Last weekend we had a mini holiday in Spain, May 1st, Labor Day, get together with the celebration of the Community of Madrid, on May 2nd, that day they commemorate the uprising of the Madrid people against the French occupation in Spain. So, putting the days together we had a mini holiday since last Friday until yesterday. Uff! We could almost join that with this new weekend. 😂
With so many days of vacation, we took the opportunity to go on a trip to Galicia. So we packed our bags and left early on Saturday morning.
We arrived in the city of Ourense where we had the hotels after traveling 505 kilometers, about 5 hours, add an hour if you are traveling there with kids. The Ribeiro wine fair was being held that same weekend in Ribadavia only 25 kilometers from Ourense, which is why the hotels in the area were super full. So we had to take two hotels, because the one we liked had no rooms for Saturday. We arrived at the hotel for the first night, a bit crappy the truth, we did not like it at all, but since it was only for sleeping, we did not think too much and went out to explore.
After a trip of so many hours by car nothing better than walking a bit to stretch the legs, that’s why we decided to go to the center of the city. We were going to the street Do paseo (walk street) and on the way there, we get in Praza Do Bispo Cesáreo (Square of Bishop Cesáreo) where the children played and run a little. They felt free after be sitting in the car for more than 5 hours. 😂
We arrived at the main square and were fascinated with the Ourense Cathedral. With its Romanesque and Gothic style, it immediately takes you back to past centuries. It was built in the second half of the 12th century and the first one of the 13th century and has been declared a Historic Artistic Monument. You can see it in the photo below, Isn’t it lovely?! I just loved the tiny stone steps and how they lead you to the main entrance, discovering the cathedral as a great treasure in the middle of the buildings around it.
And we continued walking along the street of El Paseo (walk street) while we admired its beauty and were filled with joy with its color.
To end the day, because we never get tired!, we went to take a bath in the Ourense hot springs. Although it was cold and rainy, the water of the hot springs was warm, which made us relax a bit. The temperature of its waters is what makes the hot springs a great destination even in winter, where besides observing the green and beautiful landscape of Ourense, you can enjoy a thermal bath in the middle of the countryside and in the open air. Although you can also find them in the very center of the city, because the hot springs in Ourense are for almost everywhere!
The next day we visited Ribadavia, where the 55th edition of the Ribeiro wine fair was held, one of the 5 Galician wine denominations. It was raining but that did not stop us from taking a walk and exploring the area, so between one rainstorm and another, we walked through the narrow streets of Ribadavia admired with its beauty. It is a small and beautiful city. Upraising with a medieval air between the mountains, it gives the impression that you are inside of a vintage book.
The third day we went to see the Roman Bridge of Ourense. To get there, we walk along the river Miño until we find it. This bridge was built in the 1st century AD
We enjoyed an ice cream at the same time that I explained to my kids that the bridge was built by the Romans several centuries ago, while admiring the beauty of the environment.
The fourth and last day, on the way to Madrid, we stopped to see Allariz. The first stop was on the Arnoia river. There, we were calmer and more eager to connect with the environment than to do tourism. With so much natural beauty what you want is to be at peace while listening to the current of the river and the song of the birds.
Following the river and already to say goodbye, we went to know a last part of Allariz and we arrived at the bridge of Vilanova. This beautiful medieval bridge is located on the Arnoia River and was the main access road to Allariz, used to be defended by the knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
And this was our trip. I hope you enjoyed the written trip as much as we enjoyed living the experience.