Salamanca is to be my home for the next two weeks – and what a beautiful place to settle.
When I got off the train I was a little worried as I walked toward my accommodation – everything looked a little too downtown big-City for my taste. But then things started to improve. I found my accommodation which is in a lovely street which ends with a park and an ancient tower. The apartment is small but modern and has everything I need from a coffee machine to a washing machine. It is also right in the centre things with all the major sights being within a couple of minutes walk.
First tasks were to do a washing and to go shopping at the little supermarket around the corner as I plan to have a home-cooked dinner tonight and watch a movie. I bought fresh milk for my coffee and breakfast, freshly squeezed orange juice (I made the machine do the squeezing, so it couldn’t be fresher), and the makings of a pasta dinner.
Then I set out to explore. As I am here for two weeks doing a Spanish course I don’t want to do everything in the first couple of days. So my plan for today was to tick two essential boxes and then just orient myself.
Essential box number one was to find the frog on the façade of Salamanca Cathedral. This is an ancient tradition for students at Spain’s oldest university. It turns out to be very hard to spot but in what I hope will be an indication of good luck with my course, I got there eventually.
Second stop was much more a personal thing but quite similar in a way. I went to the Cathedral with it’s richly carved portals to find an astronaut. Yes, that’s right an astronaut.
Time travel? Nah. When they did renovations a couple of decades ago one of the masons followed a rich tradition and added their own flourish – in this case the astronaut. It really is wonderful.
Salamanca is also wonderful – I am captivated. Wandering the old part of town is an absolute joy. Lots of little streets bookended with huge, glorious edifices. Trees and little parks for shade. There’s a lovely university-town buzz to the place that makes the history and buildings come alive.
After blissfully wondering aimlessly I sat at a bar and watched the world go by and planned out numerous possible activities for tomorrow.