I got a taxi out of Salamanca this morning to the township of Alba de Tormes. More precisely to a disused railway station outside of Alba de Tormes where I joined the Via Verde.
The Via Verde is a disused railway line that has been converted into a walking track that snakes 20Km from Alba de Tormes to Salamanca. I started out on a lovely morning – there were wildflowers everywhere, birds signing, it was utterly idyllic.
Being a railway line the path makes for easy walking with gentle slopes rather than hills. There are fabulous views over the surrounding countryside which alternates between rolling farmland and plantations of oaks growing acorns to be fed to pigs. This area is also famous for bullfighting and there were a number of serious looking bulls in fields beside the path.
Almost three-quarters of the way through the walk I climbed the only significant hill for miles around to view where the Battle of Arapilles took place a bit over 200 years ago. There was nothing really to see, but the view was good and it was a pleasant spot to stop for a snack.
From that hill the remainder of the walk saw Salamanca looming larger on the horizon. The only problem is that Salamanca Cathedral is so absolutely enormous that it looms large from a hell of a long way away.
As the Via Verde was a railway line the last couple of kilometres are a lot less green and the walk officially ends in the middle of a light-industrial area. It took a tiring 20 minutes to extract myself from the factories and get to the river for a nice stroll back into the old town. 24km all up and a joyous way to spend Sunday morning.