The culture here tends to feel like a slightly more “grown up” version of the college life. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but they all seem to live it to the fullest and love it!
So what is this lifestyle I speak of? Let’s run through a typical 24 hours in Spain. Of course I realize that being in tourist cities can bring out the party people, but even when I’m with the locals, they claim that they do it bigger than the travelers!
7a – 10a
If you were to stroll the streets at this time, you would mostly find a few locals bringing in the fresh ingredients to prep their shop for the day or an eager tourist family patiently pacing the streets waiting for one of the vendors to put down their coffee and open the front door.
Me? I’m an early bird and thoroughly love strolling the empty beaches and quiet streets while watching the city wake up. Smelling the buttery batch of croissants and homemade bread from the corner bakery, watching the birds search for the first crumb, while listening to the family in the back of the restaurant argue about what should go on the “Menu del día”. (Momma always wins).
Here are some random shots of the beaches, cities and cafes at this time of day,
Awh… Buenos Dias.
Here is the view from the balcony at 8am followed by a shot taken around noon.
This is another duo picture with the first being around 9am and the second photo was in the afternoon.
10 – 14:00 (10a-2p)
The streets are coming alive… barely. It’s comical to look around and see the difference between who had a restful night compared to the ones who crawled out of bed to try and recover over coffee and toast at the local cafe. Let’s not forget the hooligans that are still going strong from the previous evening. The vendors are now open, the tourist are happy and the fresh sand now has little toe prints from the early birds.
I stumbled upon this little antique street fair and caught myself wondering why things are so much more “adorable” or “cute” when you’re on the road, verses just at home.
I passed by this venue that had chairs with little fish swimming around in the foot tanks. What? Sure I’ll give it a go! It felt like tiny little taps of dull needles all over as the hungry fellas nibbled off any old skin cells. Once in awhile you could see (and feel) a determined one get a little aggressive… And I thought pedicures tickled!
As the heat peaks, you can see the beaches that were once made of sand now home to a number of umbrellas, towels and sun craving people.
14:00 – 18:00 (2p – 6p)
Although not every shop closes for this length of time, most break for the typical siesta. No, this doesn’t mean the entire country goes home for a nap. After chatting with several different locals, I found that this time is used wisely depending on their personal life. Many spend these hours prepping their business for the busy night to come, others go home to take care of errands and chores while the kids are still in school. If you wander the streets, you may get lucky and catch a group of locals sitting outside appreciating this time with multiple generations of family.
If you’re a new tourist to this culture, you’ll find yourself lost in empty streets… hungry, confused and wondering if there was a bomb threat in which you didn’t get the memo to hide and cover.
Here’s a main indoor market during “Siesta”. Only just an hour prior to this photo there were hundreds of shoulders squeezing their way through the crowds. The sounds of casual conversation mingled with the shouting of product prices and sales… Kids with chocolate covered faces playing hide and seek while their parents (with stress on their faces) reach for the last item before the doors close.
18:00 – 22:30 (6p – 10:30)
For most around here, the earliest dinner isn't until 7p and the usual time to sit and eat is 8p – 9:30p. If you're not prepping dinner or finishing up your sight seeing, you might be out roaming the streets shopping again or in my case, having a cold beverage with a friend. Either way this is the down time before the fiestas kick into full swing!
22:30 – Daybreak (10:30 – Sunrise)
Depending on how late your dinner or when the celebrations begin… once the sun goes down, the energy goes up!
Some evening pictures of the “calming before the storm”.
The last night in Alicante, a group of us gathered for appetizers and drinks for a relaxing start. Pretty tricky to top tasty food, adult beverages and a variety of nationalities lounging to the relaxing sound of your friend on the guitar. Did I mention it was on the beach that sits below a castle? Kind of forces a deep breath, right?
Here is a mess of photos that should give you a solid idea of the “party” scene in Spain (or at least the one shown to me!)
To truly understand the excitement of my buddy Ian celebrating his 30th birthday at a show in Ibiza, you must first know TIESTO (funny that my auto correct puts his name in all caps). This DJ is award winning, Grammy nominated, and recently titled a “Universal phenomenon” after he performed at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles before an audience of 26,000 fans. That’s the largest single headline DJ show in United States history.
So here’s a glimpse of the Ibiza birthday night that started with a bus ride to a concert, traveled to the VIP section (notice that we’re standing slightly above the crowd) and ended to the sun coming up… Happy birthday pal!
All thumbs up and a sunrise to hug us good night…