Friday October 10 -- Salamanca

Friday October 10 -- Salamanca
It was another early morning, since we had a 1.5 hour drive to Salamanca. This part of the Spanish landscape is rugged and sharply rising near the river, but then levels out. We saw vast fields of newly-planted ceral grains and grazing sheep, pigs, horses and cows. The black pigs in this area reportedly produce the world's best ham, particularly when fed a diet of acorns.

We started our time in Salamanca with a couple free hours for shopping or visiting interesting sites. Several of us walked to the cathedrals and went inside. The old cathedral, built in the 12th century and the new one, built in the 16th century are, in fact, joined together.
    
The resulting interior is so confusing that Larry and I lost the others. There was a wedding going on in the old main sanctuary, but the participants seemed oblivious to all the wandering tourists. Between the 2 cathedrals, there are many types of architecture and decor, all designed to impress. The effect is somewhat overwhelming.
We rejoined the rest of the boatload of people at the Alameda Palace Hotel for lunch and a flamenco show. Fred Torrie really surprised us all when he joined the flamenco dancers on stage for their final number -- he's very good! (Well, Fred, you did tell me I should embellish to make it sound like we're having fun. In fact, it was one of the ship's staff who joined the dancers for the last number.)

We met a local guide for a walking our that included many old and interesting sites. the Salamanca University is one of the oldest in the world and used to occupy many buildings around the cathedrals as well as parts of the cathedrals themselves. It has since moved to a suburban campus, but the buildings remain. Salamanca is a beautiful city, well worth the visit.

After another long bus ride we rejoined the ship at Barca d'Alvo, back on the Portuguese side of the river. Dinner was a traditional Portuguese barbeque. No way we're losing weight even with all the walking!
Link to All Photos for 10 October

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