Salamanca, Spain: Around a Historical University City

Hi, all!

How are you doing? I hope you all are doing well and in high spirits of travelling. It’s spring, marking the end of winter. The weather transition can be quite hellish with flu and pollen lurking around and threatening our health, so make sure you take up extra vitamins, drink a lot of water, and drink honey (this last one is a remedy for almost everything, so get that jar of honey ready).

To celebrate almost-end of April, we’re bringing you our story in Salamanca, Spain. Salamanca is known as a university city (housing the fourth oldest university in the world) and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the site of major battles, important historical events, and all that dates back to its founding in the pre-Ancient Rome period.

City hall of Salamanca
City hall of Salamanca

Start your trip at the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, which is one of the most beautiful city squares I’d ever seen. Bask in the sunlight and the golden hues radiating from the stones. Don’t forget to visit Cafe Novelty, which is the oldest cafe in Salamanca and was the cafe of prominent figures in literature. The city hall of Salamanca is located in its Plaza Mayor.

You might recognize the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca from the movie “Vantage Point”. The city was the setting of the movie.

Tip: Go to the tourist office and get yourself a tourist map. Follow the route and you won’t miss the major tourist attractions. From then on, expand your trip to the outer or hidden parts of the city. That way, you’ll get the best of the city 😉

Facade of Casa de las Conchas
Facade of Casa de las Conchas

From Plaza Mayor, we took a walk through Rua Mayor and passed many incredible sights. Salamanca’s old town was so picturesque, we couldn’t stop taking photos. But clearly, we can’t post all of them here because most involved our faces hehe~

While walking at Rua Mayor, we came across Casa de las Conchas, which is now a public library. What’s unique about this building is that its facade is covered by shells. It’s pretty noticeable from the walk, so you won’t miss it! Right beside Casa de las Conchas, you’ll La Clerecía, a catholic church. This church was glued to the Pontifica university building, creating a pretty corner of picturesque buildings.

New cathedral of Salamanca, viewed from Plaza de Anaya
New cathedral of Salamanca, viewed from Plaza de Anaya

We ended our trip through Rua Mayor at the Plaza de Anaya. It’s a square/park where important buildings of the city meet together: the Cathedral of Salamanca (the New Cathedral facade, while the Old Cathedral is glued at the other side), San Sebastian Church, and Salamanca University.

New Cathedral of Salamanca, lateral facade.
New Cathedral of Salamanca, lateral facade.
Church of San Sebastian
Church of San Sebastian
Building adjacent to the Church of San Sebastian.
Building adjacent to the Church of San Sebastian.

Instead of entering the cathedral to climb the tower, we decided to eat lunch instead because we were famished. We opted for another route by taking a small road beside the university building towards Calle Libreros. We passed by the Provincial Historical Archives building, which houses important archives especially documents regarding the Spanish Civil War.

Provincial historical archives building.
Provincial historical archives building.

On this street, you’ll find the university’s front facade where you canfind the famous frog of Salamanca sitting on top of a skull at the facade of the university building. Across the university building, you’ll find the Museum of Salamanca, which houses the whole history of Salamanca including archaeology, fine arts, and etnology.

PS: I couldn’t find the frog 😦

Regards,

San

Salamanca, Spain
We definitely recommend visiting Salamanca, especially in early winter or early summer. Pack up your things and start exploring the world!

The Hague: An Unlikely Romance

Hi, folks!

So, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! 😀 Some of you might celebrate it while some of you not. Both of us don’t really celebrate this so-called day of love, but we can’t help but get excited seeing a lot of valentine-themed decorations, posters, illustrations, and promos that swirl around the internet, shopping malls, and even in our favorite cafes.

To welcome the day of love, we present to you one of our favorite places that can become your next romantic escapade!

*drumroll* The Hague!

Hotel Des Indes, a hotel built in 1858.
Hotel Des Indes, a hotel built in 1858.
Palais Escher
Escher in Het Paleis, which features the works of M.C. Escher. It’s located in front of Hotel Des Indes.

While a lot of you might be against this choice, citing other more romantic cities; well, let us say that this city impressed us. We had the chance to visit only a small part of the city, mostly going to the older areas, but the impression it left to us was… beautiful!

The Peace Palace, which houses  Permanent Court of Arbitration, International Court of Justice, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace Library.
The Peace Palace, which houses Permanent Court of Arbitration, International Court of Justice, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace Library.

The Hague houses the governmental buildings as well as embassies and prominent schools. It also hosts some of the United Nations’ functions throughout the city, making it culturally diverse due to the large number of expatriates living there. This diversity adds to the charm that it already possesses.

A corner in Buitenhof.
A corner in Buitenhof.
An emblem above an archway around Buitenhof.
An emblem above an archway around Buitenhof.

We recommend visiting the Hague on a sunny day in autumn, where it is quiet yet comfortable. The warm sunlight balances the cold autumn, and the reddened leaves make up a beautiful and compatible color scheme with the colors of the roads and buildings. A good weather will also enable you to stroll around the city and enjoy everything ❤

Windows by Buitenhof.
Windows by Buitenhof.
Directions, directions, directions...
Directions, directions, directions…

In short, we tasted a little bit of The Hague, and we’re telling you that this place is in our bucket list as a place to go to with our partner, one day. The charm that it possesses is just so romantic. The stillness, the quietness, yet the intriguing city makes us wonder more and more, and our photos are somehow trying to tell us that we should be there tomorrow, haha!

Entering Binnenhof.
Entering Binnenhof.
Binnenhof.
Binnenhof, the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Lots of love!

San