After two weeks together in London, it was finally half-term holiday for Alex. I decided it’s best to travel and picked a region in Spain (Extremadura) that had been highly recommended to me by Spaniards during friends’ wedding party in June this year. The region was described to me as poor, but beautiful. History has left many marks – be it the Spaniards, Roman’s or Arab’s in their days that remain all visible in buildings, traditions and language (some 10% of Spanish originates from Arabic). The region also sports 20+ degress & loads of sun on average in October, which made my decision easy in the end.
How to get there? We just took a flight into Madrid and a rental car (you could also fly into Porto or Seville and do the same). There are local airports, but no point really given it’s only a two hour or so drive from Madrid and you’ll need a rental car anyway to get around.
Salamanca: A must see!
Arguably the city is not really located in Extremadura, but Castile and Leon (which I remember fondly from my time on the Camino de Santiago in 2015). Anyway, don’t miss this place! It’s Spain’s oldest university city and already from far away the imposing cathedral welcomes you. We didn’t see much of the new town with our hotel (hotel emperatritz) located right in the heart of the distinctive old town. Everything in walking distance from there.
First up – food! We picked out on of the many cafe’s / bars to give us our first indulgence of Spanish food. Alex was right away busy with an oversized chocolate shake, but liked all menu items we ordered from jamon Serrano to crocketas and pan con tomate. Churro’s had to be the desert of course! I realised right here that there was not much left of the rudimentary spanish I tried to acquire pre-Nepal. Alex had no such concerns ;o)
Then we headed out to take in some of the scenery of this world heritage site. Apart from the library, we didn’t see much of the buildings inside. I guess comes down to my preference and Alex attention span. Highlights you can find here, just so much there is loads of pretty convents/cathedrals, squares and other official buildings that beautifully blend together.
Nightlife was also busy, it was Saturday after all though we constrained us (not that it would be a big issue in Spain for 7-8y kids to stay out late). Best place was a small wine-bar next door from the hotel (Doctrinos Casa de Vinos). Alex even ordered himself a jamon with bread all by himself.
After a movie night home and some early sleep, we didn’t have much trouble to rise next morning. We filled our stomachs with chocolate croissants and headed for our next destination further south. On the way out from Salamanca you get a great panorama of the old town.