[Previous parts: Day 1;]
Friday, 13th July 2012
The Rain in Spain
I’d flown to Vigo to escape the dreary British rain, and guess what? My first full day in Vigo was wet too! Just a grey day with odd showers so not like home, but not the sun either. My visit of 2010 had featured rain almost every day as well, apart from a glorious day in Baiona. I know Galicia has a wet climate, bordering both the Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay, but this was July! Still, I was on holiday, best make the most of it.
Unlike last visit when I stayed with Kerryn at her old place near the beach, this time I was in a nice little hotel in town. It was really comfortable, and I’ll write more on the hotel in a future post, but overnight I discovered the Spanish authorities, and maybe it is just in Vigo, like to do their rubbish collections at 2am and wash the streets with a jet wash while they’re at it. Despite tiredness from the journey I didn’t get to sleep until gone 3am.
After a nice holiday lie-in I took myself and my camera off for a walk to reacquaint myself with the centre of town. The first order of business – breakfast.
I’d been told about a little cafe in the modern tourist information block around the corner so I went there, the staff were friendly but we couldn’t understand each other, though at least they understood about 20 words of English which is more than I know of Spanish or Galician. I pointed at things and got what I wanted: a coffee, a croissant and a drink to carry around with me later. I sat and watched the rain on the windows and read the tourist information leaflets Kerryn had given me.
I was familiar with the city centre from my last visit, I went for a walk then as well although much of that day was taken up with walking from the beachside to the main city. I wanted to see if anything had changed and also wanted to go further along to see what was there. Being based in the city centre gave me the luxury of taking my time.
Here are some photos from my walk!
As the hotel and the cafe were by the marina it made sense to start there, and among all the normal modern little sailing boats and motorboats was this gem:
And then it was off around town. The photo top left is a covered row of restaurants with ladies outside offering samples of oysters. I didn’t fancy trying one, I’ve never had them before and you can’t get away with not liking them when you’re on your own!
My sister lived in a flat next to a little side-street in the old town where old women sit and weave baskets, just around the corner from the church (picture on the right). Little side-streets like this are great for adding character to a place.
From there I wandered down the hill to the Praza de Compostela, the park just next to my hotel.
I went up to the Porto do Sol, which is the gateway between the old town and the modern shopping streets. Unfortunately it looks like a craphole in the rain, it looks much nicer when the sun is out! You have to see the statue of a merman. Then I just wandered around for a while, exploring.
I walked around for a good two hours. I didn’t really stop. Kerryn & Dave were only working a half day so I made my way over to their place in the centre of the old town. I’d ended up a fair distance away having lost track of time and by the time I got there they were already home. They made a nice lunch and a much-needed cup of tea – even abroad there are some things you just can’t go without! We stayed there chatting for a while, watching the rain, deciding where to go. We elected to go bowling.
In fact we spent more time playing this electronic darts game which were were all hopeless at playing, especially after a few drinks, because it was far too much fun! The plastic darts kept falling out of the plastic board so the automated scoring didn’t catch our score, and we didn’t really have any idea how to work the thing but we got there in the end! We had one go at bowling and we were even worse at that than the darts, so we went back again! None of us are usually that bad at bowling. We blamed the lanes and the balls. It couldn’t possibly be us. We went back to throwing darts and nearly hitting small children. The bar was selling the local Galician beer in glasses of half a pint, maybe smaller, for one euro per glass. It’s a fair bit stronger than UK beer..
Then after dropping my camera at the hotel we went for pizza. [Note I’m writing this seven months after the fact and we did drink a bit, I’m not completely sure this was pizza night! Anyway on one of the nights we had a really lovely pizza in a place in the old part of town.] After dinner we went off to a couple of other bars.
The first was a strange place with loud music, not that many people, and strange decor. The second was much nicer despite being full, El Gato Negro, The Black Cat. It had a nice atmosphere and lots of 60s, 70s and 80s scifi-esque toys and posters all over the walls. I think we drank beers and Jägermeister (first time I’d tried it, aniseed/liquorice – ugh). Again it wasn’t rapid drinking like you do in the UK, it was more relaxed than that.. which meant you could drink for longer and later not that we could often get near the bar. We bumped into many of Kerryn & Dave’s Vigo friends, it was they that bought the Jäger. It got late, as Spanish nights do. I think I got to the hotel at 3am, or was it 4?