Monday, May 26, 2014

Photo Post: Celtic Ruins & Atlantic Views in A Guarda, Spain

A Guarda, Spain
Castro ruins
If you chase the western coast of Galicia all the way south to the Portuguese border, you’ll end up at the mouths of the Miño River and the compact fishing village of A Guarda, too. I took a daytrip to this remote corner of northwest Spain while exploring Vigo back in January and really enjoyed this quiet—and historical—taste of coastal Galicia.

A Guarda, Spain
Castro ruins
After a glorious seaside lunch of croquetas and steamed mussels, I left the city center and began hiking up Monte Santa Trega. The footpath passed through eucalyptus and pine woods, and even a terrifying brief rainshower. But after a brief, 45-minute climb I had emerged at the summit, the site of some pre-Roman ruins. Called a castro, these walled, Celtic-era settlements consisted of circular stone huts capped with thatched roofs, and they endured throughout the Roman period. The castro de Santa Trega is one of the most famous in all Galicia simply because the archaeological work done over the centuries revealed such a gigantic inhabited area. If you make the hike (or simply drive up), you get to stroll through ancient avenues and cross over long-abandoned thresholds, and also imagine dinner cooking over primal fire or services being bartered for goods.

A Guarda, Spain
Portugal in the distance
But these prehistoric ruins were only half the reason for huffing and puffing up the hill. From the mountaintop, you can see clear out all the way to Portugal (okay, it’s not that far) on the other side of the Miño River, and you can contemplate the endlessness of the Atlantic from a chilled, windswept location.

A Guarda, Spain
The Atlantic Ocean
How to get there: From Vigo, take the ATSA bus, or from Caminha (Portugal), hop a ride on the ferry.

A Guarda, Spain
The village of A Guarda
What was your favorite photo from this post? Have you ever been to a castro ruin before? Comment in the thread below!

For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr here.
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