Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham is Cycling Correspondent and Spain Correspondent for The Independent.

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Postcard from... Madrid

Ever since I moved to Spain in the 1990s one of its most distinctive, and irritating, street noises has remained unchanged: the once- or twice-weekly racket caused by the “gas lorry” on its rounds, delivering hefty bright orange metal cylinders of butane  gas. Partly thanks to the recession, the noise is unlikely to stop soon.

The village of Mijas is best-known for having donkeys as taxis

Allotment rock as Andalusian village mayor's wife sings his praises in council meeting

The two-minute song names creating vegetable allotments for the elderly and congratulating them on their birthdays as just two of the highlights of Angel Nozal’s tenure

Postcard from... Madrid

Until very recently, probably the only wild wolf in the province of Madrid – zoos excluded – was a statue of a three-pawed canis lupus in the town of Alpedrete, erected in honour of a member of the species that once roamed local sierras despite lacking one of its feet.

Postcard from... Madrid

This week, the last inhabitants of Madrid’s only remaining large shanty town finally left, marking the end of a chapter of urban poverty that stretches back to the 1936-39 Civil War.

Postcard from... Catalonia

Soul music fans will be disappointed to learn than Catalonia’s annual Green Onions Festival, which took place this weekend, had absolutely nothing to do with Booker T and the MGs. But for foodies, the festival of the calçotada, as the rural Catalan region of Alt Camp calls its yearly mass consumption of green onions – also known as scallions – remains a real treat.

Experts use technology to search for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes in a Madrid convent (AFP)

'Don Quixote' author Miguel de Cervantes' coffin found after nine-month search

Author's remains had been lost  for 400 years

Snap regional elections in Spain as anti-austerity party Podemos leads polls

Since its creation last year, Podemos has rocketed to a leading position in polls

The Codex Calixtinus is the first guide for Christians travelling to Santiago de Compostela

Spanish electrician on trial for theft of medieval travel guide Codex Calixtinus

Prosecution is expected to argue theft was not motivated by greed but by a desire for revenge on the cathedral clergy over failure to give the long-serving electrician a work contract

Catalan Prime Minister Artur Mas' announcement adds fresh fuel to the deeply divisive issue of independence

Catalan independence: PM Artur Mas criticised over decision to bring forward regional elections

The poll will be a substitute for last year's plans for an official referendum, but will mean Catalans voting three times in eight months

Postcard from... Madrid

For thousands of Spanish small businesses – from the Cafe Central, one of Spain’s most famous jazz bars, to the Así toyshop on Madrid’s central Gran Via boulevard, with its teddy bears and train sets – New Year 2015 was anything but welcome. Instead, for many closure looms.

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