Are you as confused by that as I am? This week, Santiago’s rain decided to cash in its vacation days. I had no idea so many people lived in Santiago until I saw them overflowing from the terrazas outside every restaurant, café, and bar in sight. I scrambled for my sunglasses(that antiquated word for the things you need when there’s, like, sunlight), and celebrated with a picnic in Belvis Park. There were bare feet and strawberries and even tinto de verano with lemon slices. And to cap it all off, last weekend’s rain meant Pontevedra moved their carnival parade, so a few friends and I headed there to catch the festivities and some rays on the beach (pics to come). It was a total contrast to Santiago’s umbrella-clad affair. Fingers crossed the sun is here for keeps.
Getting to Santander from Santiago de Compostela without a car is a deep, deep struggle. It took me two BlaBlaCar voyages to get there, and a ten-hour bus ride to get back. If I didn’t have a friend awaiting me there, I probably would’ve shelved the trip for keeps. But wow, was it worth the pain.
After suffering through two months of rain, I arrived in Santander to skies a-blazing with sun. I was squinting like the (wet) hibernating bear I am. We spent a sizable chunk of the weekend outdoors, hiking along the coast, watching waves, and commandeering playgrounds from small children. And there was also some rabbit paella involved. Big ol’ stamp of approval from this girl.
I am in bed and suffering from some post-Carnaval stress to the system. My nose is dead to me. I may have just eaten spoiled yogurt but will never know because I can taste nothing. Dulling effects aside, Carnaval has been quite a grand affair. But let’s back up. In the past three weeks, I:
Royally ate pavement while running in the Alameda, much to the dismay of my hands, knees, and iPhone screen.
Got bullied by 5th graders
Inhaled a couple more rounds of pulpo
Attended an antique car show, lacking in all things MG
Saw Santander, a good friend, and the sun, all at the same time (yes, this is an achievement)
Celebrated a very merry Gal-entine’s Day with wine, strawberries/spoons dipped in chocolate, and…kombucha
Rang in Carnaval in a town that starts with an X
Got a new teaching gig
Ate pig face
So yes, things have been pretty busy around here. There’s a whole lot of visual that will make its way over here eventually.
Cheers my dears!
Retro Galicia (car show in Santiago de Compostela)
A couple of weekends ago, an overstuffed car of auxiliars and I headed to La Playa de Catedrales (English, Beach of Cathedrals; Gallego, Praia das Catedrais). It’s about two hours northeast of Santiago de Compostela. The sky was clear and blue (what now?). And y’all. This place was glorious.
For thousands of years, nature’s been hard at work, pounding arches and chambers into Galicia’s coastline. The wind was ferocious and whipped up the biggest waves I’ve ever seen. Smooth and serrated rock stretched as far as the eye can see. It looked as though someone had taken a comb to the sides of the rocks.
We explored the beach from below, sloshing through water and scrambling up rocks, before being chased away by the tide. The greenery cresting the cliffs made for the perfect picnic place. Un sábado de lujo.
Go go go: La Playa de Catedrales is near Ribadeo, in the province of Lugo. You’ll be hard-pressed to get there without a car. Those views, though…worth it. Make sure to time your visit at low tide so you can properly ogle the rock formations from below.
I took this screenshot with the idea that a forecast of 100% for all eternity would be a novelty. Well.
This week’s biggest news is that I am drowning. It’s been raining for FIFTY-TWO DAYS. Did you get that? Fifty-two. Every day, Galicia wakes up and grumbles, “Today is going to be a bad day,” pulls the clouds over its head, and proceeds to cry. It is just.inconsolable. In the past week, the wind has also joined the fun, pushing the rain (and me) in all directions.
I am tired of being cold and I am tired of being wet. But Galicia compensates for its weepiness with incredible natural beauty, and for now, that is enough!
Don’t ask me where “Weeks 4-13” are…seek and ye will not find. We’re now running on 43 straight days of rain here in Galicia…not that I can complain from what I hear about the weather back home. But I’m pretty sure I’m not leaving my bed today.
I met Spanish Joe my first day in Spain, en route to Santiago. Fifteen out of seventeen hours of traveling complete, I needed coffee. So I ordered coffee. And this was the coffee I received:
I was appalled. This squatty little imposterwas not fit to be called a cup of coffee. A shot of coffee, perhaps. To think: hundreds of years of innovation and progress had culminated in this, a veritable thimble of liquid!
Don’t get me wrong. Spanish coffee is cute. You want to admire its dimples, give it a lollipop, and pat it on the head. But.
You can’t wrap your hands around a thimble of coffee and let the warmth seep from your fingers to your toes. You can’t nurse a thimble of coffee through two hours of history reading. Spanish coffee, in other words, goes against all my preconceived coffee-culture notions.
Over time, I have grown fond of these little nuggets. They are a testament to quality over quantity. Each sip is rich and frothy, and because I have to ration my sips, I appreciate the richness and frothiness all the more. Furthermore, most coffee I’ve ordered is served with a fluffy croissant or a spongy slab of cake. (Which are busting with gluten and logically useless to me, but illogically make me happy.) If carbs and coffee can’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.
Upon returning to Spain from my winter travels, I found I missed my fun-sized caffeine. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: thank you, Spain, for three months of mouth-watering, irresistibly-photographable coffee. Here’s to many more.
(P.S. If you actually want a helpful guide for ordering coffee in Spain, check out Trevor’s guide. I, for one, always adhere to the café con leche.)
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of discovering a new park in Santiago. Too often I get stuck running laps in the Alameda, but it was refreshing to break out of my hamster wheel and see some new scenery. This is Parque do Monte de Almáciga, tucked just up the hill from the Museo de Pobo.
Oh and you guys. I have decided that I like running in the rain. No small advantage in Santiago 🙂
This weekend, my ever-lovely English profe took me to see two Galician beauties. The first was this, Castro de Baroña (get your wiki on…hope you can read Spanish). Basically, it’s a two-thousand year-old settlement, and it’s gorgeous. Even if you have to fight your way through sunshiny hail to reach it.