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Sangria is a drink normally made of red wine, in which seasonal fruits (apples, pineapples, mangoes, pears …) or particularly citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, clementines and nectarines) are macerated. Spices and liquor such as port, cognac or brandy are also added. Some even add sparkling water.

 


If you would like a little bit of Spain at home (even if you don’t have the sunshine), you can find below the sangria recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 liters of red wine… or substitute the red wine with white wine for sangría blanca (white sangría)
  • 1 litre of lemonade
  • 2 peaches
  • 1 apple
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 chunk of cinnamon
  • Sugar

 


Instructions
Wash all of the fruit and cut it into chunks. Now add the wine. After letting it all soak together so that the wine absorbs the fruity flavors, add the lemonade, sugar, and cinnamon (at this point you can also add other liquors if you so desire). Mix everything together, cool it, and then serve it even colder with ice cubes and fruit chunks.

 

A closer relative to the Italian frittata than a Mexican flour or corn tortilla, a Spanish tortilla is so much more than the sum of its humble parts. Potatoes are the star, but tortillas welcome variation. The tortilla makes an excellent breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or crowd-pleasing tapa.


Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
    Serving suggestion: tomato salad drizzled with olive oil

 

Preparation:

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small slices or pieces. Do the same with the onions. In a medium bowl mix the potatoes, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt by hand. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the potatoes and onions on low heat and cover with a lid for 5 minutes to let them soften. Turn up the heat for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the stove and drain off any excess oil.

Meanwhile break the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the remaining salt and milk and whisk vigorously until frothy. Add the potatoes and onions to the eggs and mix until fully integrated.

Clean the frying pan and return to stove. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on a high heat and pour in the mixture, moving it around in the pan to help the tortilla to rise. Fry until golden brown, stirring occasionally until it has set. Then turn down the heat to allow the inside to cook. After a few minutes turn up the heat in order to brown the tortilla. When it’s cooked place a large plate over the frying pan and flip the tortilla onto it. Return to the pan and fry the other side until golden brown.

When its perfectly cooked and the , transfer the tortilla to a serving platter and let cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly cool. Cut into wedges or small squares, sticking a toothpick in each square if serving as an appetizer.

Plantation rum, the “Grands crus” of rum from the Caribbean” has received more awards by judges than any other brand in the entire competitions in 2012.  This night Maison Ferrand came to linguaschools in Barcelona to present four of their amazing rums and to our language students. After the single rum tastings the Brand Ambassador prepared a delicious Mojito with the Plantation Rum 3 Stars.


1) Plantation Rum 3 Stars – White Rum – Alc. 41,2 %: This rum was awarded a “Double Gold Medal” at Madrid International Rum Conference and the Berlin Rum Festival. Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is a skillful blend of the best the Caribbean has to offer from Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad.  Each Island has a distinct rum style developed over centuries and brings its own special character to Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum:  matured Trinidad rum imparts its classic elegance, Barbados delivers sophistication with a balanced mouth feel and Jamaica conveys its unmistakable structure and rustic edge.

Keenly vibrant and well-balanced, Plantation 3 Stars displays the finesse and style of Trinidad and Barbados well integrated with the character and fuller flavors of Jamaica. On the nose it has delicate notes of tropical fruits intertwined with brown sugar and ripe banana. On the palate it displays subtle spices and floral notes with a finish of sugar cane and vanilla.

It pairs well with the easygoing Macanudo Hyde Park Cafe (Dominican) with its complimentary vanilla notes, some cream and bread dough.


2) Plantation Trinidad 2001 – Alc.42%: This rum has a delicate and elegant style, true to its origins, and will make you discover one of Trinidad’s greatest treasures. This rum is characterized by its uprightness and its smoothness. The nose is complex with cinnamon and tropical fruits notes, and also notes of smoke. In the finish, we find notes of candied orange and of cooked molasses.


3) Plantation Jamaica 2001 – Alc.42%:

Intense and highly aromatic as a result of long fermentation and pot-still distillation, Plantation Jamaica is faithful to its origins. A lovely mahogany colour, it reveals a wide range of exotic aromas on the nose, with marked notes of pineapple, cooked mango, clove and nutmeg. A generous palate with fresh sugar cane notes and plenty of length… A powerful rum with plenty of character!

This calls for a cigar with complexity and flavor. The Alec Bradley Family Blend (Honduras) has a complex leather flavor and a woodsy finish thanks to its unusual blend, which includes some Indonesian tobacco.


4) Rum Plantation 20th Anniversary XO Barbados – Alc. 40%: A blend of the company’s oldest reserves, this rum is something else. Selected rums aged for long years in the Caribbean are painstakingly blended by our cellar master at Château de Bonbonnet then matured in small French oak casks for a further 12 to 18 months. Double aging gives the rum an incomparably round and creamy palate. The colour of old mahogany, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary reveals a nose with exotic notes of sugarcane, oaky vanilla and toasted coconut, enhanced by more complex aromas of cocoa, candied orange and cigar box.

To be enjoyed slowly, with or without a cigar. This rum needs a cigar with lots of flavor, but also some balance. The Flor de las Antillas Toro (Nicaragua) makes a lovely paring, with its coffee bean notes, hearty wood and backing sweetness.


5) Mojito with Plantation 3 stars rum: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Platnation 3 stars Rum
  • 2 Sprigs of Mint (approx 12 leaves)
  • 1/2 a Lime
  • 1/2 oz. Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz. Club Soda

Directions: Crush the mint, lime and brown sugar in a glass. Top with ice. Add rum and club soda. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.


This activity night was unique and the students enjoyed the first rum tasting in history at linguaschools. It was an opportunity for our students to learn more about the production, the flavors and aromas of rum and to understand the diversities. The Brand Ambassador explained what fits best to each type of rum and what kind of cocktail suits each rum the best. After tasting each single rum the students had the possibility to find out how the perfect Mojito is made in order to prepare the cocktail at home.

My name is Gijs Vaessen, I am a second year marketing student at the Hanze hogeschool Groningen (Netherlands). In this year there is a half year scheduled for an internship, I chose to do my internship abroad because it is a once in a life time opportunity that you should take! In high school I have had 2 years of Spanish classes, which I always found very interesting, and I wanted to improve my Spanish. So my vision was aimed at Spain for an internship.


Why did you decide to go to Valencia and to make an internship abroad?

I wanted to make sure that my internship was at a high educational level and was linked to my education, but I also wanted to enjoy my free time. When I was searching for a city, I first looked at Barcelona and Madrid which are both big cities in Spain, but I realized they didn’t offer exactly what I was looking for. The third big city of Spain is Valencia and I was really surprised about what you can do there. I chose this city, because it is located at the beach, the city has beautiful architecture and it has a perfect size, where you can easily bike through the whole city  and the prices for food, drinks and rent are cheaper then in Barcelona or Madrid. Furthermore, I also found my perfect internship at Linguaschools in the city center of Valencia.


Why did you decide to make a Spanish course?

On 20th of April I started my internship and from the minute I arrived in Spain I noticed that the people here are very open and kind and everyone is enthusiastic and helpful. This is the same with my colleges in the office and in the school. Apart from my working hours I follow Spanish classes each day at Linguaschools, because I want to learn Spanish as quick as possible and I am sure it will help me to integrate much faster. My Spanish has been improving by miles and I know for sure that at the end of my internship I will communicate in Spanish without any problems. The way of teaching at the school is very different than I am used to, because there is a lot of communication in the classes and you put your knowledge immediately to practice. The teachers teach with a lot of enthusiasm so that the 2 hours fly by each day.


Why should someone visit Valencia?

Valencia is a beautiful city with so many things to do and you will never be bored! There are so many places where you can eat traditional Valencian food, for example the original Paella, and have a drink for a very low price. What I enjoy very much about Valencia is the Jardin del Turia that is the park that runs 9 km through whole Valencia and is the biggest urban city garden in Europe. In this park you find a mixture of beautiful buildings and fantastic nature.

At the weekends I really like going to the huge white sandy beaches of Valencia which are only 10 – 15 minutes away from the city center and easily reached by public transport. My favorite beach is Malvarrosa, where I spend most time of the weekend. On the evenings during the week or after the beach on the weekend I like going out with my friends in the old town area El Carmen as well as in the areas Marina or Aragon to take some drinks and to enjoy the flair of the city. The area of El Carmen is known for being a place to head for bars, clubs and restaurants. Plaza de la Virgen is a good place to start and when you walk down the streets like Calle Caballeros you will find a wealth of places to go eating and drinking. The Marina area is a slightly more chic place to go out and it is close to the beach of Valencia. You find some big clubs in this area but there are also a lot of seafood restaurants and cocktail bars that enable a view on the Mediterranean sea.

Due to the fact that most of the universities and language schools are situated between Avenida de Aragon and Plaza del Cedro in the area Aragon, this part of the city is well-known for university and language course students. The squares and bars are most popular with a student crowd and you can find drinks and food for cheap prices.

I have been here now for almost three months and I have already seen and done so much in this city, but I know there is still so much to discover. Valencia is a marvelous city, which I can recommend to everyone and I will definitely come back here in the future.

I am looking forward to the next months here in Valencia and I am glad that I chose this city as my Spanish destination the place to do my internship. I am sure that I will miss the city a lot when I will go back to Holland but I know that this great experience will definitely help me to mature and will be a huge advantage for my professional future.

 

Spain is the 4th biggest countries by geographical area in Europe with 506.000 km2. Due to the size there is so much to see and do in this vast and diverse country. One of this beautiful places is called Valencia,  a large city on Spain’s eastern coast, located 320 km south-east from Spain’s capital Madrid.

Valencia has a mix of old and new buildings, giving it a real special feel of it’s own. From medieval castles and towers, to modernist and art decor architecture and plenty of beautiful places to eat and drink. It is the 3rd biggest city in Spain with nearly 800.000 inhabitants and is situated at the Mediterranean coast. The city has the largest inner city urban park in whole Europe, three beaches (Playa de las Arenas, Playa de Malvarrosa and Playa de la Patacona) and is packed full of culture and history, for example the holy grail. Historians worldwide believe La Catedral de Valencia is home to the last cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. The Holy Grail is made of agate stone and displayed in a decorative – gold and pearls – structure in the city’s imposing cathedral. Legend says the Holy Grail, which features in the cult novel The Da Vinci Code, possesses miraculous powers and crowds gather to pray in its presence.

 


1) La ciudad de las artes y las ciencias – The city of arts and sciences

The city of arts and sciences is a cultural and architectural building and park complex. It represents the modern town’s landmark and is located in the drained channel of the river Turia which is 280 km long, rises in Montes Universals and ends in Valencia. The complex was designed by the Spanish architectures Santiage Calatrava and Félix Candela and includes five buildings:

  • L’Hemisferic (an IMAX cinema): The building has the shape of and eye that reflects 24.000 square meters lake. The cover of the cinema looks like the eye lips of the eye, and can be closed or opened. (ticket prices: 8.80 € adults, 6.85 € reduced, 4.70 € school groups, 6.40 € adult groups)
  • Prince Felipe Museo de las Ciencias (science museum): The construction of the building reminds a whale skeleton. The museum is orientated to learning the sciences through experience and it is perfect to go with kids, because everything is graphically diplayed with huge texts and pics, experiments, button to touch and experience. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 8.00am till 00.30 am. (ticket prices: 8.00 € adultes, 6.20 € reduced, 4.30 € school groups, 5.80 € adult groups)
  • Oceanographic (a giant marine par or aquarium): The Oceanografic is Europe’s biggest Aquarium and it invites you to travel around the planet’s main seas and oceans. More than 45,000 examples of 500 different marine species – amongst which can be found sharks, Beluga whales, walruses, sea lions, penguins and manta rays – inhabit nine underwater towers that, structured in two levels, represent the most emblematic ecosystems of the planet. The oceanographic park, created as a great leisure, training and research centre, is structured into ten great areas. (ticket prices: 27.90 € adults, 21.00 € reduced, 12.55 € school groups, 18.65 € adult groups)
  • Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: The spectacular building promotes the performing arts. It has an extension of 55.000 square meters and is one of the finest international venues for theatre, dance, opera and music concerts. Measuring over 70 meters in height, the Palau de les Arts is divided into four separate halls, all boasting the latest technological advances conceived to stage all kinds of opera, musical and theatrical performances. Here you find the program for 2015 and 2016. Perfomances start normally at 8pm, during Sundays and bank holidays at 7pm. The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is divided into the following rooms:
    • Sala Principal: This concert hall, which seats 1,412, principally serves as an opera house, but it is also used for ballet and other performing arts.
    • Auditorio: With a seating capacity of 1,490 people, this auditorium is equipped with advanced sound, cinema, and video installations.
    • Aula Magistral: This space, which can seat up to 378 people, is especially designed for performances by small music ensembles and it is also used for recitals, conferences, and educational events.
    • Teatre Martín i Soler: This theatre, located next to the Palau de les Arts, forms the south-west boundary of the complex. With a seating capacity of 400 people, the backstage installations and orchestra pit of this space are perfect for small and medium format opera performances.
  • Agora (multi-functional space): The Agora in the City of Arts and Sciences is a versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. A multi-functional setting has been planned for the staging of congresses, conventions, concerts, and performances; it can also be converted into an exhibition area. This building hosted successfully the Valencia Open 500 Tennis Tournament, one of the most important international sports meetings.

2) La Lonja – the world heritage

Constructed between 1482 and 1548, during Valencia’s “Golden Age”,  La Lonja de la Seda (the Silk Exchange) is World Heritage-listed and described by UNESCO as “an exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities”. Visitors can peruse the former trading hall, with its splendid spiral columns, and chill out in a courtyard sprinkled with orange trees.


3) The birthplace of Paella – taste the real one

Typical Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meats that range from chicken and rabbit to snails or seafood, beans and seasoning. Many proud Valencianos say that these are the only required ingredients in a paella and therefore Valencia people proudly boasts it’s the birthplace of this iconic Spanish dish. While you can savour seafood paellas here, an authentic paella valenciana stays faithful to its peasant origins. It’s traditionally cooked on an open wooden fire with locally grown rice and only eaten at lunch. Valencians swear their mothers – and grandmothers – do the best paella, but many restaurants offer tasty version ‘menu del dias’ (fixed-price, three-course specials).


4) El Barrio del Carmen

Street art is one of the quirkiest features of El Carmen, the grittiest, but increasingly gentrified, chunk of Valencia’s historic centre. Springing south from the pretty Carmen church and plaza, a warren of alleys bulge with clothes and curio stores, tapas bars, bohemian cafes, jazz lounges and cosmopolitan restaurants.


5) The fallas festival

The festival begins in March, marking the beginning of spring, and technically lasts for 5 days. Each neighborhood has Falla houses that compete by building their own “falla” (effigy), which is usually a political pun or gag. The houses compete in different leagues, and on the last night of this lively festival, known as ‘La Crema’ (burning night), all but one effigy are destroyed. The surviving falla is called a “ninot” (small falla), and is officially pardoned. On this night, the entire city is on fire– literally and figuratively– as revelers enjoy music, parties, food, drinks and dancing in the streets. This fiesta is definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life.


6) The golden sandy Mediteranean beaches of Malvarrosa
The beaches of Las Arenas and Malvarrosa along the Mediterranean cost are beautiful sandy beaches stretching as long as the eye can see. They are noticeably clean, like the whole city and in peak summer time the beach will never be overly crowded, leaving tourists and Spanish locals with enough space to enjoy the sea. The coastal promenade is relatively undeveloped with a modest number of delicious bars and restaurants scattered along the front.


7) La Tomatina in Bunol

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol 40 km direction west away from Valencia. The festival is supposed to be the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. The festival is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary. This year La Tomatina is taking place on the 26th of August and starts at around 11am when many truck haul the bounty of tomatoes into the centre of the town at Plaza del Pueblo. Once the tomato throwing begins, the battle is generally every man for himself.


8) The Natural Park of the Albufera
The Natural Park of the Albufera just south of Valencia Region is a Mecca for bird watchers. Connected to the sea by two narrow canals, it is one of the largest lakes in the country, with a total area of 21,000 hectares, much of which is covered in thick reed beds.


9) Calpe – the beautiful village in Costa Blanca 

At the heart of the Costa Blanca, within the region of Valencia lies the ancient fishing village of Calpe. Now transformed into a tourist magnet, the town sits in an ideal location, easily accessed by the A7 motorway and the N332 that runs from Valencia to Alicante; its approximately one hour drive from the airport at Alicante. Calpe has a wonderful mixture of old Valencian culture and modern tourist facilities. It is a great base from which to explore the local area or enjoy the many local beaches. Calpe alone has three of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the coast.
 Calpe is dominated by the towering rock of Ifach which reaches an impressive 332m, rising almost sheer above the sea and is a nature reserve. The summit of the rock is reached after a tough climb up a footpath, by means of a short tunnel through the upper part of the rock. Be warned the path above the tunnel has almost no safety features and is not recommended for anybody with a fear of heights, the very young, or the remotely unfit.


10) Sagunto
Only 20 kilometres from Valencia Region and easily accessible by bus or train (30 minutes), the coastal town of Sagunto is one of the most important historical locations of the entire region. Bronze Age and Iberian peoples settled here, drawn by the fertile lands and the natural fortress formed by a high crag which rears out of the plains. But Sagunto is most famous for its courageous resistance to the Carthaginian general Hannibal, who laid a siege to the fortress in 219 BC for 8 months. Rather than surrender, the citizens set fire to their city and perished in the flames. Today, the fortress and old Jewish quarter of the city of Sagunto are a popular tourist attraction, with one of the largest and most highly restored Roman theatres in existence in Spain set in a natural amphitheatre just above the town.


11) Xàtiva – the heritage of Spanish history

The city is situated 60 km away from the city Valencia and it is one of the most important cultural and historical cities in the region of Valencia. In 1150 the first paper on European ground was produced in Xàtiva by Moors. The city was founded by Iberian and Moors but in 1244 the city was conquered by Jaime I. of Aragon who created one of the most important archives in Europe. Xàtiva, especially the castle and the old town of the city, has many remains from each era of Spanish history, from the Iberians over Romains and Moors till the Gothic epoch. You can buy a train ticket for 6 € way and return (50 minutes one way) from the train station of Valencia to Xàtiva.


12) Utiel-Requena Region
Scarcely 40 miles inland from the city of Valencia, on the way to Madrid, you will find the Utiel-Requena Plateau. With a totally different climate to that of the coast, its cold, frosty winters and sunny, scorching summers make it the largest wine-producing area in the Valencia Region and one of the largest in Spain. A rural landscape of rolling hills and vineyards dotted with small towns and villages combines with mountainous, thickly wooded areas ideal for trekking or cycling. One of the most dramatic features of the area are the Hoces del Cabriel Gorges, where the Cabriel river runs swiftly among impressive stone walls and needles, an awe inspiring backdrop for sports such as canoeing or rafting. If you prefer walking around old towns and monuments, then Requena’s old town (the “Villa”) is the place to visit. Its winding streets flanked by old white houses, some impressive gothic churches and the “Cuevas del Vino”, a maze-like underground system of wine cellars with more than one mile of caves, will surprise you.

Should you prefer to focus on cuisine and wines, you will find a good array of restaurants in the area, together with some of the oldest wine cellars and wineries in Spain. Utiel-Requena is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines with the area being renowned for the predominant use of the Bobal grape variety. Archaeological finds in ancient Iberian settlements, such as the one at Villares, show that viticulture and wine production in the area dates to at least the 7th century BC.


13) Montanejos – the hot springs

The Castellón town Montanejos is famous for its health contribution and it is situated 90 km north west from Valencia. The water has health properties and is highly recommended for cases of digestive and kidney-related illnesses. When you walk through the beautiful nature of Montanejos you can find crystal clear water spots with cliffs to jump off.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World-wide 420 million people speak Spanish, also called Castellano, and it is the 4th most spoken language in the world. The language has a rich heritage and over many centuries of evolution people had been developing many variations of the language that still exist today.

Castellano is the official national language of Spain. Nevertheless, there are other co-official or unofficial languages spoken according to the cultural diversity of the Spanish regions that form an important part of the Spanish cultural patrimony. Nowadays 16 different languages (official and unofficial) are spoken on the Iberian Peninsula and the 11 islands that are an important part of the country.

 

Here are the languages listed and ranked by the number of speakers in descending order:

1. Castilian: As mentioned above it is the official language of Spain and over 45 million people in Spain speak it. It is also the dominant language in every part of Spain, even when they are multilingual.

2. Catalan: Catalan is a Romance language named for its origins in Catalonia, in what is northeastern Spain and adjoining parts of France. It is spoken by 4.6 million people and it is the national and only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian community.

3. Galician. Its the official language of the region Galicia in the north-west corner of Spain next to Portugal. Callego is spoken by 2.6 million people  Oficial en Galicia.  2.600.000 hablantes. The language is close to the Portuguese language, because Galicia and Portugal were united during the medieval times.

4. Valencian. It is the official language in the region around the city Valencia and is spoken by 2 million people. It is the language spoken in the Valencian Community in Spain and the name used to refer to the Catalan in that area. In the Valencian Community, Valencian is the traditional language and is co-official with Spanish.

5. Basque. The language is also named euskera and it is the official language of the Basque country and the region of Navarra. The language is spoken by 900.000 people and is one of the oldest in Europe, even older than Latin. In compare to all other languages in Europe that belong to a family of languages (Indo-Germanic, Uralic, Turkic or Semitic language), Vasco has no generic relation to any other language. That is why Vasco called an isolated language.

6. Balearic. It is the collective name for the dialects of Catalan spoken in the Balearic Islands and it is spoken by 600.000 people on Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Distinctive features of Catalan in the Balearic Islands differ according to the specific variant being spoken on the different islands.

7. Extremaduran. The language is also know as castúo and is spoken by approximately 200.000 people in an area covering the north-western part of the autonomous community of Extremadura and adjoining areas in the province of Salamanca.

8. Cantabrian. Cantabrian is a group of dialects belonging to Astur-Leonese. It is indigenous to the territories in and surrounding the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, in Northern Spain. The language is spoken by 120.000 people in Cantabria in the region around Santander and according to the low number of speakers the existence of the language is in danger.

9. Asturian. Asturian is a Romance language of the West Iberian group, Astur-Leonese subgroup. The language is estimated at about 100.000 first-language speakers and 450.000 second-language speakers in Asturias in the north of Spain between Galicia and the Basque region.

10. Aragonese. The language is also known as chapurriau and is spoken by 30.000 people in the valleys of the Pyrenees in Aragon, mainly in the comarcas of Somontano de Barbastro, Jacetania, Alto Gállego, Sobrarbe, and Ribagorza. It is the only modern language that developed from medieval Navarro-Aragonese.

11. Leonese. The term Leonese refers to certain vernacular Romance dialects which are spoken by 25.000 – 50.000 people in northern and western portions of the historical region of León in Spain (modern provinces of León, Zamora, and Salamanca), and in a few adjoining areas in Portugal.

12. Altoaragonese. The language is spoken by 12.000 people in the province Huesca close to Zaragoza in the north of Aragón and according to the low number of speakers the existence of the language is in danger. A Spanish law accepts, promotes and protects the language, although it is not communicated as an official language by the country.

13. Fala Galaico-Extremeña. The language is only spoken by 6.000 people, who live between Extramadura and the border of Portugal, precisely in the valley of Jálama in the towns San Martín, Eljas and Valverde.

14. Aranese. Aranese is a standardized form of the Pyrenean Gascon variety of the Occitan language spoken in the Val d’Aran, in northwestern Catalonia close to the Spanish border with France, where it is one of the three official languages beside Catalan and Spanish. The dialect of the Occitan language is spoken in the region around the valley of Arán, where it is the official language for 5.000 people.

15. Murcian. It is considered a southern dialect of the Spanish language, with influences from the Todmir dialect and from the Aragonese and Catalan languages. The language is spoken in Murcia and the adjacent regions of Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia but there are no official statistics about the amount of people, who speak it.

16. Silbo gomero. Silbo gomero signifies a whistle codex that was used by the aborigines (Gauchas) of the Canaries Islands to communicate across the deep ravines and narrow valleys that radiate through the island. It enables messages to be exchanged over a distance of up to 5 kilometers due to its loud nature. Silbo gomero is transposition of Spanish from speech to whistling and it is still taught as an elective course at school on the island La Gomera. In 2009 it was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Note: It is important to understand that some of these languages have the same roots of language. So they are similar but not even and people can understand each other, because these languages evolved from the same family of language. Nevertheless, there are languages that distinguish themselves completely, for example the Basque or Silbo gomero.

Be aware of these different types of languages when you travel through Spain, although Castellano is the official language and it is almost spoken by everyone in Spain.

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones takes place in a barbarous medieval world, draws inspiration from the savage political infightings and incorporates several elements that have become de rigueur in fantasy novels like the sword with names or the daring deeds of arms. But the TV series has more to offer. It demonstrates the brutally human nature and a highly contemporary interest in relative morality, hierarchical injustice and bad faith. Humans have been trained since childhood to tell and listen to stories. The phenomena of Game of Thrones lies in the fact that it meets the people’s needs and transfers them into a state of trance through endless fantasy fictions and continues large-scale storytelling’s during the episodes as well as mysterious cliffhanger at the end of every other chapter. The author of the novels George R. R. Martin uses the medieval fantasy series to create political metaphors and epics for our times that are linked to human history. The series has been praised by critics and has won a Golden Globe and 14 Emmy Awards. Game of Thrones also became the most watched series on the Spanish subscription (Juego de tronos) broadcasting company Canal +.

During the five seasons of Game of Thrones that is based on ”A Song of Ice and Fire” HBO uses many different locations from Malta to Iceland, especially Spain plays a very important role in venue hosting of the series. This July Game of Thrones announced that they have added Navarra as a third location in Spain to their filming scenes in the upcoming Season Six in September. It is the second year in a row that Spain has been chosen to film locations of the popular series.

Here are the Spanish cities that were chosen for filming scenes of the Game of Thrones Season Six:

  • Girona: The city in northern Catalonia has imposing medieval city walls, towers and churches, a Jewish Quarter and four rivers crossing the city. Girona will host the worldwide hit show for at least three weeks in September. Filming will involve the city’s Old Quarter (Barri Vell), where Girona’s highlights are concentrated and two thousand years of history are on display. Rumors have been also pointing out towards the cathedral and the Jewish Quarter as possible sets for the show.
  • Peñiscola in Castellon: The seaside resort of Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast in the Valencian Country has a fortified castle built by the Knights Templar on a headland which rears above the seaside resort. A portion of season six will also be shot in Peníscola
  • Navarra: Game of Thrones has selected the spectacular location of Bardenas Reales in Navarra, to the third Spanish location of the Sixth Season. The Bardenas Reales are a semi-desert expanse in south-east Navarra, the Bardenas boast spectacular, near-surreal, rock formations. Due to the fact that Bardenas Reales in Navarra will be the third location for the filming scenes of Game of Thrones Season Six, approximately 3.500 people past through the casting in Tudela on the 4th of July. The filming of the scene for the Sixth Season will take place in September 2015.

 

HBO begins filming Game of Thrones Season Six in Belfast in late July. Specifics on exactly what locations will be used in Girona and Peñiscola will be unveiled closer to the time of production around September 2015.

Last year the American show’s crew spent 12 days filming in Seville’s Real Alcázar palace to recreate the ‘Kingdom of Dorne’ in the series (an exotic land with a warm climate and an architectural style reminiscent of Arabian building design) and 13 days in Osuna shooting a scene of about four minutes. Cordoba’s Roman Bridge has also appeared in the show.

Here you find more about the Spanish locations of Game of Thrones from 2014:

  • Alcázar de Sevilla: Alcázar de Sevilla was the perfect spot to represent the Water Palaces of the Kingdom of Dorne. During the shot of Game of Thrones, Alcázar de Sevilla was transformed into the palatial private residence of Martell in the capital, Lanza del Sol. The place is surrounded by green gardens, beautiful pools (“Baños de Doña María”) and owns the Grotto of the Sultans. It is definitely worth to visit.
  • Plaza de toros de Osuna, Sevilla: You can see the bullring of Osuna in the fifth season, where Tyrion and Daenerys meet in the Arena of Meereen. Plaza de toros hosts one of the show’s biggest scenes and it is the most expensive series scene in the history of television.
  • The Roman bridge in Cordoba: The fascinating Roman bridge in Cordoba represents the Long Bridge of Volantis during Game of Thrones. The scences were shot with several cameras and a drone to make it look even longer. The bridge is 247 meters long and it was built by imperial troops in the first century in order to replace the wooden one.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview mit Monika

Monika is 33 years old and she lives close to Zurich in Switzerland. She was living for a couple of years in Hawaii and she worked as a remedial teacher before she came to Barcelona. Finally, she quit her job to take a break in order to have more time to enjoy her life. Spanish was one of her major subjects at secondary school. Therefore she already had the level A2 before she came to Barcelona. After an intensive course (20 hours per week) from the 18th of April till the 03rd of July she successfully graduated level B1.

Monika ist 33 Jahre alt und kommt aus der Nähe von Zürich in der Schweiz. Sie hat für ein paar Jahre in Hawaii gelebt und bevor sie nach Barcelona kam, arbeitet Sie als Heilpädagogin. Sie hat ihren Job gekündigt, um eine Auszeit zu nehmen, zu reisen und das Leben zu genießen.Spanisch war ihr Schwerpunkfach im Gymnasium, deshalb hatte sie bevor sie in Barcelona ankam bereits das Level A2. Nach einem Intensivkurs vom 18. April bis 03. Juli hat sie das Level B1 erfolgreich abgeschlossen.

 

 


Why did you decide to learn Spanish during a language course abroad? I really love traveling and realized how important the Spanish language is to make myself understood in several parts around the world, especially in Central and South America. So primary I wanted to be able to speak Spanish on a certain level to be able to have more than just basic conversations. In addition the sound of the language suits me really well and I also like being with international people. So secondary I wanted to use the language travel to refresh or improve my Spanish skills and to bond with international people.

Warum hast du dich die Sprache Spanisch und für einen Sprachauftenhalt im Ausland entschieden? Da ich Spanisch als Schwerpunktfach im Gymnasium hatte und ich sehr gerne reise, habe ich gemerkt wie wichtig Spanisch ist, damit ich mich in vielen Teilen der Welt verständigen kann, vor allem in Zentralamerika und Südamerika. Außerdem gefällt mir der Klang der Sprache sehr gut und ich wollte mein Spanisch im Zuge einer Sprachreise auffrischen bzw. verbessern. Zusätzlich wollte ich die Gelegenheit nutzen, um durch das multikulturelle Klima, dass an der Sprachschule herrscht, neue internationale Freunde kennenzulernen.


Why did you decide to learn Spanish in Barcelona? Barcelona has always been interesting for me as a holiday destination, because the city is alternative and situated at the sea and you can find a well-established creative and cultural scene. For that reason I had the possibility to visit several art courses and sights. Furthermore I got to know many international and creative people, who helped me to expand my ken and improved my creativity.

Warum hast du dich entschieden, Spanisch in Barcelona zu lernen? Barcelona war schone immer eine sehr interessante Urlaubsdestination für mich. Die Stadt ist sehr alternativ, sie liegt am Meer und hat eine große kreative und kulturelle Szene. Dadurch hatte ich die die Möglichkeit, viele Kunstkurse und Sehenswürdigkeiten zu besuchen. Des Weiteren lernte ich viele internationale und kreative Menschen kennen, wodurch ich meinen geistigen Horizont erweitern konnte und sich meine Kreativität stark steigerte. 


How did you experience the time at linguaschools? My time at linguaschools was top, the staff was really friendly and the atmosphere in common was always open, personal and familiar. The activity program after school varied every week and it was the perfect possibility to meet up and bond with other students. I knew already people in city before coming to Barcelona, because of traveling. However, due to linguaschools and the activities I was spending much more time with my new colleagues of the school than with my other friends in Barcelona. The life at the language school was diversified based on the accompanying school activities and the creative teaching methods of the teachers. I have to admit that I am a big fan of Liesbet, who is responsible for the school activities. In my opinion she is able to make easily people happy and smile with her personable and friendly behavior.

Wie hast die Zeit bei linguaschools erlebt? Die Zeit bei linguaschools war top, die Leute sind sehr sympathisch und es herrschte immer ein sehr offenes, persönliches und familiaeres Klima. Das Angebot an Freizeitaktivitäten außerhalb der Schule varierte jede Woche und es war immer eine perfekte Gelegenheit, um neue Leute kennenzulernen. Ich hatte zwar schon vor meiner Zeit in der Sprachschule Freund in Barcelona, die ich auf meinen Reisen kennengelernt habe, aber durch die Zeit bei linguaschools und den angebotenen Aktivitäten habe ich viel mehr mit den Leuten von der Sprachschule unternommen. Das Leben in der Sprachschule war durch die begleitenden Aktionen und kreativen Unterrichtsmethoden der Professoren sehr abwechslungsreich und interessant gestaltet. Ich muss gestehen, dass ich persönlich ein großer Fan von Liesbet bin. Sie ist für die Aktivitäten zuständig und meiner Meinung nach, kann sie mit ihrer super lustigen und offenen Art jedem Schüler ein Lächeln auf das Gesicht zaubern.


What was the overall impression of your stay? Due to my language travel to Barcelona I found out what “pura vida” signifies for me and how it helps me to enjoy my life to the full. During my time in Spain I realized that it is useful that I don’t have to plan my life too much in advance and that sometimes I shouldn’t take life always to serious. Therefore, I discovered that the attitude of living the moment and being spontaneous as well as undergoing of a change have a very positive effect on my personality development. During the time at linguaschools I was having so much fun and I gained a lot of positive inputs that gave me a lot of new energy and creative ideas. The stay in Barcelona enabled it to immerse into the art scene and I made new useful contacts. And finally, I build many new friendships with people from all over the world and I am already looking forward to meeting up with them in the future.

Was ist dein Gesamteindruck vom Aufenthalt? Durch meinen Aufenthalt in Barcelona habe ich entdeckt, was „pura vida“ für mich bedeutet und wie ich dadurch mein Leben in vollen Zügen genießen kann. Die Zeit in Spanien hat mir gelernt, dass ich mein Leben nicht zu strikt im Vorhinein plannen muss und es durchaus Sinn macht, das Leben nicht immer zu ernst zu nehmen. Zusätzlich habe ich feststellen dürfen, dass kleine Veränderungen, Spontantität sowie die Einstellung den Moment zu genießen, einen sehr positiven Effekte auf meine Persönlichkeitsentwicklung haben. Durch meine Zeit bei linguaschools habe ich viel Spaß erleben dürfen und  die vielen Inputs haben mir viele Energie sowie neue und kreative Ideen gegeben. Der Auftenhalt in Barcelona hat es möglich gemacht, in die Kunstzene einzutauchen, wodurch ich viele hilfreiche Kontakte knüpfen konnte. Zudem habe ich durch die Zeit bei linguaschools viele neue internationale Freundschaften geschlossen und ich freue mich bereits darauf, sie in Zukunft zu besuchen.


How did your level Spanish evolve through linguaschools in Barcelona?

I was improving my Spanish level a lot and now I am much more self-confident in Spanish conversations. After the Spanish courses I don’t have any problem anymore to join a Spanish conversation and now it is also easier to get to know Spanish spoken people. So I recognized that speaking Spanish is the key to experience the time in a Spanish spoken country much more intensive. If I drink a glass of Cava or Sangria, I can speak Spanish nearly fluent. (*smiles) According to my trip through Central America I really fell in love with the Spanish language and I wanted to improve it, because it helps a lot when getting in touch with locals. The language makes it possible to participate, when people share life experiences. Without the language you would miss all of them and I am of the opinion that without language ability it is nearly impossible to create a narrow connection between you and the locals. That’s the reason why through the Spanish course at linguaschools I lived how a language positively effects the way you experience life in a city and how much closer the relation is to inhabitants.

Wie hat sich dein Spanischniveau durch linguaschools in Barcelona entwickelt? Ich kann auf alle Fälle sagen, dass ich mich stark verbessert habe und selbstbewusster im Sprachgebrauch geworden bin. Nach meinem Sprachkursen habe ich mittlerweile keine Probleme mehr an spanischen Unterhaltungen teilzunehmen, wodurch es mir viel leichter fällt auf spanischsprechende Leute zuzugehen und neue Personen kennenzulernen. Dadurch habe ich festgestellt, dass ich den Aufenhalt und die Erlebnisse in Spanien viel intensiver wahrnehme. Wenn ich ein Glas Cava oder Sangria trinke, spreche ich fast fließend Spanisch ohne viel nachdenken zu müssen. (*lacht) Durch meine letztjährige Reise durch Zentralamerika habe ich richtig Lust bekommen, mein Spanisch zu verbessern. Man kommt durch die Sprache viel leichter in Kontakt mit den Leute und man hört und teilt  Lebensgeschichten, die einem sonst entgehen würden. Ich bin daher der Meinung, dass ohne Sprachkenntnisse nur schwer ein enge Verbindung zu den Einheimischen entstehen kann. Daher habe ich durch die Zeit bei linguaschools das Leben in Barcelona anders wahrgenommen. Ich habe erlebt, wie es sich anfüllt, wenn man durch die Sprache näher am Leben der lokalen Menschen dran ist und deren Freude erlebt, weil sie sehen, dass man den Aufwand auf sich nimmt, die Sprache zu sprechen. Die Leute sind dadurch viel offener und man erlebt „real life stories“, wodurch man die Kultur viel intensiver wahrnimmt und besser verstehen kann.


What did you do during your time in Barcelona? Pooh! I did a lot of different things. I made a list of the ones I can still remember:

  • Open Air cinema at Sala Montjuic
  • Shopping in Gracia, Calle Verdi and admiring the street arts
  • Eating Tapas in 4Gats and feeling like in a Woody Allen Movie
  • Getting inspired by the beautiful mosaics, the Palau de Musica and other marvelous art nouveau buildings
  • Palo Alto Market
  • Watched concerts in Apolo
  • Trip to Montserrat 
  • Jazz concerts in Jamboree Jazzclub Plaza Reial
  • Joining the Van Van Food Market
  • Taking a drink in the Antic theater in El Born
  • Eating in Mescladis in El Born
  • Experiencing the flew market in Barceloneta
  • Screen printing course at Print Academy workers at plaza John Lennon in Gracia
  • Coffee and cake in La Clandestina in Barrio Gotico
  • Going to my favorite restaurant in Gracia: „Quinoa“ at Travessera de Gracia
  • Jewelry course at el taller de joyeria in Poble Sec
  • Disovering the small backyards and gardens in Barcelona
  • Walking through the small alleys in El Born
  • Visiting Iglesia Santa Maria del Mar
  • Trip to Girona and Sitges
  • Going to my favorite beach platja de castell in Barcelona at the Costa Brava beaches
  • Visiting the Dali House in Cadaques
  • Celebrating at the Primavera Sound Festival

 

Was hast du in deiner Zeit in Barcelona unternommen? Puh! Ich habe viele Dinge unternommen. Hier habe ich eine Liste erstellt mit Dingen, an die ich mich noch erinnern kann:

  • Open Air Kino im Sala Montjuic
  • Bummeln in Gracia, Calle Verdi und die Straßenkunst bewundern
  • Tapasessen im 4Gats und sich wie in einem Woody Allen Movie fühlen
  • sich von der bunten Mosaikkunst, Palau de Musica und an anderen wundervollen Jugendstilgebäuden inspirieren lassen
  • Palo Alto Market
  • Konzerte im Apolo besucht
  • Ausflug zum Berg Montserrat
  • Jazzkonzert im Jamboree Jazzclub Plaza Reial
  • Besuch beim Van Van Food Market
  • was trinken gehen im Antiktheater in El Born
  • Essen im Mescladis in El Born
  • Besuch des Flohmarktes in Barceloneta
  • Siebdruckkurs bei Print Academy workers in Plaza John Lennon in Gracia
  • Kaffee und Kuchen in La Clandestina in Barrio Gotico
  • Essen in meinem Lieblingsrestaurant in Gracia: „Quinoa“ in der Travessera de Gracia
  • Schmuckkurs bei el taller de joyeria in Poble Sec
  • Erkunden der vielen kleinen Innenhoefe und –gärten 
  • Spazieren durch die Gassen von El Born
  • Iglesia Santa Maria del Mar, el Born
  • Tagesauflug nach Girona und Sitges
  • Ausflug zu meinem Lieblingsstrand in Barcelona platja de castell in Costa Brava
  • Dali House in Cadaques und cadaques selber
  • Feiern am Primavera Sound Festival

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