Spain is Europe’s most exotic country, heady mix of often curious traditions and a relentless energy that propels Spaniards into the future. You see it in Spain’s architecture: the Islamic confections of Al-Andalus and soaring Gothic cathedrals rub shoulders with avant-garde creations by Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava. Or you taste it in the food: you’re just as likely to find three generations of the same family in the kitchen as you are three Michelin stars honouring the innovations of new Spanish cuisine. There are jagged sierra, wild coastlines, soul-stirring flamenco and world-class art galleries that span the centuries. But for all this talk of past and future, Spaniards live very much in the present where life is one long fiesta.