Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Galicia Spain, Here's Looking at you Pilgrim





RICH:  
We have left Portugal and re-entered Spain.  The Northern Spain region is unlike the rest of Spain with the wild Atlantic, green forests, enormous rainfall, and history dating back to the Celts, Romans, and Visigoths - our spirits are high.  

Speaking of spirits, nothing is more iconic of Northern Spain, and particularly the Galicia region, than the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  The walk to visit the remains of St. James has been made by millions of people since the Middle Ages.   Many come to find inner peace, others, after walking 600+ kilometers from places as far away as France and all parts of Spain, come needing to be healed.  We made our pilgrimage by EuropeCar.   The availability of food, drink and showers at such extreme distances was better left to people with two good knees.

Thankfully, Northern Spain is not hot enough for Brits, Irish, Germans, and Scandinavians. The result is an unspoiled, beautiful part of the world, bereft of ugly high rises and mushy peas.  You will love it. 




...You will find markers and sign posts guiding the Pilgrims along the Spiritual Trail...  


View from the roof top of The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Tired Pilgrims at the end of their walk, don't know where many started...



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...but they all end here at The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  Some will continue to walk to Finisterre (the end of the world in Roman times) where there is a final ritual or tradition of burning your clothes at the end the Pilgrim's journey...
Being A Pilgrim is so much easier to read...


WANDA:
We all know what kind of pilgrimage you are really interested in Rich -  "The Food Lover's Pilgrimage".... hmmm - I guess that's what we have already been doing... oh well, carry on...

I would like to sincerely say that we have friends that have just completed the walk - 
Victoria (twice) and Julia Cosgrove !!  
2 BadAss Women walking the Camino - You are both our heroes!  
(I just stole this picture from Victoria's facebook page)




...Back to the rest of Galicia:  We actually started in Vigo, then went to Santiago Compostella, A Coruna, and ended in Cathedral Beach... The people here are fascinating - you expect them to speak Spanish, and they do, but they prefer their native language which is Galician or Gallego.  They are very proud of their heritage and consider themselves Celts.  In fact, we have seen many Buskers playing Bagpipe music and wearing Celtic garb - very different from the rest of Spain.

Galicia's fishing fleet is the largest in Spain... so you can expect the traditional foods are 
  seafood of all kinds - Octopus or "Pulpa" and Squid seem to be a recurring theme on the coast of Spain.... 



In Vigo - an important Port city in Galicia, there is a magnificent bronze sculpture of Jules Verne sitting on a giant squid (The Bay of Vigo was a chapter in his famous book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) .... 


...Looking as bronzed as the sculpture above, we happened to be in Vigo on an important day - My Birthday! - though, I prefer eating a giant plate of squid to sitting on one...Saude!


......"Then Nemo says, Oh, and by the way, it just so happens we're in Vigo Bay now - the place where all of this Spanish treasure went down....."  



Next stop is A Coruna - When one first drives into town, you notice all the white wooden windows... which are the traditional windows of Galicia...


.... even more noticeable is the beautiful coastline -  beaches and cliffs surround the city 
(I know this is not the greatest picture)...


.....it is breathtaking.... there are trails and promenades that encircle the city - everyone looks healthy here, because it seems they are all walking or running and enjoying the outdoors - we got our 10,000 + steps in every day here!....

This captivating Cephalopod created of ceramic and concrete overlooks one of the many promenades...


....and this captivating "home fermoso"  looks to finish his 8th pulpa tentacle...

We fell in love with A Coruna - yes, the city itself - but even more,  the story of Maria Pita - a Galician heroine who fought against the English in  1589 - the dead soldier probably represents Sir Francis Drake.... She is definitely another BadAss Woman of Herstory!



The Tower of Hercules (another UNESCO World Heritage Site)  is an ancient Roman lighthouse built in the 1st century at the entrance of A Coruna harbor... I think I see Hercules himself at the bottom of the picture...

Leaving A Coruna, on a very windy day.....



...and heading to Cathedral Beach....watch your step!!  Galicia has over 1,000 miles of coastline with bays, inlets, beaches, and rocky cliffs - and they aren't crowded!


Rich stepping into the cathedral....


Walking through the arches....




....exploring the dark caves...


....climbing the rocks....you just don't want to leave this picturesque place!
You can understand why Galicia has declared this area as a Natural Monument. 



You can only walk the beach and appreciate the natural beauty of the arches and caves during low tide....
Rich waving!!   Happy Birthday Rich!!!



The tide is starting to come in....Rich better hurry - he's the last one leaving the beach... in trouble again, we were told high tide happens quickly...


Whoah! - that was quick, it's high tide....Where is Rich???....



STAY TUNED.....











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