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5 Tastes of Spain for Armchair Travelers
By Lisa Carter
One of the beauties of literature in translation is that you can explore faraway places without having to go through the rigors of learning the language or finding your way in another culture. Here are five tastes of Spain – all with some connection to the book – that you can savor from the comfort of your own home.
Campos de Castilla is a book of poetry by the Spaniard Antonio Machado, one of Cristina López Barrio's literary inspirations for The House of Impossible Loves. Her story takes place in an unnamed town somewhere in the department of Castile. This landscape video whisks you along the actual fields of Castile, while Joan Manuel Serrat sings one of my favorite Machado poem, Cantares.
More than one character in this novel has a passion for food – a passion I can absolutely relate to, especially when it comes to Spanish cuisine. Whether you plan to attend the online literary salon or host a summer party soon, these recipes will put you in an olive-oil-drenched, Spanish frame of mind.
One of the characters toward the end of The House of Impossible Loves is an oral storyteller in a Madrid café. This jazz piece titled "Storyteller" was performed at Café Mercedes in Valencia and, like all jazz, tells a story itself.
Since translating this novel, I've been dreaming about what it would be like to own a hundred-year-old home in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. But when daunted by all of the work and expense that would involve, I turn to Vacation Rentals By Owner to at least imagine living in one while on holiday.
Toward the end of the novel, two characters stroll up and down Madrid's famous El Prado. I used Google Maps to make sure I got all of the street names right. Here, Google Earth takes you inside the magnificent Prado Museum to explore some of its masterpieces in super high resolution.