42:14.00N 08:45.00W Vigo next then!
Wed 29 Jul 2015 06:41
Well that’s a bit of a cheek really because we took the ferry across and we’re glad we did. We knew beforehand that these city marinas are often filled with the vessels of nationals leaving little or no space for foreign visitors like us. When we docked at the ferry terminal next to the central marina of the three, we noticed an uncomfortable swell causing the yachts to bounce and pitch and pop their fenders so we were glad Zoonie was tucked up safely in friendly Cangas.
So finally for me 30 years after I was first asked “Vigo next then?” by the Corunna fisherman, I have made it to this interesting place. The Romans favoured it, building many hill forts with their accompanying ‘urban’ camps all around here. We climbed to the top of the hill that is now part of the city and can see why this was such a good place to defend the city from, as it had excellent clear views all around to spy the approaching marauders.
Back down the slopes we viewed the artworks in two galleries, the second recommended to us by a lady in the first one. Galicia and in particular Vigo depicted by Galician artists over the last 500 years. If the value of the paintings was in direct proportion to the size of the holstered gun worn by the lay attendant then they were worth a penny or two. It was interesting to notice how the painters in the last 150 years have followed their contemporary movements like Cubism, impressionism and abstract art and yet the link was not made to the art movements in the descriptions. Rob favoured the portrait, land and seascapes and they showed just how Vigo has grown as a port from fishing village to a 3.5 km dock frontage where vast car parks of new, imported cars await distribution and two luxury cruise liners at the same time can dock.
A wander around the well preserved old town and light lunch in the Praza Constitucion concluded our visit before we returned home.
First job of the day was shopping, the first big shop for non-perishables since Plymouth. Armed with our black and white polka dot trolley we trundled off to Eroski at one end of town and filled up with cartons of wine, fruit juice and milk plus some fruit and veg before we off loaded onto the boat and then trundled to the Eroski at the other end of town because it is by the fish market.
All that effort demanded some refreshment at the Club Nautico Rodeira by the marina where we met an English lady and her Vigo husband who have lived locally for 20 years and were in the process of moving back to the Salisbury area of the UK. Remember Larry, well this couple had just sold a Camper Nicholson boat from the younger family of designers based in Portsmouth. I felt a little sorry for the man, who loved sailing. First his boat gone and now leaving his birthplace.
The tapas at the Club are worth a mention. We counted seven different types; sardine with balsamic cherry tomato and pan (bread), vegetables with a poached quail egg in the middle and pan, spanish omelette (tortilla) and pan, crab sandwiches, fish croquettes and pan, ham and potato tart and grated tetilla (local cheese shaped like a bosom hence tetilla meaning tits) on pan. All these would be served at different times on the same day. Best leave here soon or we’ll be different shapes when we do.
We had fish for supper with some of the green pimientos I have mentioned before but oh dear that was a disaster. Our Pilot book mentions that sometimes a hot pepper can be mixed in with the mild ones. Well up to now we have been lucky but this evening we were eating the ones from Eroski. Suddenly poor Rob gagged and started to choke with an extremely violent reaction. I was reminded of a similar incident when we first met and I accidentally made a curry with a whole bottle of paste (very condensed spice) I thought was sauce (much milder). I thought “Oh no, we’ve only just met and I am killing him already!” I tried a tiny bit from a few more until I too had a flaming tongue and pulsating skull and heart! I’ll try and give the rest to the marina lady.
After supper a long walk around the bay and effectively half way back to Vigo rounded off the day.
28th July, Bueu and the Masso museum. 3.20 Euros each return and free entry to a fine museum, they know how to do a day out in Spain. The coach ride gave us a thorough look at the nature of the land, countryside and human impact on this pretty and hilly area. The museum reflected the lifelong interests and passions of a few of the Masso family. Their canning businesses started in the 1920’s in numerous factories in Spain and continued until the nineties, the one in Cangas closed in 1995. The whale processing ended in 1985 with the IWO ban. Apart from all the exhibits related to their business which carried out all the processes including making the tin cans, the black and white still photos and movie films made by the Masso family are a fine record of their industry. Staff in the massive factory here were photographed ‘at work’ wearing their Sunday best and sitting still for minutes as that is how long it took to expose their images on glass plates. So although the staff were genuine, because these pictures were used to promote the business they had to be carefully planned and not taken immediately as modern cameras allow us to do.
Video film of a successful whale hunt was, I guess, necessary for a complete understanding of the subject. On a happier note the days when 23,000 whales a year were taken from the seas are well gone.
Finally, on the museum, the Masso family had a lifelong interest in the history of navigation and a whole room is dedicated to actual 500 year old manuscripts by the likes of Ptolomeo and model wooden sailing ships, navigational instruments and marine paintings. There were staff working in the offices on exhibits and excavations into the nearby roman sites are on going. A place where you could carry out research work using all these genuine resources. And free entry!
We lunched in a green tilled bar watching a silent sports channel, making up our own commentary on the cycling and swimming events, before the return 40 minute coach ride.
Last evening we sat in the cockpit and watched all that was going on around us. The sailing school is busy all day. Children as young as seven can spend a week learning sailing for 20 Euros, 35 if their sibling learns with them. Young children carrying their own mast and sail or pulling the trailered dinghy to the slip then launching it have control over what they are doing and learn all the quicker. when they have tucked their boats away they are back at the harbour wall or along the pontoon, daring eachother to jump into the water. A young girl in red bikini bottom and pink top is making a display of her fear and this goes on till all her friends are in and she is shamed into taking the plunge.
As the evening draws on the youngsters are replaced by a team of 12 young men carrying a big upturned canoe down to the pontoon from the shed, turning it over and launching it for a two hour practice row. Then into the darkness elderly men and women fish with rods and chat together as the light fades.