Simon Huggins's blog

Thu, 28 Aug 2014


So as part of my Spain trip (overview here) I started off with two weeks in Salamanca.

Salamanca is a very pretty town with two cathedrals joined together and a large ancient university which seems to be like the Oxford of Spain. It's therefore very touristy and to be honest pretty white which was a bit strange.

Learning Spanish in Spain definitely seemed the way to go and I booked to do an intensive course (6 hours a day). I also booked to stay in a university style residence. What I hadn't really realised was that it would be full of people who were all a lot younger than me (17-22) and so whilst I'm over the whole find the cheapest place and often go and spend a little more to get something a bit nicer I did regularly have people bound up to me to say "Simon, Simon! I've found somewhere with even cheaper beer". They were a lovely bunch of people though but a lot of English was spoken by the students in the residence. That was good in a way as I didn't really have any Spanish but it did mean I wasn't hearing it all the time. I think I'd suggest people stay with a family if they can.

The school was great and I definitely learned things. I suspect it would feel like I learnt a lot more if I'd started with some basic Spanish to begin with. I definitely had times when I felt great in class because the grammar was quite easy for me given I'd done language learning way back when and then I'd go and attempt a real conversation with someone and realise I didn't actually... know any Spanish :)
But over my five weeks in Spain I managed a few good conversations in between the total lack of getting myself understood and I found that "lo siento para mi espanol muy mal" got me some amount of sympathy.

Next up was Madrid


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