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thursday, july 2, 2015 the plaza
A good night's sleep was definitely what I needed, and I woke up feeling refreshed and relaxed. I set out into the streets of Salamanca around 11:30, and my first stop was to have some coffee and a quick breakfast. Since it's extremely typical that you eat outside no matter where you go, it's always easy to check out the menus of each restaurant. Most of them will have the menu posted on the wall, but if not, then you can simply walk up to the table, grab the menu, and check out what they have to offer. I saw a deal for 4,5 € which included a coffee, churro, and a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. That sounded great to me, so I had a seat and waited for the server to come attend to me. He informed me that they were out of churros and that all they had was toast. That actually sounded better than churros, so I happily agreed. I had some butter and peach jam to go with the toast, and it was incredibly good. Not a bad start to my day!

As I was sitting there, drinking my café con leche and enjoying people watching, I couldn't help but hear this yapping coming from my right. And it just kept coming. I would look in that direction, but I couldn't see what was making the most annoying noise I've ever heard. I knew it was a dog, however I could see where it was or what it was barking at. After I paid for my meal, I head down Calle de Zamora, which is a pedestrian street. It was then that I saw it...

I'm just going to let you look at the picture and draw your own conclusion.

I eventually ended up in the Plaza Mayor, which is a popular destination for meeting up with friends and grabbing a drink and some tapas. I hope you can see from my pictures how many tables and chairs there are in the Plaza Mayor, because they literally lined the inner wall of the place. I liked the look of this Plaza Mayor—it was very clean and well-maintained. I had a thought that it would look even better at night, so I decided that I would have to come back once the sun goes down so I can get a different view. I did, however, do a quick lap of the Plaza Mayor to scope out the gelato stands, and I found one that would be my evening treat later in the evening. I'm always keeping my eyes open for good gelato!!

In keeping with my recent Thursday traditions, I headed to la Catedral de Salamanca. And in keeping with the other cathedrals that I've visited, the one here in Salamanca is quite impressive. I'm always amazed by how big these cathedrals are! You can see that they're big from the outside, but they seem to expand even more once you're inside. It's almost an illusion in a sense, maybe like something out of "Alice in Wonderland." I had a fun moment when I was buying my ticket to enter the cathedral. I approached the woman working at the taquilla, and all I asked for a ticket. She told me the price, which I paid, and then she asked me for my zip code. I then said "From the United States?" She gave a quick smile and said "no," but also that she thought I sounded local so she thought it worth asking for my zip code. I'll take that as a compliment!

Once I finished up at the cathedral, I decided to continue walking around taking pictures from different angles. It was hard to get a good full-on shot since the streets are narrow and hug tightly to the cathedral, so I was pretty much always pointing my camera up. As I was on the backside of the cathedral, I found some alleyways that looked interesting enough to explore, and while I was doing so I stumbled upon "Huerto de Calixto y Melibea." This was an exciting discovery for me, as Calisto and Melibea are the star-crossed lovers in "La Celestina", which I've had some of my classes read over the years. It was invigorating to be in this garden, and it helped me solidify a decision to make sure to read "La Celestina" in AP Spanish this year. I'm already looking forward to it!

As I mentioned before, I wanted to head back out at night to get some great evening pictures of Salamanca, specifically of the Plaza Mayor and the cathedral. When I arrived to the Plaza Mayor, I was excited to see that the place was bumping! There was music coming from each corner of the Plaza, people sitting out and enjoying food and drinks, couples sitting in the middle of the Plaza Mayor and simply relaxing—it is definitely the place to come to in Salamanca to meet in the evening. The energy that came from being in the Plaza Mayor at 11:00pm was incredible. It was one of those moments where you just know that this is what Spain is all about. And there were people of all ages out and about, and on a Wednesday!

I got my gelato, took some footage of some great music and dance, and then headed towards the cathedral to get some night shots. You'll have to check those out below!

views from around Salamanca
la Catedral de Salamanca
the garden of Calisto and Melibea
Salamanca at night

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