Spanishing in Valladolid – Week 3


The great thing about learning a foreign language in its native country is I get to apply it immediately whether I like it or not.

Be it asking for directions, reading labels and billboards, listening to conversations or watching TV, it’s impossible to switch off learning Spanish. So each day passes by with speaking a little more, expanding vocabulary and making sense of grammar until hopefully one magic moment when everything is crystal clear. Until then I wish I could just stick the babel fish into my brain.

Did I mention about the two-gender nouns? We did that in Week 1. And the pronoun dropping in Week 2 with present tense verb conjugations.

In Week 3 we started to speak in sentences, simple sentences no doubt but a big step for a beginner. In fact, it is a big confusing step. Whoever can remember that we need to string Week 1 and 2 in order to make it through Week 3?

To make it a bit more interesting, or should I say a bit less boring, the lessons were mainly on how to describe countries by looking at pictures and answering questions. Baby stuff but I have to admit that towards the end of the week, I did learn a fair bit about the Hispanic world and must say it is rather fascinating. It was an armchair tour of the great Spanish empire and what an adventure!

Medieval bridge over Rio Pisuerga
Simancas Castle archives


In fact the week has been fun. On Tuesday we went on a tour Simancas, a little village lost in time and importance, was the official archive of the old Spanish crown and continues to hold original state documents in its castle.

Burgos Cathedral

On Saturday we visited Burgos, a town on the route of Camino de Santiago where I had been twice before but didn’t get a chance to explore it properly. With each visit, new friendships are forged and more Spanish spoken. In my case, it was fractured juvenile Spanish but it doesn’t matter. People understand and do their best to make sense of what I’m saying. They know I’m trying and that’s good enough.

Bastante bien. ¡Hasta la vista!










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