Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Vigo, Spain: Part I, Licor Café & Pulpo

After leaving the incredibly old and beautiful Santiago de Compostela I was now in Vigo, another Galician town. Galicia is the far north west province in Spain. Like Basque people, Galicians are very proud and have their own language.

I had a couch lined up for just 1 night with Olalla (Ol-la-ya), double "L" in Spanish is very similar to the sound of "y" in English... you've been pronouncing Paella wrong haven't you? After meeting Olalla, a social educator, we walked to her place where she handed me a beer and began cooking dinner. Soon 2 of her friends arrived, Iria and her boyfriend. The 4 of us had dinner together, with Olalla making sure I was more than full.

After dinner we hit the bars starting with a Licor Café. This is not your Baileys, the coffee liqueurs in Galicia are very traditional and would have around 50% alcohol volume. After about the 4th bar Iria and her boyfriend called it a night. Olalla and I kept bar going; dancing, drinking and visiting a bar with a hidden entrance. We eventually made it home and talked until 10am.

The entrance to the last bar
We both woke up very dusty and had breakfast (aka afternoon tea). After breakfast Olalla asked me if I wanted a tour around town or to go into the mountains and pick mushrooms with Iria and her boyfriend... pick mushrooms? I thought a bit random and mushrooms are not really my thing... she meant cooking mushrooms not the magical variety. After a good laugh at the misunderstanding off to the mountains we went.

With a mushroom book in hand, listing what makes you healthier and what makes you die, we picked a few varieties of mushroom. Olalla and I returned to her place for a mini feast of tortilla, a giant mushroom oven roasted with garlic and cheese, and cauliflower looking mushrooms cut up and fried with bacon and onion.

We got up very late again the next day, which means we read the edible mushroom book correctly. I finally received my part tour of Vigo. One thing I've learnt about Spain is they love building towns on hills/mountains. Vigo is no exception, it is a massive fishing town very famous for the octopus and mussels. It has a giant river, La Ria de Vigo (the river of Vigo), running through the town with mountains on both sides.

After the tour we went to a restaurant and ordered a giant serve of Pulpo (Octopus). Galician food tends to be simple but delicious. It is generally massive plates of meat/seafood with little to no vegetables to be shared between multiple people.

The next day Olalla was off to work and I was off to Portugal. I dragged myself out of bed for breakfast and a goodbye, causing her to be 30 mins late for work. Then I returned to bed to catch more sleep before letting myself out... so 1 night turned into 3. Maybe I see this little Galiga (Galician girl) with a giant smile again.

Next stop Porto, Portugal.

Lessons Learnt:
It's good to travel with no next stop locked in
No one in Spain thinks they are Spanish
Spanglish really is a language if two people aren't fluent in each others' language.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you went to Vigo... that is where my grand parents are from and I have so much family leaving there and in a small village near Vigo, it's called Bobadella...ah la la the world is so small !!!