Sun 29/05/16: Time to leave La Alberca and move onto Salamanca but not before Alberca can give us one more last throw of the dice with its Corpus Christi celebration and parade. It’s lovely to be in a small town to see this type of thing as you can get very close and personal to it and even though it was raining all the locals around the Plaza Mayor and beyond hung out their beautiful embroidery cloths as part of the parade. A good many of the locals were also in the tradition costume and this including the younger generation so strong is the belief and tradition still. We watched, enjoyed and followed the parade around the town with a good many of the locals recognising us from our few days here which was lovely and appreciated on both sides. The rain cleared and didn’t clear as we made our way to Salamanca and the camp site just outside and on the river front. We got to the site just after wonderful driving by me, only to switch drivers as we pulled in to park and for David to pull out directly into the path of the Guarda Civil doing a check on the site, fortunately we all found it quite amusing just after the restaurant closed which was a shame really as they did lovely homemade burgers. So we stuck to plan (dam it on my part) and we had the lovely chicken cous cous again but this time we had not managed to find any fresh herbs at all so had to use dried but we both though that actually it tasted as good if not better.
Mon 30/05/16: Croissants from the site shop and then into Salamanca and last time we were here many moons ago on our way down the weather had been dreadful and again here like the rest of Spain it had also been very wet as of late, so the cloudy start to the day came as no surprise. We opted to walk rather than cycle along the path into the main, historic part of town and it brought us more or less exactly into that part of town and the first of the many stone washed grand churches and university buildings. We wandered for a bit and were both quite amazed at the splendour of them all. But as ever even though we were up early there had been a race to the washing machines we had come second so we missed the opening times of the museums we had wanted to see so just walking and looking were our options for that day. We had picked a restaurant from LP for lunch but disappointingly it had been taken over, another sign of the times but we had 2nd option and even though we had to queue we stood our ground and eventually got a table for a menu del dia. Salamanca is a huge university town and close to both the cosmopolitan cities of Toledo and Madrid so we weren’t surprised when the menu options were a bit more European than we have had. I opted for pasta with mushrooms and caramelised onions as a starter which to be fair could have been heat hotter but didn’t lack in flavour and then sea bass. David had a simple but lovely goat’s cheese salad followed by chicken stuffed with Roquefort cheese. It set us up well on our way back along the river bank and the sun came out properly at last.
Tues 31/05/16: Up out walking again and into Salamanca and the amazing Arte Deco museum edging the river front. This museum is really worth a visit even if you don’t love arte deco as it has so much too often in terms of collections and history and at €4 is well worth the money. We spend a lovely 2 hours or so in there and had a lovely time, the highlights being Steiff bears in a circus formation and the puppet collection. Unfortunately and understandably no photos are allowed so we can’t share them here with you. After this we sat and soaked up the sun in Plaza Mayor a truly stunning plaza and thus far one of the best. The city also hosts a very good Carrefour supermarket and here we shopped and got some peppers to stuff with our left over chicken cous cous and after the very long walks of the last 2 days some 32 miles in total we were glad to put our feet, legs and anything else up and have an easy home cooked supper before heading off for the wonders of Madrid