What’s The Best Way To Learn Spanish Before A Trip To Spain?

English is the most commonly learned second language all over the world, which is great news if you’re an American — it means we don’t have to work as hard when traveling. But some people still think there are a number of restrictions in place when trying to navigate another culture, and that learning a little bit of the native tongue would lift a few of them. So what’s the best way to learn a little Spanish before taking a mountain biking trip to Spain?

Our favorite is Duolingo, by far.

The language-learning app’s best feature is that it’s completely free. Nowadays there is a paid version for those who would like to avoid pop-up ads at the end of each lesson, but the ads really are not all that bothersome.

Duolingo teaches many languages, including romance languages like French, Spanish, or Italian; Germanic languages like Norwegian or German; Asian languages like Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, or Japanese; and even Middle Eastern languages like hebrew or arabic. Believe it or not, you can even learn High Valyrian from Game of Thrones, or Klingon from Star Trek. The app is even rolling out a latin course soon.

You don’t need a smartphone to start, either. You can learn on your computer by heading to www.duolingo.com

Duolingo offers dozens of lessons per language, and helps you learn them by making the process addictive: you earn points for each lesson completed, and there’s even a little owl mascot cheering you on. You earn even more points for opening the app on consecutive days.

Lessons can be intimidating at first, but they grow on you quickly. In each lesson you’ll learn a bit of vocabulary and grammar. Once you “pass” a lesson, you’ll have the option to start learning the next unlocked lesson or complete harder exercises in the previous one.

There are other apps like “babel” that offer a more classroom-like setting with, what critics say, are more useful lessons with Spanish vocabulary you’ll actually use, but unfortunately the classroom approach is outdated and most people don’t stick with it — because it doesn’t work. Duolingo is more likely to keep you coming back for more, because it really does make you feel like you’re making quick progress day by day. That’s why it works better.

That progress adds layer upon layer, and soon you’ll be able to understand rudimentary Spanish. If you’re trying to plan a trip to Spain, then why not give it a try? If you want to learn even more, try to complement it with online conversations with actual native Spanish speakers!

What Type Of Government Does Spain Have?

Spain is home to 46,468,102 people according to its latest census report.

The government in Spain provides the backbone to its structured society and has always played a major role in local ongoings. This article will take a look at the nuances of Spain’s government and how it works based on current regulations. 

Parliamentary Monarchy

This is the name provided by the Spanish government in its present state.

The premise of this government is to have a Congress of Deputies and a Senate. Similar to the UK, Span has a head of state in the form of its monarch. This leader doesn’t possess executive power and is more of a ceremonial appointment.

The real leader is the President who has executive powers and is the head of Spain’s Congress of Deputies. He/she is responsible for appointing the VPs in the government and has a separate Council of Ministers.


The present state of Spain’s government was established in 1978 after a general referendum went out and voters let their voices be heard. The parliamentary setup was instituted after this referendum was sanctioned and put through.


Spain’s core tenets revolve around the democratic ideology.

The state has a set of elected representatives who are pushed through to the government as an extension of the local populace. These are housed in the parliament and ensure everything is voted on in accordance with national regulations.

Judicial Branch

Spain has an independent judicial branch, which oversees legal matters in the nation.

The nation has a hierarchy of courts and followed Spanish plus European laws as determined by the necessary governments. This branch is a separate entity to the government and plays a major role in maintaining the sanctity of Spain as it is right now.

This is Spain’s government in a nutshell based on its current standing.

Knowing The Biggest Cities In Spain Makes Travel Connections Easier

Europe is a major destination for vacations and travel. This is not just for North Americans, but also South Americans, Africans, and Asians. The rich cultural diversity and geographic variety make the continent a place rife with many opportunities.

One of the many appeals of Europe is that so many different languages are spoken. Many international travelers can find a nation where their own home tongue is spoken, or at least a nation whose language they are able to speak or understand. Spain is one such country.

Knowing the biggest cities in Spain makes it much easier to create the travel connections necessary for such a trip. While much of Spain is rural countryside, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia top the list of urban paradises that rule the economy and culture. International flights in and out of these cities make it easy to enter and exit the country, and they offer domestic travel options throughout the country once in it, be it by plane, bus, train, or rented car.

This peninsula nation offers much to do, with cities featuring modern art, historic architecture, and abundant nightlife. The food and dining are among the best in the world, and travelers can do anything from witnessing the running of the bulls to the beaches of the Mediterranean.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy unique geographic features like Gibraltar to the south or the ancient Pyrenees mountains on the border with France. History buffs are also sure to have the time of their lives, given the ancient history of local kingdoms that stood the test of time, or the remaining influences of Moorish occupation of the peninsula that happened for many centuries. The Spanish Empire was once one of the mightiest in the world, and it called this nation home.

The Spanish Inquisition

The Spanish Inquisition, a tribunal of the Papal Inquisition was founded by Isabella I of Castille and Ferdinand II if Aragon in 1478. It was aimed at rooting out heretics in order for the Catholic Church to remain in power in the region.

Heretics were loosely defined as any persons who had incorrect beliefs or did not conform to the teachings of the bible, would not renounce their ways and taught their beliefs to others. The methods used to extract confessions and to force alleged heretics to renounce their beliefs were controversial to say the least.

The accused had to face a tribunal where they were asked to testify as to their beliefs and where judgement was made upon them. However, they received no legal representation, they could be accused by any person and was not made aware of what the charges were. If the accused refused to testify, he was automatically assumed to be guilty.

Torture was also used in many cases to extract confessions but not as punishment for those who were found guilty. Water torture, starvation and other long term tactics were largely used to force an accused to renounce their beliefs as well as other forms of torture.

Jews, Muslims and Protestants bore the brunt of these trials, however, every person who was considered to be a non-believer could be accused and brought before the tribunal. Many innocent people died as a result as execution was the primary punishment for those who were found guilty.

The goal of the Spanish Inquisition was primarily to discourage other religious beliefs as well as keep the church in power. It was therefore politically motivated rather than religiously like so many people believed at the time.

The Spanish Inquisition only ended in 1834 when it was officially abolished by Isabel II.

Types Of Sports Played In Spain

For the sports fans, this section belongs to you. It is time to find out everything you should know about the sports played in Spain. The truth is that there are numerous sports played in Spain as with many other European countries but football is the most popular sport in this country. Spain’s top flight league is the La Liga which is at par with other competitive world leagues such as the German Bundesliga and English Premier League. Some of the clubs playing is Spain’s top flight football league have an enormous fan base all over the world.

Spain’s sporting glory also shines in other sporting arenas beyond the soccer pitch and into the basketball court. This sport is also incredibly popular in Spain. In fact, most of the top flight football clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid also have basketball teams. The Spanish ACB league, one of the most prestigious basketball leagues in the world brings together the top basketball players in Spain. Some of the top flight basketball players from Spain are also battling it out in the NBA of the United States.

Another sport played in Spain and equally popular as well is tennis. Spain boasts of Rafael Nadal who is a world-class tennis player and has won dozens of major trophies. Besides Nadal, many other Spaniards have embraced this sport as a way to pass their leisure time.

We cannot also forget cycling, which is a very popular sport in Spain. In fact, out of the last six Tour de France cycling races held, four of them have been worn by Spaniards which just indicates how famous this sport is.

Besides there sports, you can also find Spanish names in handball, futsal, Formula one, rugby and golf, just to mention a few of the many sports played in Spain.