Continuing with our series…
Salamanca (¡Y Ávila también!)
May 24, 2016
After class on Friday we left on the bus headed to Salamanca. About 2 hours later we were checked in to our hotel and walking around the city streets among a lot of historic buildings. One of those buildings, La casa de las conchas, had shells all over the exterior walls because that was the symbol of the family who lived there. It is now functions as a public library and houses temporary art. Another building is an unfinished palace called El palacio de Monterrey, which is owned by a family — La Casa de Alba — with as much influence as the Queen of England.
We then climbed The Medieval Cathedral Towers of Salamanca. The views were incredible; we could see the entire city! After a lot of pictures, we then had free time until dinner and many people shopped for gifts, treats, or clothing. We ate dinner in our hotel that was very fancy and conveniently located next to the plaza which made exploring the city at night easy. The city is much bigger than Segovia and we got lost a few times, but the adventure was fun. Salamanca has three major universities, and for that reason there were a lot of other university students in the streets!
In the morning we ate breakfast in the hotel, and we all ate a ton of food because there was a buffet. After breakfast, we visited the interior of both parts of the cathedral; the original (12th century) and the “new cathedral” begun in the 16th century . It was very big and very beautiful inside. The new part of the cathedral has very high ceilings with intricate designs. Everything in both cathedrals from the walls to the altars to the floors is covered in tiny details. We saw where the cathedral was cracked from an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal in 1755. There were also a lot of tombs of important people inside the cathedral. After the cathedral, we had more free time to explore the city. There was a lot of rain but we still were able to go shopping in the Plaza Mayor. People from all over come to visit the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca. In a restaurant close to the plaza we ate a delicious lunch and once our stomachs were full we then went to visit the city of Avila.
In Avila, our first stop was outside the city in order to take pictures of the wall. Avila is a city that is entirely surrounded by a high wall with an average height of 40 feet that was constructed for protection. Our second stop was inside the city where some people chose to climb one of the most well preserved walls in Spain, and other people explored the streets of Avila. Some people tried a cookie unique to Avila. We then walked around the city wall until we found the bus, and then rode it all the way back to Segovia. We finished the day watching an exciting soccer match in Segovia and cheering on our favorite teams.
What a weekend!