are a little more expensive that other ways of transportations, especially since you are only taking a national flight. If you plan your trip with a lot of time and buy a ticket with time to spare, you can find a ticket from Madrid to Barcelona as cheap as 30€. If you buy it last minute, it could be twice or even three times the price. The rates are always changing and depend a lot in the season of the year and the anticipation that you bought it with.

Our recommendation is that, before deciding to move around Spain by train or bus, check the plane prices, you could even find cheaper tickets. Distances in Spain are not so long, and the plane is obviously the fastest and comfortable way of moving, as long as you find affordable tickets.

Travel by Taxi.

Moving around the cities in Spain by taxi is very comfortable and not too expensive. In all of the cities of the country you will find taxis and taxi stops everywhere. You can grab a taxi by stopping it in the street, go to a taxi stop and get inside the first taxi of the line or calling one over the phone and they will pick you up wherever you need to. Taxis in Spain work with taximeter, the minimum charge will always be somewhere between 4 to 5€.

Travel by car:

The roads in Spain are overall very easy and well taken care off. It has a lot of highways, some of them paying toll. In general terms, you can move by car without paying tolls since there are a lot of free roads, although the distances are longer. To rent a car in Spain, you have to be at least 21 years old and you can rent it with your countries driver license and your passport.

Semana Santa: 7 days of pure devotion

Semana Santa: 7 days of pure devotion

This week is semana santa! One of the most important holidays in the country. Have you heard of this tradition and how important is for Spanish people? Let us walk you through it.

Semana santa or holy week is a festivity with centuries of history and tradition in which people celebrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a unique celebration that will give you feelings that you will never forget. In each region and each place throughout the country you will find the most beautiful processions celebrating the semana santa.

The celebration of Holy Week regarding popular piety relies almost exclusively on the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities. These associations have their origins in the Middle Age, but a number of them were created during the Baroque Period, inspired by the Counterreformation and also during the 20th and 21st centuries. The membership is usually open to any Catholic person and family tradition is an important element to become a member or “brother” (hermano).

Andalusia is one of the regions in which semana santa is celebrated with more passion and devotion. During the 7 days of the festivity the streets are filled with amazing images of the saints and virgins that will be carried during the processions. Lights everywhere, the smell of incense and the sound of numerous drums and trumpets of the bands give a magical touch to the streets of the cities. You can not help but feel privileged of being there, experiencing this mystical feeling

Each city has several important thrones that will be carried in the processions. Althoug, of course there are some that are just icons in each one. To feel the excitement of the traditional and multitudinous “madrugá” in Seville, Feeling the passion with “El señor” o “El Cautivo” in Malaga. Walking behind “El cristo de los gitanos” in el Sacromonte of Granada. Witness “El encierro” in Huelva are one of the most amazing feelings you could get while experiencing the holy week in Andalusia.

In particular, the semana santa in Granada will captivate your senses. The origin of the processions is situated around the conquest of Granada in the year 1492. The processions walking through the narrow, magical streets El Zaidín, el Albaicín o el Realejo is one of the most beautiful scenes you can get of the city.

Between palms and olives, the city wakes up in el Domingo de ramos. With the first drumroll is time to receive the 8 days of passion, death and resurrection that will come ahead. The semana santa has been declared as holiday of international interest.

Spectacular, exceptional and exciting is Wednesday night or noche del miercoles santo since all the city is painted in purple, red and golden to celebrate 2 of the most important thrones that will make their appearance “El cristo del Consuelo” y “Maria santísima del sacromonte”.

In the high hills of the sacromonte, huges bunfires will light up the caves and houses of the gypsies to welcome “El cristo de los gitanos” one of the most beautiful processions to see. Not only because of the ornaments of the thrones but the real devotion the gypsies feel for their saint. Of course, flamenco and zambra are guaranteed to entertain the night.

The night of Thursday or Jueves santo is the magical night in the Albaizyn. In almost the same space you can find the most important virgins of the neighborhood “La virgin de la concha, La Estrella y La Aurora”. Meanwhile, the procession of The Christ of silence will totally captivate you with his respectful and spine-chilling silence.

On Friday or Viernes santo, thousands of granadinos will walk the streets leaving no space in between while they pray. On the same Friday at dawn, in “El convento de los jeronimos” there will be one of the most antiques performances “Las chias”. All covered in feathers and playing music will march

Semana santa is more than an event, is a feeling that all Spanish people and especially Andalusian treasure in their hearts and souls. Being able to experience it it´s something that you will never forget. So, go out to the streets and enjoy this one in a lifetime experience.

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