|Salamanca during Christmas 2014|
About a month ago I went back to Salamanca! For those of you who don’t know, I lived in Salamanca in Spain for 6 months during my Erasmus year (a compulsory year abroad for language students in the UK) and that weekend was the first time I’d been back in a year and half! It was an emotional time for me as I loved the place and I have wanted to go back for so long! As you can probably guess I was a little overwhelmed with knowing that I was going back there and it made me wish that I was living there again. I went there with my friend Toñi (who I met in Salamanca), her old housemate Marta and her new friends Hannah, Chelsea and Katie.
To travel to Salamanca we used the Avanza bus (which is the normal and probably the cheapest choice to travel between the two!) but they had completely changed the bus station in Madrid! Before it was all very open plan and you could walk out to the bus quite easily but now they have walls and doors stopping you from going out until the bus arrives! It also made us all a little confused as to where we needed to go to actually get on the bus! But because we’d arrived early we didn’t have any problems and we didn’t miss the bus.
The journey itself was a normal affair except from the fact that they put a film on! That was the first time they had ever put a film on and I asked Toñi if she had ever had a film on the bus before and she hadn’t. We looked at each other in confusion for a few moments, not quite willing to believe what was happening! I can’t remember which film it was but I think it was a French film that had been dubbed into Spanish. I didn’t watch it though as you could barely hear it over the sound of the bus moving and I wanted to sleep for a bit (even though the coach was at like half 4 in the afternoon… Hey a girl needs to get her sleep somewhere!)
The weekend was great and being back in Salamanca was something beyond amazing. I honestly think it was my favourite place on the year abroad and if I could I would live there again. Sure there isn’t much to do but it is beautiful. And now I feel like I understand what hiraeth is (hiraeth is a welsh word that is about longing and nostalgia of homesickness, but also the bond you have with your home country). Although it isn’t my home country it is a place where I felt happy and I enjoyed myself so much whilst I was there and as soon as I got back I felt like I was home.
I hadn’t been there for a year and a half but I hadn’t forgotten any of the streets and I could walk around there without any problem of ever getting lost. It is amazing how much you are able to remember without being really conscious of it.
|Plaza Mayor Salamanca|
On the Friday night we ate at La Tentazión, a really posh looking tapas place which I never visited whilst I lived there, and we had some tostadas (pieces of toasted bread with something on top of it). I never went to it before I left Salamanca because it seemed so expensive but after living in Madrid it is really cheap and the quality of the food was amazing. What’s even better is that this little restaurant is in the Plaza Mayor and getting the chance to sit in the plaza and eat was amazing! Salamanca’s plaza mayor is so beautiful and personally I think it’s 100 times better than the one in Madrid. Also the architecture used in the plaza is similar to all of the architecture in the rest of Old Salamanca and the yellow stone that they use gives it a somewhat medieval feel (but I think that’s just me).
Most of the things had stayed the same but some of the bars had closed down or had been changed into something else. It was strange to see that people had taken over the lots but had barely changed anything about the place. The only place where I’m not sure if they changed the inside was the new Liverpool Bar. This is a new bar but in the style of a regular British pub and it was weird to be in there. But what had been there before was a really posh place (I say this because there was a rope outside it and security on the doors). I never even tried to get into the old place because you could be refused entry and I didn’t want to have to deal with that kind of rejection on a night out!
It was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time (but I think that’s because I got to travel and see my old love! Salamanca, not a person…) I really hope that I will be able to head back to Salamanca once more before I leave Madrid in May but it depends on how well my money saving technique goes! Hopefully I will be able to visit some places closer to Madrid as well over the next few months and there will be more travel posts back on here.
Hasta la fuego
Lauren 🙂 x