A Texas Rose in a Spanish Garden

A Cool Breeze on a Hot Day

I have spent the coldest winter of my life in Spain and the hottest summer. This is a country of extremes. It is the same with the regional differences from north to south and east to west, from mountains and farmlands to the sea. The variety is compelling—and extreme. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a country that merits in-depth exploration to discover its riches.

I love the sunny climate and look forward to spring and summer—even Agosto. I don’t mind sweltering under the brilliant sun. It is less stifling than intense. I like that. But when you are trying to sleep, and the temperature has not dropped one degree, you start looking for your spare portable fan. You dig through your boxes of off season gear, hoping it is not buried too deep.

Some people are lucky enough to have a ceiling version. Air conditioning is a luxury that few can afford. A ceiling fan will cool a room mighty fast and eliminate the necessity for central air on most days. While it is hot, it is not like other parts of the world where you get a sudden spurt of 110 degrees. It is a steady, even, and not unpleasant phenomenon.

Ceiling fans look great and offer a lot of ambience that suits the architecture. They can be rustic or elegant depending upon the materials. They come in every shape and size from bamboo and wood to plastic and metal for the neo-modernists. If you are handy with a hammer and nails you can install one yourself providing there is an electrical outlet nearby. You will love the cool internal breeze on a warm vernal day, and especially a sweltering estival one. The problem is that most rental spaces don’t have them in every room. I haven’t seen bedrooms that are so equipped. You might have to either sleep in your sitting room in peak season or use both a ceiling and a portable fan in different areas of the house.

If you open your windows, you might get the luxury of a cool natural breeze now and then that will compete with your electric kind. You might also bring the scent of orange blossoms into your rooms. But when it seems almost unbearable out there, you simply close up shop and turn on the fan. It may tack a few pesetas onto your utility bill, but no matter; you have to survive.

Trying to find the best ceiling fans is not as easy as you might think given the universal need for them, especially in southern Spain. It is not like you can walk over to the nearest lamp and shade store. These may be found in every mall in the U.S., but not in this country. You will have to ask around, do some digging, and go to an urban area as well. You might stumble across a used furniture store here and there that might have suitable candidates; but if you are looking for new, you may need a decorator to steer you correctly. They know where the hidden resources are.

Given the wonderful climate most of the year, I hope I have given a good impression of my adopted country. If you live in snow country or an area that experiences frigid hail, your reveries will immediately roam to Spain where sunny skies are the norm. You will escape completely from zero below weather. Spain will offer you sandy beaches, iridescent blue water, fine seafood cuisine, and a population of friendly spirited souls. If you dare to get off your towel, there are many picturesque places to visit nearby. You will enjoy a vacation that is special, filled with a vista of Moorish architecture, formidable fortresses, world class museums, and so much more.