Barcelona & N. Spain

Day 12 - Saturday, October 6, 2012 - Travel Day to Santiago de Compostela; Lugo Old Town; Optional Mariscada Dinner

We woke to gray skies that would follow our bus the whole day. The temperature was 60° and the humidity was 81%. We certainly picked the right day to go to Picos de Europa yesterday.

Today Javier is back with us and we drove parallel to the coast on E-70 continuing west and then a bit south to Santiago de Compostela, our destination for the next two nights of our trip.

Laura explained more about the Pilgrimage on the Way of St. James. She showed us the movie, The Way about a father (Martin Sheen) traveling to recover the body of his son, (Emilio Estevez) and walks "El Camino de Santiago" to rediscover his own way.

The time on the bus went quickly as we learned more about the pilgrimage and the people who make the commitment to walk the more than 500 mile trek.

We had a brief rest stop on the highway and then continued on to Lugo where we came upon the Festival San Froilan, the patron saint of the city. There were small parades and bands in many streets of the old town celebrating the ancient Celtic tribes who settled the area.

We stopped for a Coke and white wine, a specialty of the area, and we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the tapas were free if you ordered a drink.

The Province of Galicia is a land associated with witchcraft and we saw many replicas in the windows and in the shops. The ‘meiga' figures used herbal potions and combined both pagan and Christian traditions as they helped and healed.

The Roman walls of the city date to the 3rd century and surround the old town in a two kilometer unbroken path. After our drinks and tapas we were refreshed and climbed to the top of the wall and walked the path all the way around the old city.

On the wall Vic took a few photos of other tourists and those in town for the Festival. From this high vantage point we could see the slate roofs and stone work of the medieval city.

After working up a thirst from our hike, we found another restaurant with free tapas and we enjoyed talking to the bar tenders as we finished our drinks and their food. WE could get to love this town!

We met the others in our group at 3:00 and left for Santiago de Compostela. We checked into the hotel and got ourselves organized and began to prepare the highlights of the day.

At 7:45 we joined a small group to attend an optional traditional Galician Dinner or mariscada. Three of the region’s finest white wines were Ribiero, Godello or Albariño. By this time on the trip Vic has tried them all with none of the adverse side effects that the sulfites in our wines at home seem to bring.

This was the best and freshest seafood we have ever had. Our menu included steamed Galician blue mussels, octopus, grilled baby squid as well as the catch of the day, hake, sea bass or a grilled steak. We were served a variety of desserts and after coffee; we had a traditional Galician alcoholic beverage called Queimada.

The dinner was long, but worth it. We returned back to the hotel after about 3 hours. Before falling asleep, we put up the journal and then crashed as we have another day to explore Santiago de Compostela tomorrow.

Accommodations: Hotel Hesperia Peregrino - - - Meal: B, D

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Festival San Froilan, Festa Grande de Galizia, Lugo, Spain

Festival San Froilan, Festa Grande de Galizia, Lugo, Spain (1:57)

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Line to get in the Bus

Line to get in the Bus

Witches in the Windows of Lugo

Witches in the Windows of Lugo

Top of the Roman Wall - Lugo

Top of the Roman Wall - Lugo



Slate Roofs of Lugo

Slate Roofs of Lugo

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