The bus left Banos at 12.50 and arrived in Salamanca at 2.05 pm. There was a stiff climb out of Banos, with hairpin bends to achieve height quickly. I was glad to be riding not walking. We were suddenly very close to the snow covered mountains and passing a ski resort (not active in April, though, I assume). The high pass marks the boundary between the region of Extremadura and Leon & Castille. To walk the whole of this route on the Via de la Plata must be very demanding and way beyond my capability - but at least I've done some of it!
Some of the small towns had been a bit grim, so I was looking forward to being in civilisation again. It was a short taxi ride to Hotel Rector, strategically placed just outside the walls of the old city. The lovely receptionist spent a long time telling me where to go and what to see, handing me an A4 sheet listing all the opening hours of the major buildings. I was a bit overwhelmed and needed time to think! My first priority was lunch! But first, there was my luxurious room to appreciate, with an orchid, Nespresso machine and Bulgari toiletries!
After a late lunch and a late siesta, it was time to don all my warm clothing and face the cold. There was a small window of sunshine between the showers, so I thought I'd just stroll up to the cathedral and back. Crowds were gathering, some in smart dresses (and shivering!) - of course, its Saturday and there's a cathedral, so obviously in Spain, there must be a wedding!
First there was a display of traditional dancing with castanets. Then a procession of girls and guys in costumes, two brass bands (in front and behind) and then the bride. I think she just took advantage of the procession, which stopped to let her come through, to a huge cheer from the crowd.
View from my window of the wall into the old city
Approaching the cathedral
Amazingly delicate and intricate carving of the west door
Dancing outside the cathedral
A slow dance with castanets
Procession into the cathedral
Younger girls going by
Now the bride - nearly missed her in all the excitement!