Praza Maior

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    • Day38

      Villar de Barrio - Ourense 37 km

      June 6 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      After a chat with the ladies today we decided that we would like to spend some time in Oursense, the ladies wanted to try the famous sulphur baths and I wanted to do some sightseeing, and some shopping for essential supplies. The only way that we would have the time to do that was to get there today, so it was agreed that Meg, Kathleen, Anita and I would walk part of the way then hop in a taxi to shorten the time. Mirjam and Anne were going to walk the full 37km (young, fit and fearless).

      Kathleen found and booked an Airbnb in Ourense for two nights. So we slept late and set off at 0830. The path was mostly very flat and the landscape unremarkable but we made good time to Xunqueira de Ambia. Anne had sent us a photo of Mirjam enjoying a late breakfast in a café there so we went looking for it. (Yes they had left before us!) Meg had a terrible cup of tea but the coffee was good and the barman called for a taxi to take us into Ourense.

      We had a bit of bother finding the Airbnb, it turned out that the building numbers were old and no longer in use but we got there eventually. The apartment was great, two bedrooms, a great bathroom and well fitted kitchen/living area. It had everything we needed, including a coffee machine! It was also right around the corner from the cathedral where we would need to get our credentials stamped and well located for all kinds of shopping.

      As we were walking near the apartment, much to our surprise and great delight we met Julia, and so we all went out for lunch together with Julia leading the way, and in another happy 'coincidence' Guillermo joined us as well, it felt a little like we were getting the band back together! The food was good and the conversation flowed the way it does around meal tables.

      Later that night, Mirjam arrived, she had gotten into Ourense late and we suggested that she stay in the Airbnb with us. When I set off that morning from Villar de Barrio, I was sad because I would not see her again until this time next week, so I was delighted to see her now, even for just a short time. She had just walked a hard 37 km and had 24 km to do tomorrow with a very long very steep incline, so I was happy to be able to give up my bed for her. I slept on the surprisingly comfortable couch. Although we were in the very centre of the city, all was quiet, and we slept in peace.
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      Strange building….

      Norman Graham

      it is a storehouse for maize, it is designed so that rats can't climb up to it and eat the maize, they were very common in most villages in that part of Spain

    • Day39

      Ourense 15 km

      June 7 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      After a good sleep I woke just before Mirjam got up and prepared to leave, I was sad to be saying goodbye to her today knowing that I would not see her until she returned to Santiago from Finisterre on the 12th. We have planned an evening meal with everyone in our little group on Santiago for the 13th of June, it will be great to have everyone together.

      The ladies were going to the sulphur baths and I did some sightseeing, I went out to the cathedral to get my credential stamped and whilst I was there I did the tour. It was interesting but to be honest not much different from every other cathedral I had ever visited. After my experience in Salamanca I couldn't help but see it as another cultural relic of Christendom dependant upon the secular world for survival. I went to see the cloisters of St Francis as much for the walk as anything else, but there was not much to see, you could walk around it and take a few photos but there wasn't much to it. However, they also had a museum there telling some of the history of the city, and that was quite interesting.

      Mirjam sent back word that there were very many more peregrinos on the camino, but that was expected. In order to get a Compostela you only have to walk the last 100km and Ourense is 110 km from Santiago and so many people start their camino here. She also said that she had gone the right hand route, which is very slightly less steep, and that was the route we had also decided to go in the morning. Meg had organised for two of our bags to be transported to our next albergue, and as mine was the biggest bag, I shared it with Anita. I went out to Decathlon and bought a 20L daypack for only 10€ and put all the stuff I needed for the day in it. The walk that day was so much easier for all of us that we decided to have our bags transported each day until we got to Santiago.

      I decided not to go out for dinner with the girls, I had had some pizza for lunch and wasn't really hungry, and I wanted to do some admin type stuff anyway and spend time reflecting on my camino so far and how I thought it had changed me. As Socrates is reported to have said at his trial, "the unexamined life is not worth living."

      I really enjoyed our time in Ourense. It was great to have some time to do tourist type things, and to get some much needed supplies, best of all it was great to spend quality time with Meg, Kathleen and Anita, to see Julia and Guillermo and Mirjam, and to my great joy, by a random chance, I met Anne in the street, we didn't have long to chat but it was such a delight. She had been busy with university stuff and so was booked into a place with good wifi, so it was a wonderful and unexpected meeting. Much as it is a beautiful and interesting city, for me, those moments were the best thing about Oursense.
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    • Day9


      May 31, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Stopped at Ourense on way to Monforte de Lemos. Five bridges over the Miño River in the city. Two in particular were the stand-outs - the Millennium Bridge featuring a unique eliptical shape with a pedestrian footbridge that surrounds the bridge rising up to 22 metres; and the Ponte Vella, a medieval footbridge built on Roman foundations and the first bridge on the river. It was very hot here. We surrendered to the heat and let Andrea and Damo walk the Millenium Bridge.
      We noticed that in Ourense that signage was in what we think is Portuguese but maybe Galician-Portuguese, for example, streets were Rua ... instead of Calle ..., and the plaza was Praza Maior instead of Plaza Mayor. Also here are hot springs - Ourense holds one of the greatest amount of geothermal water in Europe. There was a public "poza" /outdoor bath that we could go to to enjoy the hot spring but being around 40+° that day, we thought not! We weren't allowed to photograph it either.
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    • Day9


      August 3, 2014 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      7:50 set off as last :). 9:50 breakfast in Panelas

      In suburb of Ourense we found a pharmacy and an ATM.

      12-13pm: We passed through Ourense along the rio Barbaña. It should be nice city but we had no time for sightseeing. Still 105 km ahead and only 2 days left.
      We met P+P again: they took a taxi, because Paolo couldn’t walk any more.
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    • Day10


      August 4, 2014 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Then we set off for Cea (23km). Full of energy (2 beers) and with the right motivation our walking speed increased nearly to the speed of light, so all the distances shortened relativistic by a factor of sqrt(1-v2/c2).Read more

    • Day2

      Visitando la ciudad

      August 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Después de enterarnos que casi todas las termas de la ciudad, nuestro principal interés en ella, estaban cerradas o en desuso, decidimos recorrer las calles de Ourense por la tregua que nos da la lluvia. Nos sorprende lo austero de la arquitectura pero damos un largo paseo.Read more

    • Day2


      August 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Llegamos, buscamos aparcamiento y comemos en el gastrobar Tapa Negra por una recomendación de un blog de viajeros de Internet. ¡Buenísimo! Llueve a momentos, aunque la temperatura es ideal.

    • Day2

      Cena por el centro

      August 16 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Probamos las Tixolas Gallegas y los Mejillones Tigres en una tapería-vinoteca del centro. Deeeeeliciosi. Después volvemos al hotel y a descansar, que mañana será un día largo.

    • Day31


      June 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Gestern sind wir nach einem kurzen und gemütlichen Tag in Ourense angekommen, wo wir heute einen Pausentag eingelegt haben. Die Stadt ist bekannt für die Thermalpools im Fluss, die wir heute besucht haben.

      Heute Morgen hatten wir ein phänomenales Frühstück im Hotel, das ausnahmsweise mal aus mehr als nur Tostadas bestand. Danach gingen wir in dieses Thermalbad, wo wir dann auch die nächsten 3 Stunden blieben und und entspannten. Ich würde mal behaupten, das haben wir uns verdient. Danach fuhren wir wieder zurück in die Stadt und assen was zu Mittag. Später gingen wir für ein Mittagsschläfchen zurück ins Hotel.

      Am Abend trafen wir uns mit Louis, der jetzt endlich wieder aufgeholt hat. Wir haben alle zusammen einen wunderschönen Abend gehabt, viel gelacht und uns die Geschichten der letzten Tage erzählt. Er bleibt jetzt aber auch noch einen Tag in Ourense, weshalb wir uns dann verabschieden mussten.

      Nun sind es nur noch 110 km bis nach Santiago. Eigentlich haben wir geplant, diese in 3 Tagen zurückzulegen. Da aber ein Festival in Santiago stattfindet und momentan das günstigste Zimmer über 400.- kostet, haben wir uns entschieden, die Strecke auf 4 Tage aufzuteilen und in Santiago wohl oder übel auf der Strasse zu übernachten.
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