Monday, November 24, 2014

Activities 24.11.2014 - 30.11.2014

We will start off this week by a Spanish cinema evening followed by some arts & crafts making on Tuesday. For those of you who like to cook and try new food we have prepared a paella cooking class on Wednesday and an international dinner on Friday. And if you like art we will go to an art exhibition of Salamanca’s very own Enrique Marty on Thursday. Don’t miss out and sign up for this week’s activities!

Monday 24, 17:30: Film – Spanish cinema evening to continue practicing your Spanish listening and comprehension skills.

Tuesday 25, 19:00: Arts & Crafts – Christmas is coming in 4 weeks and so each of us will prepare an advent calendar to await its arrival. . Approximate duration: 1h 30 min.

Wednesday 26, 18:45: Cooking class – This week we will learn how to cook a delicious paella. Approximate duration: 1h. 

Thursday 27, 18:30: Exposition – We’ll go to the museum of modern art DA2 to see the works of Enrique Marty, an artist from Salamanca. Approximate duration: 1h. 

Friday 28, 19:00: International Dinner – There are many international students at Tía Tula and we think it’s a good idea for each of you to try different cuisines. And so, everyone should bring one dish (salty or sweet) for others to try. Approximate duration: 1h 30 min.

Saturday 29: Excursion – Trip to Cáceres. For more information please ask at the reception desk.

Sunday 30: Excursion – Trip to Toledo. For more information please ask at the reception desk.

Please don’t forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (to reserve your place, the minimum number of participants required is usually three). Also, unless stated otherwise, the meeting point is always the same Tia Tula school. Lastly, if there’s no price mentioned with the activity it means it is free. 

And don’t hesitate to participate in as many activities as you can, they are designed not just for you to have fun (that is guaranteed) but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you learn in class.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Veggies, veggies, veggies…

Fresh vegetable tempura at Aguaclara.
There always comes a time when people decide to visit you in Spain as did my German friend. I was looking forward to see her, however, I was facing a small difficulty as a ‘host’ – she is vegetarian and I am not. Of course there’s nothing wrong with either, but Spain is known for its chorizo and jamón and farinato and not for its spinach quiche. Spain has a very strong meat culture and I wasn't quite sure what to do with my friend. I decided to do some research and I have to say, it’s been very successful. Therefore, in this post I would like to share my results with you.

My all-time favourite is a bar called El Rastrel. It is a small vegan bar close to the city centre with great ambiance and cool staff. The tapas are delicious and once I tried them -the Galician beer they serve, too-, I knew I would be coming back. They also have a piano and some board games that anyone can play and, best part of all, dogs (with their owners) are allowed in so it is bound to be fun!

Another place to keep in mind is Café Mandala which is very conveniently just a few steps away from Tía Tula. Mandala is not a strictly vegetarian establishment, however, they have a lot of vegetarian tapas and 80% of their lunch and dinner menu is vegetarian. Moreover, they offer great smoothies and cakes which means that vegetarian or not, you will be going back.

At El Rastrel in an after-school activity organised by Tía Tula. 
In the course of my research I also came across with a vegetarian café/bar/restaurant called Café Atelier. It is located in the city centre, just round the corner from my flat which makes it a perfect place for dinner and/or tapas and some drinks. They also have some very nice fair trade coffee which you can sweeten with one of their cakes.

Also, there’s the restaurant El Laurel which offers vegetarian meals and also some vegan options. It is a nice place, quite small so you can enjoy its tranquility and relaxed atmosphere. The food is good and there’s quite a lot it so you won’t be going home hungry (and still have money left in your wallet). The staff is friendly so you can enjoy your vegetarian food while relaxing and talking to your friends.

There are other restaurants and tapas places that offer vegetarian or vegan options among their tapas and dishes range. That is the case of, for example, El Bardo and Aguaclara.

Last but not least, I as amazed when I found out that there even is a vegan eatery held in a self-managed social center. Aside from, of course, serving vegan food, their aim is to fight animal cruelty and raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this article showed you that although Spain is known for its meat products, it doesn't mean vegetarians and vegans are not welcome. In fact, based on my ‘research’, there are quite a few places in Salamanca worth visiting even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Activities 17.11.2014 - 22.11.2014

To keep you active outside of classes as well as inside of them, we have prepared some outdoorsy activities to enjoy this week! There’s a bike tour, an evening walk through the city as well as a tapas tour and some games of billiard. 

Monday 17, 17:00: Bike tour – We’ll take a bike tour along the bicycle path starting at Puente Romano. Approximate duration: 1 hour.

Tuesday 18, 18:45: Evening photo walk – Discover some of the most beautiful views of Salamanca at night. The best picture will be published on our Facebook page facebook.com/colegiotiatula. Approximate duration: 40 min. 

Wednesday 19, 18:30: Billiard – We’ll go and play a few games of billiard. Approximate duration: 1h.

Thursday 20, 17:30: Music contest – Students from several music academies will perform several pieces on the instruments of their choice. 

Friday 21, 19:30: Tapas Tour – We’ll go to several bars in the Van Dyck area and try their tapas. Approximate duration: 1h 30 min.

Saturday 22: Excursion – For more information please ask at the reception desk.
Please don’t forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (to reserve your place, the minimum number of participants required is usually three). Also, unless stated otherwise, the meeting point is always the same Tia Tula school. Lastly, if there’s no price mentioned with the activity it means it is free. 

And don’t hesitate to participate in as many activities as you can, they are designed not just for you to have fun (that is guaranteed) but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you learn in class.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From "sausage of the poor" to a gourmet experience

El farinato is one of the gastronomic symbols of the province of Salamanca, and in particular, Ciudad Rodrigo and its region. This sausage is made with breadcrumbs, lard, oil, salt, flour, onion, paprika and other spices. At first glance it may be confused with ‘chorizo’ (sausage) for its shape (the sausage is in a casing which is attached at the ends forming a horseshoe-shaped string, which facilitates storage) and colour (brick red). 

Because of its simple (and cheap) ingredients el farinato has been bearing the nickname ‘’the sausage of the poor’’ for a long time. Lately, many people started once again appreciating el farinato because of its distinctive taste (very different from that of a 'regular' sausage). It is admired across not just traditional but also modern and innovative kitchens that are now treating el farinato as a gourmet delicacy. In fact, the Council of Salamanca has just published an edited version of a cookbook including different recipes for more ‘innovative’ farinato created by the renowned chefs in the region. The book proposes a variety of recipes, from the traditional farinato with scrambled eggs to more unusual combinations such as farinato skewer with prawns, cheese curds, bacon and fried eggplant. Many people consider el farinato to be a delicacy but we need to remember that even though it is delicious, its high fat content makes it a real calorie bomb. 



The production of farinato is concentrated mainly in Ciudad Rodrigo, although it is also produced in the northern parts of Extremadura and Portugal. Ciudad Rodrigo has an important historical and artistic heritage and is well known for its carnival (el Carnaval del Toro). It is situated to the west of the province of Salamanca, 86 km from Salamanca and 25km from Portugal. Its approximately 14,000 inhabitants are so proud of their sausage that they are sometimes called ‘los farinatos’. They also include it in the names of their events such as Farinato Sound (music festival) and Farinato de Hierro (adventure ace). 

In this Spanish TV program you can watch how el farinato is made. 


And here's the recipe for scrambled eggs with farinato. Enjoy!



Monday, November 10, 2014

Activities 10.11.2014 - 16.11.2014

This week we have prepared activities that will warm you up in this autumn weather such as going for chocolate with churros, tapas tour or a wine tasting. And if you want to travel around Spain there’s a trip to Granada! 

Monday 10, 18:45: Chocolate with Churros – Have you ever tried hot chocolate with churros? It is a typical Spanish delicacy that will definitely warm you up in these cold days. Approximate duration: 1 hour.

Tuesday 11, 16:45: Visit to a convent – Come discover the Convent of Santa Clara. The view of Salamanca from one of its terraces is breath-taking! Approximate duration: 1h. 

Wednesday 12, 19:20: Tapas Tour – We’ll go to several bars in the centre and try their tapas. Approximate duration: 1h 30 min.

Thursday 13, 18:45: Wine tasting – with 3 different types of wine (Rueda, Rioja and Ribera). We’ll also sample some cheese, chorizo and jamón de bodega. Approximate duration: 1h. 

Friday 31, 17:00: Film – Spanish cinema session to continue practicing your Spanish.

Saturday 01 & Sunday 02: Excursion – Granada. For more information please ask at the reception desk.

Please don’t forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (to reserve your place, the minimum number of participants required is usually three). Also, unless stated otherwise, the meeting point is always the same Tia Tula school. Lastly, if there’s no price mentioned with the activity it means it is free. 

And don’t hesitate to participate in as many activities as you can, they are designed not just for you to have fun (that is guaranteed) but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you learn in class.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Lovers, your time has come!


For someone who enjoys reading and/or loves old books, there is nothing better than a book fair and right now, one is happening in Salamanca under the official name of ‘XXII Feria Municipal del Libro Antiguo y de Ocasión’, or, in English, ‘The 22nd Municipal Fair of Old and Used Books’. 



The feria takes place on Plaza Mayor from October 25th until November 9th and the ‘opening hours’ are as follows: Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 14:00 and then from 17:30 to 21:00; and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 14:30 and then from 17:30 till 21:30. 24 bookstores from all over Spain come to Salamanca to sell their books and you can see stands all the way from Alicante, Granada and Santander as well as some from more nearby such as Burgos, León, Madrid, Salamanca, Segovia, Valladolid and Zamora. 


However, the feria isn’t ‘just’ about books, these 2 weeks are filled with 29 activities where the books are always in the centre of attention. Everybody can take their pick when it comes to the activities, there are lectures for the more serious among us as well as concerts for the ones who enjoy music and we cannot forget the little ones – for them there will be storytellers who can fly them from Salamanca to other wonderful places and spark their interest in stories and books. 

Whether you like old (I mean antique) books or simply want a new book and don’t mind it being second hand, then you definitely need to have a look at this fair. I love reading so naturally I had to visit the feria and I was very (pleasantly) surprised by the amount of choice, and the amount of languages – there were a lot of Spanish books, of course, but also books in English, German, Portuguese, Italian, French and other languages. 

I left the feria with a bag full of books for myself (in English and some children’s books in Spanish) and a few Christmas presents for my German friends. However, please beware, you should not go there if you are in a hurry because you will be late. As my friend said, getting lost in the feria of stories is not only possible, it is inevitable

Monday, November 3, 2014

Activities 03.11.2014 - 09.11.2014

After the weekend full of ghosts, the month of November starts and it seems like it is at last the arrival of cold weather as well. However, cold or not, our programme remains interesting, for example, we are going to have a Kizomba dance class as well as a language exchange so come join us and start November by learning something new! :)

Monday 03, 17:00: Film - Spanish cinema session to continue practicing your Spanish.

Tuesday 04, 18:50: Guided Tour – One of our staff will give you a tour around Salamanca and show you the most important monuments. Approximate duration: 1h.

Wednesday 05, 17:30: Dance Class – We are going to learn the first steps of Kizomba. Approximate duration: 1h. 

Thursday 06, 18:45: Language Exchange – We are organising a language exchange between our students of Spanish and students of English. Do not miss out this unique opportunity! Approximate duration: 1h. 

Friday 31, 19:30: Tapas Tour – We’ll go to several bars in the Van Dyck area to try their tapas. Approximate duration: 1h 30 min.

Saturday 01: Excursion – We will be going on a trip to Santiago de Compostela. For more information please ask at the reception desk.

Sunday 02: Excursion – For more information please ask at the reception desk.

Please don’t forget that you need to sign up for each activity at the reception desk (to reserve your place, the minimum number of participants required is usually three). Also, unless stated otherwise, the meeting point is always the same Tia Tula school. Lastly, if there’s no price mentioned with the activity it means it is free. 

And don’t hesitate to participate in as many activities as you can, they are designed not just for you to have fun (that is guaranteed) but also to improve your knowledge of Salamanca and Spanish culture, and to put into practice the Spanish you learn in class.