One of the exciting things about being in Galicia was the chance to see, and paddle and swim in the Atlantic, rather than my usual Mediterranean. Of course I have been in the Atlantic before, from the UK,but this was a different coastline so still exciting.
Last year I read a fascinating book about the history of the Atlantic by Jeremy Black. It was a really interesting mix of the history of sailing and exploration, as well as economics, such as the laying of the first telegraph cable and links between migration and empire. There were various points on this trip that I was reminded of that book as we were in the area where Columbus’s ship that sailed to America in 1492 was built.
The coastline is very different to ours, the mountains come down to the sea and there are lots of rocky inlets, which makes it very beautiful. The area is also quite industrialised and on the first day of our tour we visited the city of Vigo.
There were great views from the old fort, destroyed by Frances Drake during the 1500s, (sorry about that Spain!). The area has been turned into a park and there were lots of people enjoying the views over the port and inlets.
The area is very dependant on seafood for its economy, with lots of mussel beds. When we stopped for a coffee we took the opportunity to make friends with some of the live crabs on display in a local restaurant window.
Vigo was full of wonderful old buildings, the city went into decline in the 1990s but is now being extensively restored and it was great to see so many apartment blocks that are being refurbished. I loved the grey stone in the city as well.
There was a very different architectural style with lots of covered walkways, I think due to the climate as it rains a lot more here. It reminded me a lot of visits to Italy.
After Vigo we had a trip out to the island of La Toya, which is famous for its healing mud, used in lots of soaps and cosmetics. The island is full of very expensive apartments and a spa complex. There is a donkey sanctuary here as it was found that the mud helps the donkeys recuperate as well! There was also a little chapel which was completely covered in scallop shells, the symbol of St James.
Half of the island is a nature reserve with some amazingly tall pine trees. Mum was very taken with these, and with how green everything was. As she has not left Spain for three years she is very used to our dusty and quite bare landscape.
A quick stop at O Grove for my first paddle in the clear cool Atlantic was followed by a very exciting stop.
We were viewing a little Romanesque church on the headland, next to some Celtic ruins, when someone spotted dolphins off the rocks.
Sadly no pictures of those as they were too quick, you will just have to trust me that they were by the rocks in the picture above. The scenery was stunning as the sun started setting with the clear turquoise sea. A brilliant end to a very lovely first day in Galicia.
Life in La Marina continues to be wonderful, and very hot, it is 32 degrees today. The local charity shop on the way back from sewing group has been having a 1 euro sale so I have got some more cool clothes in the last couple of weeks to add to my Spanish wardrobe. Unsurprisingly I have never needed this many summer clothes before 😉
I have been working on the Steampunk jacket this week, as the hat is now finished so I am making very good progress. We have lots of social events coming up over the next couple of weeks as it is my 60th birthday soon. I am having a series of afternoon teas, drinks and meals out to celebrate that before flying back for some re-enactment events the first two weekends of July. It will be brilliant to catch up with everyone, some people I haven’t seen for three years due to the pandemic, so it will be an amazing time.
I hope that you all have a lovely weekend ahead, I will be back with more of Galicia soon. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.