To whet the appetite

Saturday afternoon saw a melancholic return from Galicia after a fruitful and interesting, although far too short, visit to the house. We managed to cram loads into the seventy-two hours we spent in our little piece of paradise, in what was probably our last trip of 2010. I have got plenty to blog about over the coming weeks and months, hopefully to retain the interest until the new year.

Here is an appetiser, in the form of a few photographs, of some of the things that I’ll be covering in the near future.

Still Standing

The house is still in one piece, well….the several pieces in which we left it. Autumn has arrived and it appears that Carlos has fully exploited our absence by harvesting absolutely everything, even the wind fallen apples which were in evidence on our September visit. I suspect that he’s even got his eye on this ‘in-house’ fir tree (above) as the centre piece for the Carlos family Christmas decorations.

El burro esta bien

The donkey is still living in our barn (little house) and seems to have put on a bit of weight since last time we saw him. I guess that he’s working less hard in the winter, and will have been finding more to eat since the grass which had been stripped by Carlos has now grown back to a munch-able level. Despite Mothers alarm at his mis-treatment he seems happy enough, although with our track record I wasn’t getting close enough to him to find out whether he’d remembered that we are about to steal his barn (thank you 20x zoom on my trusty Canon G10).

Now that's what I call a vacation

We spent a couple of nights in Ribadeo at the wonderful (on weekdays) Hotel Rolle. During our stay we met up with Stephen and Kay who are in the process of renovating a house twice the size of ours. We went for a meal with them but the best Pulperia in town was closed (see above) so they took us to another little gem of a place on the main road through the town (Avenida de Galicia) where we feasted on chipirones, pulpo, grilled langostinos, croquetas and a tuna salad washed down with a couple of bottles of excellent house white.

A tourist trap with no tourists (except us)

Business complete in Pontenova/Ribadeo we’d decided to do the tourist thing for the last twenty-four hours of this trip. On the way to Oviedo we strayed 10km from the motorway to discover the enchanting Castro de Coaña, an ancient Celtic hill top fortified settlement of over eighty round houses. We arrived around mid-day and had the whole site to ourselves, as the only other two cars in the car park belonged to the ladies running  the excellent visitors centre. Stunning.

Heart of the medieval town

We spent the last night in Oviedo, a beautiful, friendly town about 30km inland for Asturias Airport. The medieval old centre survived the Spanish Civil War and comprises narrow pedestrianised streets and grand buildings. Due north of the Cathedral is Calle de Gascona where the speciality is a foul tasting vinegar like cider (sidra) poured from above the waiters head into a glass held around their knees, all without looking (I’ll put a video up later). Needless to say most of it ends up on the increasingly wet an sticky marble floor and despite its unpleasant taste, the spectacle and theatre of it demands that you have more than one.

That’s your whistle -stop tour. Much more to follow over the coming weeks.

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