Another great day of activities here in Salamanca! After our classes at Mester ended and we filled out course evaluations, we went with Carlos to the Mercado Central (Central Market) of Salamanca. Apparently, the city market used to be in the Plaza Mayor, but in the early 1900s it was decided that what the city needed was an enclosed market – one that could be used year-round. This one has two floors, and was designed by the same architect who designed the beautiful art museum near the river. When we arrived at the market, Carlos gave us an optional scavenger hunt, and told us that the top two winners would get chorizo, the aged pork that’s typical to this region of Spain. Literally no one in the group actually wanted to do it though, so no one will be getting that pork.
We then walked around the market to check out what was for sale. The vendors were selling lots of food – especially meat – that was both traditional and untraditional. Some of the “untraditional” standouts for we Americans included cow tongues, entire de-skinned sheep heads, piglets sliced in half down their midline, and a whole octopus.
After eating lunch with our families and taking brief siestas, we met up with Carlos again at 4:00pm to go to La Clerecía (Clerecia Church) in the middle of town. This church is huge – it’s the largest church in Salamanca, and its bell towers are second tallest only to Ieronimus (the Cathedral of Salamanca), which we saw during our first week here. As with seemingly everything in Salamanca, La Clerecía super old too – construction here began in 1617, and it was expanded four separate times until the building reached its present form in 1767. Once inside the cathedral, we climbed to near the top of the bell towers. The view from the bell towers was incredible – we were able to see over the city in all directions. Looking over the edge made some nervous though – in a couple places, all that lay beyond the rusted iron railings of the tower’s balconies was the cobblestone street below. Carlos generously served as our photographer-in-training, and took lots of photos for us while we were up there.
Following the visit, we all went to a restaurant called Doze to get some drinks. They were great and were a perfect finish to another fabulous day!