A Glimpse of Galicia

Our recent trip took us first to Galicia for three nights.  Our journey was a long one and took about 12 hours of driving, but with plenty of stops for refreshments and a little sightseeing along the way.

Because we live in the province of Malaga in southern Spain, we went west and then up through Portugal.  We made a sightseeing stop in Porto to stretch our legs and to see the Dom Luis I iron bridge which was designed by a partner of the famous Eiffel.

I loved this shot of the bridge (below), although it´s not the best in the world, as you can see boats under it, cars on it, people walking across, the metro rail above it and a helicopter flying over it.

Our hotel  near Portonovo was called Hotel Peregrina.  This is a word used for a female pilgrim, but also for scallops, which are the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrims walk which has many footpaths and trails across Spain and from beyond.  On our travels we saw plenty of scallops.

The first day we went to visit an Island called La Toja which juts out into one of the Rias Baixas.

It has a chapel covered with scallop shells.

And of course, the boat trips to see where their famous shellfish is grown.  We saw mussels, and ate plenty too.

Naturally, they were proud of their scallops.

Later we headed off to a nearby city, Pontevedra, the capital of the province.  The city built up over time from the middle ages as a trading port.

The next day we drove northwards to Santiago de Compostela to see the beautiful cathedral, reputedly the burial place of St James (Sant Iago) and built between 1075 and 1122 – no mean feat when you see it!

It´s famous for it´s “Botafumeiro” (do look it up if you´re interested) which is swung via a pulley and is filled with incense.  One tradition says that it was used to mask the stench of the many unwashed pilgrims – which did make me giggle.  Sorry about the photo quality.

It´s a pretty city too, there´s plenty more to see apart from the cathedral.

We travelled back from Santiago on our last afternoon in Galicia on a quiet coastal road and stopped off in a beautiful fishing village called Carril, when the sun finally came out for us. I briefly felt like Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote here as it had a “Cabot Cove” feel to it!

It´s famous for its clams, and we peeked into the storage area to see the boxes and boxes of clams waiting to be sent off to restaurants, shops and all over Spain.

A final stop in “our” town of Portonovo, and the sun was still shining, so we took a walk along the beautiful sandy beach front.  People was still bathing and enjoying the sunny evening, but accustomed as we are to the heat of Andalucía, we didn´t brave the water.

And then it was our last night in Galicia.  We ate a superb dinner of rice and lobster, and it was time the next morning to start the next part of trip to Asturias.  But more of that another time. Do hope you enjoyed sharing our journey with us!


51 thoughts on “A Glimpse of Galicia

  1. I do so love “touring” with you! The cathedral is so stunningly historic. I love how the city has those narrow charming streets and that iron bridge is stricking. Fantastic trip!! Thanks always for sharing these new places to me!!

  2. It’s lovely to see all the shellfish and I’ve always wanted to go to Santiago de Compostela….not as a pilgrim, of course! I will one day, but in the meantime it’s great to visit it virtually through your photos and description. I think I’d have given the sea a miss, too, being used to the Mediterranean!

    1. Yes, we didn´t go as pilgrims. And it was funny, out of all the churches and cathedrals we went into, the one at Santiago gave me the least “feeling” (if you know what I mean), And as for that sea…way too cold for us mediterranean mermaids 🙂

  3. Enjoy sharing the journey? Even though I’ve been to Spain twice, I’ve not been to your neck of the woods, so to speak. You appear to travel in much the same way that I do and your eye catches much the same things that mine tends to favor. So, yes, I enjoy sharing your journey and can’t wait for the next installment.

    1. Aah – thank you so much. It´s funny, I was thinking about what I now like to enjoy on holiday. When I was younger it was two weeks on a beach with a trashy novel. As I got older it was more frantic sighseeing and city breaks – now it´s about soaking up the atmosphere, taking it at my pace, not planning too much and enjoying the food and drink!

  4. Fantastic – there was some good footage of the cathedral and Botafumerio in Rick Stein’s recent Spanish series. He did a great job of covering Galicia and Asturias, though his pronunciations leaves a lot to be desired! Not quite as interesting as your account though 😉

    1. Oh I haven´t seen that – will have to look out for the DVD when I´m in London next month as I really like Rick Stein´s cooking and books etc. Thanks for your kind words!

  5. I really want to go to Galicia it looks so green compared to here and I know the food is supposed to be amazing. But most of all I want to go because I love Albarino, it’s my favourite wine!! Did you partake at all? Or were you too busy being Angela Landsbury…

    1. In my time off from being a middle aged lady detective I scrupulously researched the Albarino! Love it too and I also loved that all the restaurants and bars used beautiful wine glasses (certainly unlike up my mountain) and they always came out very flamboyantly with the glass and the bottle on a tray and served you with a great flourish at the table. Classy!

  6. Oh you found a bridge for me!! YAY. and that cathedral interior, who could pray i would be all goggle eyed! lovely to see your travels.. oo I want some flamboyant service too! c

    1. I forgot you liked bridges! Will have to send you one from last year when we crossed a hugely long bridge over to Lisbon…can´t remember what it was called though. And it´s true – in those cathedrals, there´s too much going on to find much inner calm!

    1. Ah – thank you! And yes…more to come in a few days 🙂 Thank goodness we were only away for 8 days – I can´t imagine how many photos I would have taken if it had been longer.

  7. Looking at your pics, you must have had such a great time in this fascinating region -Galicia!! Again, I have not been there but your brillinat description took them there!!!

  8. Delighted to hear you and the big man finally got a break and got to relax at your pace. Beautiful photo’s and personal tour of Galicia though I do not understand the ‘Too cold for swimming’ concept . . . . . you are supposed to be a hardened Brit at heart. We will have to get you swimming in the Serpentine swimming club when your back in London in October ……… they are generally red & purple bodied when they get out ! ! I’ll jump in if you do . . . . dare you ! Bee x

  9. That was a beautiful read and stunning pics, Chica. Thank you. The more I read your blog the more I want to visit Spain and Portugal….can’t even begin to tell you how different it is from the part of Africa I belong to. The ‘ancientness’ of Europe amazes me. Thank you for sharing! Hugs.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I guess we always want to learn more about and see what is different to us. I am yearning to go to Africa (some of the south at least) I only know a little of north Africa which is quite, quite different. Having said that, we are lucky to have so many lovely places so close to us. All the best to you!

  10. I want to cover my unappealing 70’s build house with scallop shells. So very pretty. Not entirely convinced that the neighbours (or the local authority for that matter) would approve, though!

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