Thursday, October 10, 2013

Home Again, But Full of Memories

We didn't get in as much walking as we had planned, but the picture on the left is the toolshed belonging to Antonio's farm down the winding dirt road that leads to the paved carretera. Most of the time we were there, we had this kind of weather. It only changed the last week, and even then it was cool and crisp in the mornings, with fog and mist, and some rain, and clear and sunny in the afternoons. Then rain again at night.

The last week was a bit of a scramble for us, full of good-bye lunches with friends, preparing the house for closing, and having meriendas one evening with neighbors, and seeing to a car inspection, etc. But we did squeeze in a trip to the area near Celanova to have a hello-and-goodbye visit over lunch with friends we hadn't seen for about 4 years: Elvira introduced us to her boyfriend, Jose. We met her through another friend years ago and thoroughly enjoyed her. Manuel we had met years before in Celanova, through the same mutual friend, in fact, Jacki Edmonds. The meeting place was to be at a restaurant in a small village fringing Celanova called O Cristal, at 2:00 p.m. When we woke up, though, to the rain-washed morning, we thought,"Uh-oh, it's going to be that kind of a drive."

But the Force was with us. At breakfast, looking out the galeria window, what to our wondering eyes did appear . . ? Nope, not
St. Nick, but a promise of the day to come:

So off we went, and it truly was a beautiful drive down winding roads that parallel the River Miño on the way to Ourense, befor it is joined by the River Sil. On this route, vineyards terrace the hills. The sloping banks are terraced with bright houses and tiled roofs.

We set out especially early this time, because we remembered another visual treat: the amazing village of Vilanova dos Infantes -- one of the most immaculately maintained villages I've seen in Galicia. The homes always seem freshly painted, the gardens beautifully tended. People were friendly, too, as they are everywhere in Galicia. And we were even visited by a cat who acted as if he were the town mascot.

We also were intrigued by a set of statues and a plaque. It was historical, but, not knowing Gallegan, we couldn't find out why. The horreos are also a historical landmark in Galicia. These are the granaries raised off the ground, looking like little houses on mushroom-shaped pillars. The mushroom shape is to make it impossible for mice to get in. 

And then it was on to O Cristal, our meet-up place. We remembered a very interesting church from previous visits, right next door to the restaurant. My husband loves to photograph the churches around Galicia for their beautiful stonework, but what intrigued us about this church was the outdoor ampitheater and chapel: 

This separate little building that looks like a hermit's cell I believe is a shrine instead to the Virgin of  the Crystal (Virxgen do Cristal) who is honored in the Fiesta held September 15th (which we missed.) I obviously need to do some research on this church. It's fascinating.

This small building goes back to 1185. You can see the shrine inside in the third picture.

Then it was time to meet our friends at the restaurant, where we had a wonderful time catching up on four years of news.
An afternoon to remember. To your left, Manuel, then me. Behind me is Elvira's partner, Jose. Then Elvira, then Rajan.
Now, back in Sacramento, I can't help thinking what a wonderful invention the camera was! As much as I love art and all the wonderful portraits and landscapes, there's no way painters could work fast enough to capture so many images. What is your favorite memory that you like to capture with a camera?



Barbara Watson said...

Such memories. I hope to visit these places you spoke and photographed so personally. And that, the personal, are my favorite photos to take. The photos that bring the memories back to life.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Ah, such grand photographs of Galicia! I must admit that I'm partial to beautiful pictures of nature. Photos of special family moments are, of course, also special. Thanks for the lovely tour, Elizabeth!

L.G. Smith said...

What a wonderful place. And I love those old stone buildings/churches too.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Barbara, yes, the personal is what i like about taking pictures. They make it possible to live the experience again.

Victoria, I'm glad you liked the tour. I would like to know even more about these places and plan to do some research on them.

L.G., the stone buildings are what we especially like. The people there take them so much for granted. But to us, the stone is so beautiful.

Mark Noce said...

Great pics, wow! :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Mark!

Daniel Efosa Uyi said...

hey nice post meh, I love your style of blogging here. this post reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: Guy That Talks Too Much .
keep up the good work friend. I will be back to read more of your posts.


Rosi said...

Great that you had such a wonderful trip. Glad that you are back and I will see you soon.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Daniel, thanks for stopping by.

Hi, Rosi, yes, it was a great trip. AND, it was good to come home, too.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Daniel, thanks for stopping by.

Hi, Rosi, yes, it was a great trip. AND, it was good to come home, too.