Sipping & Sitting in Salamanca

After such a wonderful weekend in Lisbon, I was sad to leave Portugal but I was also looking forward to getting back in Spain. While in Granada, it’s easy to focus on how much farther I have to go with my Spanish, and sometimes feel like the language barrier is a mile wide. However, after spending even a few days in a country where I could pretty much only fumble through ordering in a restaurant, I realize that this is a little bit dramatic because I can’t wait to actually be able to communicate again! It’s a funny little perspective that cheers me up.

After a long drive, I arrived in Salamanca sleepy and hungry. As it was a Monday night after Semana Santa, the hostel was pretty quiet but there were a few leftovers who were happy for some company, so I obliged and went out for some tapas hopping with them until it was socially acceptable to bow out. I actually felt a little bit guilty because the next day I not-so-gracefully blew them off for some peace and quiet as I toured the city solo. However, I can’t even begin to describe what a good choice this was because I had one of the most wonderful days.

The city of Salamanca is pretty small, with its main attraction being the Plaza Mayor, one of the grandest plazas in Spain. A cool cathedral, the oldest Spanish university, and a few pieces of Roman architecture make up the rest of the attractions, and an abundance of jamón and Rioja wine complete a wonderfully Spanish atmosphere.

I spent the morning seeing the sights, and covered most of the city by lunchtime, at which point I wandered up towards the Plaza. After lunch at one restaurant in the Plaza, I skipped to a café a few spots down for coffee and desert. After passing an hour or so there reading, I simply followed the sun around the Plaza. Enjoying the outdoor tables sipping of cañas, munching on tapas, and alternating between reading and people-watching was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Although it may not sound like much, the Plaza is a constant flow of people and life, an outdoor living room for the entire city. Students, old friends, couples, dog-walkers: everyone enjoys through the plaza. Some stop for ice cream, some for a cerveza, many simply plop down in the middle with a group of friends or a sketch pad. I spent hours there, simply enjoying the fact that this is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an afternoon in Spain and the charm of it all.

ImageCathedral (actually two cathedrals, an older and a newer. This is the newer)

 

ImageWith some seriously impressive doors

ImageView of Salamanca from the bell tower

ImageOld Roman bridge

ImagePlaza Mayor

ImageThe Plaza is unique because it is not dedicated to a King/Queen, but rather is “the People’s Plaza” and is lined with reliefs of important and famous Spaniards

ImagePlaza at night

For now,

xoxo

Katie

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