The weekend of the Spanish wedding came upon us and for the last four days we have been travelling to, from and around Galicia in north western Spain. And what an adventure it turned out to be, when agreeing to the plan I had no idea what would come to pass!
Up before the crack of dawn and off to a very busy Glasgow airport for the first surprise. It was like crossing the road, look and look again, but it made no difference the flight we were booked on was not showing anywhere on the departure boards, however another airline was also flying to London Heathrow with the same departure time, so using some common sense we decided that must be it and made our way to check in. After a lot of keyboard bashing it was discovered that yes we were on that flight and with a sigh of relief we dispatched our suitcase for the duration and went to get a cup of coffee. As we waited for our flight we kept an eye on son’s flight from Kos which was due to arrive before we left, however soon his clicked over to being delayed while ours was on time, so any chance of seeing him, if only fleetingly at the airport was missed. We were travelling BA and I must say they do a fine breakfast – I didn’t have the scrambled eggs or mushrooms. Heathrow directs onward passengers well and soon we were in the international departures doing a bit of shopping and eating caviar and drinking champagne, well if such things are on offer it would be silly to refuse them, wouldn’t it! Our flight to La Coruna was slightly delayed but not significantly, however the fact that we were relaxing in one part of Heathrow when the board changed from delayed to last call did mean a mad dash was needed! But soon we were on board I was dozing as we flew over the edge of the Atlantic. La Coruna itself is a very small provincial airport more akin to arriving at a bus station than an airport, immigration was a guy waving us through down a flight of stairs to almost fall over the reclaimed luggage belt, were we waited watching the variety of cases move round and be claimed, we waited some more as the other passengers started to drift away, a lone case went around and around, while we and some passengers from Edinburgh looked and realised our luggage wasn’t going to appear! However the joy of a small airport meant that quickly someone had traced it as still being in Heathrow and booked it on a flight via Madrid to arrive later that evening – well that was easy we thought!
People comment about how the Italians drive, those people should take a taxi in Galicia! There seems to be four rules, firstly the 120 speed limit is to be ignored - 150kpm along twisting hill roads is complusary. Secondly anything further than 10 feet is too far away from the car in front. Thirdly don’t brake if the car in front does, only do that if the car actually stops and then brake hard and swerve a little if necessary. And finally, overtake on bends, blind summits and only when other vehicles are coming towards you at similar fast speeds! It was a good job that the scenery was stunning enough to distract, the area has forests of eucalyptus trees and small fields of corn grown by individuals. In places it was very reminiscent of Scotland, with rocky outcrops purple with heather.
We were staying in the small town/large village of Meilde in one of their two hotels. Although they were used to pilgrims on their way Santiago de Compostela they were not used to tourists, and we soon discovered we were going to be greatly challenged by our lack of Spanish! The hotel however was comfortable and beautifully cool with its marble floors and metal shutters – in this area air conditioning is unusual but the shutters are very effective at keeping the heat out while allowing the breeze in. Without any luggage we were soon settled in and decided it was time to explore!