Coincidentally, the day I said “Hasta luego” to Riley figures were announced for visitors to Spain from the previous year. My brother was one of 53 million tourists to lug a suitcase into the country in 2010. (Riley, you were in good company.)
Contemplating modern art at the Reina Sofia
While we hit up many typical tourist haunts (Retiro Park, San Gines, the Prado, the rastro…), you dear readers can rest assured that Riley was able to scratch the surface of residential life as well. For instance, he saw the interior of a Santander bank. He bought groceries from Día. He experienced the mob mentality behind rebajas, the January sales. He also came to school with me, where he heard questions such as:
“Have you ever set a world record?”
“What’s your favorite Spanish actor?”
“What places have you been to in Spain?”
As you know, we went to Segovia, Toledo, and Madrid. As far as 2010 goes, the number of visitors to Spain increased in all of the regions save for two—Valencia and Madrid. (Riley, you were still in good company, although perhaps amongst fewer tourists than in previous years.)
The official press release from the Ministerio de Industro, Turismo y Comercio (Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce) listed the countries of China, Italy, Japan, and Russia as those whose citizens want to travel to Spain. I can only wonder where the US stands on this list. Perhaps it’ll get nudged a bit higher in the ranking this year—that is, if Riley decides to come back in 2011.