Noble towers, hallowed scholarly courtyards, magnificent baroque domes glimpsed down narrow streets - very Oxford...
However Salamanca is much more than a university city, it has real vibrancy and civic pride - the central square is perhaps Spains's most beautiful - I cannot recall any space more convivial and brimming with energy - Siena's Campo maybe. Today a local school - St Cecelia's - was celebrating its 50th anniversary in the square. The entire school had occupied the space and were having a great time singing silly songs. What you sensed, among staff and students was an assumed belonging, a communal spirit and a shared ebullience. Just being there with them lifted your spirits and made you smile.
Through this arch is the city's central market. It's not quite on the same scale as Valencia's, nevertheless it places the supply of fresh produce right at the heart of the municipality. In the end, which has done more for the development of human culture - the 'plateresque' or the chorizo?
|Hotel Regio - not quite so utilitarian inside as its exterior suggests|
|The campsite behind it is as utilitarian as it looks.|
|One of its redeeming features - an hourly bus service to the city centre.|
|In the bleak mid-winter....|
|A northern looking sunset|