Tag Archives: Plaza Mayor

Another Day in Salamanca 

May 14 – Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and to all mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, stepmoms, godmoms, aunts, teachers, nurses, and anyone who has ever loved a child.❤️❤️❤️

Here’s another Salamanca story.  This city hosts the largest number of University students in Spain.  When a newbie comes to Salamanca for their first year, they are told that they must find the frog on the skull, or they will not pass their exams.  Like any freshman challenge, upperclassmen will not help them find the frog.  It took us a while, but we found it – the crowd of gaping, pointing tourists may have helped.  Can you see it above the door of the university?

How about now?

See it?  Good!  You will pass your exams!

We walked south this morning to see the old Roman Bridge.  It’s very quiet on Sunday morning, but we see policemen and military vehicles lining the roadway.  What’s up?  I’m wondering if there’s some sort of news event about to happen, when a policeman on a bicycle rides by, shouting the Spanish equivalent of, “Move over!  Out of the way!”  And then came:

Marathon runners!  Hundreds of them! After a few dozen came a man on a bike with a sign that read 1st Mujer (Woman).  Soon came the 2nd:

Do they announce the women in US races too?  The 3rd Mujer also got a sign, but the rest just ran with the pack. It was a beautiful morning for the race – dry and cool.  We walked against the tide to admire the Roman Bridge, which held up well under a thousand pounding feet.

After the race passed by, we admired the reflection of the Cathedrals in the Rio Duero.

…and admired the river itself.

We strolled down to the Convento de San Esteban:

…where St. Stephen is eternally stoned:

…and stoned again:

Interesting stone mosaic floors:

The cloisters around the courtyard:

The worship space is huge:

…with 118 seats for the choir:

…and my favorite part, the misericordia, or mercy seats, that give the choir members a place to rest their butts while appearing to be standing:

Back at the Plaza Mayor, the book sale was still going on:

…while the tourists drank coffee

…and an orchestra entertained the crowds:

There is one more thing you have to look for in the stonework of Salamanca.  A little rabbit – rub it for good luck!

Tomorrow we are back on the road.  308 miles to go.

Baños de Montemayor to….. Salamanca!

May 11 – So, last night as we were planning our way forward, I noted that we had three more days of rain ahead of us, and two more days of highway walking (blech and double blech).  The third day was looking like an 18 miler with no place to stop midway.  The 18 mile day was off-road, which made getting a ride or taxi a challenge. What are the chances of finding another lady with a 4×4? All of which made me start looking at bus schedules.  It turns out that the town we are in right now is the very last town with a bus station before we reach the city of Salamanca (4 or 5 walking days away).  The bus station is two minutes from our hostal.  The bus runs twice a day.  We went to sleep on the possibility.

This morning we looked out the window at the gray skies and puddles, and dear sweet Jim said, “Let’s go to Salamanca!”  He booked our bus tickets online and found us a hostal near the Old City.  At 9:45 we were on the bus, looking at all the blue Camino signs rolling by along the highway.  By 11:15 we were in Salamanca.  10 minutes later we were at Hostal Granada, run by a very personable young man with good English.  Our room is lovely.  There is a real supermarket down the block.  My feet are happy, and so is the rest of me.  Time for some R and R.

We did a brief walkabout of the old city.  This is a University city, full of young people and bookstores.  It is the most important university in Spain, attracting thousands of international students.  Most of the buildings are brown.

The Plaza Mayor, the huge main square, was hosting a book sale, so there were bookstalls set up all around.  For some reason, there is a huge statue of an upside down elephant here.  Wait til I tell Emma – she loves elephants!

We saw the Casa de los Conches, decorated with Camino shells.  It is used as a library, and has a shell lamp inside.

We didn’t stay out long in the rain.

May 12 – Jim has been struggling for a while with a boot that is coming apart.  He superglued it as a temporary fix, but he needs new boots.  We tried to get him a pair in Cáceres, but the big sporting goods store there only stocked up to size 46, and he is a 48 or 49 depending on the brand (US size 13, wide).  There is a big store here in Salamanca called Decathalon.  It’s about a 2.5 mile walk from our hostal. It’s not raining too hard, so we set out to find it.  We crossed a river.

It was indeed a huge store, and they had exactly one pair of boots in size 48.  Jim said they felt a little narrow, but felt he had no options at this point, so he bought them.  On the way home we passed the University of Happiness.

It’s still cold and rainy, so after our menu del dia we went back to our hotel to chill.  Sightseeing tomorrow!