Today we decided to visit Salamanca. It was a very enjoyable trip. It is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of our home. It took us about two hours to get there. We arrived around 09:15 and parked very near the first-century Roman Bridge (Puente Romano), on the street called San Gregorio. From there we walked toward the Cathedral along Calle Tentenecio.
Even though the cathedral was open we did not go in because after two hours on the road we were all looking for a restroom. Now, 09:15 in Spain is like 07:15 in the United States, very little is open. I thought for sure we would find a little coffee shop open. That would have met all of our needs. Not so much! Everything was closed. We made our way to the Casa de las Conchas. As we were taking a few photos, I noticed the building actually housed the public library. We went inside and were able to use the restrooms.
When we emerged we stumbled across a pastry shop. We bought some coffee and pastries and walked back to the small plaza in front of the Casa de las Conchas. After consuming that, we found a little gift store where we bought some t-shirts and a book on Salamanca.
From there we walked back to the cathedral to go inside. It was quite large and impressive; however, it is not as big as the cathedral in Toledo. Regardless, we all thought it was very nice.
Construction of the “New Cathedral” began in 1513. The completion did not occur until 1733! After viewing the detail throughout the cathedral, one understands why it took so long to build.
When we departed the cathedral, we decided to walk to the University of Salamanca. We based that decision on the advice of the shop keeper we patronized earlier. He told us the façade of the university had a carved skull with a toad on top. We would enjoy good luck if we could find the skull. We discovered when we arrived that the façade is very ornately carved. None of us could spot the skull. Finally, a person nearby pointed out the skull. We all had our aha moment when we finally saw the skull. I am not sure how the assistance we received may have effected the luck we were to have received…
From the university, we walked back to the north along Rua Mayor. We stopped at one of the cafes at about noon, sat down, had a glass of wine, some patatas bravas and watched the people walk by.
At the conclusion of our break, we walked about a block to the east to the street called San Pablo. We did that because I wanted to see the Torre de Clavero. After taking a few photographs there we continued our trek to Plaza Mayor. We walked around the perimeter of the plaza and departed, heading south along Calle Melendez.
Just after leaving the plaza, there were several artisans with tables set up. Hillary spotted one that braided leather into peoples’ hair. She had to have one! When that was finally done we made our way back to the car and drove home.