Galicia, we adore youJuly 7 in Spain
After panicking about heat and parking garages, the Miserable Mujeres changed their trip plans from the wine country (HOT!) to the Galician coast and the Picos de Europa mountain range.
First: Galician coast
After Santiago de Compostela, we drove north and west to the Beach of the Cathedrals. This also has a Spanish name and a Galician name...and our GPS couldn’t find either (Thanks, Phillipa). Luckily, we were staying at a rural house just miles from the beach, and the proprietor was friendly and helpful. That first night we saw the beach at medium tide, had some pizza in town, and prepared for the next day.
The Galician coast is known for seafood, so we went to find seafood the next day for lunch. We got lost (thanks, Google), found a random folk festival (they dress like Germanic tribes and do competitions???), and then had to wait for lunch...at 3:30 pm (total normal lunch time. Spain is not on Portugal or British Time even though it’s at the exact same longitude as those. Long ago, Spain decided to go with Germany🤦♀️, so now everything we do is at least an hour too late...but we digress...)
Lunch was a fabulous mix of scallops and local tuna just recently brought in to the pier. We saw a guy grilling his own sardines as we were walking. Since he didn’t invite us in, we had to find our restaurant.
After lunch we went to the “cathedrals”. This time at low tide. It was amazing the day before, but so worth it to see in all of its glory. You now have to get a ticket from the park system to enter the beach as it was becoming overcrowded and dangerous before. It’s easy to stick yourself somewhere past where the tide is coming in. Even at low tide, we had to wade through water to see the famous arches. Melinda, though she failed to catch it on film, had a favorite moment watching Maria wait for the perfect shot of waves crashing into the cliff...only to have the wave crash into herself instead...
We did the beach, and headed into Ribedeo for their “Festival of the Indians”. It was another good time for the blog, bad time for the Mujeres as we drove into town. First we drove through the center where there were clearly people walking in from distant homes and parking lots, but...oh no...Melinda wanted to see if we could find the actual festival. “Turn here”, she says. Maria does so and the inevitable happens...within 2.3 milliseconds, we go from perfectly fine, two lane, paved road to...steep, cobblestone path. And don’t forget...that tiny little cobbled “street”...it’s full of festival goers. We try to go one way and a lady says, “Nope. You can’t go there. Go down to the pier and turn around.” But of course...No further direction. Finally, we are at a crossroads and Melinda asks the oldest man living in town. He tells us to drive down there, park at the port, and take the elevator up to town. Brilliant! We do so.
Two hours later, we run into the old local and find out...he’s not from these parts😂 Just visiting. Just like us. For the rest of the night, we are thinking, “Hmm...was it legal to park there? Think they’ll lock that gate?!?!”
The Festival of the Indians is a bit problematic. Everyone dresses like rich Victorians and celebrates the people who returned from the New World. We met a nice couple from Alicante, who agreed with us...why in the world would they celebrate how they stole from and killed the new world natives?!? Spain seems to really have little self awareness about the whole Conquistador thing.
It turns out, although still a smidge problematic, it’s actually celebrating the Spaniards who returned from the West Indies. Spain is a land that loses people. People emigrate at a higher rate there than other nations. So, we understand the celebration of homecoming. Apparently there are some lectures held in town during the festival, so hopefully those are also educational about what happened to the natives of the West Indies after the Spanish conquered.😬
Our friends from Alicante had seen us stalking a patio table to eat at and had waited for us to return to finish their dinner (love them😍). We talked for a bit, they went on their way, we ate.
As we were finishing up, a group of semi-locals (from Galicia...”Gallegos”) were stalking the tables near us. Maria thought, “Well, they can have our table too when we are done.” And then we started talking...and talking...and sharing a drink. We never left the group. We were just folded into it. Now we have new Galician friends, and we stayed and talked until 1:20 am. Poor 9 year old Diego was about to pass out by the time we left. That’s pretty much how Maria felt every night she lived in Spain that summer of her 16th year...How do these people stay out so late?😂 We ❤️ España.
Remember...it’s now almost 2 am and an elderly tourist (who has no car, mind you) has told us where to park.
But the story ends well. The port was not locked up for the night. Audi drives another day.
Tomorrow...”This isn’t a full lane!” Driving through the mountains meeting tour buses.😳Read more