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#57705 - 08/31/00 09:37 PM How has Spain changed?
momic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/01/00
Posts: 9
Loc: Raleigh, NC, USA
I am taking my first trip to Spain in October. My best friend spend a year in Seville in 1984-1985. I've talked with her about what things are like in Spain, but I'm wondering how things have changed in the past 15 years?

Anybody care to comment?

#57706 - 09/03/00 02:30 PM Re: How has Spain changed?
Diana Offline

Registered: 06/18/00
Posts: 506
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
LOTS more cars and traffic jams!

Excellent new highways

More reliable trains

No more "faulty" cabinas telefonicas where you can "duro-drop" (drop in a duro and talk with someone in another country for hours, with a line of twenty people waiting behind you to do the same)

Higher prices (especially rent and real estate)

Sprawling suburbs filled with chalets adosados

Increased street crime in the big cities due to a growing drug problem

Cell phones everywhere

More flowers in public areas (in Madrid, at least)

Fewer bars where you can drop your toothpicks, little paper napkins, shrimp shells, etc. on the floor

Banks now keep track of your account electronically instead of handwriting your deposits and withdrawals in a big book, and everyone uses ATMs (Spain is SUPER modern and up-to-date now)

Slightly less bureaucracy

You can find just about anything you can think of to buy in the big cities, regardless of where it was made, since Spain joined the EEC.

No more Yankee Go Home graffiti

More local graffiti

More air conditioning in buses and trains

But really, the important things, like great hospitality, easy-going lifestyle, wonderful food, magnificent sights, great culture, are all still there!

#57707 - 10/03/00 10:55 AM Re: How has Spain changed?
cantabene Offline

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 185
Loc: Baltimore, MD, USA
Spain was stuck in the past during the Franco regime. After his death in 1975, it seems a lot of energy was released.

Most striking, IMHO, was the improvement in transportation--better trains and continuous improvement to the Madrid Metro.

Lots of new buildings, with the city always expanding beyound its previous borders. Lots more people.

Higher and higher prices, of course. When I first visited Madrid in 1956 a first class hotel room could be obtained dfor 75 pesetas a night (exchange rate 34 to the dollar at the time.

Less safety in the streets now. With democracy has come more freedom and more opportunity for criminals, too.

Americans loved Franco Spain. It was a police state, after all. But the other side of the coin is that a police state is very tough on criminals. For Americans it was a pleasant novelty to be able to walk on any street at any time of night or day and be safe from crimninal attack--so opposite the situation in any big American city. The Spaniards chafed at the repression, of course.

Tourism was not as highly developed then as now--when treatment of the tourist can be rather impersonal. Still, Spain remains a fascinating place with a colorful history anda congenial people.

It's always worth a visit. But every trip should be regarded a snapshot that begins to age as soon as it it taken. Change is constant--requiring one to visit again and a again to stay up to date. But visiting Spain is always a pleasant prospect.

Hmmm. What time does the next plane leave?


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