Local Heart, Global Soul

February 16, 2011

Spanish Stuffed Tomatoes …. Tutorial Tapas Delicioso!

Filed under: FOOD,SPAIN,Step-by-Step Tutorials — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A “Spanish” theme was proposed for the  food to be served at our last beer tasting evening.

The idea germinated after a recent cycling trip in Spain by our friends “The travelling Two” and  prompted by the fact that they had bought back a wonderful Spanish ham as a tasty souvenir and were willing to share.

I thought of  tapas recipes I had tried in the past but decided on a whim to try something  completely new.

My dear friend Google supplied me with a multitude of options, (actually too many options)… but after a little investigation I stumbled on a recipe that looked different, tasty and quick and easy, i.e. not too fussy to make with crutches and a chair in my tiny galley kitchen.
I will post the recipe as I found it and note the alterations I made as I went.

In my version:  I made 7 very large  tomatoes, so I  used 10 eggs,  used only 5 Tablespoons of mayonnaise,  (to keep it “healthy” but  upon reflection, who am I kidding with 10 eggs in the mix already ?! LOL)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I used half a cup of breadcrumbs, added 6 large cloves of  fresh crushed garlic and at least half a cup of freshly chopped parsley.

Ingredients:

8 small tomatoes, or 3 large ones
4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
6 tablespoons allioli or mayonnaise (allioli  btw is a traditional Spanish Garlic mayonnaise)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs, if using large tomatoes

I have a little gadget what I scored from the local Kringloopwinkel (second-hand Shop) many years ago, it’s like a giant wire spoon that’s proved great for scooping out boiled eggs,  anything in the deep fryer and in this instance, getting tomatoes in and out of hot water for quick and easy blanching.

Method:

Skin the tomatoes, first by cutting out the core with a sharp knife and making a ‘+’ incision on the other end of the tomato. Then place in a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. (yep, I can confirm that 10 seconds is really all it takes!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Remove and plunge into a bowl of iced or very cold water (this latter step is to stop the tomatoes from cooking and going mushy).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Slice the tops off the tomatoes, and just enough of their bases to remove the rounded ends so that they will sit squarely on the plate. Keep the tops if using small tomatoes, but discard those large tomatoes. Remove the seeds and insides, either with a teaspoon or small, sharp knife.

(This proved trickier than I thought since the tomatoes were slippery to hold without their skins on, and the sides tended to break easily… I’m going to try and scoop one out next time skin-on and then see if it stays intact after it’s 10 second dip into simmering water… I don’t know if it would work but I’d be willing to try to see if I can make this step  a bit easier)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mash the eggs with the allioli -or the mayonnaise, if using- salt, pepper and parsley.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For large tomatoes, the filling must be firm enough to be sliced. If you make your own mayonnaise, thicken it by using more egg yolks. If you use shop-bought mayonnaise or allioli, add white breadcrumbs until the mixture reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(I just used less mayonnaise)

Stuff the tomatoes, firmly pressing the filling down. With small tomatoes, replace the lids at a jaunty angle. If keeping to serve later, brush them with olive oil and black pepper to prevent them from drying out.

(I was lazy and didn’t bother with the olive oil)

Cover with clingfilm and keep. (but I did do this)

Refrigerate for 1 hour, then slice with a sharp carving knife into rings.

(I chose to cut my large tomatoes into quarters instead). Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

(…next time… all my parsley was already in the filling mix)

I semi-expected these to be quite heavy, and so did a few of my Foodie friends… but everyone commented on how unexpectly light and refreshing they were,  and they disappeared rapidly. Excellent!  I will experiment with different sized tomatoes (smaller ones have more flavour) but due to popular demand I will definitely be making these again.

http://www.spain-recipes.com/stuffed-tomatoes.html

October 23, 2010

As It was Then, and as It is Now…

Filed under: PORTUGAL,SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Earlier in this blog, on the way back from another day trip in Spain we literally got onto the ferry like the last sardine being squished into the can.

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/new-150/

There was no space to exit the car, and certainly no view, so I was determined to come back again and try and get a glimpse of that the crossing was really like.

In days of old, crossing from one country to another within the European Union involved lengthy waits at border crossings, booths housed a multitude of officials and passports needed to be at the ready.

Mind you, in those days we also had a multitude of difference currencies in our wallets, and I remember my very first experience of Spain, so very very different to todays.

My first experience of Spain was when Himself and I were on our honeymoon in 1995. (I know, 15 years married already! yeah!!! ) We were staying in northern Portugal, in the Douro Valley and then went to Villa Real, and Braga… We were touring in the National Park and took the opportunity to pop over the border into Spain.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Unfortunately  we went during siesta time and almost everything was closed up. It was hot and we wanted to buy a drink, so eventually found one place that was open, but since we hopped over the border on a whim, we had no Spanish cash on us and our offering of Portuguese money was met with polite refusal. We left thirsty and were back in Portugal within 30 minutes.

My second time in Spain was when we were staying in the Algarve in the south of Portugal. We popped over the border for a Spanish lunch and to find a playground for the kids… we were in Spain for about 4 hours all up…

..the third time we were in southern France (cheap flights of Euro40 return A’dam to Pau  were too good to pass up) and took both the Pyrenees pass roads and the tunnels under the mountains into Spain for day trips. The restaurant on the Spanish side of the border at the top of the Pyrenees  gave us one of the worst eating experiences of our entire lives .. what was meant to be a nice tapas meal turned out to be an overly greasy, tasteless, low quality  rubbish, served with indifference at rip-off prices.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Fourth time was the Pyrenees  tunnel trip to Spain had us hunting high and low for anywhere to eat that wasn’t actually a hazy smoke filled bar, and believe me it got frustrating. We ended up at a snack bar where the offerings were marginally better than the restaurant at the top of the mountain (not exactly a compliment) and vowed to eat meals back in France from then on.

These days many things are easier, the Euro Zone common currency means no currency changing hassles, or bureau de change rip-off exchange rates and  the open borders mean no queues.

So this holiday, our regular day trips into Spain have been a vast improvement on my previous Spanish experiences. I’m slowly getting a better impression of the country and Himself and I are no longer able to make jokes about how short the visits have been. It’s true to say that I have now been really enjoying Spain rather than just surviving it.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

We might even  manage to sleep a night next trip.. who knows?

We head back to Portugal and as you can see from the video’s of the ferry coming in, and our drive off at the other end, crossing borders these days within the EU couldn’t be easier.

We love it.

October 22, 2010

Camposancos is Literally our next Port of Call…

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

We have been in Spain, on Monte de Santa Trega, looking at the Celtic prehistoric settlement (Castro).

The clouds are thickening and we head down the mountain to Camposancos  to  take the ferry back to Portugal.

Last time we took the ferry we got lucky by getting the last ticket for the next crossing that was going, and since the ferry was almost at the dock there was little time to take photos.

It’s less the Ferry building etc that I wanted to photograph this time, but rather all the delightful buildings that are around it.

First there is a statue at the base of Monte de Sante Trega that marks the turn off to the main road.

Then in  Camposancos very close to the ferry there are some wonderful buildings…

The character and tiles caught my eye the first trip….

There is a little building on the corner that oozes beauty in a rough and very uncomplicated way.. is it a little chapel ?

I’m not so sure because of the absence of windows, but who knows?

.. and further on, Look at this window,  it should be mandatory that all security grills should be this beautiful (in my not so humble opinion LOL).

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Check out the large building in the background…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Yes.. this one….

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

October 21, 2010

Castro de Santa Tegra…Technology They Lacked, but Wimps They Were Not…

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

The biggest and most delightful surprise  on Monte de Santa Tegra is not  the steep winding road that leads to the wonderful views at the top, but the sight of the Castro de Santa Tegra.

So what is a Castro? It’s the Spanish name for a Celtic prehistoric settlement that was uncovered here around 1900, was excavated and then partially rebuilt over the years.

Only a few of the dwellings have been rebuilt to the point of completion, most have their walls raised  just high enough to show off the style and character of the settlement and still give a more or less unimpeded view of the whole site.

Apparently the people who lived in these houses were from the Bronze Age and so predated the Romans but the area was also  inhabited during Roman times.

The stone houses are tightly packed together, there are very narrow paths in between some of the walls that would have been tiny alleyways when all the walls were  standing at their original heights.  Defense? Weatherproofing? Warmth in the winter months? Shade in the summer months? Maybe the tight fit of the houses was simply due to the steep topography of the peak on which the settlement is located?

Livestock, people, everything was packed in here.

For me (thinking typical Foodie thoughts) It’s hard to see today where food would have been grown,  because the hill is rocky and the best arable land is a steep climb down  and an even harder haul back up.

One thing is for certain, the people who lived in this settlement would have been fit!

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

The dwellings are circular, or at least roughly circular, some are almost oval and many have  the odd  kink and bend in them, in fact it reminds me of when you try and lay elastic bands on a table, invariably there are some that don’t quite lay flat are not completely circular as the sides of one circle push gently on the sides of another one.

At odd points in the settlement there are  “intersections” where the alleyways or footpaths cross… some of these are more open than others suggesting  small communal areas. Some of the houses appear to have a small attachments to them too, perhaps storerooms?, and there are few square “rooms” perhaps for livestock?

However it looked  all those centuries ago,  the fact remains that the structure, engineering, layout and construction of this entire site is a marvel, especially considering that it was all carried out in the absence of many of the tools that we take for granted today.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Even though what we see today is a partial reconstruction laid onto the foundations that have been excavated over the years, the sense of history is still very much here, and the reality of how life would have been lived pops into your imagination as you scan over the site.

When you start to walk around the site it quickly become apparent that it’s bigger than it first appears, so the social structure must also have been quite involved and highly organised.

We look inside one of the little dwellings that has been finished and roofed as it would have been originally,  the inside is “cosy” at best, window space is almost non existent and the doorway low.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Wooden posts fitted into these holes, which then acted las a hinge or support…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

In the centre of the circle there would have been the fire so I assume that the house would have been filled with wood smoke on a regular basis too.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a museum somewhere up here too, where the many artifacts that have been excavated are exhibited, but it’s starting to get very busy here, the clouds are drifting in all around us, it’s getting misty and damp and the kids are itching for a swim back at camp, so we skip looking for it an head back down the hill to Camposancos and the ferry back to Portugal.

As we negotiate the tight bends in the road and steep gradient, even going  downhill, I have an ever growing respect for the people who lived so high up on this promontory and for whom  the slog up and down can not have been pleasant.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Technology they may have lacked, but wimps they were not.

 

October 20, 2010

Sometimes You Just Don’t Know Where to Look…(first)

Filed under: PORTUGAL,SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

We are visiting Spain… more specifically, we are on the top of Monte de Santa Trega, a steep hilltop that lies at the back-side of the small town of  Camposancos, over the river from the north-western tip of  Portugal.

On the other side of the hill, facing the Atlantic Ocean is the bigger town of A Guarda.

The restaurant where we had lunch is almost at the top of the hill, but not quite, so after we have eaten, a short steep set of steps and a little path need to be negotiated in order to realise the full splendor of the view.

It’s clear that this little pinnacle catches the wind,  the restaurant was on the leeward side of the hill, facing Portugal slightly sheltered from the wind by the summit. Nestled by the road are stalls full of tourist trap souvenirs, most of it  looking less than attractive but we are enticed anyway and a few of the better looking magnets are purchased to further my collection.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

For some inexplicable reason that I still haven’t managed to figure out, a lot of the items have a ” witch” theme…  which we bypass since  I have a passionate dislike since early childhood of most things sorcery or magical. Witches, ghosts, goblins, trolls, fairies, you name it in this realm, I can’t get enthusiastic no matter what.

No, no childhood drama or anything I can pin down,  just that books contain them have never ever appealed.

The idea of  reading  Harry Potter  is for me as appealing as writing out a dictionary, backwards, in Japanese.

So, (sigh) mean Mama that I am, when my kids discovered this  awful monstrosity of a souvineer,  it was easy to say no…

(the Spanish child next to us is clapping his hands because it’s noise activated)

We leave the Tat behind and enjoy the view…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

looking back at the other “bump” on the ridge line of this hill…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

A Guarda  and it’s harbour are a steep drop below on the Atlantic coast  to the left…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Kiwi Daughter has her new camera with her, she asks why one camera costs less than Euro 100,- and another costs Euro 250,- .. after all they both just take photos don’t they?

The easiest way to explain is to demonstrate… she has been taking  photos with her cheaper point-and-shoot… ( to be fair she did get a slightly better zoom than this, but it was very windy and gusting and it wasn’t until I put her photos onto the computer that I realised that the rest of her photos were not in focus) Note to self: need to teach Kiwi Daughter to steady herself when pressing the shutter…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

And then, I show her some of the photos that I have been taking with my more expensive point-and-shoot (the Cannon was back at camp, and yes, I was kicking myself that I haven’t bought it along) Does she notice any different in the maximum zoom of each by any chance?  She looks into the viewfinder with a little gasp… I think I just heard the penny drop…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

This shot is of the very top left corner of Portugal…(the bit on the other side of the river, that is)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Vila Nova de Cerviera  is centre top of the photo…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

I hope to zoom in close enough to see the Stag on the hill behind it… but failed…

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

So.. the view is great…  I have to now confess all, the view is a nice by-product of the visit,  but it’s really not what we came here to see.  We drove by it on the way up, so now we have some hairpin bends to negotiate on the way down to see something that is far from mystic but very magical indeed….

October 4, 2010

Literally Squeezing Over the Border by Boat…

Filed under: PORTUGAL,SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have been spending the day looking around a small corner of Galatia, Spain.

We tried to find the “Museo de Monte de Santa Tefla” which is an archaeological museum that has a massive display of artifacts and partial reconstruction of an early Celtic Settlement. Himself and I are both very keen to see it.

Traffic is suddenly thick for such a small town, (I figure out later we are caught in the pre-dinner-time mini local rush hour).

We, as we tend to do quite well, get “just a little” lost, clearly have missed the signs for the settlement and eventually find ourselves on the small road that leads to the Portuguese border… .

Sometimes thing happen that are apparently meant to be, because just as we debate turning back to find the settlement, the kids choose precisely this moment to get a little more than restless in the back seat and Himself and I decide not to  take years off our lives by trying to convince the tired and unwilling to participate further in “wonderful new places to see”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We know there’s no hope of winning any showdown with logic when all the kids now have in mind is the swimming pool back at camp.

Parental lesson Number One: Pick Your Battles.

The Settlement is close by and can wait for another day.

So this is how we find ourselves driving to a little quay that will take us over the border.

…this time to crossing is not over the water, but on it. We are taking the ferry.

We park the car and Himself goes inside a small plain ticket office to get the tickets. He comes out running, gets in the car in a hurry and we get into the queue,.

The ticket seller told him that he thought that we might manage to be the last car  to get in on this round and the ferry is fast approaching the dock, so with smiling,  friendly advice  to “ hurry!”  ringing in his ears Himself didn’t need telling twice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These moments are exactly what Dutch long legs are made for.

He said the guy at the desk seemed to appreciate the rushed “Thanks!”  in Spanish and Portuguese before he sprinted out with a wave.

Indeed, we have only minutes to get onto the ferry, the ramp is down in no time, cars from the Portuguese side are coming off and I manage a few quick photos, intending to take some from the ferry itself once we are on.

We hesitate on the quay as indeed we will be the last car on… but we have serious doubts if this larger rental car will actually fit into the single space that remains.

The ferry attendants motion us forward and then tentatively circle the car… they look doubtful, then smile and wave us forward,

…it’s just like packing the last sardine into the tin, no?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

With their better skilled eyes they have judged correctly, but wow, “tight fit” is a complete understatement.

They fold in the wing mirrors and we creep almost millimeter by millimeter  into the last spot, accompanied by shouts of “stop!” “go” and hard turns of the steering wheel as we progress.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are so close to next cars that the paintwork on all of them must be breathing in, there’s less than a finger space left  by Himself’s door. On my passenger side we are so close to some of the ferry’s mechanical bits that I hear some of the rubber hoses make their juddery rubbery contact with the car…

…still they squeeze us forward so that the butt of the car can  go forward enough to allow the back ramp of the ferry to be raised.

Lots of other passengers are by now looking at the whole procedure with interest and the young male driver of the car next to us wants to get out of his car, taking the only option now left to him, rolling down and climbing out of  his car window, much to Little Mr’s delight.

Smiles all round as we finally get in far enough for the back ramp to close and the instant that that is completed we are moving and on our way.

I’m still deciding if they knew all along that we would fit ,or if they too were not sure but at a certain point it was clear the reverse would never work to get us out again so it was a matter of persevering until we just squeezed in anyway.

So… the view as we left  Portugal and entered Spain?…  only boat entrails sadly.

Still, we know that we want to come back to A Guarda  again to see the Settlement… hopefully the next ferry trip will come with a view.

October 3, 2010

A Fortress, Scribbled on the List for the Next Trip…

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As we meander around the Spanish coast in the province of Galatia, we come around a corner and find ourselves at a very busy beach.

We’ve arrived in Baiona, a town with wide  sandy beaches, a marina and seemingly masses of tourists too.

As we snake around the waterfront we see in the distance a massive Fortress or Castle… the kids light up with enthusiasm but it’s late afternoon, the place is teeming to the brim with tourists.

We know from experience that if we really wanted to enjoy this kind of place, then the time to come is first thing in the morning when the doors first swing open for business and well before the crowds arrive.

We also know our kids well enough to know that this is not the time of day to start a new adventure on this scale, they will last 30 minutes into the walking then flag, drag their feet, start fighting with each other, and moan constantly for something hopeless (like a dip in the swimming pool when we are still an hour away from it).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

No, this is a trip for future reference, one that we would need to plan an early start for and to spend the whole day, preferably  one step ahead of the later rising masses.

So Baiona, we will be back,  I promise.

A little research of Baiona’s tourist information website tells me that the Fortress is called “Monterreal Fortress” and that it consists of a large inner fortification from the the 10th Century, surrounded by a even larger outer surrounding wall added in the 13th Century.

Google Earth shows it to be a substantial fortification, but now the buildings inside appear to have been converted into a modern hotel.

We drive up the coast a little, and take some photos of the fortress looking back…

There are also several small islands close by, one of them in particular seems to have a misty veil around it. I try and get a photo but with my small compact camera can’t do the mistiness  justice. I get out the my other (bulkier) camera and find that the zoom is a marked improvement.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The new SLR is back at the holiday house until I’ve had a chance to really try and take a good look at the book to work out the buttons, what’s best for portraiture, scenery etc…

For shots like these I realise I really should have bought it with me.

Oh well, live and learn.

Next time. We definitely would like to come back and investigate Monterreal Fortress further…

we add it to our ” places to see” list.

The list is long, but hey, we have a lifetime and a list…

We will have a go.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Meantime the coast road awaits to take us back to Portugal.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 2, 2010

Nigrán’s Ponte da A Ramallosa, has a kinky Legend….

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are still in Nigrán, the town  across the river mouth Miñor at the estuary of Baiona (Pontevedra), Spain, and are walking back to where we parked the car earlier in the day.

Now it’s time to investigate that intriguing  small bridge that I first saw as we came though the town.

The old bridge runs parallel to the new bridge that carries the main traffic but whilst I took photos the older one was well used by pedestrians.

The stones have been well worn and are big heavy, polished slabs that have obviously had centuries of use.

Parts of the bridge have clearly been renovated, but the sense of history, it’s age  and charm are still very evident.

It’s construction at first looks like the architect had an over active imagination, liked geometry a lot or wanted to allow for a space for a small marketplace on the bridge, but it turns out that the over-abundance of pointy bits is a structural means of reinforcement to help the bridge cope with the forces of the tidal waters that it stands in.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The medieval builders certainly knew their stuff, because it’s still standing firm some 800 years later. .. and that’s a lot of water under the bridge , as the saying goes (and quite literally too of course).

I find out from a plaque close to the bridge that there is a legend to go with it’s quizzical beauty… and a rather kinky legend at that.

Here’s what the plaque tells us;

Middle Ages (13th Century) It was built during the first half of the 13th Century, a mixture of semicircular arches, some of them slightly pointed and others very pointed.

There are ten spans, with a double system of cutwaters to resist better the action of the water and the tide.

In the middle of the bridge there is a cross with the image of Saint Telmo, patron saint of sailors. On a stone table, there is an altarpiece with three souls.

Fertility rites were celebrated on this bridge: After midnight women who couldn’t get pregnant had to persuade the first man crossing the bridge to pour water into their wombs and to be Godfather to of their babies.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The isn’t a lot of additional information to be found on the bridge (OK, granted, there probably is, locally, and in Spanish)

Alas, my Spanish is almost non-existant and so all I could find out in English was that “this medieval bridge of  A Ramallosa on the Minor River separates the municipalities of Nigran and Baiona.

It is possible that the bridge is of  Roman origin but was completely  reconstructed  by San Pedro Telmo, Bishop of Tui around the 12th Century.

I am left to ponder the strange fertility rites, Firstly:  How desperate for a child would you have to be to accost a strange man in the middle of  a bridge after midnight?

… and Secondly: After being infertile ( long enough for that  fact to be obvious) and taking part in this ritual on the bridge that the woman might suddenly be pregnant?.. and to require the man concerned should have the role of “Godfather” to the child? (e.g.. remain in contact after the event, even in an auxiliary manner)

Hmmm… we will never know for sure of course, um,  but did anyone else reading this also maybe jump to the conclusion that the ” water” being poured here might just be a euphemism for something else?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Three Souls…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A ramp for access from boats leads down to the water at one end of the bridge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The view up river…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the bridge, looking left, looking right…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So the old bridge bears the burdons of the childless and the new one the weight of modern day life…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the new bridge that takes us away up the coast…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 1, 2010

Dogs, Bridges and Accidently Spying on Someone’s Eternal Rest.

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

The children have seen something by the river and dashed off to investigate, Himself runs to keep up with them and I’m taking photos whilst bringing up the rear.

The kids are first excited about fish they can see swimming in the water, but loud splashing s and other noises quickly divert them further and soon I am following two squealing kids as they head towards the bridge.

We are  still in Nigrán, across the river mouth Miñor at the estuary of Baiona (Pontevedra) Spain, the day is a scorcher and we are being leisurely and lazy.

There is a ramp leading down to the water, and standing there a lady with her dog. The temperature  is close to 40 C and the  dog is happily plunging into the water to fetch sticks, our kids are delighted not only with the process but also with the dog bounding back close to them each time and shaking all the water off in a big arc.

Both the dog and the lady are friendly and Himself stops to chat whilst everyone enjoys the fun.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

I take some photos of them but then spy something in the trees a little further back… we missed seeing it as we headed in to the carpark by the park.

(Small boys starting to yell ” Now I’m  really Really REALLY bursting!!!”  in the back seat of the car tends to lead to that kind of distraction)

I excuse myself from the dog entertainment and go for a little investigate.

I find myself looking at a little chapel, it’s standing all alone, there are no other buildings here by the side of the river.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

There is a tall column in front of it with a cross and figures and according to an information board, clearly someone important is buried inside the chapel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

That fact is reinforced by a painting in tiles on the wall. I peer though the small dark glass window in the chapel door.  It’s dimly lit and I get a fuzzy photo by pressing the camera lens as close to the glass as I can…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

Inside is full of decoration and ornament and there is an alter that appears to have a figure resting inside it.

Wow, imagine spending your eternal rest on full display of the local parishioners? I’m not sure I feel too comfortable looking.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I turn my attention quickly instead to the column outside and stonework detail.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Other views…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. and then eye up the bridge, no, not this modern one, lets walk around to the beautiful ancient one hiding behind behind it….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 30, 2010

This Park, Really IS a Workout…

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

The day is hot and it’s taken me until now to figure out exactly where we have stopped.

We are  in Nigrán, across the river mouth Miñor at the estuary of Baiona (Pontevedra) Spain.

Right by the waterside where we found the wonderful ice-cream, there is a wonderful, well planned park.

There are deep avenues of shade trees,  and at regular intervals under and around them, children’s play equipment has been installed.

There are lots of playhouses, swings, climbing frames, a lot suitable for smaller children for whom playgrounds are exciting places to be explored.

I do spy some items for slightly older kids too, even a flying-fox.

At the end of the trees, more in the open there is an installation of park equipment that  is also adult exercise equipment and naturally, along with the kids we all have a go at flexing our muscles and testing our strength.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

I’m always rubbish at anything that requires arm strength, and we laugh at my puny attempts to pull the levers down, the kids have a massive laugh at their lack of strength too but give it a valiant effort.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

We linger there until the heat  and lack of shade by the exercise equipment eventually drives us back towards the end of the park where there are more trees and suddenly the kids are off, completely distracted and diverted… by what?

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

…I follow to find out.

Additional note: Updated 01 Oct 2010, I’m having some technical difficulties with WordPress, the post for Oct 1st is on the page where we prepare the posts, complete with photos but when I try and view/preview it, I get an error message that says “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.” and a blank page.  I’ve contacted WP support and hopefully this is NOT what you will see when this posts just after midnight my time!!) If it is, please bear with me, I’m trying to get the page to view a.s.a.p. Cheers,  Kiwidutch 🙂

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