On Tour: Galicia by way of Sitges

21 Aug

Whew! I have had such a fantastic last few weeks. It’s almost a blur I’ve been traveling so much (and getting food poisoning a few times – bummer). So, after another week in Quim’s kitchen and the Buddhist meditation workshop (kidding about the last part; read below to see what I mean), I decided I needed to go learn food other than Catalan cuisine and that I really needed to see the different regions of Spain before I left. With that, I decided to take 3 weeks and journey west, south and middle.

But, before that, Diana invited me to visit her cousin with her who has a house in Sitges, per my last post. So, I’ll talk about that fab weekend in this blog post. Then, the next several blog posts will be about my time this past week (and today) in Galicia, and more specifically the towns of A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, Cambados, and O Grove.

Vicenc (Vincent, in English), Diana’s cousin, picked me up in his BMW convertible and off we went to fetch Diana. Such fun on a hot day to be in a convertible! Vicenc is such a sweet man. He had extra hats and hair bands in the car for the ladies. We went to his house and then straight to a darling cove of a beach that you walk around a point in the ocean to go to. Later, we met one of Diana’s friends at the train station and back to the beach we went. Then, before dinner, we walked around the town. Here are a few pics of the town and our cast of characters.

This is Diana and Miriam in a narrow alley. Lovely ladies, aren’t they?

This is Diana and me in a typical street in the old part of town. Look at the marvelous stone houses and ground. Love it!

This is sweet Vicenc and the pic below that is his cool staircase that leads to the second story of his place:

At the very top is a picture of our table at the chiringuito we ate at on the beach. It was a gorgeous evening and there were 14 of us. The food was pretty bad but it was about the company. The company was great.

The next day, Miriam, Vicenc, Diana and I headed to the Buddhist temple for some meditation and a tour. The meditation was hilarious. One guy fell asleep and snored loudly the entire time. Doors were slamming. I couldn’t stop giggling. Sorry, Miriam.

The guy who led the meditation played show-and-tell, as I called it, for the first 20 minutes and wanted everyone to say what their practice of meditation was like (mine = nonexistent, unless you call thinking a lot about food a sort of meditation) and where we were from. I kept my mouth shut mainly because I wanted him to get on with it so I could lay down. I think I meditated for a good 2 minutes. But, those 2 minutes were very lovely.

After the meditation, we took a tour of the temple. It was a clash of cultures and religions/beliefs, for sure. There was a jesus room, which I found interesting. They served nice tea, but I thought, “how odd.” Why does there need to be a jesus room in a Buddhist temple? If people want to worship jesus or their Christian god, let them go to their own Christian church. In Buddhism, you don’t achieve enlightenment by worshiping god or jesus or by listening to a priest or some other intermediary or by asking someone to forgive your sins. You do good deeds and you work out your own salvation with diligence. You get what you give. Nice lesson, no matter what religion or non-religion you are. Anyway, I digress. Here are the pics:

This is one of several of the prayer wheels you spin, while walking clockwise around the stupa 3 times and then standing in its shadow. Although I’m not Buddhist, I did this in honor of Busaba, her family, and C.

Finally, a picture of the lovely hillside we went flying down as we left the temple. We stopped to overlook Sitges.

So, where’s the buena comida in all of this? I have to say my favorite food of the weekend were the buñols that Diana introduced me to at my favorite croissant bakery, Forn de Sant Jaume. They are lovely, little doughy donut like things with coarse sugar on top. Yummmmmm.

Okay, my wifi is terrible, so this post has taken me 3 hours – gasp! I think I’ll wait to post more when I get back to Barcelona in a few days. Then, I’ll go day by day through Galicia. Galicia is the region on the Atlantic coast just north of Portugal. I’ll talk more about the great and awful food I had, as well as my bike ride today after a half bottle of Albariño – ha!

Buen Provecho!

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3 Responses to “On Tour: Galicia by way of Sitges”

  1. janet draman August 22, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Another tour with our favorite and wonderful tour guide! Diana is an amazing woman and do love her. She is such a free spirit just like you. How I wish that I could have been with the 2 of you. I had such a wonderful adventure with both of you. There will be Italy next year!

    • Diana August 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

      Jan, you are such a great woman, mother and friend. You’d have loved touring with us in Sitges and it would have been much fun with you for sure.
      Thanks for all your compliments, and all the same to you. Kisses. Diana

  2. Vicenç Menéndez August 25, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    You has met a lovely descripcion of your jorneys in Catalunya and Spain. Really, you enjoy the differents ways to cook. I wish you a big succes in your new job as cooker. Petons.

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