Galicia really does feel as if it is another country as it is so very different from anywhere else I have been in Spain. This is partly to do with the climate, as it rains a lot so the area is very lush with forests and vineyards. All of the houses have beautiful gardens, many with large vegetable plots.
The architecture is very different as well, due to the climate. The houses have sloping roofs, dormer windows, covered terraces and traditional balustrades and fencing made of the local grey stone, rather than our ironwork railings. Many have crosses outside to protect the houses from the local witches.
It is also a very long way away, 13 hours driving time on the coach each way, passing through many different regions. It is a journey of 1000 km and is actually further away than it would be to drive to France. As it is so remote compared to the rest of Spain it has a very different feel and a different language, closely related to Portuguese as the area we went to is very near the Portuguese border. The country was originally part of Portugal and has a long and fascinating history, if you want to read more this blog has a useful summary.
One of my ambitions for retirement was to see more of this beautiful country and I have certainly achieved that this year. This map below shows where I am, near Alicante, the blue star. Since last Nov I have been to Caceres, the orange star, Granada, the red star and now Galicia, the purple star. This coming Nov I will go back down south to Cordoba which is near to Seville.
The journey was wonderful, passing through the wheat fields, vineries and castles of La Mancha, on to the vast plains of Castile and Leon, before reaching the mountains and forests of Galicia. We were very happy to just sit and watch the scenery and think about places that we would love to go back to one day in Katy.
There were also many different varieties of cloud to admire, Mum and I love clouds and there were a vast array over the plains and fields, including some stunning low lying ones between the mountains.
We left nearby Torrevieja from the coach pick up at 7.15 in the morning and arrived at our hotel at 10.15 at night, 15 hours later with the rest stops we had made. To our great delight our hotel room had a sea view. One quick dinner later and I was on the terrace with a glass of red wine, listening to the waves with this amazing view.
It was equally lovely the next day as well.
The hotel helpfully had an ariel photo on the reception wall and it showed the hotel in relation to the peninsula it is on. The hotel was just off the main road that you can see at the bottom left, minutes from the beach.
We were staying just outside Sanxchenxo, in a region known as the Rias Baixas. These are the estuaries of the Atlantic and the region is full of wonderful islands just of the coast and beautiful beaches with such fine white sand. We were just north of Pontevedre on this map which meant that everywhere we went involved travelling along the estuaries.
This is the first time I have ever been on a coach trip where you stay with the group all week and have daily tours out together. It was a really interesting experience, there were certainly some characters in the group, (great material for my novel writing!), but we met some really lovely people who all enjoy travelling.
I have split the trip up into a few blog posts as there were so many interesting and very unusual things to see so will be back soon with some more lovely Galician delights.
The Steampunk outfit is going well. I have the cuffs to fit onto the jacket and the top of the hat to stitch and then it is just the skirt to sew which is hopefully a simple process 😉 There are only 19 days now until I return to the UK to pick up Katy and start my adventures there! I am so excited and looking forward to an amazing summer. I am nearly at the first anniversary of my retirement and I have had such a brilliant first year, it has exceeded all of my expectations and I just keep getting happier.
I hope you are all well and happy in your lives. Thank you all so much for reading my blog, it is very much appreciated and I am thrilled every time I get a new like or a new follower. I now have 396 followers and last year had 16,490 visitors which is just mind blowing. Whoever you are, and wherever you come from, you make me very happy! As always, until next time, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks a million for visiting 🙂