Where to begin? Everything feels so different there, architecture, food, climate.

Practically everywhere one goes there are reminders of a rich history that extends back into the past not merely scores or hundreds of years. When traveling, one may encounter archaeological artifacts or ruins that are thousands of years old.
The cities also have a very different feel to them, not only because they are located on another continent, but also because they vary considerably depending on whether one is in a new or old section of town, reflecting varied cultures that have left their marks during the passage of time. When visiting some of the small villages out in the countryside however, there is a strong feeling of things not having changed substantially in hundreds of years.

Spain has contrasts that range from archaelogical ruins thousands of years old, buildings hundreds of years old, and bridges and other public works projects that are as modern as anywhere in Europe. There are incongruities like signs prohibiting horse drawn carts on the autovias where traffic zooms by at 120+ kph. It also boasts the world's fastest train (the AVE, at 300 kph) on the run between Madrid and Seville.

Apart from the creations of humans, the extent and variety of the natural beauty surprises and delights as well. Beautiful shorelines, tall, jagged, snow-covered mountain peaks, desert, and lush green forests all within about a day's drive of each other. I have been to many beautiful places, and I consider those I encountered in Spain to be the equal of just about any I have seen anywhere else. What makes it special is to see so much variety packed into a relatively small area. There is so much to see and experience that getting to know the area, even on a cursory level, takes months.