On a typical Viking River cruise on the Douro, the bus trip to Salamanca Spain is anticipated with dread by some travelers because of its duration. Since flooding had kept our ships from actually cruising, for us this trip was just another day on the bus.
To help psych us up for our long ride, our program director came onboard the bus to deliver his pep talk with head gear that was totally appropriate for a Viking cruise:
After our long ride in the rain, we passed an ancient Roman-built bridge and a portion of the city wall as we were coming into Salamanca:
With Viking, travelers never go long between opportunities to chow down. So, upon arrival we first went to the Central Market where we were served tapas and wine.
We don’t have any pictures of the tapas to share here, but there was plenty of beautiful (ugly?) fresh seafood to check out:
Right across the street from the Central Market is Salamanca’s 18th-century Plaza Mayor surrounded by shops, restaurants, and the city hall. Many streets were crowded with holiday shoppers.
With plenty of free time in the city, we wandered the streets on our own. We enjoyed a “lunch” of hot chocolate and our tour of a grocery store, which is one of our favorite activities in a foreign country. We then joined a guided walk where we visited the university and cathedral areas of the city. At the end of the day, Viking provided us with yet another quick snack (with wine, as usual) before we headed back onto the buses for our return trip to the ship for what turned out to be our last night onboard.
Here are some of the sights we took in while walking in Salamanca:
Next up: on our return trip to Porto (unfortunately, still on a bus) we stopped to walk (down) the many steps of Lamego’s Stairway to Heaven.