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My escape to Salamanca...

As much as I enjoy the excitement and life that exists in a big city - I have come to appreciate the fact that some people are made to live in a big city and others of us are just not programmed that way.  Madrid has a population of over 3.16 million people... that's a lot of people!  After going through orientation, dealing with paperwork and legal documents and requirements, finding somewhere to live, meeting with people from the school and just dealing with all the various forms of transportation, I was much in need of a reprieve from city life.

I knew that I wanted to get away for a few days, but I wasn't really ready to jump a flight and fly to another country for that time (besides the cost of flights were more than I was willing to pay at that point), so I decided that the best thing would be to visit somewhere in Spain.  And what better place to visit then the city I first came to know and love - Salamanca!  So, I found an inexpensive (but well-rated) bed and breakfast near the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, I booked a round-trip bus ticket and I packed my bags (as I was packing up the hotel room the day we had to leave).  I even convinced another auxiliar to join me for the adventure (or at least part of it)!  

If you haven't been to Salamanca and you're looking for somewhere nice to go - with stuff to do, places to see, beautiful gardens to visit, shops to browse, and great food - then you should definitely take the time to check it out!  (And if you have been to Salamanca, then you know what I'm talking about and you should probably go back to visit again.)  Salamanca is a great weekend trip whether it is just a 2 day get-away or a long-weekend.  For me, Salamanca serves as a nice balance of things to do with not as many people or stress that can take over when you're in the center of Madrid.  

I wanted to include some pictures of things to check out, places to go, and even the bed and breakfast that we stayed at.  All I can say is the chance to walk the streets of a city that brought me so much peace and adventure as a college student (eek, 9 years ago!) was worth every Euro that I spent (which was less than 215 Euros for the room that I got for 4 days/3 nights, the bus tickets, food and even a shopping trip to buy some shoes and such)!  

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The Plaza Mayor - a great place to grab a glass of wine or some gelato in the evening and just relax.

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The bed and breakfast we stayed at (located on Calle Jesús - only ~3 blocks away from the Plaza Mayor).

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The common area in the bed and breakfast - there was an outside patio, a kitchen area, sitting rooms, games to play, and more.  It was beautiful and is a place I will certainly try to go back to if I'm ever staying in Salamanca again!

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The New/Old Cathedral in Salamanca (the two are connected)... You can visit the Cathedrals while you're in the city as well as a couple other convents and monasteries.  The architecture throughout the city center of Salamanca is pretty breathtaking - making it well worth a walk through, even if you have no idea where you're going.

One of my favorite spots in all of Salamanca - the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea. It is a gorgeous garden, located in an unsuspecting corner of the city. It is filled with flowers, a fountain, and a ledge that overlooks the city. If you are interested in Spanish literature you may also find it intriguing as it connects to the play "Celestina."IMG_0106
The entrance to the garden...
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The fountain in the garden, with Alysia sitting on the bench in the background.
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Some of the flowers blooming in the garden... (it's crazy to think that this is how it looks at the end of September!)
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The well in the center of the garden, with some of the bushes and trees and more all aligning the walkways... Pictures cannot do this place justice - trust me, you should just go check it out yourself.
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While you are wandering around, make sure to stop at the University and look for the "rana" (frog) to make sure you will succeed in your studies!  I know that I stopped by with hopes that it applies for those teaching the class as well as those who are taking the course!  :)

I'll write again soon but, until then, ¡muchos abrazos!

-Stephanie
(John 14:27)

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