Monday, July 1, 2013

@ the village of Ledesma, near Salamanca

One of my favorite stops on our out of town excursions has been in the little town of Ledesma.  This town has a few thousand citizens and has a long history (just like everywhere else around here, I believe).  There are lots of poppies sprouting up amidst the stone streets.  The corridors are clean and the sky is clear blue.  The overlook of the surrounding countryside is very accessible and I had a chance to ask our guide about the agriculture in the area.  This is haying season, and there is only one cutting per year, as it is so dry.  There are co-ops that organize for the purpose of figuring out irrigation and we saw several fields with beef cattle and a few with dairy cattle. 
The guide pointed out that part of this bridge was dynamited when Napoleon was leaving town.
 Irrigation system.
It is hard to see out the bus window, but that is a stack of large square hay bales.  In one area near the border of Portugal, we saw round bales.
Herd of beef cattle. 
The old city gate.  Please note the stone "speed bump" in the center of the gate.  I imagine it was part of a door jamb back in the day, but it served as a speed bump for me. Ouch. Thankfully, nothing a little ice pack, ibuprofen and band-aids couldn't handle!  Note to self: when looking at the scenery, pay attention to 24 inch high stones in the middle of the street. One Spanish word I'll remember is knee (rodilla), since the rest of the day everyone kept asking how mine was :). 

One of the teachers in our group stopped by to talk to this friendly lady about her beautiful windowbox of geraniums.  Geraniums in many colors are a popular choice here.  I am guessing it is because they can stand the hot and dry summer climate here. 
Before we left town, we all stopped at the local diner.  The zucchini tapas were a surprise.  They looked exactly like the fried zucchini Ben's mom makes, but when we cut into it, the thin slices of zucchini were actually a sort of sandwich for ham, cheese, egg and onions.  Muy rica.

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