Enjoying Simple Pleasures in Salamanca, Spain

Cafe con leche is the typical Spanish coffee. Now, you could head to the American-style shop a few blocks from my apartment for a $7 plain coffee. However, I prefer the local café where you can sit outside on the cobblestone patio and sip leisurely while people-watching. The delicious treat only costs $1.25, the workers always greet you with an enthusiastic “Buenos dias!” and no one rushes you to vacate your seat.

I didn’t know what to expect when I moved to the beautiful Spanish city of Salamanca to take up a great income opportunity…but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I only had to put in a few hours a day, four days a week, and after that my time to explore the streets of Salamanca, the rest of Spain, and other parts of Europe was my own.

Spanish cities offer you the simplest pleasures in abundance…and at very little expense. In the afternoons, you could stop by the local grocery store for a baguette, fresh from the bakery—three delicious loaves only cost a dollar.

Or you could stroll the streets and find fruit and vegetable stands on the sidewalk with crates of pungent strawberries, shining peppers, and golden apples enticing you into the store. The owners select the best items for you from the displays and a couple pounds of fresh-from-the-farm produce almost never costs more than $3.

Food in Spain is so fresh. You can get a better-than-average pizza for $1.30…topped with local Mediterranean olives or herb-roasted tomatoes from the next town.

And living in Spain allows you to jet off to another European city for a weekend getaway a couple times a month, if you fancy. Want some genuine Italian food? You can hop on a plane to Rome and in two hours find yourself in Italy eating pasta. If your wish is for crepes, you can find a ticket to Paris for $150 last minute or for $70 with a little planning. There are over seven low-cost airlines who fly out of Madrid.

If you want to see a different side of Spain, head to the train station to be whisked away to Andalusia on a high-speed train. Every city has daily departures to Barcelona…or Madrid…or a host of other cities. Public transport is extensive and affordable. Or you can take a slow train through the countryside and watch the golden hills, roaming horses, and city lights pass you by.

And each Christmas, Salamanca illuminates the main square with a 20-foot tall Christmas tree made entirely of lights. The sides switch from a vibrant blue to dancing bells to multi-colored ornaments. Store windows remain lit up all night, letting you peruse the latest European fashion, newest sports gear, and Spanish specialties of silver and flamenco dresses you won’t find in America. It’s all part of the magic of Spain.

Image: ©iStock.com/StockPhotoAstur

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