Rain, Parking, and Other Unfortunate Happenings

Lesson learned today: Don’t close the shutters to your balcony if you plan to wake up early. The darkness of our room prevented us from waking up at a normal time and we missed breakfast at our hostel. We had just enough time to get our bags packed before it was time to check out. As there is no parking near Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, we had to lug our luggage (ha!) quite a ways to get to our car.

We walked around Salamanca to see the Convento de San Esteban, Convento de las Dueñas, Escuelas Mayores, and many busy streets. Because we slept late we did not get to spend as much time in Salamanca as I would have liked, but it was still a great experience.

After Salamanca we began our drive to Sevilla. We stopped a couple of times along the way to admire the gorgeous scenery and to (attempt to) get lunch. Unfortunately, we picked a bad place to stop. The people in the restaurant were not serving lunch and were not so hesitant to let us know we were not welcome. A bottle of water later and we were on our way!

We are now safely ensconced in our hotel room in Sevilla after driving around the city for what seemed like hours and getting honked at by drivers who were not happy with our choice of parking spots. Hotel Alcántara is wonderful thus far and I am impatiently awaiting breakfast!

We’re staying in a freakin’ palace

We arrived in Salamanca only a few hours ago but it’s already been an adventure. It’s somewhat cold here, around 55 degrees or so. We did our normal routine of driving around till we find where we’re supposed to be staying for the night, then we find parking. Yeah… About parking… While I’m glad we rented a car, parking can be a nightmare in towns that are several hundred years old. So we parked about a mile away from where we’re staying, which, by the way is a palace basically. Of course, it’s a hostel inside of the palace which leaves a lot to be desired but check out the photos. This place is unbelievable.

A few hours later…

Erica and I realized that it was just too cold for us so we stopped by a gift shop for the Universidad de Salamanca and got official school sweaters. We spent the rest of the night walking around town looking like brand new students that had no idea where they just moved to.

We ended up at an amazing restaurant, where I had duck breast and foie gras, and a media botella de Rioja. Can’t say enough about the food and wine culture here. After dinner we stopped for some churros dipped in chocolate (best Rick Steves suggestion ever). Tomorrow? High culture!

St. Patrick’s Night

We visited two pubs tonight in honor of St. Patrick’s day. It was a damn good time! I photo bombed a few people, and Erica was able to procure TWO Bulmers brewskis which we enjoyed thoroughly. We ended the night with tapas at the Museum of Ham (YES, THAT’S WHAT IT IS CALLED) and let me just say, that Spanish ham is mind bogglingly good. Especially with a hoppy beer. Two hoppy beers.

Civil Unrest, Street Performers and Panic Attacks

Civil Unrest

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I almost joined in with my own protest: “¡Jamón! ¡Jamón! ¡Necessito más Jamón!” Which translates loosely to “Ham! Ham! I need more ham!”

Street Performers

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There are many performers in the plaza del sol. Here’s a guy with a massive bubble maker rocking it at 1am.

Panic Attacks

Had one. Really sucked. Erica was amazing! Had to leave El Museo de Prado after only a few minutes. I need to remember that espresso here will blow your head right off.

Las fotos de hoy

Tapas a Taberna Malaspina

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We just finished our first amazing meal in Spain. The tapas: chorizo, jámon, and jámon Galicia. Every dish was flavorful and satisfying, unlike our experience earlier today. As a side note: We have done nothing today but sleep, eat, and walk around. We are both exhausted from the flights and needed to get our bearings. Tomorrow, ¡Vamos a los museos!

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We made it! After a few slight mishaps (David forgets that a manual vehicle has a clutch, getting stopped by a police officer who doesn’t speak English & keeps saying “¡Vamos! ¡Vamos!”) we have checked into our hotel (Hotel Europa) and are ready for lunch and sleep.

On the plane to Spain

It’s 2:30am CST but 8:30am in Spain. Due to the amazing Dream Water
that Erica and I discovered on a trip to Italy last year, we’ve slept like babies. In fact, Erica is still snoozing right now. I decided to wake up and stare out the window for awhile and dream of tapas.

Side notes:

  • Our seats are fantastic.
  • While speaking to someone on an international flight, remember that they are likely not English speakers. Try not to blurt out: “Oh shit, I don’t speak Spanish!”
  • Dream Water has much stronger effects on Erica.
  • I really need to remember to download a few shows on iTunes before taking a long flight like this.
  • I miss Bailey.

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