Thursday, September 4, 2014

The train, the train

Hello, everyone.

When we (finally) got to the bus station in Santiago, we didn't really have a plan anymore. We had known that we would have a few days at the end, but it seemed best not to tie ourselves down. We didn't know when we'd get to Santiago. At first, we hadn't even known for sure if we'd go to Fisterra afterwards, and if we did, whether we'd walk there or catch a bus ride.

As you all know, we rode the bus, both there and back.

And we located the train station in Santiago, while looking for a place to stay. Then we found the Hotel Horreo, on the street between the Old City area and the train station and settled our packs down for the night.

We went to the train station and talked to the Information desk man. "How do we get to Salamanca?"
He hmmm'd and said, "most people, what they do is to take the train to Zavala, then take the bus from Zavala to Salamanca." So that's what we decided to do.
I thought the wood stacked up for loading at the station was neat.
The Spanish train was very comfortable. I sat in the wrong seat, because my brain wasn't working well, but my seatmate wasn't all perturbed about it. (Each of us slept most of the way anyway.) When the train got to Zavala, we were the only ones who got off. We walked about a block to the bus station and bought tickets to Salamanca.  I saw parts of the Camino trail alongside the way during the day's travel. That would be the Via de la Plata I think. It's a different walking route to Santiago. (There are about 8 different routes. They all have names.)
Just because!

The main plaza. At evening, the restaurants all put big screen TV's out so their outside patrons could enjoy the game along with their tapas.
Salamanca is the home of the oldest, or maybe the second oldest, university in the entire world. It was started by Catholic religious.  The city is still a college town. The library is in a centuries-old stone building that has been continuously used for that all along. They have internet-connected computers for the patrons, too. As you might have expected, the main square has about a dozen ice cream shops.

We got a room very close to the bus station--twin beds and very cozy, but pleasant. And I had some fantastic tapas at one of the restaurants on the square. Serrano ham, fig, cheese--yum! Also some chipirito squid tapa, with the ham for an accent. Yum!

And of course my sweetie went up into the bell tower and climbed every single ladder that was open so he could take pictures. Check out the cool bells!