Posts

Showing posts from September, 2015

Living Like Popes in Avignon, France

Image
It was mid-February and my friend Melissa and I were not amused with how the Galician winter had been treating us. Dark skies and rainy nights kept us indoors most of the time, and because of high humidity, the cold temperatures were particularly bitter despite never dropping below freezing. Simply put, we needed to get out, and sunny southern France seemed like a great place to escape from Santiago for a long weekend.




View this post on Instagram


Arrival in Avignon // Santiago de Compostela ūüöÖ Vigo ūüöą Porto ✈️ Marseille ūüöĄ Avignon. Safe to say it's been a long 24 hours but @lissakathryn and I made it in one piece to this charming mid-sized city in France's southern region of Provence. After sharing some amazing open-face cheesy sandwiches and a raspberry tart that was to DIE for, we peeked in to the Place du Palais where you can get amazing views of the 14th-century Papal Palace, the residence of the Popes in the 1300s. // #gothic #avignon #provence #france #travel #night #vsco …

Moving to Spain, 3 Years Later: My Spain-iversary

Now that I’m back home with my parents in Texas this summer, I’ve recently been leafing through all the old travel journals that I kept when I moved to Spain and traveled around Europe. They’ve put me in a real emotional mood remembering how excited I felt to be moving to a foreign country. At the same time, all my old anxieties came flooding back: what city would I live in, what apartment would I choose, how would I get to work, would I make any friends, and what the heck comes next after all of this is over.




View this post on Instagram


It's always sunny in Santiago...at least this month ☀️ūüėŹ☀️ // #sun #santiago #santiagodecompostela #baroque #church #cathedral #galicia #spain #visitspain #whitagram #snapseed #latergram A post shared by Trevor Huxham (@trevorhuxham) on May 23, 2015 at 1:55pm PDT It’s now been three years since I landed on the tarmac at the Barajas airport in Madrid, giddy and jetlagged and na√Įve all at once. I thought it would only be appropriate to commemorate thi…

Photo Post: Santiago de Compostela’s Bonaval Park

Image
I know, I know, I’ve been on a big city-parks-of-Santiago kick lately on the blog. Last year I talked about the Alameda (the main public park) and Belv√≠s (basically my backyard), and in the past few weeks I’ve highlighted the Sarela River Trail and Galeras Park. These green spaces amount to one of Santiago de Compostela’s greatest assets and give folks who live here a way to exercise, relax, and meet up with friends and family.


Today I’d like to turn the spotlight on Bonaval Park, situated just outside the old town to the northeast. For centuries, the land here belonged to the monastic community of San Domingos de Bonaval, but in 1837 it was confiscated by the Spanish state during the anti-clerical desamortizaci√≥n de Mendiz√°bal. The Baroque monastery then passed to the city government. Today, Bonaval is anchored by the Museo do Pobo Galego, which offers an ethnographic look into Galician culture and traditions. The museum’s star attraction is a bewildering spiral staircase in which t…

Photo Post: Santiago de Compostela’s Galeras Park

Image
Like I said on my earlier post about the Sarela River Trail, I think Santiago de Compostela is uniquely fortunate to have its older part of town surrounded by parks and green spaces rather than by sprawl, as happened to countless other European cities in the past century. Built on a bluff between two small rivers, Santiago only became the administrative capital of Galicia in the 1980s, so much of the World Heritage-declared historic core has been protected.


With the Alameda Park to the southwest and Belv√≠s Park running along the east, Santiago has plenty of places to go running, have a picnic, or just breathe some fresh air in. Joining these quality parks is Galeras Park, situated just to the northeast of Santiago’s old town. A tranquil meadow dotted with willows and fruit trees, Galeras straddles both banks of the Sarela River as it meanders southwards.

A Crash Course in the Galician Language

Image
Galicia, located in Spain’s northwestern corner, is one of the country’s greatest regions. When I lived there from 2013 to 2015, I couldn’t get enough of the glorious, fresh food, the green, lush countryside, and the grand, granite architecture. But I could only take canned sardines with me back home, we’ve got enough humidity here in Texas, and sadly the oldest buildings in suburban Plano date back not to the 1070s but the 1970s.




View this post on Instagram


Okay, but really, y'all, where are the fairies??? This place has got some serious magic about it... // #flowers #spring #park #santiago #santiagodecompostela #galicia #spain #vsco #vscocam A post shared by Trevor Huxham (@trevorhuxham) on Mar 13, 2014 at 1:29pm PDT
But what has stuck with me the most has been galego, the Galician language that I quickly picked up on after being immersed in it from day one at the elementary school I worked at. Closely related to Spanish (and even closer to Portuguese), you can think of it as a d…

Photo Post: Santiago de Compostela’s Sarela River Trail

Image
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the countless parks and green spaces that surround Santiago de Compostela make the city such a great place to call home. From the Alameda, where you can see and be seen (or just go jogging), to Belv√≠s, where you can lay out on the hillside and have a picnic, Santiago is truly blessed with pleasant public spaces where you can escape the noise and demands of the city and breathe in some fresh air.


No part of town gives you a better connection to the natural world than the footpaths that follow the course of the Sarela River. Trailblazed several years ago, the Paseo Fluvial do R√≠o Sarela traces a tranquil creek as it trickles down the western edge of Santiago from the north to the southwest.