We left Lyra in Vilagarcia and flew home for a friend’s wedding. It felt very strange to abandon her. We went back via Sandiago de Compostella, by train, walking up to the station at Vilagarcia and negotiating the precarious looking temporary bridge there. We stayed overnight at the hotel Bonaval and ate at a fabulous restaurant they recommended called Amoa. The hotel was lovely and located a short, pleasant walk from the cathedral. We decided to go back there with the family when they return with us for a sailing holiday and made reservations accordingly. Sandiago was much quieter and also dryer, so we explored the old town round the cathedral a bit further.
In the airport on the way home it was disconcerting to understand what people round about were saying. I unwillingly hooked on to the English being spoken around us, unable to distance myself from the conversations of others. It felt as though we had been in Spain much longer and we were excited to reach home. When we did Katie had the house looking immaculate and the weather at home was glorious. We sat out enjoying the garden. Just as well as the next day it rained. Galicilan weather!
The next two weeks whizzed by. The wedding was a really happy occasion, the sun shone and all my family were there.
The girls and Johnsey then flew back with us to a Spain transformed. It is hot. Very hot. The change is akin to when it snows at home, nothing looks the same. In this case all the cafe’s move out into the street, which are festooned with umbrellas and awnings, for people are hugging the shade, not seeking for the sun. The hotel was every bit as friendly as we remembered and air conditioned. We were given a beautiful room on the top floor with a stone fireplace and a deep granite windowsill. Katie and Lara were in a twin next door and Emma and Johns had “our” old room along the corridor in the eaves. The restaurant also lived up to expectations, with the added bonus that the garden was open to sit in for drinks.
This time round the museum Katie had an audio guide, so we understood more of what we were seeing. The location of the cathedral is based on the experience of a hermit with what sounded like a bad migraine. Sadly, a carved frieze which I had taken to be a celebration of diversity in the animal kingdom turned out to be a warning against sin, sins being depicted as animals. Even with the guide we needed Google to tease out the convoluted details of the life of St James, which Katie then illustrated. http://www.katieharnett.com
After the bits with Jesus that I am familiar with, he apparently witnessed to the Spanish people, went back home to be beheaded by Herod, was brought back to Spain, head and all to be discovered by the hermit, then came back as an able cavalry man to slaughter the infidel in the shape of the Moors. There is some connection with a pumpkin, which we have yet to discover. I’m not sure why all the scallop shells either, but have taken them as a nod to his fisher of men past. Anyway my favourite painting of the Last Supper was better than I remembered, but there was no reference to it in the guide.
After our overnight in Sandiago we retraced our steps to Vilagarcia, to find Lyra all tucked up as we had left her. Some building work had started at the marina entrance, creating dust and noise, so we decided to move on and spend longer at San Vicente, with the lovely coastline and the sandy beaches. So far the kids seem to be enjoying green Spain as much as we have.
The only fly in the ointment is that the credit has not come through automatically for our internet. We can see it on the Orange website screen poised, but have not worked out how to access it. Moreover neither has anyone at the phone shops at Vilagarcia, though they tried very hard. So we are back on the slow drip.