A Spellbound Place in Spain: Where Ancient and Pagan Legends Meet Christian Stories

There’s a place in northern Spain, in the region of Galicia, very close to the remote northernmost corner of the Iberian Peninsula, that even the inhabitants consider one small borough, even though it has officially been granted the township. It was in the Galician borough of Viveiro, founded back in the Iron Age, where I first discovered that on this particular realm Celtic, Roman and Christian legends and myths get along to spell even the most modern of all travellers. It’s actually true what they say: calm waters run deep. Just as all Galician people, the locals don’t talk much, but when they do share some piece of story, a new and intriguing part of a legend or some genuine explanation for a pagan rite, well… you’d better take notes. They won’t say it again, they most certainly won’t admit they made the assumptions and they won’t even reduce anything to writing.

Continue reading “A Spellbound Place in Spain: Where Ancient and Pagan Legends Meet Christian Stories”

In the Basque Country, it’s All About the Stories and the Food

The first time I came to the Basque Country, it was pretty late during my stay in Spain. I had traveled to Valencia and Andalucía, to Catalonia and even remote Galicia before I ever got the chance to visit the first marvelous Basque city. One of the great things about my job back then was that I didn’t have to be a common tourist. I didn’t have to take pictures, make sure I was in those pictures, take long walks with an itinerary at hand and come back to the hotel, exhausted, but with wonderful memories to tell my friends once I went back to the normal routine of life. Nope, I got to visit each of those parts of Spain with a purpose – a professional purpose.

First I was in Bilbao to cover a huge anniversary exhibition honoring a Romanian sculptor at the Guggenheim’s and I discovered a gorgeously clean town, wishing I could go back and live there when I retired; then I came back at an international congress on political communication and mysteriously enough, an enchanted book called “The Basque History of the World” came my way; I was sent to cover the famous film festival in San Sebastian during some wonderfully sunny fall days; more recently, I think I got to understand what it was all (or almost all) about the Basque gastronomy and especially one part of it where it isn’t just that, the food, because Vitoria-Gasteiz also means jazz, history, monuments, marvels and even inspiration for contemporary fiction.

I thought I knew all about the history, the unique ancient language these people talk, their unknown origins and even the radicalism of some political views. Continue reading “In the Basque Country, it’s All About the Stories and the Food”

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