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Travel in Spain and Portugal

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Thursday, August 30, 2007


Spirit of Galicia

The land around the mouth of the Mino in Spain and Portugal opens like a vision of a dream world firmly anchored to the land.--Miguel de Unamuno

They say Galicia is a book in stone written in granite bound in moss. Ulysses is said to have etched his initials along the coast; Irish kings in flight from Saxons scattered their dolmen-tombs; Druid priests left traces of their ancient rites in labyrinths. And St. James/Santiago s holy boat was allegedly tethered to a pedron which is still visible in an ancient church. Chapter after chapter the stone-work went on: Roman bridges Romanesque churches Baroque manor houses granaries and granite staked grape-arbors.

Galicia s riverlands mountains and bucolic forests tell another story--less grounded more dream-like. Traverse this dreamscape and you'll find mountain spas where Druids once celebrated unspoiled beaches where Columbus' Captain Pinzón landed in 1493 irridescent green riverlands secreting shrine sites and watering the vineyards that produce the prized wines made from local varietals--albariño godello treixadura. And a network of manor house hotels/casas rurales guarantee accommodation of great character history and with a warm welcome.

Flor da Rosa

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