Getting to La Alberca was a long day. But so worth the 1 1/2 hour car ride, 3+ hour bus to Salamanca, 1 1/2 hour lay over, then an hour to the small medieval village of La Alberca.
But first things first. After pulling in to Salamanca bus station, which is very nice as bus stations go, I only had an hour or so to kill before getting in line and purchasing my ticket to La Alberca. It was very cold, and windy but a cerulean clear blue sky. So I hopped into a taxi and had them drop me off at the Cathedral. I am unsure what time I will get back to Salamanca after this week of helping others learn ingles, and my bus back to Ponferrada leaves at noon the following day. And since the Cathedral closes quite early I might miss seeing it. The dash to the Cathedral with my luggage was well worth it. It didn’t disappoint. A small fee of €6 and a QR code scan, you have an audio guide and are off to the races.
Salamanca is known as the City of Wisdom. There are two patron saints of Spain. St James and St Teresa. St Teresa is buried in Salamanca. St James in the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The Cathedral in Salamanca, built in the 1500’s, is considered the ‘new’ Cathedral. I’ll leave these pics here for you to see. It’s enormous and breathtaking. You’ll notice I take a lot of photos of ceilings in churches. I guess that’s the point of a church. To get you to look inwards, then look up towards the heavens. This church does it’s job on both fronts. As usual, I lit candles for my whole family. And for peace in the world.
Unlike most church renovations over the centuries, they didn’t tear down the old and use the stone to build the new. The ‘old’ cathedral is still here. They just built around it. Here are a few pictures, after lugging my suitcase down the stairs to reach it. Mass was being said so I was stealthy.
You enter via a room with a marble baptism font. Then, descend stairs into the old cathedral. I loved the worn fresco on the wall.
With zero time to spare, it was a walk to quickly find a taxi. The city is getting ready for Christmas, like most cities and towns in Spain. A walk from the Cathedral to Plaza Mayor was packed with people at 12:30 on a Thursday.
Tomorrow, I’ll focus on La Alberca itself. It deserves a post of it’s own. Until then, I’ll stay bundled up and happy. Snow ❄️ is coming!