Sunday, June 22, 2014

Back to Galicia

We have been traveling, and I started this post when we were still in England, visiting family. (Post about that to follow when I finish the posts about Spain.) We got back late last night (actually early this morning), but I had promised to get back to two events in the earlier part of our Galicia visit, and here they are:
David and Pepe

David and Terri
                                                    FIRST: The Friday after our arrival -- April 11th -- We went with friends Terri and David to what is known as a "casa rural," but also includes a restaurant/bar and week-end entertainment. The name is Torre VilariƱo, and it is co-owned by a cool hombre named Pepe. Alas, I don't know his full name, but here he is with David. And here is the website, which has lovely pictures of the rooms where one can stay, as well as the restaurant and patio.

On this particular Friday, two main musicians were playing. We had dinner first (around 9:30), and the music started around 11:00 p.m. One of the musicians sang, both of them played, and they went through a whole gamut of popular songs from the 80s -- in English. They were really good. Here are a few pictures:

The main duo.

The singer.

Hearfelt guitar work.

Occasionally a third musician joined them and sang along. They had a good sound! (I wish I had gotten the name of the group.)

Jamming!
The servers thought they were
pretty good, too. Singing along
with great gusto!

Susana, server extraordinaire!
The SECOND event was the Fiesta Medieval that takes place each year at the end of Semana Santa (Holy week). It used to only take place on Saturday, but now it has grown to include the entire week-end. We went both days. We love this fiesta, many locals dress up in costume, and small skits and re-enactments are put on in main streets and plazas. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Processions . . . this is a special
Galician bagpipe called a gaeto.




A medieval damsel . . .

A  verrry young knight Templar!





From one of the plazas.
And the little ones on burros!
Entertainers on stilts.

I don't know how
they do it!
This woman was really into
her role. 

The ever-present
witches.
I suppose this is where the knights
collected their helmets. 
To defend their king and queen.
(Isabel and Ferdinand).

King of Castile y Leon.
  
Another feature of this festival each year that we particularly enjoy is the showing of the raptors -- hawks, falcons, owls, ravens . . . Two trainers have taught them to do tricks, and they are always fascinating to watch, not to mention what beautiful birds they are: 


Such beautiful birds! I think they said
this unusual raven (with the white stripe) is distinctive to Galicia.

The horned owl is so commanding!

But this hawk is pretty
impressive, too. 

One of the trainers and a snowy owl. 

The other trainer watching
a falcon he released.
They finished off the show
with an interval when people
could pet one of the birds.

And who would you guess is petting that snowy owl?
Yup. Yours truly. It was really an awesome experience.
So there you are: Two "local" events we thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you enjoyed them too.

How about you? Do you enjoy historical fairs and festivals? Have you ever petted a wild bird?



33 comments:

Rosi said...

Never a dull moment for you two, eh? Looks like a wonderful time, but I'm glad you are back! See you soon.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Rosi, yes, we had wonderful travels this time, lots of new places, but it feels good to be back home in Sacramento again.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Oh my gosh! That sounds like so much fun!!!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Tanya, it was. Fun, but we were kinda worn out by the time we came home. :-)

Wendy said...

What a fantastic trip. I would have loved it!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Wendy, thanks for stopping by. It definitely was a great trip. The visits were great, and it was wonderful to see friends and new places. The travel time (on the airplanes) was a little tiring. It's kind of nice to be grounded for awhile.

Connie Keller said...

Wow! Looks like you had a wonderful vacation.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Connie. Yes, it was one of our best vacations ever. Now we're resting up from all the travel.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I always enjoy your travel posts Elizabeth. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Rachna, yes, we did. There is just something about Galicia that we love so much. I actually write poetry about Galicia when we are there.

Richard Hughes said...

Cool. It's a lot like the Renaissance festivals we've had around here.

Jessica Lawson said...

What a wonderful vacation with wonderful people/places :) I love historical festivals, though I don't go to them nearly as much as I'd like to.

David P. King said...

I seriously need to get out and see more of the world. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Richard, yes, it reminded me of our "Renaissance Fairs" in California.

Jessica, I never used to go to them until we started going to this one. Then last December I went to The Dickens Faire in San Francisco. It's such a great experience, immersing yourself in the past. But then, I'm a history nut.

David, if it is any consolation, I never went out of the country until recent years. It really is life-changing, though. The world looks different after meeting people in their own countries.

Deborah Swift said...

Great pictures of the festival - I would have loved it!

L.G. Smith said...

Wow, what a great experience. That's the way to travel. My grandparents used to go to Spain and stay for a month. They'd rent a house and just get local. :)

And I'm jealous of you getting so close to a snowy owl. They're so beautiful.

L.G. Smith said...

Darn. I think blogger ate my other comment.

Anyway, I was saying… my grandparents used to go to Spain and stay for a month at a time. They would rent a house/apt and just go local.

Great festival. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, L.G. Both comments came through. "Getting local" is what we like so much about going to Galicia. We have a house there, and now we spend longer times there. Mixing and mingling and not being a tourist really pulls us into the life there. I love it.

Hi, Deborah, yes, with your love of history and historical writing, I think you would have loved the festival. All those great costumes.

Stacy Henrie said...

That festival looks like so much fun!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Stacy, it was. I think what was so much fun about it was the way everyone gets into the spirit of the event, even the children, and even the little toddlers, as you could see.

Julia Hones said...

Music from the 80s. I love it!
Thank you for letting us travel around with you...

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Julia, thanks for stopping by. I love sharing these trips, it's kinda like living them twice, if you know what I mean.

Sandra Cox said...

What fun.
We have a raptor center about an hour's drive from here.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Sandra, They really are such interesting birds, all of them. Such a range, but they all have that raptor stare, don't they!

Carol Riggs said...

Oh, I LOVE to go to medieval festivals, or something similar. So fun. Love seeing these photos! and the music sounded great too.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Carol. I love all the costumes people wear at these fairs. Not just the performers, but the attenders as well. That must take a lot of commitment on their part.

As for the music, it really was fun. What was interesting was that when they were singing (in English) they didn't have that much of an accent.

Lynda R Young said...

The photos are brilliant. I love the ones of the Fiesta Medieval. So awesome!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Lynda, I'm glad you like them.

Lydia Kang said...

Those birds! Amazing! Thank you for sharing all your photos. Always such a pleasure to come by and visit. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Lydia, always a pleasure to see you stop by. Yes, those birds always astound me. They are so beautiful, despite being such predators. The feathers!

Ann Best said...

Thanks for stopping by. I AM glad to be back...and to be directed to this post that is so colorful and interesting. I will now check out your other blog!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Ann, so glad to see your smiling face here. Glad you are blogging again!

Denise Covey said...

This sounds like a wonderful trip, Elizabeth, and wonderful photos to match. Made me 'homesick' for another trip to Spain/Portugal.

Thanks for sharing!

Denise