We have just spent a week holidaying in Salamanca, a beautiful medieval city situated in the Castilla y Leon region of Spain.

Once in the old city area the first thing we noticed was the light reflecting from the golden sandstone buildings. The city is in an excellent state of preservation and wandering the streets, while finding little gems of architecture around each corner, became a pastime we never tired of during our stay.

The highlights were the Plaza Mayor, the cathedrals, one new and one old, the ancient university and the monastery.  By way of variation we also visited the Casa Lis museum of Art Deco and Art Nuevo which houses a large collection of bronzes, glassware and other artworks from the period.

Our wanderings involved regular stops at some of the many eating and watering spots in the city and local beer and choices from the various varieties of tapas were sampled with relish as were the several glasses of Rioja and Sangria. Thankfully Salamanca is a very friendly city as our lack of Spanish vocabulary, which was matched with an equal lack of English from the residents, was met with a lot of patience and some humour and we managed on most occasions to be served with something close to what we ordered.

Another challenge that turned into fun was shopping in the wonderful covered market that was situated just a few yards from our apartment. Here we found the supplies for our home cooked meals. The many stalls, with slabs laden with fresh fish, were our source of sea bass and squid while the greengrocer supplied our garlic, tomatoes, peppers and onions and of course there was plenty of bread to choose from which was later used to mop up the juices from the meals we prepared. The quality and taste of the supplies proved to be as high as the displays had suggested.


Our overall impression of Salamanca is one of calm friendliness set amongst streets and buildings that are so easy on the eye that tensions and anxieties become a crime and relaxation appears to be the norm, our only struggle was leaving.