Where am I Writing From #2

‘Tis true, I am back! And I come bearing good news: summer holidays are finally here, which means more time to write and update.

The first few days of my vacation I spent in a friend’s house in A Coruña, Galicia. We went by train, which took us 7 hours, instead of the 5h30 the company promised, so they paid us back the whole ticket! It was a good start to a week of relaxing and letting go.

Day 1

Once we arrived to our destination, we took a taxi to the house and left our luggage there before heading out to explore the city. We discovered it was Museum Day, which meant tickets for museums were free, so we visited the Museo del Hombre, an interactive museum dedicated to the study of mankind. Yes, it’s one of those museums designed to be a ‘family experience’, where kids will ‘discover new things’ and so on but, hey, having a little fun never hurt any one, especially after finals!

When we finished at the museum (or, rather, when we were kicked out because it was closing time), we stocked up on food for the week and ordered a pizza at an Italian place called Cambalache. We then got the beds ready and conked out.

Day 2

Day 2 was what you call a ‘girl’s day’. Now, I don’t know a great deal about make-up, but some of my friends do, so I thought I’d take advantage of their knowledge and ask them to illustrate me. It turns out they were more than happy to demonstrate their abilities so they not only plucked my eyebrows and lathered all kinds of products on my face, they then took me out to buy makeup for myself and taught me how to use it. I also ended up buying a new outfit, which I used a few days later at a friend’s birthday. We also went into a bookstore, where I checked out London tour guides and took a picture of one that listed Harry-Potter-related sites in the city (down below). In between stores, we had some delicious frozen yoghurt.

Aside from clothes, we also bought some more food, mainly fruits and veggies. We then used said veggies to complete the dish we’d planned for dinner: chicken and rice with soy sauce, to which we added broccoli and leek. I’ll probably upload the recipe in one of my next posts so you guys can enjoy this simple but delicious dish too.

We ended the night by playing cards and cracking bad jokes way into the wee hours of the morning while eating chips and empanada de bonito, a kind of tuna and tomato sauce pie.

Day 3

Due to the large portion of the night we’d spent talking the day before, we didn’t get up as early as we would’ve liked, but as soon as we were all up, we made our way to the train station. There we ‘raged against the machine’ for about half an hour until we were informed that the whole ticket-sales system was down. We were handed a piece of paper and ushered onto the train without paying. An employee of the train company came along later and we did end up having to pay, but we didn’t mind because we were finally on our way to Santiago de Compostela!

When we got there, it was a sunny and warm day, which is more unusual than you’d think for the north of Spain. As soon as we reached the more touristy area, we were practically assaulted by people from the different shops that lined the streets offering us free samples of the food they sold, which we accepted gladly, as it was past lunchtime and we were starving! We finally found a place called Los Caracoles (the snails), where we had a delicious lunch: salad, chopitos (fried young squid), more empanadatortilla and delicious pulpo a la gallega (octopus with potatoes, olive oil and paprika).

After eating to our hearts’ content, we set out to visit the city: we saw the cathedral and the university (which, by the way, is probably the closest thing to Hogwarts you’ll find in Spain, especially the library). We also visited the town hall and had the best ice cream ever (at Bicos de Xeado, in case you ever go).

Day 4

Day 4 started late because one of my friend had a bit of boy drama. When we finally got out of the house, we went to see the Torre de Hercules (Hercules’ Tower), which is a lighthouse that dates back to Ancient Roman times. It’s surrounded by a series of celtic landmarks that betray the celtic nature of Galicia’ heritage, but I won’t describe them here because they’ll soon appear in another post.

The rest of the day was a lazy day, we had a movie marathon, with a pause for dinner, and then went to bed. I also planned a few future appearances of my friends on this blog, so keep an eye out for them!

Day 5

Day 5 started off well – with a full English breakfast! We then split up, because half of s wanted to go to the aquarium and the other half preferred the beach. I want to the aquarium, where we managed to hypnotize a flat, yellow fish and to become friends with a shark that we called Scar. We also saw seals, starfish and the usual things that one finds in an aquarium.

We then went home, had pasta for lunch and met with the other half of our group to go see downtown A Coruña, which included the main street, the town hall and its plaza, a castle and the docks, as well as the home of Amancio Ortega, the creator of Zara and Inditex. We had another Bico of Xeado ice cream cone (yes, they were that good) and had dinner at another italian place called La Piadina, where they served their namesake, piadinas, which are thin Italian flatbread with a filling of our choice. We then went to a bar and completed our dinner with delicious pimientos de padrón (Padron peppers), which are green peppers that are usually mild in taste, but about 10-25% are particularly hot, and you can’t tell which ones are hot until you’ve put them in your mouth.

Day 6

On our last full day in A Coruña, we woke up early because one of our group was leaving today. Once she was gone, we went downtown again and checked out another bookstore and various souvenir shops. We went searching for a cute outfit for one of my friends and then went back home for lunch. We had pork with Queixo (Gallego for cheese) and then, while two of my friends took a nap, the rest of us headed down to the beach for an hour or so. The water was really cold, so we mostly stuck to drawing things on the sand, including a happy birthday message for the friend who had left.  I also collected a few sea shells.

After drying ourselves and getting rid of all the sand, we reunited with the rest of the group and went for a walk around town, which ended in us sitting down in a coffee shop and having a delicious Scottish coffee (coffee with vanilla ice cream) and a chocolate-chip muffin.

We then went back home, packed and had a leftover dinner in order to finish all the food we’d bought the first days. Two of my friends went to bed then, but the other two and myself, who are more the fangirl type, stayed up until late eating junk food and reminiscing about past obsessions and drawing improvised lyricarts.

Day 7

The morning went by in a blur: we had breakfast, cleaned the whole house and finished what was left of the packing. At 14:40, our train departed from the station, and it arrived at my hometown at 20:07, earlier than it was supposed to. I was able to sneak in a couple of naps during the trip, even though the train was filled with pre-pubescent boys from various football teams that were the epitome of noisiness. Then we got to the station we said our goodbyes and headed on home.

It was undoubtedly a fun trip, although occasionally interrupted by grades, as we left the day after finishing our exams, and I wouldn’t mind doing something similar again, although maybe further away? I don’t know, I just want to move around and see new things in order to expand my own knowledge and also so better comprehend others, two very useful skills for an International Relations and Translation student like myself. In any case, I’ll stop annoying you with my life now and go write some new stuff so I don’t spend as much time without posting, at least until I begin my classes again.

See you guys around,

-B

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