Learn Spanish with the don Quijote Spanish Language Blog » Posts: Page 1

Previous 15 Articles »

Rooftops As Cultural Spaces in Spain

by John Bascombe on Thursday, January 29, 2015

The rooftops of buildings in Spain , as elsewhere, are generally not used for much beyond accommodating satellite dishes and laundry lines. But in urban areas where attractive event space gets spendy and space itself is limited, some groups and communities have begun to rethink the usefulness of rooftops, particularly in the warm southern Andalusia region, where outdoor activity season extends much longer than in the north… read more »

The Borja Painting: Pennies from Heaven?

by John Bascombe on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Versión española abajo … read more »

Spain's Word of the Year

by John Bascombe on Sunday, January 18, 2015

Versión española abajo … read more »

Goya's Los Caprichos in NYC

by John Bascombe on Thursday, January 15, 2015

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes or simply "Goya" (1746-1828) is one of Spain's most famous and recognized artists . His mastery of art allowed him to bridge the romantic with the modern; considered the last of the Old Masters, he was able to change his style with the times in a way that few other artists have been able to accomplish. Today, the National Arts Club in New York is showing one of his seminal works, the Los Caprichos (Caprices) series of prints in its entirety.  Subversive and critical, Goya was never afraid to air his opinion through his art and deftly aired his feelings through his work—even as court painter—and with Los Caprichos we can see how he pushed the limits (and buttons) of Spanish society in an era of instability and unrest… read more »

The Erasmus Student Exchange Program

by John Bascombe on Thursday, January 08, 2015

The concept of the Erasmus program has been known in the sphere of higher education for many years now and it is still gaining in popularity around Europe. Since its establishment in 1987 millions of students have participated in the program, obtaining invaluable experiences and memories from their time spent abroad… read more »

Spain's Most Famous New Year's Tradition

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Madrid's Puerta del Sol New York has the glass ball, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Rio de Janeiro has fireworks on the beach and Tokyo has Shibuya crossing. In Madrid, we have the Puerta del Sol—Spain's kilometer zero where all highways radiate from reaching all of the areas of the country. Located in what is Madrid's Times Square, is a stately baroque Post building with a landmark clock tower called the Reloj de la Gobernación or the Clock of the Government in English. When twelve o'clock strikes in Madrid, all of the country tunes in to the Puerta del Sol and listen to the distinctive chimes of the clock striking twelve which is called the Campanadas de fin de año or the last bell tolls of the year. Curiously, the chimes of the stately clock are not the main attraction. Instead the tolling of the bell marks the rhythm for what really matters— eating 12 grapes to welcome in the New Year … read more »

Cuba - A New Day

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It has recently been announced that one of the longest and most bitter embargoes imposed on a country is about to lifted by the United States from Cuba. After 54 years, this embargo instead of forcing the departure of the Castro dictatorship had reinforced it. The Cuban government deftly managed to blame the economic woes and suffering of Cuba on the embargo imposed by its northern neighbor. Now, thanks to various parties including Pope Frances, Cuba and the United States have begun to thaw their icy relationship in the hopes of starting a new era of cooperation and understanding. American tourist will be one of the first groups of people to benefit from this monumental moment in American history… read more »

Christmas Markets in Spain

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas markets in Spain might not be as grand as the northern European ones found in for example Germany, but they are nevertheless important for the Spanish people as a Christmas tradition. Another important tradition in Spain involves the nativity scene, belén , and in Spain these vary from very simple and small ones for your home to much elaborated and life-sized ones which decorate the cities and provide a true Christmas feeling… read more »

The Best Places to Live in Europe

by John Bascombe on Thursday, December 11, 2014

When one thinks of living in Europe, we usually think of the large cities and capitals of this old-world continent like London, Paris, Rome, Geneva or Brussels. But are these places really the BEST places to live? The EU has released a survey trying to answer that very question. In a survey to determine the best place to live in Europe 2013 , the Quality of Life in Cities study released by the EU contains some surprises for everyone. Some of the more common places to visit in Europe are surprisingly not listed like the great capitals listed before and the issues that most concern Europeans with respect to how they feel about where they live is the value placed on good healthcare facilities, unemployment and education/training. So what is the best place to live in Europe? The answer is Aalborg, Denmark with an overall satisfaction score of 99/100. Not to be left behind, The Spanish city of Málaga also scored remarkable well with a score of 96/100 tying with cities like Amsterdam, Graz or Munich. Another Spanish city to pass with honors (and with the most individual top scores) was the Asturian city of Oviedo… read more »

Orange County and the United Languages of America

by John Bascombe on Thursday, December 04, 2014

The US is a multi-lingual country with no official national language, a place where according to the 2011 census report, 20% of the people speak a language other than English at home.  In California that number is 44%. Orange County, located just south of LA, is California’s second most densely populated county, a place that reflects changing language trends across the country… read more »

The Most Dangerous Hike in Spain

by John Bascombe on Monday, November 24, 2014

El Camino del Rey Spain has many famous hiking trails and pathways. In the Picos de Europa is the famous Ruta del Cares which is a path the traverses a ravine that unites León with Asturias. There is also the Senda del Oso, also in Asturias, which winds through the mountains of Asturias along what was once a railway used by miners. Of course, the granddaddy of all is the Camino de Santiago. But there is a little known hike that is very different from the all the rest (and it's not only for its short length of not quite two miles) due to its decrepit state and the fact that it is illegal to hike it. Dangerous in Spanish is peligroso and this trail is about as dangerous as anything can get. In fact, if the police catch you on this trail you risk paying a fine of up to €6000 ($7760 US Dollars). The trail I'm referring to is the Camino del Rey (or The King's Way) located on the Costa del So l right outside of the cosmopolitan city of Málaga in southern Spain. Fortunately paying a fine or paying with your life will soon be a thing of the past since the local government is in the process of reopening the trail for public use… read more »

400 Years of El Greco in Toledo

by John Bascombe on Friday, November 21, 2014

If you’re in Madrid this year, check out Toledo; it’s just a short half hour train-ride to the south and 2014 marks the 400 th anniversary of the death of this historic city’s most illustrious figure. A full-blown fiesta raging throughout the year is commemorating the life and work of famed painter Doménikos Theotokópulos (1541-1614), known to the world as El Greco. A fantastic variety of lively cultural events and handsome exhibits of inspired works selected from this Golden Age artist’s vibrant oeuvre all await visitors. Still not convinced? Keep in mind that the city of Toledo itself displays medieval urban landscapes that seem to teleport observers to a flourishing age of arts… read more »

400 años de El Greco en Toledo

by John Bascombe on Friday, November 21, 2014

Below you’ll find the Spanish version an article about the event El Greco 2014. You can also find the English version on the next post… read more »

Thanksgiving in Spain

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Many American students spending November in Spain and experiencing the unfamiliar silence leading up to Thanksgiving Day will inevitably imagine with mouth-watering envy a distant place called home, where loved ones enshrouded in the warm coziness of company and the pleasant perfumes of piping hot pumpkin pie prepare to hunker over plates brimming with traditional turkey creations… read more »

Acción de Gracias en España

by John Bascombe on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This is the Spanish version of an article about celebrating Thanksgiving in Spain. If you'd like to read the English version, you can find it on the next post … read more »

Previous 15 Articles »