May was a very enjoyable and eventful month. Although the weather decided to go a little haywire again, we mostly had days full of sunshine and eminent Spanish heat.
On the very first day of May, my parents arrived for a five day trip. They had a great time and I enjoyed it even more – it was so relaxing to spend time together, catching up and telling stories over good food and wine. My Mam and I went for long walks every morning around the city, cooing over the architecture, stopping for a wine or two in the plaza and stopped by Calle Toro for some shopping – Mam bought a soft as butter tan leather jacket in Massimo Dutti and some presents for my little sister back at home.
My amazing Dad and me
My Dad rented a car for a few days, and unfortunately a guy in Madrid put diesel instead of petrol into the tank. To try undo the damage, my Dad filled it with petrol locally in Salamanca and we took a trip to Zamora and Toro, two nearby towns to keep the car running for a while and help the sluggish engine. Sure enough, it worked!
Zamora is small but beautiful. We walked through the streets and had a drink in what seems like their square..it was a really nice open space and I was surprised to hear so many accents from all over the world in such a tiny town off the beaten track.
Next we went to Toro, a town known for it’s red wine. There was a lot more atmosphere here. We stopped for some tapas in a small bar that has won many awards for it’s food. The owner’s son was also very handsome. The bar was so tiny, I didn’t want to scare him off taking pictures, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
When my parents left, the weather thankfully stayed and my two week Spanish course at Tia tula started. I felt I was getting really lazy with grammar and wanted to try something new while I was here. Since the weather has been so great, I cycled up and down every morning, stopping for coffee and croissants on the way. I loved every minute of those two weeks.
Sitting outside the university on my lunch breaks
Sometimes going for cocktails when class and work were done for the day…and walking along my favourite street in Salamanca…
..sometimes catching the sunset on the top of our hill.
Mid May we went to a traditional Andalusian festival in Salamanca’s Plaza de Toros, where there was plenty of traditional food, drink and music. The women of Salamanca danced the night away, never missing a step, while we shared a huge log filled with grilled meat. Most of it was delicious, although some was a little too fatty for my liking.
I wanted to try making some new things in May, although all recipes I tried were very easy and quick to make. I made a tres de leche cake, which was a little too sweet for my tastes but always something I wanted to try. I also made lemon tart, found on Mimi Thorisson’s blog, Manger. Her recipes, photography and life is beautiful! Every page is incredibly inspiring. If you haven’t seen it yet, I really recommend a read. I made the tarts individually with the simplest of ingredients, and single servings meant there were plenty more for c0ffee breaks.
Avocado baked eggs
Yesterday, on May’s final day, my lovely friend Amy was 21. I can’t believe she’s only 21, she’s so wise and wonderful for her age, not to mention being over six feet tall. She is the first female friend I have ever has who has been taller than me! We made her a devil’s food cake, with layers of strawberries and mascarpone mixed with melted dark chocolate and our friend from Poland, Kristina, finished it off with chocolate shavings and strawberry hearts.
We sat in the sun in the early afternoon, giving Amy her presents, eating cake, drinking cava and getting slightly burnt.
In Corillo, a jazz bar in Salamanca I’ve mentioned here many times before, I had the best cocktail I have ever had! It didn’t have a crazy name, it was simply Tanqueray gin, elderflower and cucumber. A perfect combination. I’ll be ordering a lot more of these during my time here.
May purchases – Shiny sequinned ballet flats from Zara – these are actually a replacement pair, the first pair were faulty as too many jewels were falling off but the staff were really helpful this time (I’m really terrified of Zara staff in Spain).
La Roche Posay Hydreane – I’ve totally converted to La Roche Posay stuff, but this product was terrible. Two pharamacies didn’t have my usual moisturiser I use for my face (cicaplast) so I bought this less than two weeks ago, on the recommendation of the pharmacist. It did nothing for my skin and now it’s empty! It felt silky on the skin but didn’t hydrate at all compared to their other products, almost like it just sat on the top and never penetrated the skin. A waste of over €12, sadly! If you have skin that’s prone to eczema or becomes red or irritated easily, try La Roche Posay cicaplast. It’s a wonder product.
Origins VitaZing sheer tint release – My favourite stuff on earth. I binned foundations since I found this stuff and have converted many. My Mam also recently bought a tube on her travels. Although at €39.90 it’s a little on the pricey side, it lasts over 5 months and foundation costs about the same for the same amount of time. This makes me skin look better but I’ve seen huge improvements in it too.
Anklet – A tiny anklet from Spanish store, Iam, for a mere €2.95. I love the little blue gems and the silver makes me look a little less pale!
Skin Food Coffee Scrub – This scrub made of salt, coffee and sugar was an impulse buy online for around €8 when the shipping costs were too high for Fig & Yarrow’s coffee and cardamom scrub. This smells fantastic, a little bit goes a long way and it’s not too abrasive. Very affordable and after 4 or 5 uses, it looks like it hasn’t been touched.
Me sheltered in Cafe Corillo on our last rainy day here at the end of May. Hopefully that was the last of it -fingers crossed!
So much happened in May! I Although I didn’t get to go to the Primavera music festival in Barcelona and everyone here still haven’t quite finished all their exams, I’m looking forward to what June brings.
My brother and sister are visiting, I’m 25 in six days (eek) and Niall and I are doing a road trip around Spain soon.
Anyone planning on a trip to Spain during the summer? Let me know!
♥ ♥ ♥