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An Alien in Spain Visits - Spain (Galicia)

On my first trip to the area known as Galicia I set off with a group of like minded travellers on a Coach that picked me up from outside a Supermarket in La Zenia,Torrevieja, Spain and after a 14 hour coach ride which thanks to the company on board and a very knowledgeable guide in "Marina" we were deposited at our residence for the following 3 days, The Hotel Troncosa Sanxenxo and I settled in my room with a view of the pool and of the balcony of the bar where I am sure I will partake of a beer or two before this trip is over.

First coach trip after breakfast saw us take in the old town of Vigo which was about a 45 minutes trip by road from the Hotel.

Vigo is one of, if not the most important, Port in Spain being deep enough at 65 meters to accommodate any size ship. After a stroll around to see the cathedral, the 16th century library and the quaint side streets and fish market there was enough time before we returned to the coach for lunch and to try a glass of the local Albariño wine with a plate of Polbo a fiera (Octopus) hmmmm delicious.

Our final visit for the day was to the charming port of Combarro where we saw examples of "horreos " - Built of stone or wood and raised on pillars, hundreds of these can be found in Galicia for storing Grain or hams and cheeses. A bit like a Granny Annex what do you think?

We then went on to the seashore shops where Maureen bumped into her next door neighbour after which a few of us tried the local octopus dish washed down by a beer.

I was warned by our guide to be careful when ordering because Polba, in Galiciano it means Octopus but in Spanish it means sex?

Well it didn't work I did my best but still ended up with Octopus !!!!!!!!

Back to the Hotel after a long day and a few beers were consumed on the terrace before heading for bed a a long day tomorrow.

Day 2

Well it is the penultimate day of excursions and we set off after a quick breakfast as I overslept after a late night on the tiles to the supposedly quaint port of Isla De Arosa where we stayed for 30 minutes just long enough to not go anywhere or see anything as there was nowhere to go and nothing to see

BUT believe it or not as with most coach tours - three people managed to hold up the whole coach by arriving back 20 minutes late - couple of picks to reassure you if you don't go you won't miss anything .

From Isla de Arousa we headed to Cambados where we had a walk to the main square and were told as the road train would be busy there had been a special one laid on for us to do a 40 minute tour of the city for 4€.

If you come here don't bother. You see more back streets and alleys than sights other than the ruins of the graveyard where you stop for 5 minutes to take pictures and head around the seashore listening to a recording that is out of sync with where you are?

Cambados is a nice place to visit (on foot) with Market an lots of bars and restaurants in quaint streets. There is a Parador where a meal is not too expensive at 20€.

After again losing one of the group which made us late we visited a home bodega to see how the local wine is made and to sample some but as usual the wine was Ok, but overpriced. Now back to hotel and lunch followed by free time when I most will catch up on some sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day 3

And so the last day of trips out into the community of Galicia before we head back to the Costa Blanca and today we travel an hour North to the Holy City of Santiago de Compostela where pilgrims flock from all over the world to visit the cathedral city which is the third most important holy city in the world after Jerusalem and Rome.

Set around the square is the Cathedral, Monastery and a Parador along with the multitude of hawkers and street vendors selling their cheap tourist trinkets which I felt, detracted from the solemnity of the city, but set that aside and it is an interesting city to visit with an abundance of Plazas, with bars and restaurants to meet every conceivable budget.

Seeing the pilgrims arrive at their destination after having spent weeks and even months on the road walking the various caminos, some with tears in their eyes was a humbling experience, however, I was left wondering if they were as disillusioned as I when faced by a barrage of cheap commercialism at journeys end.

After lunch my roommate Roy and I decided to walk the 5 kms to our nearest beach as temperatures hit 37 and we enjoyed a welcome beer before heading back (in a taxi)

The cross of stones is one of many you can see everywhere in Galicia and they are to ward off the evil witches that reside here in this province and it seems to work as we haven't seen one so far !!!

Although the food at our Hotel was quite satisfactory Roy, Maureen and I decided our final dinner should be one to remember so armed with a recommendation from Teresa our Hotel receptionist we enjoyed our dinner in Sanxenxo overlooking the Port in Restaurant Carmen.

Although not cheap Roy feasted on Cochinillo ( baby suckling pig) and Maureen and I shared a fabulous Lubina (Sea Bass) stuffed with scallops and roasted on a bed of Potatoes and peppers. Check out the view to top it off - cab back and a last glass of local white wine and off to bed and an early start in the morning. Thanks Vivalia Travel very enjoyable week.

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