After all the warnings and talks about Galician weather, it has finally arrived. Lots of rain and wind, but also days of dry, cold wind. And what to do in that weather? Eat churros, listen to a philharmonic concert, and the best of all, enjoy hot springs!!
There is a first time for everything
I’m not proud to say that I had been in Spain for almost 4 months without trying churros con chocolate, but somehow there was always an excuse: It’s too hot outside! I’m on a diet! We’ll go next week! etc. Finally, couple of us decided to go to churreria El Timón, which had best churros and chocolate, according to one of the English teachers at school. I really loved the whole experience of eating churros and dipping them in warm dense chocolate.
Once I tried them, I had to eat them again, so once we got to Ourense, I went to a café Latino, and of course ordered churros with chocolate. I liked better churros at El Timón, but the chocolate was darker and tastier at Latino. I think that by the end of June I’ll become an expert for this.
A little bit of culture
One of the teachers at school had two tickets to a concert at Palacio de la Ópera, so Julia and I decided to go. All in all, I wasn’t too impressed. The first part was a mixture of different styles that somehow didn’t work out, and the second part, Mozart’s symphony was nice, but nothing spectacular. Still, it was nice to go to an event like this, and have a glass of sparkling wine during the break.
Hot springs, I’m feeling cold
After a long and exhausting drive, we finally got to Ourense, and as soon as we left our stuff at an airbnb place, we went to the hot springs. There are a lot of sources of hot water in and near Ourense, some are public, like the one in the centre of the town, but there are two private ones, well equipped and really nice. One is Chavasqueira, and the other one is Outariz. We decided to go to the second one. As we got to the reception, we had to pay five euros and be out in two hours. That seemed short, but it was actually enough. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so he only one I have is from the entrance.
After some warm and relaxing experience, we decided to go to the old town to get some food. Apparently, Ourense is very famous for pulpo, that is, octopus. I don’t quite understand why, since it’s not on the coast, but as we were there, we decided to get some octopus at Casa do pulpo, and it was really tasty. Later, we walked into a bar to have some wine, started talking to a chef/bartender, discovered that he was from Amsterdam, and spent couple of hours talking about random things while sipping wine and eating really tasty dark chocolate cake. Those moments made my trip. Travelling is about meeting people, having nice conversations and eating tasty local food, and not just seeing the monuments.
As I’ve already mentioned, Ourense is really famous for pulpo. But what surprised me was that they sold on the street. Like chestnuts. I had already had something to eat when saw this, but next time, I will definitively try some street pulpo
On our way back, we decided to make a stop at Ribeira Sacra, at a viewpoint called Balcones de Madrid. The view from up there was spectacular. Photos don’t do justice. The meaning of the name is ‘Sacred shore’, and it owns its name to 18 monasteries hermitages that were built in the Middle Ages in the inaccessible river valleys. The monks planted the vineyards for their own consumption and maintained the grape-growing and wine-producing tradition until modern times. That is why this region is very famous for some white wines, like Albariño, Godello and Treixadura.
Saving the best for last, a surprise on our way back – SNOW. Yeap, real snow! Not a lot of it, and of course it melted down as soon as it touched the ground, but it was definitively snow. Not rain, not dew, but snow. Or sleet. Whatever. I think it is obvious from the first photo how exciting that was for me