Every since I’ve been in Spain, there has been one comment about America that I’ve heard repeatedly. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with our foreign policy, our fatness, or even our violence. It’s about our patriotism.
I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they respect, even envy, American patriotism.
At first, it struck me as strange that people would find that appealing, but whatever. I’m all for patriotism, even at its most annoying, hooting and hollerin’, rednecky best; its ability to be touching, funny and way over-the-top all at the same time is something that always brings a smile to my face.
If you’ve ever been to the infamous Stone Mountain Laser Show in Georgia, well, you know what I mean.
Over time, I’ve realized that most Spaniards don’t really have that same type of patriotism for the country itself. It exists, but on a different level. There’s just way too much discord between some of the regions. (You know who you are.)
But its not as if people don’t love their mother land. Its just that, generally speaking, that would-be Spanish patriotism is generally lauded upon “el pueblo”. For most Spaniards, your pueblo is your country .
And nowhere is that more true than Galicia. Galicians love Galicia, and they have every right to. Blessed with a rugged, beach lined coast, fresh seafood, and an incredible spirit, Galicia truly has it all.
This summer, we were lucky enough to take a road trip from Santiago de Compostela down the coast to Portugal. Spectacular doesn’t begin to describe it. The rocky coastline along the Rias Baixas offers incredible landscape views and sandy, white beaches. Driving down from Santiago, we hit up some incredible pueblos along the Galician coast: Corcubión, Cambados, Combarro, Pontevedra, the Cíes Islands, Baiona, and La Guarda.
This post is already way too long, so I’ll just put up some photos with some snarky little comments, okay? Feel free to ask me anything specific about traveling in this region. I’ll pass it on to my husband since its already been established that I can’t remember all the silly little details…
I know I’ve put a ton of mediocre photos to show you this unmediocre place and I know that these photos really can’t show the true beauty of Galicia. Crappy photographer or not, its just impossible to accurately capture the incredible spirit of Galicia. All I can say is that I’m in love with the beauty of this region and the spirit of the people who were so kind to us during our visit.
After so many years of living here, I have never been able to choose a favorite region in Spain. I have immensely enjoyed exploring this country, which never fails to surprise me with its diversity, from one autonomous region to the next. However, after my trip to Galicia, the food, the greenery, the scenery, and the kind-hearted people were all I needed to convince me that, if given the chance at claiming a Spanish pueblo for myself, I would proudly choose to be “una Gallega”.
Update: I just had to add this video about Santiago de Compostela that was recommended by Heather of On the Fringe. Its just beautiful…