After consuming every variety of bacalau (cod) and octopus in Portugal, we were ready for our weekend escape to the Galician foodie paradise and pilgrimage Mecca of Santiago de Compostela (SDC)
We had a plush hotel right in the heart of the old city, a UNESCO site that’s incredibly well preserved. We parked our car outside the town limits and were blessedly car free for two days.
The food and wine we had were divine. White anchovies, shrimps in garlic sauce, sardines, baby squid, Galician vegetable soup, clams and pork. And ohhh the heavenly Albarino wines and crusty bread. Let’s just say we ate our way thru 48 hours and not go into the gluttonous details of where and when. Let’s just say it was a religious experience.
We also walked into the Pilgrim’s prayer service in the majestic romanesque cathedral and got some uplifting pix before the service started. We even got into a conversation with one of the pilgrims who it turns out is from Darien, CT and is a marketer in outdoor equipment to REI. So, naturally, we got the contact for our son for his solar chargers!
SDC is the end of a 500 mile pilgrims trail that people take a month or more to walk, staying in hostels along the way. We learned that our pilgrim, who I suspect is a nice Jewish guy, got sucked into this spiritual and physical quest after watching a Rick Steve’s TV show!
And once the throngs of weary travellers reach SDC and collect their papal blessings, they are ready to party! The medieval streets are paved with cafes and pinxos bars and restaurants. Street musicians abound. And strangest of all, SDC turns out to be a bagpiper Mecca as well. Everywhere we went Saturday night, bagpipers were playing on the streets and people were bursting into song and dance.
All in all, SDC was a great place to spend my birthday and Fathers Day. Tomorrow, we get back in the car and return to eating bacalau and octopus while experiencing the beach towns of Portugal.