The Mysterious Seventh (or First) Celtic Nation: Galicia, Spain Reply

Celtic Galicia Spain

By Lorraine Boissoneault of Weather.com–The misty forests and craggy bluffs of Ireland and Wales have long been symbolically linked to the Celtic legacy of the region. But evidence suggests that the Celts traveled beyond the northern islands, all the way down to the sunny shores of northwest Spain. The autonomous region of Galicia, Spain, is the seventh Celtic Nation and the least known of the group. The other six include Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Isle of Mann, Brittany, and France. Note: We think Lorraine is mistaken about the origins of the Celts, as recent DNA analysis suggests they originated in Spain and moved north. But that doesn’t make her story less interesting. More…

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Wrestling Wild Horses in the Rapa das Bestas de Sabucedo, Galicia 1

Rapa das bestas

Every summer the mountain villages of Galicia, Spain’s northwestern region, celebrate A Rapa das Bestas, The Trimming of the Horses. This custom that some say dates back almost 350 years is for the most robust of the villagers who hike up the mountain, round up a herd of wild horses and drive them down to a corral in the village. After this arduous pilgrimage they jump into the corral, wrestle the horses to the ground and trim their manes with scissors.

It sounds straightforward enough. But you have to see this documentary of the Rapa das Bestas in the village of Sabucedo in order to even begin to understand the atavistic forces at work in this event: religion, tradition, personal superation, profit, bravado… And what’s that wisp of a girl doing in the midst of all those muscle-bound mozos wrestling with the horses? More…

Select Travelers Go for Green Spain – Timelapse Reply

Green Spain

This five-and-a-half-minute timelapse video takes us on a rich and varied tour around Green Spain: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, all on Spain’s northwest coast. This is where Spain’s select tourism heads when the summer heat oppresses the rest of the country, and it’s easy to see why. Here are some of the features:

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Fortune on the Rocks: Men Risking their Lives for Barnacles Reply

On northern Spain’s Coast of Death (Costa de la Muerte) local men risk their lives searching the jagged cliffs for gooseneck barnacles, a rare delicacy for which diners will shell out hundreds of euros. Christoph Otto meets the percebeiros of Galicia.

percebeiro in actionChristoph Otto writing for Telegraph.co.uk–The fishermen meet in the middle of the night in Barizo, a small port in Galicia, northern Spain. Caps pulled over their foreheads, they stare out to sea, which must be flat and smooth for the conditions to be right. They are heading for the small islands that lie off the coastline to search for gooseneck barnacles, or percebes. It is here, where the roaring surf crashes wildly on to the rocks, that the largest and fattest examples – the ones that bring in the most money – grow. More…

Porto Muiños–Seaweed from Spain, Anyone? Reply

Culinary Seaweed MuiñosEveryone knows that Spain is an important exporter of fruit and vegetables to Europe and beyond. But it is less well known that they also export vegetable produce from the sea. Porto Muiños from A Coruña in northwest Spain is a pioneer company in researching and commercializing the seaweed from the Galician coast where the Atlantic and Cantabrian seas meet. There are some 600 varieties from which to choose. Porto Muiños started working 14 years ago. The first year they harvested 9,000 kilos of seaweed and sold 100. “It was clear we needed to teach our customers about the gastronomic use of algaes, and learn more about their needs” says Antonio Muiños, the company director. More…

Spain… On the Road Again–Part 2 Reply

On Road AgainIf you love eating with your fingers this second hour of On the Road Again is for you. Our four hungry pilgrims; Mario, Gwyneth, Mark and Claudia; are consummate finger eaters, and they get to show their stuff at a lusty barbecue of milk-fed baby lamb and “morcilla” blood sausage cooked over hot coals in the middle of one of the great vineyards of the Ribera del Duero wine region. You will also learn a valuable barbecue tip: sprinkle a little sugar over the lamb chops. It will caramelize and give a great toasted flavor to the meat.

The next stage takes the pilgrims north to Galicia where they reunite with Gwyneth. While staying at a country inn, Mario and Gwyneth challenge Mark and Claudia to a race along on the Camino de Santiago, a historic pilgrimage route. The “race” turns out to be a leisurely drive, a short walk and a long supper of capon in red wine and salt cod simmered in olive oil served on a bed of turnip greens at an ideal Galician “casa rural.”

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