Monthly Archives: June 2014

Reflections

Spanish door!
Spanish door!

You must be missing Spain when you try and re-create a Spanish meal for your friends!
Last night was a tapas party for my Book Club friends. It was fun finding all the Spanish ingredients here in Tucson and, I must say, I think the end result was good. At least I had fun doing it!

Tuesday, I headed out to see if I could find things like Serrano jamon, Marcona almonds, piquillo peppers, Manchego cheese, Spanish sherry vinegar, Etc. Etc. Some things I knew I’d seen here but was pleased to find that all are available!

Wednesday, I needed to find a recipe for the famous Tarta de Santiago AND more importantly, a stencil for the St. James cross, a requirement for this special cake! Thanks to the internet, this too was no problem.

So, Thursday, I needed to put my culinary skills to the test and get the dishes made:
Cheese & Jamon plate, Spanish Tortilla, Roasted Pepper Ensalada, Mixta Ensalada, Galician scallops and for dessert mi Tarta de Santiago!

Here are some pictures, you be the judge!

Tortilla!
Tortilla!

Mixta Ensalada
Mixta Ensalada
Table set w/all dishes but scallops!
Table set w/all dishes but scallops!
Mi Tarta de Santiago!!
Mi Tarta de Santiago!!
Galicia China
Galicia China
Iconic Spanish roadside poppies!
Iconic Spanish roadside poppies!

June 7-8 Santiago de Compostela – arriving at the cathedral

Arriving at the Cathedral square
Arriving at the Cathedral square

Once at the cathedral, you begin by facing the Portico of Glory, one of the most remarkable Romanesque sculptures, by the MasterSculptor Mateo, erected in a perlod of twenty years and finished in 1188. A sculpture of the Apostle James stands on top of a column, which rises up like the trunk of a tree.

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Then, from Portico of Glory you make your way to the main altar and face the gold image of St. James. In front of this, the pilgrim must carry a memento for all those who have helped him or her on their journey along St. James’Way. (This can only be done if no service is gong on.)
Then, you must go behind the altar, up several steps, until you come on a level with the Apostle’s back, and embrace him round one or both shoulders.

Rubbing the shoulders of St James
Rubbing the shoulders of St James

Finally, a narrow stairway leads down beneath the main altar to a little golden crypt, containing the Saint’s remains.

This segment of our Camino was now complete! But I can’t end this story without mentioning that the Deux Chevaux tour beat us to the square!

2014 Passeio
2014 Passeio

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Some other views…
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Cathedral and us on the steps
Cathedral and us on the steps

Last night in the monastery!
Last night in the monastery!
Out -in between showers
Out -in between showers

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June 7th Day 5 on Camino Frances

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Today’s start was cold,cloudy and rainy! Shorts have given way to long pants & short sleeves to long sleeve layers. Threw in the umbrella for good measure too! Rooster sent us on our way…

Up with the roosters! Up with the roosters!
Blue door! Blue door!

Continue to see many of the peregrinos that we’ve seen the past several days

Caught this picture of the blooming genista just as the sun broke thru!

Genista racemosa (Sweet broom) Genista racemosa (Sweet broom)

Rain gave way to this rainbow!

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I’m glad it was the cows in all this muck & not us! Although we had our share on the trail after yesterday’s rain.

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Cows & a stream! Cows & a stream!

Arrived in Sarria wet & tired but nothing that a beer couldn’t fix!

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Now to find some lunch…image

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June 6th (D day 70th Anniversary) Camino Frances

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Left this morning under grey skies, knowing that showers were expected in afternoon, so we would need to walk straight thru. Once out on the trail, we found a really stiff, cold wind blowing.

Destination atria castles today; Sarria mañana! Destination Triacastela today; Sarria mañana!

Made it to Alto do Poio for our usual morning coffee stop! Skies were getting darker in the distance so we quickly moved on.

Hold on to your hat! Hold on to your hat!

All I could think about was that hot bowl of Caldo Gallego that I’d have for lunch! We had just reached Cafe Esther in Triacastela when the rain started! Lucky us!!

Arrived! Arrived!

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June 5th- Camino Frances

Today’s walk would continue on from Trabadelo to O’Cebreiro. This shows the climb we’ll need to make!

Today's 20km Today’s 20km…Vega was our coffee stop, LaFaba was a beer stop & lunch in O’Cebreiro!

The hills were alive…
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As we worked our way up to O’Cebreiro, this was the view! We went from an elevation of about 530m in Trabadelo to 1330m! Terrain was dirt, shade & rocks!
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Here we’ve arrived in O’Cebreiro in time for lunch.

There are many ways to make a Camino…some on foot, some by bike and when the going gets rough, by caballo!

Caballo for hire & caballo after delivering peregrino to O'Cebreiro! Caballo for hire & caballo after delivering peregrino to O’Cebreiro!

More shots along the way and from O’Cebreiro…

Wildflowers& vineyards have been replaced with goats, cattle, sheep & horses! Wildflowers& vineyards have been replaced with goats, cattle, sheep & horses!

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Thatched roofs, iris & the church. Thatched roofs, iris & the church.

We’ve now walked 76.3km! image

June 4th-Camino Frances

Morning walk. Morning walk.

Today, we moved on from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo. After lunch in Villafranca, we did another 9.5km to Trabadelo since we’d been told that trying to walk all the way from Villafranca to O Cebreiro in one day was too much!!

Afternoon walk! Afternoon walk!

Weather was a little cooler today and wildflowers were replaced with vineyards and fruit trees. Santiago now only 194.5km away! Had our morning coffee in Cacabelos. Very colorful little town.

Along the way, we saw.... Along the way, we saw….
More views and coffee! More views and coffee!
Cacabelos...coffee stop! Cacabelos…coffee stop!

Entering Villafranca we were greeted with several Bienvenidos (both written & spoken).

Arriving in Villafranca! Arriving in Villafranca!

Enjoyed a nice lunch in El Casino and then got on our way again! It was interesting to be reminded of Colorado as we followed the Rio Valcarce & hearing the rapids along the way to Trabadelo.

Lunch and a view leaving town & one leaving Pereje. Lunch and a view leaving town & one leaving Pereje.

Another good day but this was probably the best sight!

Hotel Las Donas! Hotel Las Donas!

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June 2-3 Camino Frances

Left Madrid Monday morning, a beautiful sunny morning, to start the Camino Frances. We turned off A6 from Madrid at Astorga and picked up LE142, the road known as Camino de Santiago. We explored the towns by foot & car as we worked our way west. We arrived in Ponferrada in afternoon in time to check in(Hotel el Castillo), quick rest & then out to explore Las Medulas.

Monday on way to Ponferrada Monday on way to Ponferrada

Tuesday morning we headed back to Cruz de Ferro & our first full day walking the Camino. We had colorful wildflowers all the trail and snow capped mountains in the distance. Path was a combination of flat dirt, loose rocks and a small stream. The highest elevation was 1515m down to 590m when we reached the town of Molinaseca. Ponferrada is around 500m.
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Tuesday from Cruz de Ferro to Ponferrada & passport stamps Tuesday from Cruz de Ferro to Ponferrada & passport stamps
Cruz de Ferro and lunch stop in Molinaseca Cruz de Ferro and lunch stop in Molinaseca

Made it! Siesta & then explore the Ponferrada Castilla. Dinner at great place…Palacio de Conedo.

El Castillo El Castillo
Palacio de Conde Palacio de Conedo

End of a good day!
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Day 19 – The rain in Spain…

has been minimal. We had showers when we arrived in Madrid on the 21st, one night in La Alberca and again yesterday while walking around Aranjuez and Chinchon.

After a wonderful paella lunch with Morenos, we drove over to the King’s summer residence in Aranjuez.

Mercedes and her paella! Mercedes and her paella!

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Cristina & Alberto with their daughters (Sarah, Martina & Elena) Cristina & Alberto with their daughters (Sarah, Martina & Elena)
Palacio Real Palacio

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Palace, another view Palace, another view
Prince's Garden Prince’s Garden
View of garden as we took cover from showers under trees! View of garden as we took cover from showers under the trees!
Chinchon Playca Mayor with church in the background Chinchon Playca Mayor with church
Church tower and tower
Tapas time! Tapas time!
Rain has stopped so we headed home! Rain stopped so we headed home!