“He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Granada is one beautiful city!

Perhaps one of the most beautiful cities I have seen in Spain so far! I hope my pictures will be able to show a little bit of the beauty, but this is one city you all should put on your list of places to go when you travel!

Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the intersection of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It is the capital of the province of Granada, which is in the community of Andalucia. Andalucia is in the south of Spain, and very close to Africa. Because of this, the city of Granada has lots of cultural influences, including Moorish and Islamic. These influence led to one of the most visited site in all of Spain… La Alhambra!

La Alhambra is a fantastic Moorish palace in Granada. It was built in during the mid 14th century. In has also been a fortress for Muslim royalty, and in 1492, it became a palace for Catholic kings and queens of Spain. Here are some of my pictures…

La Alhambra at night!
La Alhambra served as a fortress for visitors who would be tired from traveling, so it had many pools to quench their thirst
The outside walls were made to look old, while the inside was beautiful, to discourage enemies from attacking it!
This is an inside wall. Many of the designs are Arabic and use a lot of math, like geometry and algebra to make all the designs fit together!
This is the view of Granada from inside La Alhambra walls
The gardens of La Alhambra were my favorite part. Beautiful flowers grew everywhere!
Inside the beautiful gardens
More views of the gardens
Fountains inside La Alhambra

The greatest lesson La Alhambra gives to the world is an excellent example of how different cultures and religions can live and work together.

Now for your questions:

Bonjour… Bom Dia… 良い朝… guten morgen… Good morning!

French, Portuguese, Japanese, German… these are just of the few of the languages that I have heard other students speak at my school. People from all over the world are making an effort to learn Spanish… just like you and me!

Before I came to Spain, I had taken Spanish classes at St. Patricks, just as you all are doing now. I also took Spanish classes in high school, and for one year in college. Although this gave me a great base for learning Spanish, I still had a lot of trouble speaking, and my vocabulary was not very large.

So in answer to your question, I had taken Spanish classes for a while but I definitely was not fluent! In college, a lot of my friends are from Latin America and other countries around the world. They all told me the best way to learn a language is to go to the country where they speak that language. So I packed my bags for Spain!

Honestly, there have been times when I became tired of trying to learn Spanish. But then I remember my friends from other countries at Georgetown College and how well they speak English, as their second, third, or even fourth language! They helped motivate me to keep studying. My Spanish is still not perfect, but I am able to talk with people and make friends here in Spain!

I got to celebrate my birthday here in Spain! This is a picture of all of my Spanish and American friends from my birthday party. If I didn’t learn Spanish, we would not have been able to become friends!

My international friends from Georgetown and I became friends when we all joined ‘United Nations Georgetown’, which is a group of people from all over the world and America who like to learn about other cultures, and have friends all over the world. Does your school have a ‘United Nations’? If not, would you like to start one? What kind of activities could you do? What cultures are represented in your school? What cultures would you like to learn about?

And in answer to your other question… I would LOVE to come and visit you all! I come home December 21, so I will talk to your teacher to see when would be a good time to visit. Thank you so much for inviting me!

Nos vemos pronto!

Vic”Tori”a

Author: vshover

Hola! My name is Victoria, and I am spending the fall semester of 2011 to study Spanish in Madrid, Spain. At home in Kentucky, I am studying Elementary Education and Spanish at Georgetown College. Why Madrid? Why not? It´s a beautiful city, with a rich culture, that also offers excellent language courses. By studying here, I hope to become a well-rounded teacher who can better share my cultural knowledge and language skills with my future students. For this blog, I am sharing my experience with St. Patrick Elementary School of Louisville, Kentucky, because as a 2005 graduate, I feel it is a great way to give back to the school that has helped me to grow into the person I am today. I believe the students at St. Patricks could benefit from learning about another culture, particularly the culture of the language taught at their school. I am honored to be a representing member of the Classmates Connecting Culture program of ISA, and I hope my enthusiasm for Spain will inspire the students of St. Patricks to also explore the world!

4 thoughts

  1. It looks like that was a fantastic trip! I’m hoping to make it to Spain before the end of the academic year–if you could pick just one spot, where would you recommend a fellow student to go?
    -Sarah (American studying in Yaroslavl, Russia)

    1. Hi Sarah!

      Thanks for reading my blog, I’m glad you liked it!

      Depending on what you are interested in, there are many different places I would go… So here would be my suggestions!

      Madrid – More or less New York City. In Madrid, the nightlife never stops, and every street is crowded with people from all over the world. Many of the major Spanish tourist sights are in Madrid, like Puerta de Sol (the most popular plaza), Palacio Real, Templo de Debod, and many more.

      For a great Flamenco Show, check out Casa Patas. For 30Euro, you will see an 1 1/2 of incredible Flamenco, and a drink on the house.

      Salamanca – A smaller, university city. Most of the population is students, so depending on when you go, some may have already left to go home for Christmas. However, still a very fun city, with beautiful churches (Catedral Nuevo was my favorite).

      Valencia – A beautiful beach city! The Mediterranean Sea will be getting a little chilly now to swim in, but still great sights. If you go here, you can’t leave without eating Paella, or visiting the Mercado Central!

      San Sebastian – In the Pais Vasco region, this is great town along the Cantabrica Sea, and has great tapas for great prices. A small town feel with a lot of culture, and breathtaking beaches.

      Barcelona – One of the more touristy places in Spain, but the history is really interesting. If you go to Barcelona you HAVE to visit Montserrat, an old monastery in the mountains. Heads up, the majority of the people here speak Catalan instead of Spanish!

      Granada – This has been my favorite city, primarily because of the La Alhambra, as you saw in the pictures! It also has fantastic prices for food and drinks, and there are great Moroccan shops, restaurants and hookah bars on La Calle Calderería Nueva

      Hope this helps… I’m sure you will have a great time, and if you have any questions let me know!

      Have a great time!

      -Victoria

  2. We love the pictures, keep them coming!!! The students asked what is your major, and what do you plan to do after college? Thanks, Ms. Martin and Students at St. Patrick

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