I love Lugo. From the first time I came here I loved it. Its like Leiria in Portugal. A big little city. A good place to be stranded.
This morning was all about the business of the car. I called one of my new taxi driver friends. He took me to the dealership where they will repair my car and helped me navigate the ins and outs and the language. Then he took me to the MAPFRE office and helped me get what I needed. What a kind man.
After all that, my day was free. So I decided to take a walk. Its cold here. I thought about packing my North Face long coat when I left Valencia. But when we were last up here on our way home from Portugal it wasn’t that cold. Three weeks made all the difference. Time to find a coat, hat and gloves. Check, check and check. I threw in a fresh pair of Doc Martin boots, too. I left Valencia in Birkenstocks, with a pair of tennis shoes in my bag. It rained about 10 feet yesterday- maybe a little exaggeration- but I need appropriate footwear for slogging through deep puddles. Yes, I have every style of boot ever made in drawers under Emilie’s bed in el Compartimento, most I never wore in Valencia. But those wonderful examples of winter footwear are 8 hours away. The shopkeepers of Lugo were happy to help me. The streets here were teeming during the pre-lunch hours. It was sunny – through the clouds. People were shopping. It felt almost festive.
I remembered where the big Correos is in town. It has brass faces where you put your mail into their mouths. And the old postman statue hanging out over the street. I brought a package for Emilie that I had forgotten to mail in Valencia. So now it will leave Spain heading for the US from Lugo.
I also hit up a natural farmacia for some vitamin C. The best antidote to the stress of the last few days. And I found an amazing spice shop that sells bulk spices and crushed cardomomo. Jeff is in luck. No more crushing cardomomo seeds. I was giddy. The shop girl did not understand why. Crushed cardomon is expensive and hard to come by in Valencia. Here its cheap and readily available.
A nice surprise was a store called Sargadelos. It’s a Galician ceramics maker. I love stores where the staff wear white coats like doctors. It gives them an air of authority. I swear those working there stand taller. Anyway, they make ceramics for practical use – some of the cafes in town use what they produce. But they also do sculptures (art pieces) and talismans to ward off any number of beasties. Evil comes in many forms and you can purchase these charm-infused pieces to hang in your home, wear around your neck, or use as a key chain. The Celts are a superstitious people. A cross between formal religions we know today and more of the natural world based on old ways. Think evil-eye warding off with blue beads in the Middle East. Except these are all crafted in different shapes for specific purposes. I got a couple for people in my family. Jeff’s is ‘To ward of those who work to make your job more difficult.’ Seemed appropriate. My is ‘To keep someone else from infusing you with their fears, so theirs become yours.’ Fear is an adventure killer. I have no time for that.
I also found a bookshop that sells books in Ingles. I know what I am doing tonight. Curled up with a good book. Did I say I ❤️ Lugo? Oh, I love it even more now.
After dropping my essential purchases off at the hotel, it was time to walk the wall. Lugo’s old town is completely encircled in a wall built by the Romans and modified, and added on to, by every occupier since then. Unlike most of the rest of Spain, Galicia and Asturias were not occupied by the Moors. So the architecture here is Celtic. It reminds me of Derry in Ireland. It’s 3 km all the way around and it’s a great walk. I did two laps and hit up my first grocery store here. They’re closed on Sundays so yesterday was sort of a day for fasting. But like stores in Valencia, the Gadis here has plenty of gluten-free options fit for a hotel room with no fridge.
I’m back in the room, safe and sound, and ready for an exciting evening as this giant hotel’s only guest. I’m sure my Celtic charm saw me safe. Things are looking up.