This past Summer, I traveled with my family to Galicia, Spain where my mother (one of 15 children) was born. It was the first time for my wife and daughter and a return visit for me after more than 15 years. Our Galician family, the sumptuous food, and the spectacular sights made it a most memorable trip.
Galicia is located in NW Spain and shares its borders with Portugal in the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west. The capital of Galicia is Santiago de Compostela, whose cathedral (the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Apostle) just celebrated its 800th birthday this past summer and is the third holiest place in Christendom.
Galicia is considered to be the seafood capitol of Spain and many of the traditional dishes of the region feature something caught, trapped or extracted from the sea. The coastline is comprised of tiny coves, fishing ports, and beautiful sandy beaches flanked by high cliffs. Galician “Gallego” (or Galego), closely related to Portuguese, is the official language of the region.
During our stay we were able to visit the cathedral in the enchanting city of Santiago de Compostela, the newly designed Ciudad de la Cultura de Galicia (designed by renowned New York architect Peter Eisenman), the lovely seaside town of Portosin, the spectacular views from the cliffs of San Andres de Teixido, and the breathtaking Playa de las Catedrales (“Beach of the Cathedrals”). We also witnessed the preparation of one of Galicia’s signature dishes, “Pulpo a la Gallega” (Galician-style octopus).
Enjoy the sights…
The bagpipes, which the Galicians call a “gaita“, can be traced back to the middle ages. Many historians believe that Celts settled in what is now modern-day Galicia several millennia ago before sailing off to conquer Ireland. Through the centuries, “La Gaita” has remained a staple instrument in all of the region’s fiestas. Here’s a “Gaitero” (bagpiper) I filmed playing outside the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela…
For more information on Galicia, visit HERE.