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This week went by fast and already today, Monday, I have had my first exam of the semester, Spanish! Ashlie and I decided that we would head to Salamanca for the weekend. Renfe (the train company) gets you there in 2 1/2 hours. My accounting class was cancelled on Friday so we planned to catch the 11:00 train. We were sadly mistaken though and when we got up to the window we were informed that there were no tickets available for ANY departures to Salamanca all day. What a bummer! We had our bags packed and everything. We decided to not lose face and bought tickets for the following day at 8:45. We went home and planned to be productive, but ended up reading into the afternoon. Around 3:00 we went on a walk around the city. We try to find a different route everywhere we go. We went to Retiro Park and had a picnic and found a part of the park we had never seen before. There is a strange building made solely of glass filled with "art" erected in the middle of the park. I refer to it as "art" because Ashlie and I weren´t really sure what everything was and I don´t really consider wooden walls in a square to be artsy. We found a beautiful cave with a waterfull and took several pictures in the water. The policia were everywhere in the park and it was rather odd that they kept appearing wherever we were. After the park we found a great little market and I bought a few Goya replicas and a new shawl. Around the corner we found a park with a swing set and decided to stop there for a good half an hour of fun. We were off to Salamanca in the morning. The train was 30 minutes late and all of our rushing was for nothing. The train ride was beautiful and we passed El Escorial (a giant castle-like monastery) and then passed through the city of Avila where the carmelites lived. Once in Salamanca we sought out tiny little hostel, more like an inn, where we could drop our bags and continue sightseeing. Salamanca is the home of one of the first universities in Europe and back in the day was among other prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. We went to the Cathedral and the Art Deco museum. We walked around the entire city and it was a perfect day. For dinner we found a vegetrian italian restaurant called "Stravaganza." The polenta was delicious and they had ravioli stuffed with squash. Ashlie and I have already planned to try and replicate the meal when we get back to the states. The following day was a rainy one and after breakfast we made the trek back to the train station. We were soaked by the time we got there but we able to find a nice cafe with hot chocolate (not like the hot chocolate here, this is actually melted chocolate, hmmm...). Back in Madrid, it was time to study for Spanish and get ready for next weekend when we are off to Cadiz (South-western Spain on the coast) for Carnival celebrations. The first week of Midterms starts next week. I can´t wait...

Posted by reby813 02:32 Archived in Spain Tagged tourist_sites

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