|DAY 1 (15th August 2013)|
|Cities visited: Ponte de Lima (Portugal), Vigo (Galicia, Spain)
Accommodation: Hostal Casais (Vigo) – 38€/double room (breakfast included)
|DAY 2 (16th August 2013)|
|Cities visited: Vigo (Galicia, Spain), Pontevedra (Galicia, Spain), Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain)
Accommodation: Pensión Obradoiro (Santiago de Compostela) – 55€/ double room (breakfast included)
Dinner: Casa Manolo (Santiago de Compostela) – 10€/person
|DAY 3 (17th August 2013)|
|Cities visited: Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Lunch: Casa Manolo (Santiago de Compostela) – 10€/person
Then, I, JB and my parents walked to the “Fortaleza de o Castro” (Castro Fortress). This Fortress was built in 1665, during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640 – 1668), to protect the city from the continuous attacks by the British Navy allies of Portugal. At present, due to its beautiful gardens and to its amazing views, Castro Fortress is a famous tourist attraction.
We visited the Fortress, enjoyed the view, looked for some geocaches and we returned to the Hostel, passing by “Iglesia de la Soledade” (Church of Soledade).
With the group reunited, we went back to the road, heading to Pontevedra. We arrived in Pontevedra at about lunch time. It was not easy to park the cars. We drove around the city, next to the river and we didn’t found any free parking lot. It was just when we went inside the city (Campolongo) that we found an underground parking lot in which we had to pay a fee.
We found a good spot to do a picnic just outside the parking lot. We finally finished the leftovers from the previous day’s lunch.
It was time to explore the city! Once again, one of the members of the group awaited for us in one of the city parks while we visited the old center of Pontevedra. From all the monuments we saw in Pontevedra, there are three that stand out: “Basilica de Santa Maria la Mayor” (Church of Santa Maria la Mayor), “Iglesia de la Virgen Peregrina” (Church of the Pilgrim Virgin) and the “Ruinas de Santo Domingo” (Ruins of Santo Domingo).
I had a small accident during our walk. I put my left foot on an irregular surface, loose my balance and I fall on my right knee. As I was wearing shorts, the knee started to bleed immediately. My first thought when I fall was that I had sprained my ankle and I would be unable to walk. Luckily, it was just a small injury and the ankle was just a little bit sore.
We returned to “Campolongo”, where we had parked the cars, and then we continued our trip to its final destination – Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela
We came across two routes. One indicated by the GPS and the other one indicated by the direction signboards. After some hesitation, we chose the last one, which took us across the city of Padron.
It was easy to find “Pension Obradoiro”, the place where we spent the night in Santiago de Compostela. We stopped the cars next to a parking lot that was already full and I looked for the Hostel. I rang the bell and a nice lady who was already expecting us came to the door. She gave us the entrance and room keys and informed us that, as guests of “Pension Obradoiro”, we could park the cars in the “Parque Santiago”(Santiago Parking lot) for 9€ per day.
We accommodated ourselves in the cozy and colorful rooms of the Hostel and then we went to the city center, which was really near.
We passed by the “Parque de la Alameda” (Alameda Park), the main park of Santiago de Compostela, and we run into a long queue of tourists lining up for a photo around a statue of two elderly women dressed in colorful clothes.
This statue represents two sisters (Maruxa and Coralia Fandino) who, together with their family, suffered persecution, harassment and all types of torture at the time of the Spanish Civil War. The sisters fell into poverty and went crazy.
Instead of given in to despair and misery, Maruxa and Coralia dressed outrageous clothes seamed by them, wore heavy makeup and, every day, at 2 o’clock, they left home to go for a walk. During their walk they flirted with every young men they passed by.
They became know as “as Duas Marias” (the Two Marys), “as Duas em Ponto” (the Two O’clock) or simply by “As Marias” (the Marys).
As it was Mass time, it was not possible to visit the imposing “Catedral de Santiago” (Santiago Cathedral), so we just walked around.
“Casa Manolo” was the restaurant chosen to have dinner. We arrived there immediately after its opening time, therefore we had no problem to find a free table. After a delicious dinner composed of two dishes and desert, we went for another walk.
The city center was very alive at night. We stopped to listen a couple singing opera and to watch the performance of an academic tuna.
Before we headed back to the hostel, we went next to the tree of knowledge, located near “Plaza del Obradoiro” (Obradoiro Square). Tree of knowledge was used by students who didn’t know which career to choose. According to the tradition, students must turn their back to the tree, stretch out their hand and grab one of the branches. The chosen branch indicates the knowledge area that the student should follow.
Santiago de Compostela