Feb 19 Salamanca

Salamanca is another must see place if you are in this region of Spain.  The lady who owns the campsite that we stayed on advised me that it is very much like Cambridge.  It has a large University population, lots of lovely buildings and narrow streets and a young atmosphere.  We were inclined to agree.

Rather than dash about trying to visit all the historic buildings, we mostly drifted around the busy and historic streets enjoying the old architecture.

One of many monasteries
Courtyard detail
Galleried courtyard
Shop side beautifully decorated with Plaza Mayor image

The Plaza Mayor is one of the best we have seen.  It was full of people, the buildings and arches are beautiful and it was a great place to sit with a coffee and soak up the atmosphere. 

Busy Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor arches
Plaza Mayor entrance. One of four

We had also decided to visit two museums for a change, the Museo Art Nouveau y Art Deco and the Museo de La Automocion de Salamanca.

The Art Deco museum was full of lovely pieces of sculpture, pictures and furniture from the period. The glass and porcelain was gorgeous and there were a few fabulous Lalique pieces. The building itself was built by a wealthy resident and was a true reflection of the period. It was not possible to take any photos inside, which was a shame, as the glass ceiling is stunning.

Art Deco frontage
Front gate of Art Deco museum

Both of these were located beyond the new and old cathedrals towards the river Tormes. 

River Tormes
Looking back to the city from the Roman bridge

Along the way we also admired the Casa de Conches, looked in wonder at the madly ornate Edificio Historico de la Universidad and the romantic gardens.

Side entrance to Cathedral
Front of old University
Cathedral detail
Looking towards the old town from the romantic garden
Gates into Romantic Garden
House of Shells. Las Conchas

Scattered around the city in various squares are some rather amusing and quirky statues, the work of Xu Hongfei.  No idea why, but they were certainly a talking point amongst the visitors.

Jolly ladies
Ooer Mrs!
In the Plaza Mayor. Don’t try this at home!

There was so much to see that we spent two days in the city. On the second day (a Sunday), the bus dropped us a distance away from the centre as there was a road race taking place. This stumped us a bit to start with and we ended up walking further than intended. The automotive museum was our target and it was a close run thing to get there with enough time to see everything before it closed. Once again, we were disappointed that the museums close for a three hour break in the middle of the day. However, we are getting wise now and try to manage our visiting times accordingly.

We ended our visit with hot chocolate and fartons in the Plaza Mayor where a group of youngsters from some other country, were performing and trying to sell their DVD.  They were very entertaining but we did not buy the DVD.