We fell in love with Salamanca ten years ago when I went to extensive Spanish school for three months after walking the Camino de Santiago. Bill said he would learn more Spanish in the bars while I was in school. Game on. I’m sure you could figure out who the winner was in that challenge.
Actually what happened was Bill learned every square inch of the old part of town and beyond – walking while I traumatized my brain. On weekends he would take me on field trips to show me what he had discovered.
*click photos to enlarge
Outside the old city…
What’s scary is how much our memories have deteriorated in 10 years. We eventually found almost all of our favorite spots but it took an effort. Sadly a lot of businesses have closed – perhaps victims of COVID lockdowns.
This time we rented an apartment on Plaza Mayor with a balcony that allowed front row seats to people watching and three concerts.
We took this time to wind down after hotel stays and a whirlwind tour the past couple plus months. Now shifting to the Spaniard clock – sleeping in and staying up late. Tapas and a caña (beer)/wine for lunch, snack time, dinner…. any time, all the time.
Point of clarification – We got on the old person’s clock. The young stay up partying all night long. There is never an hour period of time throughout the night and early morning where you don’t hear them. When we left at 6:30 am to catch a cab to the train the taxi stand was full of drunk party goers waiting for a ride home.
Mid-week we were awakened by super loud partiers in our building. The building is 4 stories with one unit on each floor – ours the 3rd. Their voices reverberated off the walls in the narrow stairwell. It sounded like they were right outside our door until they were inside our apartment! They used a key to enter. Our bedroom was near the door. Bill popped up and grabbed a pillow to hide his private parts and exited our door and met them in the hallway where he said in his best English “leave”. They hightailed it out of there without a rebuttal. They partied for another half or so and then settled down.
I messaged our landlord who tried to convince me that it was impossible since they didn’t have a key and the only way to access is with one! Can you imagine? Later he confessed they must have had a master key.
Salamanca is stunning with old, towering and ornate sandstone buildings. It drips history, with Roman, Muslim and royal periods. The majority of historic buildings were created by the Catholic Church.
The “old city” is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest university in Spain sits smack dab in the middle of it. Columbus studied celestial navigation here prior to sailing for the New World.
In the afternoon some group is celebrating something almost every day with parades, artistic displays or some sort of organized party. It makes me smile to see people living life with a happy purpose.
Storks must be the Salamanca’s mascot. They sit proudly in their huge nests at the tops of churches. The largest gathering was eight. They have a strange clucking call and their vast wingspan shadows the sun when they circle. It appears that they deliver lots of babies.
The central market has many stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, eggs, piglets, chicken, etc. You can shop daily. So wish we had something like this in the USA.
The week went by quickly and with a bit of sadness we left for the next town…
Oh – by the way – Bill is now snapping a photo here and there!