Sunday, September 8, 2013

Plaza Mayor Salamanca

Plazas for me are not sufficiently rememorable for a second visitation. When I say this I keenly re-envision Madrid's Plaza Mayor and Barcelona's PlaÇa Reial. The first is so gargantuan that my only memory of this place is a vendor selling ONCE lottery tickets and a never ending rectangular procession of archways. The latter is infested with low-cost tourists looking for beer deliriums to give them the courage to be wild and nonsensical they otherwise would not be in their own country. Then there are the tourists with the uncultured tongue palette who order paellas cooked with frozen prawns and mussels. Mix into that toss undesirable folk such as "perroflautas" and young Moroccan adults trying to pickpocket the feeble tourist who thinks they are encountering friendly frolicking native locals at night.  

 I get to say this because I live here.

The Plaza Mayor in Salamanca is a far cry from these two scenarios. You want to be here during the day or at night to enjoy tapas and to observe how Anglo-Saxon tourists will always order steaks and hamburgers, despite the delicious Spanish cuisine, while drinking copious amounts of red wine. As you can tell, I have a social-anthropological angle, especially in the present moment, as I am under a Kerouacian influence (I am reading On the Road having just completed my road trip across Spain).  

To be in Salamanca means you are there as an interested visitor in the local culture, history and art. And that means tourists visiting here have a higher socioeconomic profile making the plaza the most Extraordinary I have yet visited.We had a sensational dinner at Las Tapas de Gonzalo with a red Ribera del Duero and walked back to our hotel gleefully content with the Plaza and the food.


Iberian carpaccio ham with pine nuts, dried tomato, thyme and goat cheese.

Sesame chicken skewers and sweet potato chips.

Octopus salad

Dessert of torrijas with vanilla ice cream

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