A Good Visit

Ryan should be landing in Amsterdam in a bit. Making his way back to his own life filled to the brim. It’s hard to believe these past ten days went by so quick.

We went up to Coruña on Thursday. To some iconic sites. He took us to an obscure museum where we learned that the famous Tower of Hercules lighthouse – the oldest working and continuously operating one in the world – started life with the ‘stairs’ or ramp on the outside. The only mechanism to get to the light.

After a wander through the old city. Into convents and churches, both large and small, we sat down for a concert in a small park. Then drove home. Nearly taking out a pack of javalies on the way. Luckily, the car in front of us spotted them first and swerved. Then, 20-30 individuals ran in front of the car. It’s hunting season. There are a lot of javalies to be taken this year.

On Friday we started the long trek to Madrid to get Ryan on his flight today. If you remember, they cancelled his flights out of Santiago to Madrid. First, we stopped at the very southern tip of Galicia in A Garda. Its a small town on the border of the rio Miño that separates Portugal and Spain. Ryan wanted to go to Castro de Santa Trega. It’s a Celtic settlement on the top of Monte Trega overlooking the river delta and the Atlantic Ocean. The people inhabited the settlements between 100 BC and 100CE and were from the Celtic Gaul tribes. Believed to be the final holdout in resistance to the Roman invasion of Galicia. But older petroglyphs dating 2000 years prior have also been found here. Much of Galicias iconic Celtic symbols come from excavations of the site over the past nearly 200 years.

We drove down through Portugal, then over to Salamanca. Ryan has been to Spain before, but mostly in the south. He had never been to Salamanca. I love Salamanca. It has the honey colored stone buildings, like Valencia, but without the humidity. A dinner alfresco did wonders after a long drive, then a morning spent wandering through history. Then, it was on to Madrid.

It’s a long bridge weekend for many. The Day of Spain is October 12. So getting a hotel in Madrid proved a challenge. I have never seen it so busy. The streets were packed! We spent a morning in the Reina Sofia. Then headed to the archeological museum north of the Parque de Retiro. Sadly, the museum closed for lunch – no kidding – at 3pm. They kicked us all out. So, we will have to return to see the rest.

It was wonderful to see Ryan. I was so sad to see him go. Driving the 5+ hours home after leaving him in Madrif, Jeff was reminded of the passage of time. Children grow up. They get lives and families of their own. As they should. The great wheel of time turns, and our time is on the downward slope. While theirs is rising. It’s difficult not to be melancholy. But, Ryan will come visit again. And, we will go there. Likely in the Spring. Something wonderful to look forward to.

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