Lerma to Madrid

It’s hard to believe but last nights blog post was my 1000th post on this blog!!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I anointed the Parador de Lerma since it was the last Parador of our trip. As I was walking into the lobby I dropped our food bag on the marble floor of the lobby. The bottle of wine in the bag broke and soon there was as a large pool of red wine in the middle of the lobby!

The Parador of Lerma was beautiful and we woke up there this morning to a beautiful view and a beautiful day.

We drove to Madrid, turned in our car, and checked into our hotel. Then we headed out to have a couple iconic Madrid experiences. We ate jamon and cheese at the Museo de Jamon restaurant near our hotel.

And we went to Chocolateria San Gines for churros and chocolate.

After a rest at the hotel we went out for tapas. The streets were packed with people.

We have had a wonderful time in Spain. It’s hard to believe that we leave tomorrow.

Gijon to Lerma

It is Friday and we are on our way back to Madrid and the end of the Spanish portion of our trip. We drove almost five hours today, our longest driving day of the trip.

About an hour and a half into our drive we stopped to see the Altamira Cave Museum. In the 1800’s prehistoric cave art was found here. Because of the damage caused to the art by too many visitors the actual Altamira Cave is closed and the museum allows you to visit a Information display with artifacts and a reproduction of the original Cave.

The paintings are much larger than I expected them to be. They are colorful, realistic and beautiful. They were obviously created by very talented artists.

Our Parador tonight is one of the best of the trip. It is built in a former ducal palace. Our room is in one of the towers.

The central lounge is where we had our welcome drinks and played cards.

In the center of the lounge is a big loom with a partly finished tapestry on it. On one side you can see the thirty or so spindles with different colored thread being worked. On the other side the rich picture is emerging.

Before dinner we went for a walk around Lerma.

We ate dinner in the Parador. This is my stuffed artichoke starter.

Duke’s duck.

My pineapple and lime desert.

Corias to Gijon

Thursday morning we drove into the town of Corias just south of our Parador. They have one very old bridge and one new pedestrian bridge that each caught our eyes for their beauty.

Then we drove to a bar/restaurant that we stopped at two years ago. It was such a friendly nice place that we wanted to stop again. It is in the little town of Oviñana.

After having coffee there we went out to the beach nearby.

Then out to the nearby Cabo Visio lighthouse.

We arrived in Gijon where we are staying at the Parador and went for a walk along the waterfront.

For dinner we went to the nearby restaurant, La Casa del Parque. We had a fabulous meal but I completely forget to take pictures of the food.

Vilalba to Ribadeo

This morning we drove straight from Vilalba to Ribadeo on the coast. We immediately went out for a walk and bought some bread to go with our lunch.

In the park people were playing bocce ball.

We walked along the shore and watched a ship come in.

This is the view from our room in the Parador. We have seen lots of Eucalyptus tree farms in Galacia. Apparently the fast growing trees are harvested for making paper.

While we had lunch on the balcony of one of our rooms we watched them load the ship.

Low tide today was at 8 pm. We planned our trip to Cathedral Rocks Beach for low tide so we could walk the beach among the giant rocks.

we had an excellent Parador dinner. My scallops starter was especially tasty.

For his main course Duke had salmon with an orange sauce.

For desert I had luscious pineapple cold cake.

Ferrol to Vilalba

Our first stop this morning was the grocery store because our picnic supplies were running low. We bought bread, meat, cheese and chocolate.

We did not buy this Special K but I’ve never seen it with chocolate before. I thought it was fun.

Not far down the road we went for a walk down the edge of a lagoon.

Then a bit farther along we stopped at an amazing white sand beach and it was deserted!

Roger went wading and said it was very cold.

One of the advantages of traveling with a marine biologist is that he can identify all the shells you find. From left to right – mussel, razor clam, cockle, limpet, limpet with a barnacle on it and a Venus clam.

At another beautiful beach we had a picnic lunch.

Finally we went to the lookout at the northernmost point in Spain. The wind was blowing hard. It felt like a gale.

Baiona to Ferrol

Today we moved from Baiona on the west coast of Spain just north of the Portugal border to Ferrol on the north coast.

Along our route we stopped at Santiago de Compostela to see the Cathedral and square at the end of the Camino de Santiago. On our travels we have seen lots of pilgrims with the iconic scallop shell on their packs.

The cathedral is undergoing renovations so the interior was pretty much covered up.

Our second stop was the Hercules Tower on the north coast in A Caruña. The Romans built several large lighthouses along the coasts of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The Hercules Tower is the only one still in use. It was originally built in the first century. We climbed the narrow stone steps to the top to see the magnificent view.

Our destination today was Ferrol. Our Parader overlooks a Spanish Naval base. After we checked in we went to visit the Museum of Naval Construction.

This evening we played cards and then. wandered around the Parador gardens.

Monforte de Lemos to Baiona

The building on the hill is the Parador in Monforte de Lemos where we stayed Friday night.

Just down the road from Monforte we stopped to check out this pedestrian bridge over the Miño River in Ourense. It is s-shaped.

A bit down the road we saw this road bridge. The curving part is a pedestrian walkway. I think Ourense could be renamed the Bridge Town.

For a change today we didn’t drive backroads to get to our destination so we arrived in Baiona about one. It is a beautiful day so we walked around the fortress walls.

About half way through we went down into the town and had some lunch.

Duke and I shared some calamari and Gayle and Roger shared scrambled eggs with shrimp and baby eels. Both dishes were absolutely wonderful.

When we got back to the hotel we played cards overlooking the Atlantic.