Wind of Change?


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Sometimes, a step forward, a new start, a fresh breeze, can be deceptive.

As the Democratic National Convention draws to a close, having elected Hillary Clinton as its candidate, I cannot help but wonder just how Americans are going to reconcile the lesser of two obvious evils.
I would like nothing more than to feel overjoyed and happy that, at last, a woman has a decent chance of being elected as president of the United States. However, I feel like Americans have been cheated of the chance to wholeheartedly back a Democratic candidate. Hillary Clinton is, at best, a puppet of the rich and powerful. She represents the Establishment, as she herself has said and is obvious. The so-called Establishment has deeper roots than just a political network or institution. It is well known that bankers, lobbies and all sorts of influential people can -and often do- alter a government’s intentions on passing laws that can affect them. The latest example of this is the famous (or infamous) TTIP, which consists, basically , of the right of large corporations to sue the government if they pass a law that is unfavourable to them. This means that these corporations would effectively be legislating prices, undermining rival companies, deciding on labour laws or environmental issues. This would mean strife for the working class, as there would be no stopper on the designs of boardroom CEO’s. We would have capitalism at its most toxic and dehumanizing.
The fact that Hillary is a woman is not enough to compensate for her dubious record. A well known anecdote is that of a case when she defended a man who had raped a fourteen year old girl, knowing he was guilty and using in his defense the argument that the girl had been fantasizing about having sex with an older man, therefore the ‘rape’ having been consensual. Years later, she laughed on a television interview when she was asked about it. Another case is the whole Lewinsky et al issue. That she could accuse these women of anything when it was perfectly clear that it had been her husband who had initiated these ‘relationships’ and that they were unequal at best, as he was the governor or the president, which gave him more power over the women, is denigrating. You should stand by your husband if it’s what you feel is right, but don’t go victim blaming. It doesn’t speak well of your moral standards or your empathy.
Choosing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump is a hard decision. It is like choosing if you’d like to be fried or baked. The fact that she’s a woman is not a guarantee or an incentive to vote for her. Or it shouldn’t be.
As for Trump, I can only say that the fact that he is the Republican candidate is a clear sign of the troubled times we live in. That such an ignorant, egotistic bigot can in any way represent the views of a large sector of population is incredible. That a large sector of population has supported him makes me fear for the world.
In the end, nonetheless, it makes little difference what the outcome of the election is. They are puppets in the hands of the puppet masters who rule the world.

Until people everywhere realize that they have the right and the duty to stand up for themselves against the mandates of the powerful, we will not see the world make any progress towards a better future.
Until the winds of change howl across plains and cities, through villages and across seas, we will continue to be hostages of the system.
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Sweating the Small Stuff


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I would like to pay homage to the Heroes of Daily Life, the Organisers, the Checklist Managers, the Taxi Drivers, the Late Night Cooks, the Early Morning Encouragers, The Caregivers. Without you and your effort and dedication to causes that are not your own, and the loss of personal time you suffer, the world would not advance.
I wonder how some people become experts on anything in this life. How do they find the time? As far as I know, to excel at something you must invest time and effort, probably years. Meanwhile, if you are an average human with no huge bank account, you need to do things like cook, clean, shop, run errands. If you are busy achieving your goals, you will have to have what is known as a ‘support system’.
That means, in ordinary language, that someone will have to do for you what you can’t do for yourself. You know… that stuff that needs to get done but is boring and time consuming and has to be done at the most inconvenient moments, like when you HAVE to train/ write/ paint/ sing/ rehearse, etc.
The people who do these things are the unsung heroes of the world. Without them, there would be few stars in any field of knowledge or art. In fact, there would be few lawyers, doctors, engineers or any other demanding profession. Some studies show that the tasks required to run a home and care for a family would have to be paid anywhere between 2.000 and 5.000 euros a month. Not many people can pay that amount, or think it ‘logical’ to pay so much for ‘housework’. After all, it’s easy, right? Everyone does it. You don’t need a degree or training.
I wonder what would happen if all the ‘support’ disappeared. Who could dedicate themselves to greater causes while caring for an elderly relative or a baby? Who could expand their knowledge, create art, run a business in between shopping and cooking? What would happen if people had to pay more than a minimum- or just pay – the people who support them for free, like family: mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, fathers, brothers… or friends and neighbours?
I consider that this is often overlooked. Everyone cheers the achiever but many forget or simply don’t value the work that others put into these achievements.
It’s all about the small stuff. Little gestures and simple occurrences that ease the way to success. These gestures are carried out over time and are the difference between the world progressing or not.
Capitalism needs the unpaid work of millions of people- mostly women- to continue advancing at such an unstoppable pace and creating millions. If all these people had to be paid a regular salary, what would happen? They are -we are- the very base on which capitalism sustains itself. However, that doesn’t mean we are appreciated, understood or valued.
Perhaps-this is just a personal view of mine- the Revolution the world so desperately needs has to be started by those who bear the brunt of the mindless, daily chores, the encouragement and the ‘leaning in’ when they will get little recognition for their contribution.
Perhaps some of us need to ‘sweat the small stuff’. In the end, the small stuff is what makes the world go round.

When You Walk in my Shoes…


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When You Walk in My Shoes

Lately there have been a lot of posts on social media criticising people who take their elderly relatives to a nursing home. It is widely believed (at least here in Spain) that it is because of the selfishness and lack of appreciation towards the older generation. While it may sometimes be the case, it is not for the most part true.

I know many people, including myself, who care for their elderly but there comes a time when they need more care and support than you could give them at home, whether it’s yours or theirs. In certain situations, it can be toxic for both the person and the family and cause friction and all sorts of difficulties. Another thing is the cost of it, both financial and emotional or psychological. No one who hasn’t been through it, it seems, grasps the feelings of frustration, guilt, exhaustion, more guilt and sheer desperation that arise when you are responsible for the well being of a loved one. You encounter many well meaning people who will drive you crazy with advice. When you express your doubts or the impossibility of putting the advice into practice, they will say you’re being unreasonable. When you walk away, they will talk behind your back about how you are too proud to accept honest advice. When you can’t go on any more because you are close to breaking, they will deem you weak, irresponsible, selfish.

Nobody knows and what’s more, nobody wants to know just how hard it is for a person who must take care of an elderly relative to work outside the home (when they can find a job and an employer flexible enough to accept their limitations), then go back and face whatever you must with a smile. Nobody can tell the dignity you must create to not crawl into a corner and give up. You cannot give up when people count on you. Nobody knows about the sleepless nights trying to make sense of a life that for over two decades has been oriented more towards others than to yourself in every way.

Some people assume that you are a dimwitted woman with little to no ambition because you are a full time caregiver.

I have some news for you, if you’re one such person. You are sorely mistaken. We, the carers, know better than many CEO’s how to run a business because the people we love and care about depend on it. They depend on our creativity, flexibility and sheer working capacity and ethics. These are, I would think, qualities that are sought after in a worker. It is a positive thing to face difficulties and be able to deal with them. It shows courage.

There seems to be little value placed on caring for the elderly or children, unless, of course, you make a business from it. But caring for YOUR elderly/ disabled/ children is somehow a sign of weakness, disinterest in having a career, low motivation and/or lack of ambition. It is also a sign that this society we live in is flawed at the heart of its social policies. Or perhaps it is something deeper than that. It is a sign that empathy has been lost, that we have grown accustomed to providing only for ourselves and not taking into account anyone else’s needs or circumstances. A society of unfeeling, unthinking individuals.

What is more: within a few years, perhaps a couple of decades, the sheer force of an aging population will force governments to take measures that for now have not been on their agenda. Families will not be able to resist the economic burden of caring for an elderly person, and unlike the decision to have children, you cannot simply decide not to have them because they are your parents or grandparents, so they were in the world before you.

It is, I fear, a ticking time bomb, slowly counting off the days until it explodes and makes the world rethink its priorities.

For today, all I want is to get a few points across.

To the carers, I say: you are enough. You are doing a great job. Never think you could be doing more because you probably couldn’t. Enjoy what you can. Take care of yourself. Those of us in the same situation understand. We understand the helplessness, the frustration, the guilt for having a coffee alone or with a patient friend.

To the naysayers and the criticisers, I say: Pray you never find yourself in such a situation. Pray that you never have a bad day or a bad night caring for your loved one. Pray that they don’t say absurdities that anyone can hear and believe. If you find yourself feeling alone and isolated and people don’t seem to get your situation, remember when it was you who shook your head in disapproval of someone who was on the verge of tears from pure tiredness and frustration and you did nothing to alleviate them. On the contrary, you piled more guilt and frustration on them. It is so easy to speak rashly when you will not be affected by the outcome!

Remember that we are all human. We all bleed red. Remember that you don’t know my struggle when you say that I am not doing my best.

I wish that everyone would think twice before inflicting their ignorance on other people, in any way shape or form. The old adage of walking in someone’s shoes before opening your mouth to criticise is a good rule to follow.

When you walk in my shoes, you might get a glimpse of the truth.
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Ochenta Años Después- La Historia de Dos Españas


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Tal día como hoy, hace ochenta años, se desató el infierno en España. Empezó la guerra civil, que duraría dos años y ocho meses.
Se inició como un alzamiento militar de un grupo de falangistas, los Nacionales, dirigidos por el general Francisco Franco contra el gobierno liberal de la República.
La victoria de la República en 1931 fue vista por muchos conservadores y por la iglesia católica como una amenaza. La República intentó alterar positivamente muchos aspectos de la vida de España, tal como reducir el analfabetismo y recortar el poder de instituciones como la iglesia que contribuían al sostenimiento de un sistema casi feudal. Sin embargo, el intentar reformar muchas cosas en poco tiempo se convirtió en su talón de Aquiles. Solo cinco años después, la sociedad estaba fragmentada en muchas facciones en lucha por conseguir algo de poder.
La guerra civil hizo aflorar, como era de esperar, lo peor en ambos bandos. Cuando se inicia una guerra, ya no hay inocentes. Es una lucha a muerte. Desafortunadamente, los que luchan raras veces son los que tienen más interés. Se les obliga a sufrir penurias ‘por el bien común’ o por los ideales de los poderosos que no lo quieren perder.
Lo que es específico de la guerra civil española es que, al contrario que en Alemania o Italia, una vez muerto el dictador, aquí no se hizo nada por compensar a las víctimas, restablecer un equilibrio y reconocer los errores para no volver a caer en ellos. Por el contrario, a la muerte de Franco ( prolongada por los médicos que lo asistieron durante meses), a los españoles se nos dijo que ahora tocaba hacer una transición hacia la democracia, con nuestro rey, Juan Carlos I (nombrado directamente por Franco como su heredero) como Jefe de Estado. De la noche a la mañana, la gente empezó a hablar de la transición con orgullo, como si fuera lo más destacable desde el descubrimiento y la colonización de América. Se nos vendió la moto de lo excepcional que era la situación y se nos dijo que era algo de lo que podíamos estar satisfechos todos los españoles, independientemente de nuestra ideología o edad. A cambio, todos dejarían a un lado las rencillas y los resentimientos que tuviesen porque, al fin y al cabo, era ‘lo mejor para todos’ y para el país. Habíamos logrado, al parecer, algo inaudito: democracia sin derramamiento de sangre. Deberíamos simplemente seguir adelante.
Ochenta años después, muchos españoles parece ser que no han podido seguir adelante sin más. Hay dos categorías de tales personas.
Primero están los nostálgicos de la falange para quienes todo este caos nunca hubiera pasado con Franco y que se alegrarían que otro Franco se hiciera cargo. Son los que, tal día como ayer, dan una misa por ‘F. Franco’ en la catedral de Valencia. Son los que acuden al Valle de los Caídos, su particular Meca, con los ojos brillantes y orgullo en el corazón a ver las tumbas de Franco Y Primo de Rivera. El hecho de que los trabajadores-presos políticos- que murieron durante su construcción estén enterrados en los túneles y en zanjas no es relevante para ellos. Eran presos republicanos, forzados a crear un monumento a los que les derrotaron en la guerra y destruyeron sus vidas.
En segundo lugar están las familias y los supervivientes de los republicanos, los perdedores de la guerra. No ha habido ninguna compensación pública para ellos, ningún reconocimiento oficial por parte del estado. Algunos han expresado sus condolencias de modo particular y privado. Son los menos. Miles de familias siguen buscando los restos de sus antepasados en cunetas y fosas comunes. Se han topado con las recomendaciones oficiales de ‘ olvidar y seguir adelante’. Es lo que ha pasado en otros países en teoría menos desarrollados como Argentina o Chile. Hubo muchos problemas y terror allí. Les costó años de revueltas. Pero la sociedad no quiso callar. De ahí la existencia de organizaciones como Las Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo, luchando durante décadas para encontrar a sus nietos, robados por la dictadura a causa de la ideología de sus padres. ¿Qué mejor forma de aniquilar al enemigo que quitarle su futuro, sus hijos, y educarlos para que sean lo que sus padres lucharon por derrotar? Maquiavelo se sentiría orgulloso. En España, una red de secuestradores robaron más de 100.000 niños entre los años 40 y los 80, ya establecida la democracia española. El clamor es considerable, pero menos que lo que ocurre en Hispanoamérica.
Ayer leí un artículo que dice que el gobierno del Partido Popular, que ha contribuido enormemente al progresivo hundimiento del país, y a la alienación de la población, conseguirá un nuevo mandato gracias al apoyo de Ciudadanos, un partido de derechas de hijos de papá rico. Ahí quedan las buenas intenciones de la izquierda.
¿Qué hace que un país sufra de tal amnesia colectiva? ¿ O es solamente apatía, resignación y el progresivo atontamiento de la población lo que permite que los líderes nos conduzcan derechos a la catástrofe con pocas consecuencias para los corruptos responsables?
Un país que por norma ignora su pasado, que descaradamente lo esconde o lo niega, que hace luz de gas a parte de sus ciudadanos diciéndoles que traerán el desastre para ellos, sus familias y el país si remueven el pasado está destinado a repetir sus errores.

Eighty Years On- A Tale of Two Spains


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On such a day as today, eighty years ago, all hell broke loose in Spain. It was the start of the Spanish civil war which was to last two years and eight months.
It was caused by a military uprising against the left leaning Republican government, supported by right wing, conservative falangists, the Nationalists, led by general Francisco Franco.
The victory of the Republic in 1931 was seen as a menace by some staunch conservatives and also by the Catholic church. The Republic sought to alter many aspects of Spanish life, such as illiteracy and the iron grasp of institutions like the church which contributed to an archaic and almost feudal social system. However, they tried to reform too many things at once and this enormous task was to prove their Achilles’ heel. The society just five years later was fragmented into many different factions struggling to gain recognition.
The Civil War brought out, as was to be expected, the worst instincts of both sides. There are no innocents once a war breaks out. It is a fight to the death. Unfortunately, those who enter battle are seldom those with the most interests at stake. They are forced to undergo pain and loss for ‘the greater good’, or the ideals of the few who have the power and want to maintain it.
What is specific to the Spanish Civil War is that, unlike what happened in Germany with Hitler and in Italy with Mussolini, once the dictator was dead, the people did nothing to reinstate a balance and acknowledge the mistakes made in order to not repeat them. Instead, at the death of Franco (prolonged for months by the doctors who assisted him), the Spanish people were told that we would now transition into democracy, with our King Juan Carlos I (directly named his heir by Franco) as head of state. Overnight, people started to talk of this transition with pride, as if it were the most remarkable thing since the discovery and conquest of America. We were sold the feeling of exceptionality in this situation as something which all Spaniards could take pride in, regardless of age or political inclination. In exchange for, everyone would put aside whatever differences or resentments they might hold because, after all it was ‘for the greater good’ of the country. We had achieved, it seemed, something unheard of: democracy without bloodshed. We should all just move on.
Eighty years later, many Spaniards it seems have not been able to move on. There are two types of such people.
First are the nostalgic falangists for who ‘all this’ chaos would never have happened under Franco and who would embrace a second Franco taking over. They are the ones who, on a day like today, celebrate a mass in Valencia cathedral in honor of ‘F. Franco’. They are the ones who go misty eyed and feel a surge of pride when they visit their Mecca, El Valle de los Caídos, where Franco and Primo de Rivera are buried. The fact that the workers who died while it was being built are also buried here, but in ditches and tunnels, with no gravestones and no acknowledgement, is of no relevance to them. They were republican prisoners, forced to create a monument to those who won the war and destroyed their lives.
Secondly, the families and veterans of the Republican side, the losers of the war. There have been no public compensations of any type. No condolences expressed by any authority, civil or religious. Some have privately and in a purely personal way apologised. They are few and far between. Thousands of families are still searching for the ditches where their relatives were buried in haste. They have come up against official recommendations to ‘forgive and forget’. Oddly enough, this is the same thing that happened in other countries, theoretically less developed, like Argentina and Chile. There were enormous uprisings there. It cost them years of turmoil. But society would not be silenced. Thus, the existence of organisations like ‘Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo’ (Grandmothers of May Square) who have been fighting for decades to find their grandchildren, kidnapped by the authorities because of their parents’ political dissidence. What greater annihilation of the enemy than stealing their future, their children, and raising them to think and be just what their parents fought against? Macchiavelo would have approved. In Spain, a network of baby snatchers stole over 100.000 children from their parents between the 1940s and the 1980s, well into our ‘democratic Spain’. The uproar is considerable but nowhere near its equivalent in South America.
I have just read an article that states that the government of the Popular Party, which has greatly contributed to impoverishing the country, will get a new mandate thanks to Ciudadanos, a right wing party of posh daddy’s kids. So much for the good intentions for change coming from the left.
What causes a country to suffer from a collective amnesia of these proportions? Or is it just apathy, resignation and the progressive dumbing down of the population that allows the ruling classes to steer us straight into disaster with few consequences for the corrupt and mindless perpetrators?
A country that consistently ignores its past, that blatantly hides it from view or denies it, that gaslights part of its citizens, telling them that they will bring disaster upon themselves and the entire nation if they stir the past is fated to repeat its mistakes.
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How Many Lives?


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Once again, we fall asleep -or wake up, as the case might be- to the news of a massacre in France. This time it was France. Recently, it was Turkey, or Iraq. It is the daily pulse in Syria and so many other countries. As usual, when these things happen, there are two main currents of opinion.
One side says it is just a bunch of crazed, sick people who wish to harm Humanity for the sake of it, using religion as their symbol and excuse.
Another side accuses a whole religion ( over a billion people) of being responsible for this terror. Even when you prove that this is not true because statistically for every non-Muslim killed, there are several thousand Muslims who are assassinated, they still stubbornly hold on to their opinion.
If religion were the cause, it would be simple. Unfortunately, religion is not the cause, but, in any case, the tool.
The cause is rampant, toxic capitalism.
Who funds ISIS? Where do they get their weapons? Where do they train? This is only the surface of a greater, more complex issue.

Who benefits from racial/religious/national/ international conflict? Follow the ramifications. Ask yourself why these things always have a pattern. Ask yourself why these things hurt so many different people. Ask yourself who doesn’t get hurt by them.

Follow the trail of blood to see from whose hands it drips.
Follow the money that gets diverted towards ISIS.
Who benefits? Certainly not Muslims. Certainly not Europeans. Certainly not citizens of the world in general.
Just those who command their army of puppets to increase their hold on a never ending source of slaves. They need slaves to support their obscene way of life. They leech off human blood, sweat and tears.
We are the lucky slaves, the ones who have jobs, houses and food on the table. But we are slaves nonetheless.
As long as we don’t stand up to the powers that rule the world, we will be forced to choose sides because it benefits the few at the top of the economic ladder.

Divide and win.
It is a sad day when the guilty sleep in their mansions and we are left to feel the horror and nightmare of a world collapsing around us because of their greed and absolute disdain for humanity.

We are being lured into a trap. Like a bull being lured by the matador’s ‘capote’, we are told that we should, at the same time, be fiercely proud of our nations and their flags, and that we should create a
unified culture that has no specific signs of identity. There is an implicit danger here. We are being told contradictory things. It is up to us to decide what to do. Politicians won’t do it for us.
I wish all cultures equally free to take pride in their identity while respecting others. I wish all cultures united in the common defense of their values against the Beast that rips apart countries and lives for their own benefit. I wish cultures to defend their right to be, to exist.
We are legions. We need to wake up and rattle the creators of this chaos til their bones are dust.
Too many coincidences to believe they are just random acts caused by sick minds.
Too many lives lost.
How many more lives will it take before we actually stand up and take our world back?

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The Courage to Be. The Cowardice of not Daring.


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As they say, it takes courage to be yourself, wholly, entirely and unapologetically, when the world and most of the people in it insist on the exact opposite.
Only the brave can survive the endless conditioning to be a different person and resist it, remaining who they truly are in their essence.
And believe me, the world doesn’t like rebels.
They are tried, tested, prodded, belittled.
So I will be me. It’s all I can be.
Even if no one understands my mind.
Even if the rest of the world decides that I am not fit to be believed.
Even when things go the way they want and not the way you had them planned in your brain.
Even when every single person on this planet becomes a blur, a blip on my radar because I cannot feel anything for fear of feeling.
Even when I lose all those things that make me be myself…
My smile, my laugh, my tears, my strength, my many flaws…
Even when I am not loved by anyone…
I will go on.
Because I can. Because I am worthy. Because I owe it to my family, the one I’ve found along the way, the one that is in my heart.
Because I will not allow the wayward waves of life’s storms to wash away my courage or my essence, regardless of how hard it crashes on my shore.
Because I will not start a war, but if I am confronted with it, I will become a warrior.
Because I will be good enough.

I propose living, not vegetating.
I propose understanding, not vilifying.
I propose being intolerant with intolerance.
I propose uniting, not dividing.
I propose not being a victim, but making our dreams come true.
I propose giving value to the little things, the sacred bits of life we receive, the pieces we can use to do great things.
I propose not letting yourself be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.
I propose forgetting what you’ve learned is ‘true’ and making justice and courage the Law.
I propose talking less and doing more.
If anyone doesn’t like it, I won’t apologise. Just don’t follow me. I won’t mind.
‘Solvitur ambulando’
It is solved by walking.

Lugo, The Great Spanish Wall of the Roman Empire


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Everyone who loves Spain loves the south and the islands.
But be warned. Spain is much more than sun, beach and sangría.
It is also mists, bagpipes, cider, honey and rain.
If you wish to discover a different country that will literally leave you gasping in astonishment at the colours, the sights and the gastronomy, I’d point you north.
If you’re a bit more adventurous and like a combination of history, old cobbled streets and plenty of charm, plus some of the best food in the land, then I say come to Galicia, in the northwest.
It is a region which perfectly combines authenticity, the old and the new, meigas (witches) and miles of breathtaking coasts. And nothing beats Galician seafood! You will have all you like, from their traditional ‘polbo a feira’ (octopus with cooked potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt and hot paprika) to prawns, calamari or any other succulent variety. Leave culinary cowardice on your kitchen table if you desire to feast on these delicacies!
Lugo has yet another feature to set it aside. It is the city which has the only Roman wall in the world totally surrounding its old town. You can walk atop it and circle the historical centre with its cathedral, dating from the XXII century and picturesque streets, shops and cafés where you will seldom hear anything but Spanish, or most probably Galego, their own language.
Forget international cuisine for the most part and try their local products. It has delights for all who dare to go ‘native’. You can enjoy seafood, just like everywhere else in Galicia, and also more rustic delights like ‘pote galego’, a type of soup made with pulses, turnip greens and potatoes. The bread is usually artisan made, a blend of wheat and rye flours. There are many types of pies, or ’empanadas’, such as sardine, stewed meat, cod or even octopus! Yes, it is a big thing in This corner of the world! Many have looked at it with disgust only to fall for it with a passion… I know. I am one such person. Let me just say that all sorts of pastries abound, from puff pastry, to cheeses, to its famous ‘tejas’ or tiles made from almonds and honey, a crunchy delight with which to end any meal. Try any good local wine to intensify the experience.
If you are interested in walking/ hiking routes, Lugo is on the Camino Primitivo, or the Primitive Way of Saint James, that goes through the city to Santiago de Compostela. This is one of the main attractions of Galicia and fills the cities, the towns and indeed the villages along the way with pilgrims from all over the world.
If you can spare a day, go to O Cebreiro. This tiny village in the mountains of southern Galicia is full of quaint corners and it is a true pilgrim center. When I went last week, on the sixth of July, no less than a dozen nationalities were given accommodation on their way to see the patron saint of Spain, Saint James, or Santiago.
To the weary traveler, to those who think they’ve seen it all, to those who are jaded and bored… I say, come to Lugo, come to Galicia.
Northern Spain and its many corners, beaches, sunsets and culinary wonders will leave you wondering that you hadn’t yet found your way north and will probably be the start of a quest to delve deeper into the roots of traditions that speak of ancient times.

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