Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘coruna’

Date of visit: Friday, April 28, 2017

img_8356Fisterra, Galicia (Finisterre in Spanish) is known as “the end of the world” by pilgrims who carry on with their pilgrimage to the sea after arriving at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. Whichever name you call it by, it’s a beautiful place where the rocky coast of Galicia meets the Atlantic Ocean to complete this legendary, epic journey. Perched high above the end of the world on a hillside in the aldea (village) of San Martiño de Arriba, sits Ó’Fragón Restaurante.

It’s an uphill drive to get there (the restaurant’s website offers a YouTube video of the trip to help guide you there!), then  a zigzagging walk down a concrete path to get to the minimalist modern building that houses Ó’Fragón.  The contemporary building is starkly beautiful with light wood and bare concrete interior, perfect in that it doesn’t draw any attention away from the spectacular sea views through the floor-to-ceiling windows nor the equally spectacular food that will be served.

Photos from the parking area. Restaurant entrance is down the zigzag path.

 

Clean and minimal, nothing distracts from that incredible view!

The menu is not extensive, but it doesn’t need to be. Fresh, top quality Galician products make up the menu items. They are listed, quite proudly, first in Gallego, then in Spanish and English. If you have the time, the tasting menu at €35 per person with optional wine pairings only €15 more is a tremendous deal, given the quality of the fare and exceptional list of carefully curated Galician wines Ó’Fragón offers. We ended up ordering a la carte as we had a dinner reservation later that night to consider (at As Garzas in Malpica, Galicia), but next time I will take advantage of the tasting menu without hesitation.

The regular menu (left), that gorgeous view (middle), and the tasting menu (right)

 

img_4923

Fran expertly opens the bottle of sparkling Galician wine with nary a whisper.

Our host for the afternoon was Fran Insua Fernández. Fran has been a restaurateur in Fisterra since 2003. He is not only the owner but also runs the front of house and speaks excellent English. The original location of Ó’Fragón was down in the middle of the town of Fisterra, relocating up the hill to San Martiño de Arriba in December 2015.

I was very interested in tasting a sparkling Galician wine. Fran recommended this clean and fruity Eidosela Albariño (100%) Extra Brut from the Rías Baixas region, made in the Champagne method. Another dining companion enjoyed this 2015 Pazo de Seoane Rosal (an Albariño, Caíño, Treixadura, Loureiro blend also from the Rías Baixas). Mr. Vacation had a taste for a “mezclado”, red and white vermouth over ice. Of course, Galician Nordesía gin made the mezclado even better, and is made by the same folks that I visited in the fall at Vía Romana.

Albariño sparkling wine, Pazo de Seoane Rosal, and a mezclado.

img_4933

Tomates Ecoloxicos, Xeado de Queixo Azul “Prestes” – Organic Tomatoes, Prestes Blue Cheese Ice Cream

This first dish so perfectly defined what this restaurant is all about: light and refreshing. Organic tomatoes with Prestes blue cheese ice cream was a uniquely delicious combination with the cheese flavor shining through the creamy cool ice cream atop perfectly ripe juicy tomatoes. The melting ice cream and tomato broth made the best sauce on the plate, perfect for dipping with the hearty Galician white and flax-seed bread.

img_4940

Croques ó Vapor – Steamed Cockles

Simply steamed berberechos (the Spanish word for cockles) dressed tableside with good quality local Galician olive oil. That’s it. That’s all you need, or want, when dealing with such high quality product.

img_4943

Longueiróns á Tixola – Pan Cooked Razor Clams

These magnificent mollusks are local razor clams. So local, in fact, that you can even see the beach from which they were harvested in the photo below. Similar to a navaja (traditional razor clam), the longueirón has a straighter shell and a lighter sandy color. If the croques above are Galicia on a plate, these longueirones are Fisterra on a plate.

img_4909

This beach here, as seen from the restaurant’s patio, is where the longueiróns are harvested.  It doesn’t get much more local!

img_4948

Arroz Carnaroli, Croques, Queixo – Carnaroli Rice, Cockels, Cheese

Toasted rice cooked just al dente risotto style in a light, not soupy, sauce. Absolutely delicious with a generous amount of those same tender, sweet cockles we enjoyed as an appetizer.

img_4953

Solombo de Tenreira “Costa da Morte” (POUCO FEITO) – Veal Sirloin from “Costa da Morte” (SERVED RARE)

img_4997

Estrela Mencía red wine.

This veal was a real treat for the meat lover at the table. The menu made it very clear that it would be served rare. Rare it was – and it was absolutely perfect served that way. This gorgeous hunk of meat sat atop scalloped potatoes with thyme and roasted red and orange peppers on the side. The icing on the cake was the pink sea salt. It was made pink in-house by soaking the sea salt flakes for 24 hours in red wine from the Ribeira Sacra region.

Speaking of red wine, Mr. Vacation selected this Estrela wine from the Amandi subzone of the Ribeira Sacra wine region. This medium bodied red Mencía paired nicely with the veal dish.

 

img_4952

Guiso de Polbo con Patacas Novas – Octopus Stew with New Potatoes

More Galician favorites here: humble octopus and potatoes are brought together into a flavorful, richly satisfying stew. With a sprinkle of good paprika and that wonderful Galician bread at the ready to take advantage of that juice on the plate!

img_8349

Ameixas Babosas na nosa “Mariñeira” – Babosa Clams in our own “Marinera” sauce

Ó’Fragón presents their own unique take on the classic dish Clams Marinera by omitting the tomatoes that usually make a sauce for fresh babosa clams (a Galician variety).  The just-barely-there sauce was a fragrant mix of caramelized onions, black pepper, white wine, and clam broth. So lightly dressed, the clams remained at center stage on the plate.

img_5001

Dessert and Cheese menu

img_5003

Xeado Cremoso de Limón – Creamy Lemon Ice Cream

This was anything but a traditional lemon ice cream. As much as we loved the flavor we found the texture was perhaps the most interesting aspect of this dessert; creamy like a lemon sherbet, but with a marshmallow-like consistency.

img_5002

Biscoito de Laranxa Amarga-Mandarina – Bitter Orange Cake-Tangerine

Fran advised that this wasn’t an ordinary cake. This would be a lightened up cake. A cake that’s been turned inside out, so that the ‘cake’ (more like a crumbled cookie) is the base but the cream and the orange would be the stars: one scoop of orange sorbet and two quenelles of bitter orange heavy whipped cream each decorated with a caramelized mandarin orange slice. Very unique and, true to Fran’s word, very light.

Fran at work (left) and taking a moment for a photo op (right).

With the clean, streamlined preparations of first class Galician products accompanied by fine Galician wines, Fran has truly created a unique and relaxing space for memorable destination dining. Way back in a 2010 interview with La Voz de Galicia newspaper, he stated that he had the idea to create a kind of gastronomic temple in his hometown of Fisterra (“facer en Fisterra unha especie de templo gastronómico”). That is precisely what he has done here on this hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the world.


Ó’Fragón Restaurante
Lugar San Martiño de Arriba, 22, 15154 Fisterra (map)
+34 981 740 429

Website: www.ofragon.es
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ofragon/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ofragon_restaurante

English spoken: YES

Our reservation was made 3 weeks in advance via email for our springtime visit. If you plan to visit in summer, I would recommend booking at least that much in advance.

Read Full Post »

Date of visit: Friday, September 23, 2016

 

La Casa Barrié – photo taken from the English Route of the Camino de Santiago that passes directly in front. Home to Bido Restaurante.

The city of A Coruña is known for having beautiful architecture and some absolutely gorgeous stately historical buildings. One of the grande dames of the Corunese cityscape is La Casa Barrié (Barrié House), built in 1916. Unique in both size and design, it occupies a large city block near the Plaza de Vigo and is built in an “eclectic” style, which is to say a mixture of different architectural styles (Classic, Baroque, and Modernist). It is within this building that Bido Restaurante is located, right on the English Route of the Camino de Santiago on one of the main thoroughfares that leads into the old part of the city.

Beginning in August of this year, social media in A Coruña started buzzing about a new restaurant set to open in late September by Chef Juan Crujeiras, founder and co-proprietor of Michelin-starred A Estación Restaurante in Cambre, Galicia. Since I was fortunate enough to have visited A Estación twice last year and enjoyed both visits immensely, I was really hoping to be able to dine at Bido during my September trip to Galicia. Alas, it wasn’t to be … the restaurant’s opening was three days after I was scheduled to leave A Coruña. When Chef Crujeiras ever so kindly invited me over to Bido for a sneak peek of the restaurant a few days before the actual opening, I was absolutely delighted to accept!

The name Bido comes from bidueiro, the Galician word for “birch”, as in the tree. The restaurant’s unique logo incorporates a graphic interpretation of a birch leaf (note the blocks that form straight line of the letter “B”, top of the letter “I” and the corners of the “D” in BIDO, below), and also makes reference to the intricate patterns often seen in the old fashioned hydraulic (cement) tile floors of which Chef Crujeiras is quite fond.

img_9209

When I arrived early on a Friday afternoon the team at Bido was buzzing about working to finalize all of the last minute details since the restaurant was actually opening in just a few more days. Table settings weren’t yet laid down, but there was already an inviting comfort to the refined airy space. Personalized with birch branches, leather chairs, and natural golden tones, the architecturally impressive interior brings a sense of nature and the outdoors into this city restaurant. While the setting at Bido is a bit more elegant than at her sister restaurant in Cambre, the atmosphere is less formal. There are no tablecloths, for example, and one can sit at the comfortable bar to enjoy a beverage and a bite to eat.

Sipping on a glass of wine at one of the comfortable high tops near the window with a lovely view out onto Calle Marcial de Adalid. Note the birch leaf motif from the logo repeats in the awning.

Bido Restaurante serves contemporary Galician cuisine in quite the same style as the dishes that are served at A Estación. A unique feature of Bido’s menu is that the main courses are all served as media raciónes (half portions), so that guests may try multiple items. As a matter of fact, several of the dishes listed in Bido’s menu are quite similar to dishes we enjoyed at A Estación and, from all accounts, they are executed with the same high level of quality.

img_0280

The current version of the menu (menu photos courtesy of Chef Crujeiras):

Para Empezar, Picar O Compartir (To start, Nibble, or Share)
Entrantes (Starters)
Principales (Main Dishes)
Y de postre qué hay? (What’s for dessert?)

 

 

img_9236

Well, I did get to try something of the food during the visit to Bido – a seafood croqueta! It was delicious!

Bido takes full advantage of the beautiful well-stocked bar that dominates the front of the restaurant with a specialty cocktail program that covers a great many of the classics. In addition to the cocktails and spirits, they offer a by-the-glass selection of unique and interesting higher end wines. Normally wines of this level are only available by the bottle, particularly in A Coruña, so this is a unique feature allowing guests to sample wines that might not otherwise be found by the glass.

Below, Chef Crujeiras poses with one of the bottles being sampled on the afternoon of my visit and with yours truly (MyLifeOnVacation) for an Instagram post.

In a recent interview on the local Galician culinary radio program Come e Fala, Chef Crujeiras expressed his excitement about this new project and commented that Bido’s opening has exceeded his expectations. With a passionate and devoted team on board (including Manual Otero, the charming maître d’ – head waiter, from A Estación who was featured in this interesting article earlier this year), this new outpost has been established in fine form. While A Estación remains as highly regarded as ever, the arrival of Bido is an absolute boon to A Coruña’s dining scene.


Bido Restaurante
Marcial  de Adalid 2, A Coruña, Spain (map)
+34 881 92 28 47

Website: www.bidorestaurante.es
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bido-restaurante
Bido Instagram: www.instagram.com/bidorestaurante
Chef Crujeiras Instagram:  www.instagram.com/crujeiras


Come e Fala Radio Program – September 9, 2016 episode featuring Chef Crujeiras

A Coruña’s Modernist Route (Ruta Modernista) – For more information on the beautiful historical modernist buildings in A Coruña , see the Coruña Turismo site – available here in English.

Read Full Post »

Date of visit: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Arallo (red dot) just a short distance from Alborada (green dot) in the old part of A Coruña.

Arallo Taberna opened in early August 2016 by the same group that operates Alborada Restaurant in A Coruña, led by Chef Iván Domínguez. Since we had such a wonderful experience dining at Alborada in June of this year, I was really looking forward to visiting Arallo during the next visit to Galicia. By late September I was back in A Coruña with plans to meet up with my friends from Turismo Verde de Galicia on the evening of my arrival. We made Arallo our first stop!

Arallo Taberna is a very casual concept featuring an open kitchen (still a bit of a rarity in Galicia) with just one very long high table with seating for about 25 people and large open windows to accommodate patrons both inside and those spilling out onto Plaza María Pita, A Coruña’s largest and grandest square. The jovial atmosphere is relaxed, so much so that guests are not only invited, but encouraged, to eat with their hands. For those who wish to use utensils, chopsticks and disposable cutlery are provided in communal containers. When the long table is full, you take a number (meat counter style) and wait your turn to be seated. We were lucky enough to be seated right away given that there were a few open seats available on that Tuesday evening.

The restaurant calls itself a cocina contaminada (contaminated kitchen). There are even vintage gas masks hung up for decoration. They don’t mean that anything toxic is actually being cooked up in the kitchen, but rather that their dishes made with excellent Galician ingredients are ‘contaminated’ with other cultures’ influences, specifically Asian, resulting in a very tasty fusion. Following that theme, the ordering is completed sushi restaurant style by making hash marks on the pre-printed menu sheet. We selected one item from each of the five sections of the menu.

From the Frio (Cold) portion of the menu:
Un rollo este bonito picado.
Chopped marinated tuna and mackerel.  A dish as beautiful as it was delicious!
Utensil used: Chopsticks

img_7047From the Vapor (Steamed) portion of the menu: Siomay de congrio en caldeirada.
Steamed Indonesian style dumplings, made with local conger fish, decorated with peanuts and green onion and served with a savory peanut dipping sauce.
Utensil used: Hands

img_7051From the Brasa (Grilled) portion of the menu: Ventresca de jurel con pimientos del Couto.
Mackerel belly with roasted Galician Couto peppers and a Hebrón pepper sauce. This hearty portion of fish had a nice char on the edges but remained perfectly cooked throughout.
Utensil used: Chopsticks

img_7048-1From the Fritura (Fried) portion of the menu:  Croqueta nigiri de merluza salpresa.
Yes, these are the same fantastic green salsa croquetas topped with marinated hake nigiri that had been on my mind for months, ever since we first had them at Michelin starred Alborada earlier in the year.
Utensil used: Hands

From the Guiso (Stewed) portion of the menu: Curry de Choupas.
Galician squid in a slightly spicy Thai style curry stew, with a bowl of rice on the side.
Utensil used: Spoon

Cocktails on the table and Estrella Galicia beer on tap in the background.

Arallo doesn’t have a dessert menu, but there are cocktails, which I find perfectly suitable in lieu of dessert to close the meal. The gin con vermút (gin with vermouth) was simple and delicious and the frutas de pasión con licor café (passion fruit with Galician coffee liquor) was a little more complex and refreshingly delicious.

Chef Iván Domínguez wasn’t in the kitchen the evening we were there (he was actually in Madrid working on the opening of the group’s newest restaurant), but we thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Executive Chef Cristian Santiago Breijo (pictured above in the hat). He was a delight to talk with as we discussed his hometown, the opening of the restaurant, and all of the food and cocktail options over our first round of drinks.

All of the local celebrities hang out here! Deportivo La Coruña fútbol (soccer) star Manuel Pablo (center) joins MyLifeOnVacation (left) and José from Turvegal (right) for a photo. Just to clarify, Manuel Pablo is the celebrity. 9-)

Arallo Taberna is one of the hottest spots in A Coruña with a great location, inventive cuisine, creative cocktails, and a fun, casual, extremely welcoming environment. The militancia atlántica keeps marching forward … the group that opened Arallo in August has also just inaugurated Ánima, in the capital city of Madrid, in September.


Arallo Taberna (map)
Plaza de María Pita, 3, A Coruña, Spain

Email: hola@arallotaberna.com
Website: www.arallotaberna.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/arallotaberna
Instagram: www.instagram.com/arallotaberna

Read Full Post »

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Waking up bright and early on my first morning in Galicia (bright and early for me on the first day overseas is actually 10:00 a.m.!), I had a list of things to do before grabbing my rental car and heading out to meet my friend José from Turismo Verde de Galicia (Turvegal) in another part of Galicia.

The first order of business was to get a Spanish SIM card.  In general, one can get by just fine using wi-fi (pronounced “wee-fee“) in Spain, as it is readily available in most bars/cafés and hotels (just ask nicely for the ¨clave¨ or password), and even at the airport.  However, since I was going to be walking alone for at least 87 miles through some unpopulated areas, and traveling by myself across the length of Galicia, I wanted to have data on my phone to be able to be in touch at all times.

Having never changed a SIM card in a phone, I was a bit apprehensive about the process.  But after some internet research on the process in general, and specifically in Spain, of the main service providers in Galicia, I landed on Orange as having good coverage in the areas I’d be walking and a decent plan, price-wise (Vodafone and Movistar are two other popular companies in Galicia).  As it happened, the Orange store was right across the pedestrian street (Calle Real) from where I planned to have breakfast (which may or may not have contributed to the decision).  Since it was after 10 a.m. by the time I got over there, data came before churros.  A very nice lady at the Orange store patiently explained their process and plans and hooked me up with a Spanish SIM card (and a Spanish telephone number) with 2 GB of data for €20, which included a €15 ‘credit’ that went against the small charges I incurred when making phone calls.  In the end, I re-upped for another 2 GB when mine ran out about 4 days before the end of my trip (in Padrón), where I paid another €11 to get 2 GB added.  In all, it cost me €31 for two full weeks of being online whenever and wherever I wanted.  If you were following along with me on Instagram during this trip, the posts from the middle of the forest were actually posted from the middle of the forest.  For me, it was a great deal.  I still have the SIM card, so when I return to Galicia I can pay online (www.orange.es) in advance for some data and be able to be online as soon as I arrive.  With Orange, my SIM card remains good for 12 months from the last re-charge.  When it was time to switch the Spanish SIM for my US SIM on the flight out of Spain, I was at first at a loss since I wasn´t traveling with a paper clip (the tool used at the phone store to eject the SIM).  After a bit of pondering, I came up with the solution … the post from one of my stud earrings!  Worked like a charm and when I landed in the US, I was back on Verizon like normal.

All connected, I was finally ready for my favorite Spanish breakfast:  Churros con Chocolate!

Two iconic places! Bonilla a la Vista to feed the body and Sargadelos to feed the soul – such beautiful things!

 

But wait!  What’s this?  The Sargadelos store is right next door and already open?  Why, yes … maybe I could pop in for a quick browse.  Sargadelos is a Galician ceramics manufacturer that deserves a whole post of its own (I’ll get to it, I promise).  In the meantime, check out the storefront and some of the pendants).

Sargadelos – all manner of ceramics from jewelry to coffee / tea sets, serving dishes, whole sets of china, lamps, you name it and they probably make it. Amazing quality and beauty.


Sargadelos – a classic!

 

I already had the one in the middle, second from the top, that I purchased last year on the English Route. These are all meant to ward against something specific. Mine wards against “Those who make work more difficult than it needs be.” I love it!

 

These are from another line. The animal motifs scare me a bit!

 


Finally! Seated at Bonilla a la Vista!

If you’ve never had Spanish hot chocolate, just imagine making homemade chocolate pudding and pouring yourself a cup of the hot mixture before it sets up.  That’s it.  Thick, rich and chocolaty.  And just begging to have hot fresh churros dunked into it.  Is this starting to sound dirty??  It’s an experience, I’ll tell you!

At Bonilla a la Vista, you order how many churros you want to accompany your chocolate.  This day, I chose 4.  On a previous visit I ordered 3 and left wanting more.  This was perfect!  All of the energy I needed to keep going in my action packed day.

Ahhhhh …. churros con chocolate!

And now for a walk back through the old part of town, and on my way to the Riazor fútbol (soccer) stadium to get a ticket for Sunday’s big match against Levante!

The Obelisk

 

Map of A Coruna

 

Riazor Beach – looking in the direction of the Torre de Hercules

 

Riazor Beach – looking in the direction of Estadio Riazor!

I had checked online a few weeks before to confirm the ticket booth hours on Saturday, so imagine my surprise and extreme disappointment at seeing the sign (below) that the ticket booth was closed. My plan was to leave Coruña shortly after purchasing my ticket so I could return on Sunday just in time for the game (with ticket in hand!). Needless to say, this unexpected closure threw a big wrench into that plan!

I met a very nice couple in the parking lot who offered to use their season ticket status to get me a ticket, but the ticket booths (even the one dedicated for season ticket holders) were all closed. It was an extremely lovely gesture on their part, just one of many examples of wonderful people I met on this trip.


All was not lost. Since I had some time, I went around to the DéporTienda – team shop! Had to get all equiped for the big game tomorrow!

Mural on Estadio Riazor

 

Dépor swag – Forza Dépor!

 

Spanking new Dépor tshirt and scarf.  You’ll be seeing more of these in the future!

Next on the agenda was to visit the Museo de Belas Artes for the wonderful exhibit “O Primeiro Picasso”, which documented Pablo Picasso’s time in A Coruña during his formative years of 9 – 13 years old.  It was extremely interesting both from the perspective of seeing some of Picasso’s earliest works (including homework and a note from a teacher) but also seeing what the city was like at that time (1891 – 1895).  Excellent exhibit.  And because it was the weekend of Galicia’s Dia Das Letras holiday, admission was free (thanks, Xunta de Galicia!).

Excellent exhibit!

 

Beautiful museum – Museo Belas Artes

 

There is another museum in Coruña in the house where Picasso actually lived, which I did not visit this time: Casa Museo Picasso.

A blog I follow via Instagram, Mis Lutier, had mentioned this quaint cafe, Miss Maruja.  It was located just around the corner from the museum, so a perfect spot to get a bite of lunch.

Miss Maruja – A Coruña

 

As you can see, I’m delighted by this sentiment: “The first 40 years of childhood are the most difficult” … how true!

 

Lunch: A toasted slice of really good Galician bread topped with melted cheese and jamón serrano. Perfect!

 

View of Riazor beach and stadium on the walk back to the hotel.

 

Modernismo / Art Nouveau buildings in the old town. In varying states of disrepair …

 

This stately place is in excellent repair.

 

Back again through the Obelisco Plaza, right around the corner from my hotel, and across from the Jardines de Méndez Nuñez.

 

So, one last stop at Hotel Lois to gather my things, and to lament to the fellow checking me out of the hotel about my bad luck with the fútbol tickets.  Naturally, he and one of the restaurant patrons were convinced that the poor American lady just didn’t understand where to go. I produced the photo above showing the posted notice, and they were also stymied that tickets weren’t being sold the day before the last home game of the season (not to mention that it was a key game in determining the team’s relegation status!).  Nonetheless, they wished me luck getting a ticket the following day and I was off by taxi to the airport to pick up my Avis rental car:

Fiat 500! Ready to roll!

 

And so I was off to Vila de Cruces to meet up with José of Turismo Verde de Galicia as the Saturday adventure continued!

Bonilla a la Vista
Calle Real, 54, A Coruña, Spain

Miss Maruja
Calle Zalaeta 20, A Coruña, Spain

Sargadelos
Calle Real, 56, A Coruña, Spain

Orange
Calle Real, 63, A Coruña, Spain

Turismo Verde de Galicia
www.facebook.com/TurismoVerdedeGalicia.Turvegal
www.paseargalicia.com
www.twitter.com/turvegal
www.instagram.com/turvegal

Read Full Post »

If there’s one thing that Americans know about Spain it’s that “the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”, which comes from the musical (and movie) My Fair Lady.  But when I walked the Camino de Santiago’s English Route from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela in June 2014 one of the first things I learned was that the rain in Spain doesn’t fall mainly on the plain, it falls in Galicia!  Galicia, through which the last 100 kilometers of any route of the Camino passes, is known for lush green hillsides, thanks to copious amounts of rain.  It’s absolutely beautiful, but can be very (very) wet.

Which only makes it even more of a miracle that we had 10 (ten!)  sunny days as we made our way slowly to Santiago.  It did rain in Coruña and Ferrol as I visited those charming cities before the walk.

IMG_3506

Some people call A Coruña “la ciudad gris”, the grey city. I think I see why…

IMG_3437

Rainy pedestrian street in A Coruña.

To be honest, I have no photo of the rainy afternoon in Ferrol because I took a nap and slept right through it.

But then, TEN sunny of days of walking!

IMG_3910

Just look at that sun shining on the town square in Betanzos!

IMG_3929

Sunny overpass outside of Betanzos.

IMG_4168

A sunny day makes you appreciate a shady forest path.

And so our arrival into Santiago was also bright and sunny.

IMG_4347

Sunshine! Rays of sunshine!

Well, our rain-free streak ended that evening in Santiago when it absolutely DOWNPOURED!  Everyone took shelter in cafes and stores, except those who were entranced by the ferocity of the deluge (like me) and perhaps took photos (also like me).

IMG_4473

Just look at that downpour!

But the funny thing is that the rain could not dampen our spirits (pun intended), at all.  We had such a fun night enjoying our last evening together, having a lot of laughs, getting silly with maybe a bit too much wine (or was that just me?), and reminiscing over the week’s walk.

IMG_4498

Having a good laugh despite the rain.

And so, as I prepare to return to Galicia to walk the Camino again, I’m now working on putting together my rain gear (which includes trying to figure out how to strap an open umbrella to my backpack …. yeah, that’s a work in progress!).  While I’m doing that, and when I get to Galicia, I’ll be sure to keep in mind the famous phrase that they have there: “E si chove, que chova!” And if it rains, let it rain!

Read Full Post »