Well hello there! I know that it has been MONTHS since I´ve posted anything but fear not. I am still alive and still in Spain. Greece was amazing!! I hope you´re following me on Instagram because I posted many times during my two month stay in Lagonissi/Athens and it was such an incredible experience. I´ll make sure to create a post about my time there because I am seriously debating on writing a story about it. (If you´re one of my close friends you already know about this craziness that I went through).
Anyway as you´re maybe wondering I am now back in Spain, well I have been back since the end of September, but I am in a brand new region and city. You probably remember that I was in Burgos, Castilla y Leon last year. The land of El Cid, morcilla, and “freezing” temperatures. Well now I am living in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Which happens to be the land of devoted pilgrims, pulpo, and never ending rain.
I am LOVING Galicia. Seriously why don´t more people know about this incredible region of Spain. I mean I guess I am happy that it´s not so exploited but come on. Galicia has so much to offer. First of all it´s B-E-A-utiful. It´s the greenest place I´ve ever seen. Everything is covered in moss, there are plants growing from the stone buildings, and these said stone buildings are everywhere and with the greenery they make wonderful contrasting colors.
Also worth mentioning is the food. If you don´t remember I am an absolute foodie and Galicia is my paradise. Picture a place with many different types of fresh seafood, some of the best cheeses, cured ham and beef, empanadas, and a beverage so intense it´s lit on fire before being served. All of these things and more are found right here in Galicia. Speaking of seafood; Galicia is second in the world when in comes to seafood fishing. Some favorites here are clams, hake, mussels, oysters, barnacles and of course octopus….although I am on a mission to become vegan. Let´s see how that goes.
Santiago is smaller than Burgos but it feels a lot bigger. Burgos is more spread out kind of horizontally and Santiago is more like a circle but with many more streets in the old town. You can easily walk both cities in a couple of hours but Santiagos´ old town is more fun to navigate. Burgos has many more newer looking buildings where as in Santiago there are more stone buildings to match the old town. Of course you can find sleek modern buildings around Santiago but where´s the fun in that?
Now I don´t want to come off as rude or anything but I was definetly not the first person who came up with this next idea. I have been told by many SPANIARDS that Burgos happens to be one of Spains´ coldest cities and not just by temperature. For the people in Burgos it is said that “la gente son frios como la temperatura.” Basically people are cold and they are very closed and actually I found that to be true sometimes. When you walk down the street in Burgos hardly anyone says hi, smiles, or awknowledges any other human. If you walk down the street in Santiago most people at least smile to you and a lot of people actually take the time to say good morning, hello, good afternoon, etc. People are so nice so far! I have heard that since it´s rainy all the time some Gallegos, especially in pueblos, won´t be so nice and are a little more reserved and closed off but everyone that I have met so far have been nothing but welcoming and nice to me.
Galicia also has more folklore and traditons than Castilla y Leon has. I have been told that brujas (witches) have a big influence here and when you make a queimada, you are supposed to recite a spell and set it on fire. There are also potions to drink for health and romance..(where can this girl get some of that?) along with amulets and charms to ward off the evil eye. Craaaazy but really cool. So you can bet that Halloween is actually important here and we are celebrating it very fiercly in school.
Galicia is one of those special regions with it´s own language too! Gallego is the language that mostly everyone speaks and some even prefer over Castilian Spanish. The harsh dictator Fransisco Franco (even though he was from the region) banned any speaking or teaching of Gallego. It wasn´t until Galicia finally became its own autonomous region (in the 1980´s) that Gallego has come into much wider use. Gallego and Portugese were a single language all the way up until the 14th century and then they began to diverge. Today they still look and sound very similar and I have heard that it is very easy to learn the other if you already can understand one. Also with their own language comes their own music. When you think of Spain you typically think of flamenco and rapid guitar music. Well in Galicia that´s not the case at all. Bagpipes, flutes, and drums dominate the music scene here and with that incredible music comes really cool typical dress.
Now I know that I have just spent the last 15 minutes hyping up Santiago de Compostela buuuut I will actually be moving to a smaller town closer to my school called Boiro. Boiro is a coastal town about 35 minutes from Santiago located on the Rias Baixas in the inlet of the Rua de Arousa. The beaches are very beautiful unfortunately the town isn´t that cute by any means but to be fair I haven´t really explored it yet. Follow me along this year and we will discover it together! (Wow I just read that back and it sounded very cheesy…keeping it).
All in all, I am very excited for this year. Galicia is a special region with so much history and traditions and I can´t wait to be a part of it!
(Because in Galicia they say Ciao)