Move aside Barcelona. Move aside Madrid. I’ve found my new favourite Spanish town and that’s Salamanca! (Well, at least for the time being as Querido claims that Seville is better and Seville’s now in our 2014 to-visit list.)
Salamanca is a 4-hour drive from Lisbon and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage city. Quoting UNESCO website, “this ancient university town north-west of Madrid was first conquered by the Carthaginians in the 3rd century B.C. It then became a Roman settlement before being ruled by the Moors until the 11th century. The university, one of the oldest in Europe, reached its high point during Salamanca’s golden age. The city’s historic centre has important Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments. The Plaza Mayor, with its galleries and arcades, is particularly impressive.” I fully agree.
Although Spring has officially arrived on March 20, it was still drizzling a bit last Saturday. It was a chilly weekend with the temperature ranging between 0 and 10 degree celsius. That said, the experience of strolling around this lively university town was splendid! The old university charm really left an impression on me
The highlight for Querido and I was undoubtedly Plaza Mayor! It’s a huge square, lined with bars and restaurants on all 4 sides. A perfect place to people-watch and soak in the vibrant atmosphere! My pictures don’t do the Plaza justice, as you really need to be there to experience it first-hand!
Although Salamanca’s an university town, its night life was great. Incidentally, it seemed like the city to go for Hen’s Night and Stag’s Night celebrations! Querido and I were entertained, simply by watching these groups “in action” at Plaza Mayor
Just before leaving Salamanca, Querido and I enjoyed a sumptuous Sunday lunch at Restaurante El Alquimista. We initially planned to visit the restaurant for Saturday dinner but it was fully booked. We were lucky to get the last table for Sunday lunch and personally witnessed people being turned away at the door. I loved our hummus starter was amazed at how tender the pork was! The desserts were great, though not spectacular. Overall, it was extremely value-for-money. I also read that the chef previously spent time at the gastronomical Basque Country.
The restaurant was truly a sweet ending to our Salamanca getaway. As usual, the weekend was too short for me. Time to get to bed to recuperate for the work week ahead. (By the way, I’m lagging in my blog posts. Haven’t blogged about 2 past noteworthy events in March – Day trip to Tomar and a downtown religious procession. Hope I catch up before April arrives!)