By: Sanjay Rajasekhar, 5/08/15, Period 6

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Spain Physical Map

In Spain, there are 5 main mountains. The Pyrenees forms a barrier between France and Spain. The Pyrenees is 11,168 feet tall. The Montserrat is near the coastal city of Barcelona. It is 4,055 feet tall. The Sierra Nevada is near the Mediterranean Sea. This one is the tallest at 14,505 feet tall. The Picos de Europa is in northern Spain. This mountain is 8,688 feet tall. The Serra de Tramuntana is along the northwest coast of Spain.
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Spain Political Map

There are 50 provinces in Spain and the provinces were created in 1833. The total land area is 194,896 square miles. The population is 47,737,941.
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Weather in Spain

In Spain, semiarid climates are found in pockets. Northern Spain is cool and humid. The best time to visit Spain is during the summer time. Spain has a mostly Mediterranean climate, which is hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. If you are a person who likes hot weather, then the best part in Spain is right in the middle near the Meseta, a central plateau. For more colder weathers, the best place would be north near the Cantabrian mountains where there is a maritime climate. That is with cool summers and mild winters. The rainfall mostly falls mostly in Spring and Autumn. Near the Atlantic coast, there is heavy rainfall during winter.
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Culture in Spain

The major language spoken all over Spain is Spanish. Other minor languages are spoken also. Castalan, in Catalonia; Galician in Galicia; Euskera in the Basque Country; and Valencian, in the region of Valencia. The major holidays are Muandy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, All Sant's Day. On Day of the Three Kings, children receive presents on this day (January 6). The Spanish Constitution guaranteed freedom of religion, and the majority of Spain is Catholic. Other religions that are practiced include, Judaism, Protestant, Hindu, and Islam.
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Madrid, Spain

There are two major places to visit in Madrid. Palacio Real, and Plaza Mayor. The Palacio Real is Madrid's Royal Palace and it has 2,500 decorated rooms! The last royals to live there were Alfonso XIII and Victoria in the early 1900s. The palace is mostly used for official ceremonies, but 50 of the 2,500 rooms are open to the public. A painting in the grand dining hall depicts Christopher Columbus presenting gifts from the New World. In the Plaza Mayor it is one Madrid's many stately plazas. It dates back to 1619 when it was used to host bullfights. Three sides of the rectangular cobblestone plaza are bordered by long rows of apartments. The structures are decorated with frescoes and ornamented with balconies. Right in the middle of the plaza stands a stature of Phillip III on horseback.
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Granada, Spain

The best places to go in Granada is the Alhambra and the Royal Chapel. The Alhambra was so called because of its reddish walls. In Arabic, Alhambra means Red Castle. It is located on top of a hill on the left bank of the river Darro. The Alhambra is in the western part of Granada, and is placed where there is view over the whole city. The Alhambra is the complete form of which used to be the Calat Alhamra, and it is now a palace and fortress complex. The Royal Chapel is located between Granada Cathedral and the Church of Sagrario. It was first constructed by the order of the Catholic Monarchs in 1504 as a place of burial for their bodies. The Royal Chapel is a large building housing the tombs of the old Catholic Monarchs and the northern part is in the shape of a latin cross.
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Barcelona, Spain

The most memorable places in Barcelona are the Picasso Museum and the Magic Fountain Show. Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 and is known know as one of the most influential artists ever. The Picasso Museum is used as a reference for understanding the years of Pablo Picasso. There are 4,251 of his works in the museum. This museum opened in 1963 and it reveals Picasso's deep relationship with Barcelona. It took over 3,000 workers to get the Magic Fountain built. But in less than a year the fountain was completed and it had its first performance on May 19, 1929. The fountain displays color, light, motion, music, and water acrobatics. The fountain is a must-see place in Barcelona.

Current Information

The current government of Spain is a monarchy which means that the king or queen is the head of state, and the task of running the country is given to the prime minister. The current king of Spain is King Felipe VI. Felipe was born on January 30, 1968 and is 47. He succeeded to the throne on 19 June 2014 following his father King Juan Carlos I. Felipe is married to Letizia and they have been married since 2004. Spain's economy is a largely agricultural country. Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil and Europe's largest producer of lemons, oranges, and strawberries. The major industries produce textiles, apparel, foods, and beverages. Even though Spain has made great economic progress in the recent years, it still lags behind most of Western Europe. Spain's literacy rate is 97%
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Pisto is a vegetarian option and can be eaten as a starter, a side dish to meats, or even with a fried egg on top. It is a Spanish ratatouille of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, garlic, and olive oil. These roasted flavors go great with anything.

Pisto Recipe


  • olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small red chillies, seeded & finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tbsp smoked (or plain) paprika
  • 1 medium-large eggplant, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 2 each red & green capsicums, cored, seeded & cut into 2 cm cubes
  • ½-1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 6 large eggs


  • Heat ½ cup oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and gently sauté the onions, garlic and chillies until tender, regularly stirring.
  • Add the paprika and stir until toasted.
  • Then add the eggplant, zucchini and capsicums. Stir well and cook for 5 mins until well coated, adding a little more oil if too dry.
  • Add ½ cup stock with the tomatoes, quite a bit of seasonings and the bay leaves. Mix well, turn down the heat and gently cook for about 20 mins until the vegies are tender, stirring now and again and adding more stock as needed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, take out the bay leaves and stir through the parsley.
  • At the same time, fry the eggs in another pan with a thin layer of hot oil.
  • To serve, mound the stew in individual flat soup bowls and top with a fried egg.

Transportation and Lodging

There are many airplanes departing from Chicago to Madrid, Spain. The cheapest is LOT airline and the ticket costs $1,569. This plane takes off from Chicago and goes to Warsaw, Poland in 9 hours. But then there is a 21 hour layover where you have to stay in the airport overnight. From there it goes to Madrid in 4 hours. But because of the price this is a good deal. The best hotel to stay at would be the Silken Puerta America. It is $99 a night and people have said that the hotel has been very well designed and it has tours everyday. Best plan to use would be Day 1-2 in Madrid, Day 3 in Granada, and Day 4-5 in Barcelona as mentioned earlier. And other cities would include Day 6 in Seville where it is said that Christopher Columbus is buried, and Day 7 in Valencia, which is known as the City of Arts and Science.
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Silken Puerta America

Works Cited

"Bull Fighting in Spain.", 2003. Web. 3 May 2015. <>.

"Culture in Spain:Flamenco." Spain-Info, 2003. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

Expatica. "Top 10 Spanish Foods - with Recipes." Expatica. Expatica Communications BV, 2015. Web. 3 May 2015. <>.

"Flights to Madrid." Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2015. <;f=MDW,ORD;t=MAD;d=2015-05-20;r=2015-05-24;sel=ORDWAW0LO4-WAWMAD2LO433;q=chicago+to+madrid>.

Jenison, David, and Demand Media. "5 Major Mountains in Spain." Getawaytips. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.

LaTomatinaTours. "La Tomatina 2015." LaTomatinaTours. LaTomatinaTours, n.d. Web. 3 May 2015. <>.

Spain's Culture. Timelapse. Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2015. <>.

Thyberg, David. "Holidays, Festivals, Celebrations & Traditions in Spain." Traveltips.USAToday. USAToday, 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <>.

TripAdvisor. "Silken Puerta America - Madrid." TripAdvisor. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 May 2015. <>.

Weather Online. "Spain." Weather Online. Weather Online Ltd., 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <>.