Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Glorious Trip to Salamanca


Sunday, 6 November, 2016:

We awoke to pleasant news on Sunday . . .

 The Huskies had won BIG again!

All is good for Husky fans but we still have three more regular season games to go with a big one in Seattle against fast charging USC.

We were going to travel on this Sabbath to the Castilla y León region of Spain via Metro and train to the beautiful university city of Salamanca.

We were up at Zero-Dark-Thirty
to start our journey

 The view from the
Madrid-Chamartín train station

 The view of the Madrid-Chamartín
train station from our train

 Happy travelers on a train

 In about 90 minutes,
we were in Salamanca

Impressive statue in front
of Salamanca's train station

A knight on a horse decked out in unicorn armor holding a three-headed mini-dragon sure got our attention.

It was chilly in Salamanca
when we arrived

In case you were wondering, 4° Centigrade equals 39° Fahrenheit.

 The first church we saw on our
15 minute walk to Plaza Mayor

 Our entry way to . . .

. . . Salamanca's Plaza Mayor

It is generally considered to be Spain's best plaza.

 Laurie was hungry

 Me too

Cafe con leches and shared churros and chocolate hit the spot yet again.

Interesting looking restaurant
built in 1890

 On a small plaza

 A bigger church

Casa de las Conchas
Salamanca's Public Library

 Good looking Dome and Tower

Our first tourist stop was at . . .

The University of Salamanca

The University was founded in 1218

The University Seal

Statue of Fray Luis de León

The good, free-thinking Fray was a teacher at the University who was held prisoner and tortured by the Inquisition for five years (1572-1576) for challenging the Church's control of the word of God by translating the Bible into Castilian.

He had been originally arrested in the middle of one of his lectures. When he returned after his five year absence, he started anew with his famous words "As we were saying . . ."

University Doors

University Cloister

Another view from the Cloister

The pink sandstone added
warmth to the city

 Ornate University architecture

Countdown to 800 Years

The numbers are hard to read in photo form but it states clearly the number of days, hours and minutes until the University celebrates 800 year anniversary in 2018.

It was time to enter the University and get a look at some of the cherished older parts of the campus.

An Aula is a Lecture Hall

 The Pulpit where Fray Luis de León
uttered his famous line

Student "desks" were a bit Spartan
back in the 1500s

 Ornate site of University
graduation ceremonies

Exit door for new graduates

Ornate Moorish inspired ceiling

An intricate locking mechanism
requires . . .

. . . intricate key

 The University's Chapel

 My Bride caught in a mirror
to aid visitors in viewing
the colorful ceiling

The University's
Old Library . . .

. . . was amazing!

Wall art

Another intricate ceiling 

Love that beard

 Happy Visitors

 Mossy Well

The New Cathedral

By "new" we mean that it was built from 1513 to 1733 as opposed to the Old Cathedral that dates from the 12th century and shares a buttressed wall with its younger brother.

 Ornate Flamboyant Gothic
is always interesting

Quite a statement

View of the New Cathedral's Plaza

 The architecture was impressive
inside as well

 Build it tall to get closer to God

Blue Organ

Wood carving in the choir

No singing in the Choir today

Magnificent Cupola

 Laurie lighting candles

It might be time to
reupholster this bench

Capilla del Santo Cristo
de las Batallas

The small crucifix on the golden altar belonged to El Cid's personal priest and accompanied the Spanish Hero in all of his battles during the Reconquista Period of Spanish history.

I liked the hanging lamp

I like the color blue too

The Old Cathedral

 Lots of rich murals

Vivid colors and tombs

You just have to like that right?

 Not as fancy as
the New Cathedral

Murals everywhere

The Old Cathedral's Main altar
with scenes of the lives of
Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Old is old

 Another dead cleric

I liked the deep, rich red

Artsy-fartsy photo of the BVM

Jesus relaxing on the cross?

Nice carvings

Peaceful Bishop

A boy and his Sword

Saints?

 Raiders Fan?

 Lots of people are buried in
both the New and Old Cathedrals

It was time to move on . . .

This musician played fantastic music

 The Covered Market across
from our hotel

Writers at work in a
University town

 Chilling

Laurie on the march

Grill work on la Casa de las Conchas
in the late afternoon Sun

Street Artist at work

This bakery looked interesting

Well, we just had to support the
local economy in some way

Plaza Mayor in the Sun

There were a series of bungalows set up inside the Plaza for booksellers from all over Spain pedaling there used books.

All around the Plaza Mayor, their are niches above the colonnade depicting famous Castilian writers, heroes and conquistadors.

 Fray Luis de León

 Handsome Fellow El Charro

 Coronado was 400 years old?

Plaza Mayor taking on a great
new hue in the afternoon Sun

Francisco Franco made the list

Ready for the night time rush

El Cid

Don Pelayo
Hero of the Battle of Covadonga

After noshing all afternoon and due to our early wake-up call combined with Laurie's lingering jet lag, she crashed when we got to our hotel room.

I, on the other hand, was still raring to go for a few night time shots of Salamanca!

Plaza Mayor

Casa de las Conchas

The New Cathedral

Ancient Stonework

Salamanca is a fantastic, must see city when you visit Spain.

Glad we did!

2 comments:

Anthony said...

Was it really "Cafe con leeches"? :-)

George said...

Anthony,

DAMN AUTOCORRECT!

Of course it was cafe con leches