So prior to this trip, I didn’t think I had ever heard of Vigo, Spain. I really didn’t know what to do on this stop so I picked a random ships tour that included…wait for it…a visit to a winery! The description of the tour:
THE GALICIAN VILLAGES
This tour offers a fascinating introduction to Galician culture. Leave the port for a guided trip northwards to the Rande Strait, past Pontevedra. Your guide will talk about the history of the region and point out the different locations of the “Ria Vigo”, which is shaped like a great mouth devouring a stretch of sea. Our first stop will be Cambados, famous for its production of the white wine, Albariño. We will continue to the “Bodegas Aquitania” Winery for a cheese and wine tasting session. These renowned cellars produce high quality wines made purely from the Albariño grape.
And it was somewhat accurate…in reverse, mostly. From the Port of Vigo, we traveled along the coast, up and down the famous “mouth” of Ria de Vigo where our guide gave us a brief overview of Galician history. And that’s when it hit me…C’mon “Soccer Mom!” You’ve heard of Vigo…Celta Vigo, of course! As a soccer team playing in La Liga, I had, in fact heard of them…now I was here, learning about why they call themselves “Celta” Vigo.
Which brings me to our first stop…the Celtic ruins at A Lanzada. As I walked toward these ruins I had the strangest feeling. Like I was home. As you can clearly see…there are no “homes” here, but something felt right here.
We had less than an hour here, but as we were leaving I felt as if I left a part of me there. I dropped a pin on Google Maps just so I could find it again. If I ever run away from home…I’ll be here.
Our next stop was…wait for it…a winery! We stopped at Bodegas Granbazán, which was only about 30 minutes from the ruins. The grounds were absolutely stunning!
We began with a tour of the Bodega and learned some of the history of wine making in the region. One of the really cool things we were told was that everyone that lives in the area has their own small vineyard in their yard. Even if it is only 4 small rows of grapes. They all harvest the grapes and sell them to the different wineries in the area. In return, they get back a little cash and some wine!
We were then treated to a lovely wine tasting. The region is famous for its white wine, Albariño. This wine is super yummy, but also a bit higher in alcohol than some other wines, typically 11-12%. Considering it was just barely 11am at this point, I certainly tried to pace myself…a bit!
Our hosts at Granbazan were absolutely lovely, and I would love to visit again sometime and this time enjoy some of their culinary delights as well as more wine! They were kind enough to let me take some of the corks from our tasting to add to my growing cork collection!
Our next (and final) stop was Cambados. This charming fishing village was fairly empty on Easter Monday, but we still enjoyed wandering around the cobblestone streets. Cambados is famous for its fish (specifically shellfish) and its pies.
We eventually found ourselves in a Vinoteca for a glass of wine. I knew I would love it there as they had soccer playing on tv and the wine was 2 euros per glass!!! OMG I have found my people!
In addition to the lovely local wine, we were also served a taste of another specialty of the area.
Um…Yeah. So I am really, really adventurous when it comes to trying local foods. This, however was not going to happen. However, mom said that the bread was good!
After our little headless snack, we loaded back on the bus and headed back to port. As we drove back to the ship, I had the strangest sense that I was leaving something really important behind. I was, but it wasn’t anything you could put a finger on. Vigo and the surrounding areas of Pontevedra and Cambados touched me very deeply and I truly feel like I left a part of my heart there when we sailed away. I am not sure if it was the Celtic heritage, the mussels and wine, or the people. Whatever it was, this little area of the Spanish Coast holds a special place in my heart. I have no doubt that I will be there again.
We had a day at sea coming up on our way to Southampton. We were easily in the minority in this port…We are not going to London! Stay tuned to see where we did get to!