Monday, November 28, 2011

Spain in Still Frames


Two Fridays ago, Fabian and I headed to Spain for a week of rest and relaxation. We landed in Madrid on Saturday morning and then headed two hours west to the charming medieval city of Salamanca where we spent two days before heading back to Madrid. Salamanca has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and was once of the most important cities in Spain, often considered the “Florence of the Iberian Peninsula” as it flourished during the renaissance. Salamanca’s university was host to some of the most important names in Spanish history—Cervantes, Cortez, Unamuno, and even Christopher Columbus, who spent time in Salamanca while he was being commissioned by the Spanish Kings to set off on his travels.



Salamanca is a quaint and charming town, made vibrant by it’s young population attracted by the university and the stunning architecture. The buildings are made from a local limestone that seems to glow in the sunlight and especially at night by the light of the moon. The day that we arrived, it was rainy and gloomy out. I was quite worried because the town seemed to be dead as no one was out—the complete opposite of the happening little town I remembered from my visit three summers ago. I worried that I’d made a mistake bringing us there, but we had booked two nights at the hotel, so we stayed. By Sunday, the sun came out and so did everyone else. People were out and about, enjoying the weekend and this wonderful town. Fabian ended up loving it and really enjoyed seeing the contrast between a small, laid back Spanish town like Salamanca and a thriving metropolis like Madrid. Alas, we prefer the city life, so two days was plenty of time in Salamanca before we were ready to move on.





















After a weekend in Salamanca, we moved on to Madrid, Spain’s bustling capitol. We both commented on how much it reminds us of New York. It is a fast-moving city with activity at every hour of the day and night. It is also reminiscent of Paris with its elegant architecture and wide boulevards. We loved the fact that we always had something to do in Madrid. From tapas and drinks at the fabulous San Miguel Market (a foodie’s heaven!), strolling along the frenetic Gran Vía, taking in the world-class Prado Museum, shopping in the tony Salamanca neighborhood, or experiencing an awe-inspiring Flamenco show at the Corral de la Morería, we enjoyed so many different activities. By the way, if you are planning a trip to Madrid anytime soon, you simply must take in a show at the Corral de la Morería. It is considered the best Flamenco tablao in the world and with good reason. It was far and a way the best Flamenco performance I’ve ever seen. The passion and emotion are completely palpable—I was moved to tears at the show. For now, I’ll leave you with these images, but I will be back later this week with a review of our Madrid hotel, the NH Palacio de Tepa, which I would highly recommend.























{Image Credit: Fabian and Paloma Contreras for La Dolce Vita}


Julie said...

I loved seeing your pictures of Spain. We went this summer and visited Madrid as well...such a fun and vibrant city.

Jasmine Sinclair said...

I love Spain. I have only been to Valencia and Barcelona but can't wait to get back to Salamanca and Madrid.. and after seeing your photos I am putting that on my very near future list!!!

designstiles said...

Oh Salamanca, I miss you. Seeing your Salamanca pictures brought back so many memories and made me tear up even. I will forever love that city. Best three months of my life were spent in that city.

And Contreras, my maiden name.

Unknown said...

So all looks so beautiful!


Meghan @ Wishful Thinking said...

Beautiful pictures of Spain! We have been tossing up whether or not to go to Madrid early next year and your photos made my decision. I just can't get over the intricate detailing in the architecture in Salamanca!

Leslie Fine said...

Wonderful post - beautiful photos! I've never been to Spain but have always wanted to go. After reading your post, I realize that I need to put it at the top of the list!

Matters of Style said...

Love seeing these pictures. We need to go back- I miss it!

Sell WoW Account said...

awesome shots!
Spain never fails to amaze me!<3

Barbara@HausDesign said...

Gorgeous pictures and looks like you had great weather too! My husband and I were in Madrid last May and we loved it!

L.A. in the bay said...

this looks so gorgeous..

Amanda said...

Great pictures!

Wunderkammer said...

wonderful pictures. they remind so much of my secound home. every year i visit salamanca and madrid, a part of my family live there. the people are so amazing. at x-mas i will go again to spain to stay the days there. thank you so much for this great pictures best regards

Anonymous said...

Paloma, thank you so very much for sharing your pictures. I am as obsessed with Spain as you are. It's a beautiful country. Can't wait to go back. For now, I'll just take in what you captured. Best!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful foto tour dahhling! Enjoyed it so...


Hello Paloma ¡¡¡... I've loved the photos I've seen in Madrid ... I am from Madrid and I live in the center, right where you made the most of the photos ... I feel great and I think you did a great job that is your love for the Spanish ... Congratulations ¡¡¡... By the way are you ???... Spanish Your name they are, so I think at least your ancestry if it is ... Many kisses and thanks ¡¡¡...

Unknown said...

¡Hola Carmen! Gracias por tu comentario. Soy americana de padres mexicanos y ascendencia española. Siento un cariño y un orgullo muy grande por españa. ¡Saludos!

KARMELA said...

Gracias por contestar Paloma¡¡¡¡... Me encanta que te sientas tan orgullosa de tu ascendencia... Yo tambien lo estoy, jajaja.... Tendrías que ver como está en estos días Madrid, con todas las luces de Navidad encendidas y con tanta vida como tiene toda la zona de Gran Vía, Plaza Mayor y Puerta del Sol. Yo vivo en la zona del Rastro, en La Latina, así que me queda todo muy cerca.. Si vuelves por aqui, me encantaría enseñarte los mejores anticuarios de la zona, ya que soy asidua todos los domingos... Muchos besos y hasta la próxima¡¡¡..