Saturday, 9 November 2013

Salamanca

giant painted hand
in Salamanca 
So now it's farewell to Salamanca as we're moving on to Cacares. We've been staying in the campsite at Hotel Regio which is good - not outstanding but has everything we need. The bus into the city stops right outside once an hour so we've taken full advantage of that for one day and actually walked in - nearly two hours including wooded island detour - on the second.

Salamanca is a great historical city with a remarkably calm old town - perhaps the time of year has helped as it must be pretty frantic in the summer. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, the range of architecture is impressive and we enjoyed seeing the House of the Shells and the fabulous stonework on the outside of the Cathedral. Dave spotted the little astronaut in amongst all the carved religious icons, gargoyles, vines and leaves. Public art is popular throughout the city and the giant hand pictured is painted on the side of a tower block just up from El Corte Ingles where we failed to find any cargo shorts for Dave, but did get a great deal on a bread knife! The favourite shop in Salamanca appears to be butchers and there are so many legs of ham hung in windows around the city, it's amazing there's any pigs left.

My favourite place in the city was undoubtedly Casa Lis, an amazing museum of art nouveau and art deco artefacts. There are gorgeous gold and ivory statuettes, perfume bottles and vases and the building itself has a stunning blue glass roof and stained glass windows looking out over the river. We spent ages walking around spotting Lalique and Galle glass as well as learning new names to look out for: Demetre Chiparus, Ferdinand Preiss, Otto Hoffman and Karl Hagenauer. Their cafe is beautiful too and does a very good rooibos tea. Talking of tea, another tiny shop that caught my eye was El motin del te on Rua Mayor where I purchased a cute tea ball, having left mine at home. They also have a wide range of loose leaf teas and loads of other tea-related accessories.

We've learned a few things about Bailey over this first week. There's actually far more storage space than we need and the whole caravan manages to feel both spacious and cosy, especially after dark when the lights are on and we return from our post-dinner paseo. On the more irritating side, holding down the hob button for twenty seconds and then still having the gas go out is quite annoying.

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