On our recent trip to Spain we initially headed straight for the heat in the south, but after a week or so, a near death experience with the black dog, and remembering that our break was intended to be a journey rather than a static stay, we started to climb north with Galicia as the goal. It seemed like a good idea at the time, not having really thought through the reality of Galicia being very much like Cornwall, and the intention of our trip being to escape the Cornish climate for a bit.
Like Cornwall, Galicia is known nationally in Spain as the rainy place, hence it’s very green and lush and quite often shrouded in drizzle. Stuck out on the north western flank of the country and abutted by both the Atlantic and Bay of Biscay, it’s open to the elements, just like Cornwall, and as such lives in it’s own little micro-climate, which – like Cornwall – is not always warm and sunny. As we discovered. Like Cornwall, Galicia also has it’s own dialect – unlike Cornwall however Galician is a very much a living language, meaning your carefully rehearsed key phrases in Castilian are pretty much useless.
It is however quite beautiful, with a snow capped hills, a boulder strewn coastline known as the Coast of Death, rolling green pastures, vast Rias, and the pilgrimage capital of Santiago Compostela.
When we weren’t out on the Coast of Death, we were lucky enough to stay with a friend just outside Santiago, sleep in a bed for a few nights and leave the black dog at his flat whilst we took a few trips into town, where we sampled the local delicacy of Devil’s Toenails – a.k.a Goose Barnacles (photo below). And octopus – there’s a hell of a lot of octopus in Galicia, and if the Galegos aren’t free diving for it themselves they’re getting it sent over from Cornwall.
Galicia was nice – it’s not however the place to run to if you’re trying to escape the Cornish winter weather, so I’d definitely recommend a visit in the summer.