Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chinese in Spain

Chinese are all over the world, including Spain. Some says Chinese immigrants started arriving in Spain in the 16th century, but significant number of Chinese immigrants only started arriving in the 1920s and 1930s. They started with humble beginning, as peddlers. Then the Chinese started, you know it, Chinese restaurants and later became traders as well as ventured into the textile industry. The largest wave of Chinese immigrants into Spain was quite recent, in the 1980s. They congregate mainly around Madrid, the capital city of Spain, Barcelona, a popular tourist destination and the Canary Islands.

As usual, like other oversea Chinese of olden days, Chinese in Spain were not spared occasional persecution. In Elche, when the locals were unhappy over cheap imported merchandise from China which they felt deprive local workers of jobs, a Chinese-owned shoe warehouse was burnt down. The local Spanish also says Chinese make little effort to integrate into Spanish society.

There are almost 100,000 Chinese residing in Spain in 2006 and they ranked ninth among non-European Union foreign community in Spain.

So if Chinese are to visit Spain, they would not be without compatriots and if they hanker after Chinese food, Chinese restaurants are aplenty in Spain. Plus Spain is a popular tourist destinations.

Madrid, capital city of Spain

Madrid is the major financial center of the Iberian Peninsula, a city of great cultural and political importance with a modern infrastructure, but also had preserved many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Maybe if you visit Madrid, you may chance upon ancient mosaic works like the Mosaic Works Hercules you see below:

Mosaic Works Hercules
Photo of Mosaico Trabajos Hércules is property of Luis García

If you like to watch bullfighting, Plaza de Toros, the largest bullring of Spain is located in Madrid and Plaza de Toros is considered the world center of bullfighting. If this is your interest, you will have to go between March and October which is Madrid's bullfighting season. If the sight of blood turns you off, you can always go pub crawling for Madrid has an vast number of bars or just enjoy its very active nightlife which can last as long as until the sun rises at 7 am.

Europe is no stranger to me, but when I was traveling around Europe, Internet was non-existent. Now with my 24 hour broadband connection, if I ever visit Madrid, I will first book my accommodation online at websites like Madrid Hoteles. I am not going to waste my expensive tourist time hunting for suitable accommodation only upon arrival.

Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia

Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia lies on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of two rivers, Llobregat and Besòs. Every city seem to have its unique communication tower, and Barcelona is no exception. Here is a beautiful photo of its Sobre el cel de Barcelona:

Sobre el cel de Barcelona
Photo of Sobre el cel de Barcelona is property of Ramon

Barcelona is a city full of modern buildings, parks plus cultural and leisure activities. When you visit Catalonia in which Barcelona is located, make sure you bring along your handkerchief because your mouth will be drooling at its food is interesting, regarded as one of which some consider as the finest gastronomies in the world, with cuisine like Catalan cream, the bread with tomato (pan con ttumaca), the Catalan champaign (cava)

If you plan on visiting Barcelona, get your accommodation online from Barcelona Hoteles, online hotel booking websites which claims you can find anything from 5 star luxury hotels to hostals (hostels and small boutique hotels) at the last minute and year round at the cheapest price.

La Rambla, Barcelona

La Rambla is a 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in central Barcelona full of street theatre, cafés and market stalls and is the emotional hub of Barcelona. It is also referred to as 'Les Rambles' (Catalan) and 'Las Ramblas' (Spanish) because it is actually a series of shorter streets, and these are the plural forms of La Rambla. It must be a pretty iconic street to evoke Spanish poet Federico García Lorca to call La Rambla as "the only street in the world which I wish would never end".

La Rambla, Barcelona
Photo of La Rambla is property of Son of Groucho

For accommodation, surf over to La Ramblas Hoteles. This is a Spanish website, and I can only manage a few Spanish words like gracias and adiós, certainly not enough to understand what that website is all about. For Anglophiles like me, I will have to make do with Ramblas Hotels.


1 comment:

Brian Siegel said...

I love Spain, stayed right near where you took that pic! Awesome stuff, later, B