The Valencian Community has a strong musical tradition and bands, in particular, are highly appreciated. Every town has one or more bands, which are reason of proud for their inhabitants and take part in competitions with the rival bands of the neighbour towns.
The original language of the former Kingdom of Valence was the Valencian, a variety of Catalan. This language was already flourishing in the XV century when Joanot Martorell wrote "Tirant lo Blanch", considered as the summit work of the Catalan litterature.
Today, most of the Valencian Community is bilingual, although in some areas Castilian is by far the main language, in particular, the cities of Valence and Alicante and some border regions to Aragon, Murcia and Castille.
Remember in Spain life is laid back and things can always be done tomorrow.When i had my house built it took alot longer then the builder said and i was prepared for this.When i had my sofa delivered it came 6 hours late.Expect this to happen.Its the Spanish way.Relax and go with the flow and dont expect things to happen on time.Its all about a different way and pace of life.Thats why starting a business in Spain may be hard going as things get done when they get done and not when they are booked to be done.
This is partly why i like Spain.Laid back lifestyle.Enjoy it ;-)
The electric voltage is 220 or 225 AC.Plugs are two pin.I bought a toaster and kettle over from England and just changed the plugs and they work fine.You will need a travel adapter plug if you want to bring say a hairdryer over on your hols.
In all restaurants service charge is included.You do not have to tip if you do not want to but tipping if you have had a nice meal is what i do as it shows i enjoyed it and the food and service was good.Waiters and barmen are not paid much too so tipping helps them out.Spanish people mostly leave their small change in bars and restaurants and 5% of total cost is a sensible amount to leave.Tip a taxi driver about one euro and around the same for porters.
Banks open from 8.30 am to 2pm and 1pm on Saturdays.Post Offices in big towns open from 8.30 am to 8pm.In villages and small towns they close at 2pm.Museums open at 9am til 7pm and most are closed on Mondays.
Shops and chemists open at 9.30 am to 2pm and then open again at 4.30pm or 5pm and close again about 8pm.Restaurants open at about midday and close about 5pm and then open again about 7pm and are often open til midnight or later.Some stay open all day in busy resorts.
Bars open almost 24 hours.Cafes open from 7am onwards.Music bars open until about 3am or 5am or so.
This is my experience of opening hours in Denia.Most supermarkets and banks shut for siesta where i went to.
If you visit a church remember they are not tourist atractions and places of worship.Act sensible and dress respectfully.
Rest Rooms.Public loos are rare outside big tourist resorts.But all bars have them and the owner will not mind yoy using them.Carry loo roll with you as it may be in very short supply in some loos.
Enjoy all the lush plants all around this area.Try to hire a car and see this coastline as its safe to drive and very very scenic.I hired a car in feb for £103 for 10 days from the airport,Alicante from Agruia cars.Petrol is fairly cheap and you should also goto see Gata De Gorges where basket weaving is very big and there are lots of great shops.
It is bad manners to try and rush Spanish people...Do learn alittle Spanish,locals will apriaciate it.Do try the local foods too.Dont stick to chips.Paella is very tasty and the local Spanish wine is very good indeed.Goto a local supermarket and buy some food and drink.Don Simon wine is very cheap,0.95 euros,but surprizingly very good.
Goto a local market and buy great priced food and fresh fruit and veggies.
When you have a meal,do not rush,expect to take all evening.Politness is still important in Spain and a hand-shake on greeting and departing is normal.Always begin a conversation with'Buenos Dias'(good morning)or 'Buenos Noches'(good afternoon) and say'Adios'(good-bye) when leaving.
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