A quick 1 1/2 hour flight via TAP airlines from Lisbon to Barcelona, then 45 minute Metro ride (2 changes) to Jaume I station, then about 10 minute walk to our AirBNB place near Carrer del Cecs de Sant Cugat . The apartment is small, but two bedrooms. We are certainly part of the community yet near many attractions. With the window open, one can hear all the sounds of people getting ready in the mornings and sharing their evenings together. A little too close for me – any moment, one expects to hear ‘garde à l’eau!’ Thankfully, that practice has long been outlawed. Yet, there is an abundance of urine and poo from dogs in the city.
Nevertheless, Barcelona is a lovely city, with a plethora of attractions. The city purchased the limelight with the 1888 World Expo and then more recently, the 1992 Olympics. Tourism exploded from 1 million to 10 milion in the ensuring 25 years! Wow! that’s really tough on infrastructure and for the people who live here to maintain their lovely and peaceful way of life. We all must be careful about financial success based on tourism. Suddenly, the very aspect of quaintness and relaxed lifestyle that drew in tourism is destroyed.
Old, historical cities have such a charm that one doesn’t mind the throngs of people. Salamanca does not disappoint. Perhaps because everyone is relaxed, strolling, and being at peace amongst the the storied ancient catedrals and universities. Shops and restaurants line the stone streets with restaurants spilling into the center of the streets from noon on to accommodate lunch hour and the late lunch crowd from 2-4, typical of the Spanish culture.
University of Salamanca – short history via Wikipedia: The University of Salamanca was founded in 1134 and in 1218 it was given the royal charter of foundation (“Estudio General”) by Alfonso IX of León. It was the first university to receive the title of “University” in 1254. Under the patronage of the learned Alfonso X, its wealth and reputation greatly increased (1252–1282), and its schools of canon law and civil law attracted students even from the Universities of Paris and Bologna.[when?] In the 16th century, the city’s fortunes depended on those of the University. About the time Christopher Columbus was lecturing there on his discoveries, Hernán Cortés took classes at Salamanca, but returned home in 1501 at age 17, without completing his course of study. (About ten years later the conquistadorFrancisco Vásquez de Coronado was born in Salamanca.)
We leave tomorrow for Lisbon – Nathan stays of course to finish his studies and continue the ministry with Globalscope Spain (En Vivo).