If you were with me last time (and if not why not?) you’ll know I’m having a little look at what comes out of our friend Mr Google when you key in ‘strange things about Spain’.
One of the most interesting things I came across was the claim that the Spanish, and most specifically those from Cadiz, invented fried fish. Certainly, fritura malagueña is one of my favourites when I go to the Costa del Sol, but I wasn’t aware that the Spaniards laid claim to the idea of fish and chips. It is alleged that, in the 18th century, British ties with Cadiz led to the English nicking the idea of ‘fish ‘n’ chips’ from Spain. Others claim the Portuguese and Belgians invented it, but I thought chips were French fries? Irrespective of who invented fish and chips, it was a great idea!
An even older Spanish idea is the quill pen, which is thought to have originated there about 1,400 years ago.
The quill pen may be impossible to prove, but apparently Spain has more plastic surgery (per capita) than any other country in the world, except for the US and Brazil.
On a similarly medical theme, Spain is the number one country in the world for organ donation.
Spain has some of the largest gold deposits in Europe. It is also one of the world’s biggest producers of granite and marble, as is evident from all the little factories and workshops you see selling the stuff when you are on holiday there. It tends to lead to excess baggage charges though.
Ever wondered who invented the diving bell? No, me neither, but it is claimed to have been invented in 1538 in Spain. It was, literally, a bell-shaped device, made from leather and metal, that was lowered over a person to keep the water out. Or, to put it another way, a primitive form of Speedos.
And finally, I am pretty sure I knew that Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe after France, but I didn’t realise that is the second most mountainous after Switzerland. Perhaps I should try getting off the beach a bit more often!
PS – I make no claims for the veracity of all the above – they did come from the internet after all!