After Valladolid, we made our way to Salamanca.
“…Salamanca, que enhechiza la voluntad de volver a ella a todos los que de la apacibilidad de su vivienda han gustado.” Miguel de Cervantes
…. translates to “Salamanca makes all those who have enjoyed the pleasant experience of living in her long to return”
Here in Logrono we see signs that say how many kilometers you are from France. In Salamanca it tells you how far to Portugal. It put in perspective how far we had traveled, yet by train It didn’t hurt a bit.
Salamanca is famous for it’s University and study abroad programs among other things like giant cathedrals, a roman bridge, gothic and moorish architecture, a plaza mayor to swoon for….The University aspect made me miss my University days although Iowa City and Salamanca, pues no hay nada que ver…..
After seeing all those books and knowledge in one place, I was extra inspired when I saw an antique book shop, La Galatea: Libreria Anticuaria. We had time, so we took a peek inside and I melted. They should consider installing a fire place and charging money to curl up by it for one hour and read. They had cool old records, tin signs, all that kind of stuff that makes the antiques road show go ’round. I knew immediately I wanted to buy something, if only for the memory of having entered. As luck would have it I found a children’s version (though still quite difficult mind you….) of Lazarillo de Tormes. It is the first unofficial novel since it’s anonymous and Don Quijote is the first official novel. I read it in college and I was really touched and interested in a lot of the themes and messages in the book. Then of course the book store lady confirmed those things for me and reminded me that in the story, Lazarillo was from Salamanca and born in the river Tormes. Hence his surname. AH! Though the river is more….dry the Roman bridge obviously still stands. Those Romans.
Book store lady couldn’t believe we had not yet seen the Roman bridge and we only had a few hours left in Salamanca. So we spent them in the mist seeing the bridge, crossing it, and then crossing back to go eat one final pintxo of course. The prices were low in both Salamanca and Valladolid especially for what and where we ate. Logrono is sort of “pricey” for a small town, although I still think a lot of things are really cheap.
So to escape some of the txirimirri (something like that in basque for that raining but not exactly feeling mist), we made our final visit inside the Cathedral. Lots of steps to work all the tortilla and solomillo off our butts.
I don’t know if I belong in Salamanca, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a nice sized city with more churches than you’ll even want to see or know about, and the food is mmm mmm mm MMM.
Now i’ll have to start some new dreams about cities to visit. Perhaps more along the Don Quijote theme. I obviously can’t leave this Earth without seeing those windmills. For this weekend, a cozy birthday of food and wine in Logrono. You’re old when you say cozy in the same sentence as birthday.