A Riverside Bike Ride – Featured after-class activity

From time to time, we like taking a break from the city centre to experience a more tranquil pace of life. Armed with sunscreen, water bottles and hats, ten of our students enjoy a riverside bike ride with our teacher Servando through the city’s very own nature escape: the Madrid Río.

A nice bike ride around Madrid Río

We first scoop up some pre-booked bicycles from Mi Bike Río (www.mibikerio.com), located just by Metro Principe Pío. Then, we begin our journey in a southerly direction towards the Royal Palace. Along the way, we peek in at the Casa de Campo and admire the views of the Catedral de la Almudena.

The river is the perfect location for a bike ride, even if the weather has us working up a sweat sooner than we´d expect! Rather than cycling on the crowded straight path on the east side of the river, we instead stick to the western route. The path is packed with swooping curves, dips and inclines continuing past the Estadio Calderón. Around us, children splash in the outdoors fountains and adults bask on the lawns. It’s as though they’re sunbathing on a private beach.

After reaching our final stop at Matadero Madrid, we head back and return our bikes. Then, we stroll to the nearby Paulaner Biergarten (located riverside by the Campo del Moro) for some well-deserved refreshments. Fancy coming next time? ¡Apúntate a uno de nuestros cursos en AIL Madrid!

You can find out more after-class activities like a riverside bike ride in our after-class activities section.

How to ask for directions in Spanish – Spanish exercises

If you’re tired of being enslaved by your GPS, or even worse, you don’t have any signal, then getting lost and asking the locals for help is a great way to practice your Spanish. To learn how to ask for directions in Spanish, why not use these phrases?

Perdona, ¿Hay un banco/una estación de metro/una farmacia por aquí? Excuse me, is there a bank/metro stop/pharmacy near here?
Disculpa, ¿Para ir a……? Sorry, to get to… (insert street name/area)?
¿Sabes dónde está……? Do you know where ….is?

The answer you receive will very likely include common direction verbs such as:
Coger – to take
Girar – to turn
Seguir – to continue (irregular!)
Ir – to go (irregular!)
Cruzar – to cross

Furthermore, it will also nearly always involve the imperative. In the informal singular form, this tense is really easy! To help you, here are the same verbs again in their simplest imperative form.

1. Coge la primera/segunda calle a la derecha/izquierda… (take the first street on the right/left…)
2. Gira a la izquierda en el semáforo… (turn left at the light…)
3. Sigue todo recto… (continue straight on…)
4. Vete a la derecha/izquierda… (go right…)
5. Cruza la plaza… (cross the square…)

Do you want to continue your Spanish learning? You can go to our Learning resources section page and and put you to the test with our quizzes.

Also, in order to put into practice what you learned in this post with the activities that we recommend you in our After-class activities section.

Featured AIL Student – Rachel

Rachel is studying Spanish in AIL MadridHello! My name is Rachel and I’m from Brighton in the UK. I’d like to share my incredible experience studying Spanish in AIL Madrid with you.

My story

Until just recently, the only language I could speak was English. Having promised myself that I would learn another language, I took advantage of a short break between jobs to work as a teaching assistant in Madrid. I work during the day, so I was looking for a language school that could offer me night classes. Most of all, however, I wanted somewhere where I would feel at home.

I came across a perfectly timed night Spanish course for me at AIL Madrid, a language school with great online recommendations. My first class was fantastic! My teacher, Edu, was incredibly friendly and I got on really well with the other six people in my class.

The most difficult part of learning Spanish can be having the confidence to start a conversation in it. However, the atmosphere of the classes at AIL were perfect for practicing. We all helped each other and no one ever laughed if someone made a mistake (and we made plenty at the start!). Edu was also really attentive and always took the time to respond to any doubts we had.

If you want to learn Spanish or simply improve your current skills, my advice would be to apply to AIL. Everyone is so kind, so I always feel at home there. My Spanish has improved dramatically. When I first arrived in Madrid, I never dared to speak to my Spanish friends. Nowadays, they have to ask me to stop – once I start speaking in Spanish, there’s no stopping me!

Do you want to meet another AIL Student? You can get to know Junko, a semi-intensive B1 student, in our Spanish Language Students of AIL Madrid section.