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Once Upon A Time I Was In Salamanca

Fri Sept. 20th 2019


Kaixo (I’m in Basque country now),

Well it has been 2 nights since I wrote about my experience leaving Madrid…

And may I say those hours are far behind me. Not even Avis can ruin the experiences of this amazing country!

No further challenges to be had (well actually a few – but short humorous ones) so if you want to continue with my story…

Monday 15th

Celebration #1

I arrived in Salamanca with my GPS getting me to the hotel front door in style (OK I did stop at a hotel just before my one and mount the curb to ask if I was in the right place because she told me I had ‘reached my destination’ and yet it was the wrong name – I was so close and the curb was there for the mounting).

I was checking into a hotel that has been a Convent. The walls were thick, say my arm thick. All in the most beautiful golden sandstone (at this this stage this is an impression and not fact – I bet you can’t wait for what I learnt Tuesday!!!).

Celebration # 2

I head out to see this town. And what a town. It is beautiful. Solid, grounded, glowing in this sandstone. I walk and walk just enjoying the atmosphere – it is a university town and there is a vibrancy amongst the old stones and cobbles. I head to a restaurant the receptionist recommended – trying not to be a tourist, however I fall into the sitting outside trap thus not being able to access the fabulous raciones (tapas type nibbles) and paying more. But who cares.

The Spanish cold tomato soup called Salmorejo followed by lentils and local sausage! – yes over ordering at 2.30pm!!!

So then I waddle some more – back to the hotel.

I had been encouraged when I checked in to make a reservation for dinner as it gets busy – and I knew I would be tired and wanted to stay ‘in’. The restaurant opened at 830pm! I thought ‘I can do that !?’.

So I stroll into a very very very nice restaurant and well long story short – with glorious food. Gold foiled foie (they don’t say the Gras in Spain) to name one! And with a Habla No 18 Syrah from 2015 – I stumble back to my room

Celebration # 3

I am still alive – again! After that meal (a gold wrapped heart attack Sally called it!).

See does anyone remember Avis from this morning – not I.

Tuesday 16th

I wake to a new day in Salamanca and I meet the wonderful Ines, my guide for the morning.

She is Celebration # 4

Born and bred in Salamanca her knowledge of this 800 year old town is amazing.

Why the buildings have writing on them in red (bulls blood, olive oil and paprika) the names of the Students when they got their doctorates.

The fresco moved from the library ceiling to another building so they could enlarge the Church.

Why are there 2 Cathedrals?

The library that was a palace with a view of the cathedral that is quite special.

Which food to eat during which celebration – sounds like being there after lent is fun!!!

The city is alive as the new university year has just started – so it’s a young city.

So many stories as we walk over the cobbles that have heard all these stories before.

The sun comes out and the city glows in the yellow and orange warmth of these building.

Celebration # 5

At the end of this amazing tour I get to sit down!

I farewell Ines and jump into my car and off we go.

I am heading to Bilbao – but I have to make a very important detour…

Next installment to follow!

Nicola 

PS – Did you know you can talk to people at the tolls area when you have been there for 10 minutes and can’t get the ticket to work : ) Their voice just appears out of the machine…