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SALAMANCA’S URBAN DICTIONARY

PUENTINGbridge-building in Spanish.

If you enter puenting in a search engine, you will get countless pictures of people bungee jumping. However, in this case we are not talking about jumping off a bridge, but about jumping from one free day to the next, as it were. If a person in Spain links up a bank holiday to the nearest weekend with a “bridge”, it is known as hacer el puente (literally “make a bridge”) or just puenting.A combination of puentewith the English ending “-ing”, this neologism is particularly popular with young Spaniards.

By |2019-05-07T10:12:56+02:00July 11th, 2018|Urban Dictionary|0 Comments

THE CITY BLOG: SALAMANQUE

The golden city for foodies and the curious.

Salamanca is located in north-western Spain and has a population of around 150,000, more than 40,000 of whom are students. Each year, thousands of (mostly young) people flock to the city for everything from Spanish courses to Erasmus semesters. The latter was the reason I ended up there, but in my case half a year turned into almost three.

It is said that people in Salamanca speak the “purest” Spanish. Although I am sceptical about such value judgements, one thing is clear: anyone who understands the extremely fast and practically unintonated spoken Spanish of the Salmantinos is unlikely to have problems with any other dialect.

Salamanca is most famous for its university, which was founded in 1218 and is therefore one of the oldest in Europe. This makes 2018 a great year to visit, as the already lively city has reached fever pitch on account of the 800thanniversary celebrations.

A discovery tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City should ideally begin at the beautiful Plaza Mayor. From there, take the Rúa Mayor past the Casa de las Conchas – the library whose name comes from the shells it is decorated with – to the magnificent cathedral that sits enthroned above the city. This walk is particularly enjoyable in the evening, when the ochre-coloured façades of the sandstone buildings glow golden in the evening sun, which incidentally is why Salamanca is also known as La Dorada (the golden city).

The best way to finish the evening stroll is over a glass of Ribera del Duero and a plate of tapas. The selection of bars is huge, but my personal favourite is El Bardo, right next to Casa de las Conchas: a portion of Tosta de Jamón Ibérico is a must for all meat-eaters, as Salamanca is located in Spain’s ham-producing heartland.

 

By |2019-05-07T10:13:26+02:00July 11th, 2018|The City Blog|0 Comments

FAVORITE PLACES IN MY CITY

A Salamancan treasure hunt.

Fancy a bit of extra good luck and a different kind of treasure hunt? If so, then Salamanca is the ideal place for you. Here are my tips: go to the wall of the Universidad Civil first thing in the morning and try your luck. Somewhere, a small frog is hidden on it. According to legend, finding La rana de la suerte(the lucky frog) will bring you good luck for a year. To benefit, however, you have to find it without assistance, and that is only possible early in the morning before the arrival of all the tour guides who point out the frog’s location to their guests.

If you are up for some more searching, take a walk to the northern portal of the cathedral for the next challenge. The eagle-eyed among you will be able to discover an astronaut, a bull, a lynx and a demon eating an ice cream on the cathedral’s façade. These humorous details were added during restoration work in 1992.

Your neck may be a little stiff after all this looking up, so I recommend a detour to the Huerto de Calixto y Melibeagarden not far from the cathedral. It is a romantic oasis of green in the heart of the Old City and a perfect place to rest.

Incidentally, the legend about the lucky frog is true: after umpteen attempts, I eventually found it on the wall. And lo and behold, shortly after that I found two five-euro notes, and a few weeks later I suddenly discovered a 50-euro note lying at my feet. I invested the money in tapas and good wine with my friends, thus turning my good fortune into happiness.

By |2019-05-07T10:12:34+02:00July 11th, 2018|Favorite Places|0 Comments