Tag Archives: Salamanca

Look Up Look Down: Salamanca Cathedral

A couple of months back, when my friend Noelia and I spent the weekend in Salamanca visiting friends, we trudged all the way up to the top of Salamanca cathedral. The neverending and, at times, devilishly narrow staircases were regulated by a traffic light system to avoid collisions. To my great surprise, everybody seemed to heed the green and red lights. Which proves that the Spanish can follow rules after all 😉

I thought  these pics would make the perfect contribution to travelwithintent’s weekly Look Up Look Down photo challenge.

Salamanca view from Cathedral 1

View of Salamanca from the top of the cathedral

Top view 2Salamanca Cathedral details 1Salamanca cathedral detail 2

View of Salamanca cathedral from the Roman Bridge

View of Salamanca cathedral from the Roman Bridge

Look Up Look Down: Shell House, Salamanca

I thought that La Casa De Las Conchas (House Of The Shells), a 15-th century gothic building in the centre of Salamanca, would make a nice entry for travelwithintent’s Look Up Look Down weekly photo challenge.

Looking up at the shells... the building's facade is deocrated with 350 of these.

Looking up at the shells… the building’s facade is decorated with 350 of these.

Shell House Frontal

Looking up from inside Shell House (interior patio), you can see the towers of Salamanca Cathedral

Looking up from Shell House’s interior patio, you can see the ornate towers of Salamanca Cathedral

Looking down one of the beautifully carved banisters

Looking down one of the beautifully carved banisters

Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor – By Day and By Night

Even if you happen to turn up on a dank day, Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor still emanates the kind of majestic splendour you’d expect from the heart of an historic Spanish town 🙂

Plaza Mayor SalamancaPlaza Mayor Angle DayPlaza Mayor Angle NightArches, Town Hall

These three bods there are my pals ;-)

These three bods there are my pals 😉

Town Hall DayTown Hall - NightArches, Girl

Sunshine! That's what we ordered :)

Sunshine! That’s what we ordered 🙂

Plaza Mayor Building

For a more contemporary view of Salamanca, click here.

Contemporary Salamanca

Salamanca is an arresting historic city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, and, as you’d expect, replete with ancient buildings oozing with imposing beauty. But the city also has a modern face intermingled with its classic red sandstone glory. I took these pictures while strolling about the old town.

A mural above the entrance of an underground car park

A mural above the entrance to an underground car park

Salamanca Catering & Hoteliery School (I think...?)

Salamanca Catering & Hoteliery School (I think…?)

This lovely piece of wrought ironwork belongs to Casa Lis, the city's Art Nouveau Museum

This lovely piece of wrought ironwork belongs to Casa Lis, the city’s Art Nouveau Museum

Library

Some funky posters gracing the inside of Salamanca’s 15th-century Casa de las Conchas (Shell House).

Cafe mural

A colourful mural. Not sure what it’s supposed to be… but who cares 😉

Clouds

The shading provided by these moody rainclouds and the angle of the evening sun makes it seem like the street lamps are lit, but they aren’t.

Someone's very intent on keeping folk out. The sign reads "Dangerous dogs, forbidden to touch the fence", followed up by this vivid pictorial representation of a bull being chased through the Tormes river, with Salamanca cathedral serving as the backdrop.

Someone’s very intent on keeping folk out. The sign reads “Dangerous dogs, do not touch the fence – a message reinforced by this vivid pictorial representation of a bull being chased through the Tormes river, with Salamanca cathedral serving as the backdrop.

Salamanca: Of Frogs and Astronauts

I do love quirky things. Some of you may have noticed. And Salamanca has quirkiness by the bucket load.

Just to set the scene: Most of the town’s historic sandstone buildings are embellished with amazingly elaborate carvings. We’re talking stuff like this:

Cathedral DoorIt’s one of the portals of the New Cathedral. “New”, in this case, refers to 1513. (That’s when they started building it.)

As you can imagine, regular renovations of these facades are necessary to maintain their splendour. But it’s not all saints, angels and glowering gargoyles.

How about an ice-cream-eating, bare arsed dragon...?

How about a bare-arsed, ice-cream-eating dragon? Doesn’t look in the least bit vanilla to me…

Yup, it's an astronaut. He joined the ensemble in 1992.

Yup, it’s an astronaut. He may have missed the launch when he joined the ensemble in 1992, but he looks happy enough.

Salamanca also has a frog obsession. There’s one hidden in the masonry of this portal belonging to the University of Salamanca:

What, you can't spot it???

During daylight hours, come rain or shine, you will find a conglomeration of tourists outside, squinting their little eyes out. Spotting the frog is meant to bring good luck. What, you can’t see it??? Let me help you… [And one of these days, I’ll learn to take a straight photo…]

Look at the pillar with the three skulls. The frog is on top of the skull furthest to the left.

Look at the grey part of the pillar and you’ll see three skulls facing down. The frog is on top of the skull furthest to the left, i.e, in the centre of the picture.

That frog has spawned copious offspring leaping about in hundreds of Salamancan shop windows.  This lot here seems to be keeping the astronaut good company :)

That frog has spawned copious offspring leaping about in hundreds of Salamancan shop windows.
This lot here seems to be keeping our astronaut good company 🙂

I had to crane my neck a bit to take most of these pics, so I’m linking this to travelwithintent’s weekly Look Up, Look Down photo challenge 🙂

 

 

Salamanca – Food First!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I spent last weekend in Salamanca, a town with more history than you can shake a stick at. There will be photos of stunning buildings etc. in due course, but – and this will surprise no one(!) – I’m putting the food pics up first:

Let’s start with a round of pinchos, which is essentially the same as tapas.

The one in the middle is called "jeta". It's a colloquial word for face, as in "mug". As for the dish, it's pork snout :)

The one in the middle is called “jeta”. It’s a colloquial word for face (as in “mug”). As for the dis itself, it’s pork snout, oink! 🙂

But what Salamanca is most famous for in the food stakes is this:

Ham

Jamón!!!

And here's the nice man cutting it for us :)

And here’s the nice man cutting some for us 🙂 Pricey stuff, but so worth it…

Empanada

More ham

This burger was divine...

This burger was divine…

Nice wine display :)

Nice wine display 🙂

Who'd turn down such an evocative invite for afternoon coffee?

Who’d turn down such an evocative invite for afternoon coffee?

Not me!

Not me!

"Chochos Tipicos de Salamanca"  "Chocho" has two meanings: sweets/candy and... erm... fanny (beaver, if you're American).

Chochos Tipicos de Salamanca
“Chocho” has two meanings: sweets/candy and… erm… fanny (beaver, if you’re American).