Salamanca: Old Friends in an Old City

Hi all!

So I have been a bit of a travel bug recently as you might have been able to tell from previous posts! This time I went north to the city of Salamanca, a city I have blogged about before as I went there almost four years ago.

This time, instead of going for a language course, I went to visit my friend Abi, who I have known for a whopping sixteen years, since the start of primary school! We studied Spanish together in sixth form and we almost ended up studying at the same university, until she decided to head west to study in Wales.

Abi is also on her Erasmus year, studying at the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain and the third oldest university in the world! The entire city is one big piece of history, and is often considered to be the place where the purest Spanish is spoken.

To get there, I went by Blablacar for the first time. If you don’t know what Blablacar is, it is a service where people announce their journeys online and you can pay for a seat in their car. It’s normally a little bit cheaper than the coaches, and is also a fair bit quicker as you are normally going straight to your destination! I went with a nice lady called Raquel. She and her mother both made me feel very comfortable, enough so to sleep a little bit on the way.

I arrived at Abi’s very easily, and we chatted a little before heading out for some food with her flatmate Coral and her friend Courtney. I was so excited to be in Salamanca, and when I saw the Rua Mayor again for the first time I was so happy and couldn’t stop smiling!

For food, we actually went to a place that we went to four years ago: Cuatro Gatos. Coral and Courtney had tapas while Abi and I had yummy burgers (mine had a fried egg in it – divine!) Afterwards we decided to take a little tour of part of the city, so we went to the new cathedral and to the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea. Calixto and Melibea are Spain’s version of Romeo and Juliet, forbidden lovers who tragically die together. This garden is my favourite place in Seville.

View of the cathedral from the garden

Afterwards we went to the Puente Romano, a famous bridge, and then headed up to the Plaza Mayor, my second favourite place in the city, visiting the University of Salamanca and the casa de las conchas on the way, and then onto the main shopping street. I bought myself a sparkly jumper (I have wanted one since they were popular last year) and also some boots as the weather is now getting colder and my Converses just aren’t cutting it! I also ended up buying a new nail polish from Kiko, surprise surprise…

Puente Romano

Universidad de Salamanca

Left: Universidad Pontificia, Right: Casa de las Conchas

Plaza Mayor!

By the time we finished shopping, it was raining and we were all cold and damp so we headed home. We were considering going out that evening but it was cold and wet so we eventually made the decision to stay inside in the warm and watch Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! It was the first time I had seen it and I really enjoyed it. Really kicked off the Christmas season for me…half way through November!!

The next day we spent wandering the city again after a yummy lunch of tapas followed by ice cream and hot chocolate. We were thinking of visiting the cathedral but we wanted to go onto the roof and it was way too cold, windy and rainy to do that! Instead, we went to the Archivo General de la Guerra Civil (General Archives of the Civil War) which was showing an exhibition of all sorts of propaganda used by both the Republicans and Nationalists during the civil war of the 30’s. It was really interesting and has given me some possible ideas for my final dissertation!

That evening we ordered Chinese takeaway (yum!) and drank a little bit at home before heading out to some bars with some of Abi’s English friends. It was super busy…there were so many people! After heading into a few bars and walking what felt like half the city we ended in a jam-packed club called Khandavia which was fun, but we were super tired by this point and headed home after a little while. I had a good night though!

Post night out pizza…just what the doctor ordered!

The next day we spent at home lazing around in bed before I had to leave to get picked up to go home. The journey home I did through Blablacar again, and was long and mostly silent on my part. We picked up and dropped off various people on the way which made it that bit longer than normal, but we arrived on time and the people were pleasant.

I had a great time revisiting one of my favourite cities! Though it was a little different this time around thanks to the change of seasons, it was wonderful to see it all again and see how it had barely changed! I still insist on Salamanca being my favourite place in Spain and one of my favourite places in the world! I must come back here with family one time!

Thanks Abi for hosting me, feeding me and showing me more of Salamanca. I had a fab time!

Until next time,

H x

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