A city in western Spain, located on top of a big, flat mountain. It was made famous thanks to a battle at which the Duke of Wellington’s British and Portuguese troops thrashed the French while the Duke’s Spanish allies enjoyed a relaxing siesta after a hearty lunch of pig (see “Cuisine” below).
PEOPLE - Populated by a curious mixture of Castilian locals (“Salmantinos”) and American students. For nine months of the year, the Salmantinos walk the streets, wearing at least four layers of clothing, a hat, scarf and gloves, and complaining about the cold. For the other three months, they wear at least two layers of clothing and a hat, and complain about the heat. At all times, the Americans walk the streets, remarking that everything is “gee, really neat”. Both the Salmantinos and Americans secretly wished that they lived in Andalusia.
CLIMATE - Cold, very cold, f**king freezing, or f**king boiling.
ACCENT - The Salmatinos (unsuccessfully) mimick the accent of their better-spoken neighbours, the good people of Valladolid.
CUISINE - The Salmantinos enjoy a varied diet of roast pig, pork sausages and ham, sometimes eating a stew made with all three and a few boiled chickpeas thrown in. Fish lovers can choose from trout stuffed with ham or trout wrapped in ham. On special occasions (see below), it is traditional to eat a pig pasty.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS - On the second Monday after Easter Sunday, the Salmantinos celebrate the return of prostitutes to the city following Lenten abstinence. Female Salmantinos bake a pig pasty which is eaten by male Salmantinos so they have lots of energy for their evening in the puticlub (brothel).
MONUMENTS - The Plaza Mayor features a plaque to the City’s founder, the Duke of Wellington. Not content with one cathedral, the city has two - both of which are quite good.
THINGS TO DO - Learn genuine Salamancan Spanish - “¡Ay, qué frío! ¡Ay, qué calor! ¡Ojalá viviera en Andalucía!" - with a genuine Salamancan accent - “Gee, Salamanca es una ciudad realmente neat!”. Alternatively, catch a train to Portugal, Avila or Valladolid.
I'm going to study in Salamanca. It's oniy an hour or so from cool places like Avila and Valladolid.