The only Spanish-speaking destination where I’ve rented a car is Puerto Rico. On our honeymoon, we arrived in San Juan and then drove in a clockwise circle around the island. We saw El Yunque park, beaches, hot springs, the phosphorescent bay, and the Arecibo radio telescope. That was a different form of travel than I’ve used in seven other Latin American countries and in Spain. On trips, I’ve received rides from friends and family from time to time. Far more often I walked, took taxis, colectivos (shared taxis), buses, subways, and trains.
My favorite large Spanish-speaking cities have great public transportation: Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, San José – Costa Rica, and Mexico City. In my experience, a well thought out metropolis has light rail or a subway, complemented with a system of good, frequent buses. When Evan and I lived in Santiago for a year, we had no need for a car. Our grocery store was four blocks away, we had ten restaurants and twenty shops within eight blocks of our apartment. We rode the subway, took buses, walked and occasionally hired a taxi. That showed us how we wanted to live.
When we returned to the US, we looked for a city with key businesses near the housing. Central Madison fit the bill. Our town is great for walking and cycling. Although, our public transportation could be improved with more regularly scheduled buses and the development of light rail.
Urban centers that allow us to circulate, perambulate, and navigate without the automobile are best for us and our environment. Bless the planners who make it possible.
What is your favorite city for mass transit, at home or abroad? What is your favorite mode of public transport? My answers are Santiago de Chile and subway!
Please leave a comment below, I’d love to know your opinion.
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca
Muchas gracias for subscribing to my blog! P.S. If you’re an email subscriber, check out Fake Flamenco to see the header photo of a cool classic car interior. -R