Week {19} in review

Parque Belvis, Santaigo de Compostela

Parque Belvis (Santiago de Compostela)

THE SUN IS OUT.

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.

To Vitamin D!

MB

By the Rio Sar (Santiago de Compostela)

Real flamenco dancers use umbrellas (Carnival parade, Santiago de Compostela)

Parque do Monte de Almáciga

Parque do Monte de Almáciga (Santiago de Compostela)

Santander (via squint)

Isla de Mouro

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.

Cheers,

MB

Faro de Cabo Mayor

Faro de Cabo Mayor

La Magdalena

This cannot be comfortable (La Magdalena)

The best Cantabrian company and paella a girl could ask for

The best Cantabrian company and paella a girl could ask for

Weeks {16-18} in review

Faro at Santander

Santander

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!

MB

Retro Galicia, Shell oil

Retro Galicia

Retro Galicia (car show in Santiago de Compostela)

La Playa de Catedrales {Beach of Cathedrals}

Playa de Catedrales

Playa de Catedrales

Playa de Catedrales

The beach’s most iconic rock

Playa de Catedrales

Playa de Catedrales

Playa de Catedrales 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.

Cheers!

-MB

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.

Week {15} in review

A few blessed hours of sun at the Playa de Catedrales.

The perfect coffee spot to watch the rain: Hotel Costa Vella.

Rainbow

A half dozen “arco iris” (rainbow) sightings, including this one on my way to work.

Monte Pedroso

A run up Monte Pedroso (…I use the word “run” loosely).

Churrasco

Churrasco y patatas with the English profe.

Oh yeah…and this.

All day, every day:

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!

Stay dry!

MB

Week {14} in review

Boiro, Galicia.

Humans of Santiago.
Parque de la Alameda, Santiago de Compostela.

Parque de la Alameda, Santiago de Compostela.

“Risoterapia” (laughter therapy) with 2nd and 3rd graders.

A new café discovery: Pan e Chocolate, Santiago de Compostela.

New café discovery: Pan e Chocolate, Santiago de Compostela.

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.

Peace, love, and lluvia,

MB

Meet Spanish Joe

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:

The First Coffee

Scale: sugar packet is the same height as the cup.

I was appalled. This squatty little imposter was 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.

But.

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.

– MB

(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.)

On the run {in Santiago de Compostela}

Parque do Monte de AlmácigaParque do Monte de Almáciga

Parque do Monte de AlmácigaParque do Monte de AlmácigaParque do Monte de AlmácigaParque do Monte de Almáciga

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 🙂

Un beso,

MB