Tuesday, November 29, 2011

 

Witches of Lugo

Lugo has for some reason managed to get an association with the occult and primarily witches and wizards.

So the answer to last week’s question was “witches”.
If you wonder around the city of Lugo you will often see someone dresses up as a witch, often hoping to get a financial gain in the way of euros dropped into a plate or basket. How the association started I do not know, nor have I been able to find out by asking locals, so if you have any ideas please let me know. It is always fascinating to find out the origin of these traditions.

This week

For this week’s question I am going to jump out of Galicia and into neighbouring Asturias, just north and east of Galicia.

Galicia really is a beautiful region, but if anything Asturias is even better, at least when it comes to mountainous inland scenery. So based on that personal opinion here is my question.

Asturias is famous for a mountain range. It is popular with walkers and climbers alike and one of the many walks on, around, or over, part of this range is considered to be in the top ten most scenic walks in the world.

What is the name of this mountain range?
There are no clues as none should be needed.

If you ever get a chance to travel in Asturias I recommend it. The coastal road is very scenic and the cities of Oviedo and Aviles are good to explore (Gyjon less so – in my opinion). However, be aware that this area has an industrial economy as well as a farming one and that mining and smelting iron take place in the areas close to the major cities. These areas are far from scenic, but they represent the industrial side of Spain. If you avoid them and go to the likes of Cangas de Onis and Cavadonga (I hope that I got the spelling right) you cannot go wrong.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

 

Castro de Santa Tegra

The answer to last weeks question was Castro de Santa Tegra just above a Guarda.

Apparently this castro has been around for over 2000 years and in terms of its completeness, and the fact that you can easily view it from above, it is one of the best that I have seen. There is also one of the units that has been re-roofed to give a feel for how it was in its hey day.

If you want to find out more take a look here galiciaguide.com/Castro-de-Santa-Tegra.html. You can also get some info about the town of a Guarda. Unfortunately when I was last there the weather was pretty poor, but on a good day the hills above the castro afford an impressive view.

This weeks puzzle

Lugo has a superstition that has resulted in a particular type of mythical historic character becoming something of a mascot or icon. So much so that you will often see people dressed as them. What are they?

The clue is that there were some in “Eastwick”.

That is it for now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

 

Bodegas Castro Martin

The answer to my last and very difficult question was Bodegas Castro Martin in the province of Pontevedra.

We were very fortunate to get a guided tour around their bodega a few years ago (this is not something that they ordinarily do) and it was both interesting and educational. Their facility is nothing short of superb and the standards of hygiene and cleanliness were exemplary.

Their wines (or at least the ones that I have drunk) are, to my unsophisticated pallet, as good as they get. If you want to find out more this is their website - http://bodegascastromartin.com/. I would assume that there will be information on one of the many pages informing visitors of where they can purchase the produce of Bodegas Castro Martin in various countries.

If you want a very basic overview of Galician wine take a look here -
http://www.galiciaguide.com/Galicia-wine.html.

And so to this weeks puzzle.

Galicia has many “castros” (a general term used to describe what are believed to be Celtic settlements or sometimes forts). These things are actually all over Europe including the UK, but for some reason the Galicians make a big deal over them whilst the rest of us seem to almost ignore them.

Anyway, I find them fascinating and as a result I have visited quite a few, so my question is:

What is the name of a very large, well preserved and tourism publicised castro just outside of a Guarda?

I do not think that this question warrants any clues, so I will not offer any.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 

Castello de San Felipe

The answer to last weeks question was:

The “Castello de San Felipe”

located close to the city of Ferrol.

I found this coastal fortress interesting to visit and, although low lying and somewhat sprawling, it was on quite a large scale. Our enjoyment was somewhat tainted by poor weather with constant showers, but even so it was well worth the visit and we even got a mini guide book in English – a novelty in Galicia.

Whilst I have nothing against Ferrol itself, I would never suggest that a tourist use up valuable time visiting this small city, however the castle is a different proposition. If you want some additional information about it take a look at this page galiciaguide.com/Castello-de-San-Felipe.html.

And so to my next question which is both difficult and certainly not common knowledge.

Galicia, and particularly the southern area of the region, is famous for the Albarino wine which is quite superb. Not surprisingly there are many bodegas that produce this wine, however to my knowledge at least there is only one that is run by an Englishman.

So what is the name of the Galician bodega that is run/managed by an Englishman?

The clues are that it is in Pontevedra, it has a connection with my name (although not me) and it is probably the most highly regarded bodega in the region exporting its produce to discerning wine drinkers all over the world. I believe that they even supplied wine to the Concorde flights when they were still operating (although I may be wrong). Oh, and the owner has a site blog in English.

Answer in my next post.

Friday, November 04, 2011

 

A Good Galicia website and a Galicia video

I am not actually giving the answer to my last question in this post, so anyone interested in that information will have to call back next week when the answer will be provided.

What I am doing is bringing to the attention of anyone interested in Galicia two sites.

The first I have mentioned several times before, but it deserves periodic referrals because it is so good and so interesting to anyone thinking of moving to Galicia.

The url is http://www.visitgalicia.co.uk and the site is an interesting and ongoing diary of the experiences gained whilst living in Galicia and trying to renovate one of the traditional old farm houses. Numerous daily events are mentioned and it will give anyone considering taking on the same challenge a feel for everything from the bureaucracy of Spain to the challenges of getting reliable workmen. Have a look at it.


The second url is for a video made by a guy in Florida who sent me the link yesterday. When I checked out his website it would appear that he really knows what he is doing, as indicated by a photo of him receiving a film making award from John Travolta no less. Anyway, the short video is something that he put together after a recent trip to Galicia and I think that he sums the region up beautifully. Watch and enjoy http://vimeo.com/27804082.

My next post will have the answer to my question of a couple of days ago – as long as I can remember what it is!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

 

Catoira

I have just read the question that I posted the other day and for a few seconds I could not remember what I was thinking about or what the answer actually was. Fortunately my memory has started to function again and the question and the answer are now back in my consciousness.

The location is the tower ruins at Catoira and the festival is one that involves Viking long boats and a bit of play acting. A large number of people visit this fiesta and there are many stalls – most selling food, alcohol or trinkets, and a lot of hippy types (at least when we were there).

The ruins are actually pretty good, but you are best advised to visit them outside of the festival period when you will almost certainly have the place to yourself. The one downside is that a road bridge runs parallel to and almost next to the ruins – pretty bad planning. Anyway, click on the link to find out more.

This week’s question

I have only ever been to Ferrol once and, whilst it is a perfectly acceptable town/city, it is not somewhere that I would recommend anyone to travel out of their way to visit. That said, just down the road from Ferrol there is a massive low lying castle which (in my opinion) is worth taking a look at.

The question is, what is the name of this castle close to Ferrol?

The only clue that I will give is to add that it is on the coast and that it protects one of the rias.

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