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Galicia 2006
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Here we are, Alessia and I (Ilaria) decided to go on a trip to Spain before Christmas. We would have loved to have Francesca with us too, but unfortunately she was too busy.

Destination: Santiago de Compostela, and the wonderful region of Galicia, which became famous in 2002 when the tanker Prestige sank outside these coasts, dumping about 60,000 tonnes of oil directly into the Atlantic sea.

We reserved a room for two nights in this place: Hospedaje Forest. Our room is the one with that nice little veranda.
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As soon as we arrive the owner, an old lady, tells us "Ah, you are the two girls!", and leads us to our bedroom without even asking for our names. At the end of our stay we have to look for her in order to pay.
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After a late dinner with paella, we go for a walk in this beautiful town, and we see the Catedral del Apostol, where the myth says Santiago Apostol (St. James) is buried. He was transported here from the Holy Land after his death and subsequently this cathedral became the goal of the famous pilgrimage Camino de Santiago. We are not here for the pilgrimage, but we are really impressesd by this church and by the Praza de Obradorio.
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The morning after we get up early (by Spanish standards ;) and after an abundant breakfast we go for a walk in this beautiful medieval town.
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I try the zoom of my Dad's camera,
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and we explore the corners of this little city.
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When you enter the Catedral del Apostol, you cannot help but notice the mass of gold that is stored in the altar region. The statue of the Saint is surrounded by jewels.
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This is the tomb of the Saint.
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We buy a ticket for the Museo de la Catedral, and we see even more gold and jewels.
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We then enter the beautiful cloister,
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where they bury the priests. It seems that one of them just died as they are preparing his grave stone.
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We go around taking pictures of this beautiful place,
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and once again i try the zoom of my camera.
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There are so many subjects to photo!!!
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In the Praza de Obradorio, right next to the Cathedral there is the Pazo de Xelmirez, a castle built in 1120 for a bishop. It doesn't look that good from the outside but we see it because it is included in our museum ticket.
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Inside the castle is beautiful. The lack of furniture helps you appreciate its architecture. This is the Sala de Cerimonias.
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And this is the kitchen.
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These are the keys of the rooms of this building.
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They also had a fountain!
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We have a Galician lunch, Alessia has Tortillas de Patatas, and I have a really good Bocadillo con pulpo.
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We then go for a walk in the Xardin de San Roque and in the Parque de San Domingos de Bonaval,
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which we then realize is an old cemetery...
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Well, we should have guessed that!
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We then relax with a hot chocolate.
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The day after we go back to the airport where we rent the smallest and cheapest car they have...
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and we drive towards south. We get to Vigo, which to us is soon disappointing. We park our car and we go around this messy and polluted town looking for the old town. This is the main square, with the Igrexa de Santa Maria.
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Too bad that this is the view in front of it.
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We decide to leave this town and to explore the coasts. We have a quick lunch in this square where there is a very original representation of the nativity.
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We go back north, but we don't take the highway, we decide to drive along the coast. We pass Cangas, Hio, Marin, Combarro, Sanxenxo and other towns. The view gets better and better and we decide that after all the day can still be good.
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Time for a picture of the two of us,
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and then we go to this Church in the middle of nowhere: the Monasteiro de Poio, a benedict monastery which we can visit.
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Gold again.
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Through the beautiful cloister,
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we get to the exhibition of the smallest printed books in the world.
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And this is the smallest one, 3.5 x 3.5 mm.
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We keep driving until we are tired, which happens in this small town called Noia. We stop and get a room and then we go for a walk, discovering another beautiful medieval town.
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We really liked this cat trying to sleep in the warmth of that lamp.
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Before leaving the next morning, we go for another walk.
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The tide is down, too bad for the picture,
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but the town has a lot to offer,
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even a very rural farmers' market,
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where you can find fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and... chickens!
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We keep going North, driving along the Costa da Morte, much less touristic than the Rias Baixas we explored yesterday.
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We stop to see this beautiful beach.
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Until we reach the Western point of Spain: Cabo Fisterra.
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The Atlantic ocean is unbelievably calm.
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I was amazed to see these fishermen going out with these little boats.
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We keep going North, to A Coruna, a modern city whose only thing is worth seeing is the Torre de Hercules. After a complicated maneuver to exit the city we head South, to Lugo.
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Lugo is another really nice medieval town,
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surrounded by these roman walls, the best preserved of their kind in Spain.
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Last step before going back to Santiago Airport: this little castle in the middle of nowhere which took us almost an hour to find.

In the end it has been a very relaxing, interesting and intense vacation. The only bad thing has been our incapacity of understanding Galician times ;)