Saturday, April 14, 2012


Rob and Me in Ourense

With Rob here, I seized the opportunity to take a Galician field trip to the city of Ourense, the capital of the provence by the same name. Ourense is about an hour and a half inland from Vigo. On Saturday Rob and I got up, nice and early, of course, and headed to Vigo to catch the train. Rail is a good way to travel, because the track follows the scenic, winding Miño river through wine country and into the city. Rob and I agree that the train ride was one of our favorite parts of the trip!

Rob takes in the scenery

Ourense, following the European model, has a scenic historical district, but Rob and I didn't quite make it there! We set off looking for two landmarks of the city: The old bridge and the new bridge. The old bridge, although it has been reconstructed several times, is a picturesque example of Roman arches, and the new bridge would best be described in reluctant modern art vocabulary as "interactive." It seemed like a great plan as we set off from the train station, but then proceded to walk in exactly the wrong direction!

Instead, we stumbled onto a fantastic walking path that led us to another Ourense landmark:las termas, or the thermal hot springs. If you visit the city there are a number of venues you can choose from to experience the healing effects of the natural warm waters, but I would highly recommend the spot we stumbled upon. The park is outside, it's beautiful, and it's free! Unfortunately, as Rob found out while he patiently waited for me to take a dip, it's forbidden to take photos and to snack! He still managed to snap this one for me though, and the park is surrounded by pretty picnic sites.

Since we started out heading exactly opposite of our destination, the trip back towards town led us straight to both of the beautiful bridges. The new bridge, it turns out, is actually called the millenium bridge, and it's not only interactive--it's a workout! If you've got somewhere to be you can cross the bridge on the normal, flat, plane, or you can opt to take a scenic walk around what I'll call the loop. This is a little more physically taxing, and a lot more mentally exhausting if you happen to be afraid of heights! But any pain you may suffer is definitely worth the rewarding views.

Rob conquering his fear of heights on the Millenium Bridge

Rob really conquering his fear of heights!

The Old Bridge


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