Salamanca, Spain

Posted on June 3, 2010

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Not wanting to miss the opportunity of a mid week holiday (Spain has it’s national holidays on the day they fall rather than the following Monday like the UK), we’ve just had a lovely night and day in Salamanca. It’s a beautiful town 2.5hrs train ride from Madrid – possible to do in a day but better with an overnight trip.

My friend Courtney had already give me some good tips (check out www.guiriguidetomadrid.com for more on Spanish getaways). So we started with a drink in Plaza Major and then went in search of Meson Cervantes. It’s a great bar (although not sure I’d go woth the restaurant here), overlooking the plaza from the 1st floor (2nd if you’re American). Order a drink and you’re asked which tapa you would like to go with it, from quite a selection. I went for jamon y queso tortilla and my boyfriend had croquetas, both decent servings and not bad. The cost for a vermut rojo (red martini to you and I, also my new favorite drink)  plus a cana (small beer) and the tapas was a whopping 5euros. Here you can eat and drink like a king on the wages of a pauper. Lovely. In fact in most bars, if you drink by the bar (rather than on the terrace), this is what you get (we tried a few, all in the name of research of course).

After eight months in Spain I find that I can’t eat tapas for every meal, so we also tried Chez Victor as it had numerous recommendations. I was massively underwhelmed so we just stayed for a main and went elsewhere is search of dessert. We did find a good restaurant, just a little further north from Chez Victor, when you get to a plaza, on the corner on the right – which was full (always a good sign) and did a fantastic menu del dia for 15euros.

Another of Courtney’s recommendations was Cafe Novelty for breakfast which was again on plaza major. Breakfast in the sun with good food is never a bad way to start the day. It has typical spanish breakfasts of chocolate and churros, or bread and tomatoes or jamon plus coffee, always served with freshly squeezed orange juice on the side for around 4 euros.

The town is small and easy to walk around. Visit the cathedral and go in search of the hidden frog on the side of one of the university buildings – you’ll see people looking for it and luckily a few wise that can show you (I have a very short attention span for things like this).

We stayed at Hotel Rua Salamanca which is perfectly positioned and good value for money (although I would argue that it doesn’t quite live up to it’s 4 stars).

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Details

Renfe Train takes 2hrs 45mins and costs about 17euros each way when booked in advance online (www.renfe.es)

Hotel: Rua Salamanca, Calle Sanchez Barbero 11, Salamanca 37002; +34 923 272 272)

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