Meanwhile, what they called meriendas (a snack that usually occurs around 6:00 or 7:00 pm, was more like a feast—tortilla, which has to be one of the world's greatest dishes, an empanada, marinated cod salad, numerous accompaniments and condiments, wine, coffee. Needless to say, we didn't need dinner later that night. Then, because Santiago, being from Toledo, loves hot food (not the case with most Galicians), they sent us home with a huge jar of peppers that make even Rajan gasp and raise his eyebrows with each bite!
|The hot peppers. Delicious, but beware!|
On Saturday, they drove us into a small village, A Merca which is famous for its horreos.
An horreo is a small granary, built in a specific way, either wood or stone, often with slats to let air in and provide protection from moisture; always to keep rodents out; for that purpose, they are set on mushroom-shaped pedestals that would require rodents to hang upside down on the bottom of the mushroom cap.
|A typical horreo|
|José & Elvira|
|So many horreos!|
I don't think I've ever seen so many horreos in one place, ever.
After that, we went to a larger village/town called Allariz. Allariz is absolutely beautiful. I had been to it before in the summer of 2013 with Terri and David, but I was so preoccupied with the health of our dog then that I didn't really take as much notice of the town as I normally would have. (Rajan and I were taking turns with our trips so that one of us could be home with Cezar, who was basically on his way "out the door."We miss him still!)
A river runs through a lovely park in this pretty town, with little waterfalls that pour into a pond. In the main park, a small van had been painted with flowers to advertise some shop (I think).
|Flowers under the hood, too!|
These towns are also built on various levels, so stairs lead up and down to other parts of town. Soon we found ourselves in a plaza above the stairs, where the local orchestra was practicing for a later performance. you could walk out and see a grand vista of the town below and the countryside beyond.
The next morning after breakfast, we walked around the neighboring villages, in all about a two mile walk, up slopes and down, but all lush and beautiful. One of our stops was the village Elvira's mother was born in and the cemetery where she is buried. (We met Elvira's parents years ago, and they had the same warmth and exhibited the same kind hospitality Eli does.)
After a marvelous lunch (salmon!) it was time to go. They did not send us away empty-handed, either: We are still munching on cherries from their tree and reminiscing about what lovely people they are.
Do stone walls and cobblestones appeal to you as much as they do to me? Are you drawn to ancient places? How about different foods? Do you like hot peppers? Churros? Chocolate?