Trip Start Jun 06, 2014
15Trip End Jun 21, 2014
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Salamanca is a delightful city worthy of more than a few hours of exploration. The university hosts 35,000 students so it is basically a college town with all the benefits (and downsides) of having a host of young people
The main plaza, called Plaza Mayor, reminds me of St Marks Square in Venice, without the church. Lined with cafés, it is a popular meeting place for the locals. We took a moment to rest our feet at one of those cafés and tried their version of sangria.
The University of Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain and the 4th oldest university in the world. It existed from the year 1130 ( given a formal charter in 1218) and in the 16th century had a student population of 6500. Today it is a popular summer location for foreign students to learn Spanish.
The cathedral in Salamanca is unlike any church I have seen. The original"old" cathedral was built in the 12th century in the romanesque style but by the 16th century was deemed too small and another "new" church was built in the gothic style. The original intent was to merge the two churches by eliminating one of the walls, but the lack of finances prevented them from completing it and today's cathedral consists of the two churches joined at the hip, so to speak.
Lunch was at a local 4 star hotel that served an excellent paella, accompanied by many salads and decent red and white Spanish wines. Needless to say most of us slept soundly on the return trip to the ship!
Tomorrow we start heading back down river as we work our way back to Porto in a few days.