Līgo Weekly 220w Challenge – España

I was going to show you the early signs of spring in my neighborhood in this post – there are blossoms on the flowering cherry trees – but when I saw that this week’s theme at Līgo Weekly 220w challenge was Spain,  I had to join in. I hope you’re not mad at me for not showing the flowers – heck you’ve seen blossoms on trees – but I know you’ve also seen photos of Spain, so my challenge is to see whether I can keep you interested right to the end …


If you go to that beautiful city take your walking shoes.



I was thrilled to see Las Meninas, Diego Velázquez painted in 1656, and the many Goyas in the The Prado Museum, but the high moment for me was Picasso’s Guernica in the Museo Reina Sofia.  I hadn’t understood the painting until I stood in front of it, and once there I couldn’t step away.



I love the Spanish guitar and the dancing with the music made my heart sing. I went twice.

Flamenco dancer

This woman could dance!

this guy could dance!

as could this guy!

My pilgrimage led me through Galicia in the north-west of Spain,  a lush and  green area like Ireland.

"How green was my valley."

“How green was my valley.”

field of kale

field of kale

Many of the farms and villages I walked past looked as though I’d stepped into the Middle Ages.

an old farm

A farm

a village

A village

Spain is a Roman Catholic country. Every village has its church, some of them as small as a garden shed…


along the Camino

A Church at the top of the hill

a church

built entirely of rocks

interior of a church

interior of a church

Interior of a church

All the little villages we walked through in Galicia were like ghost towns, we didn’t see any children playing in the streets, and the only sign of life besides the cows walking along the roads, or an old man or woman crossing the street, were the pilgrims at the bars.


old woman crossing the road

Old woman crossing the road

Galicia is one of the least developed areas in Spain with not many employment opportunities, so most of the men (and I guess the young families) have had to move away, leaving the women to drive the tractors, herd the oxen, tend the bars.  According to this article, many Galicians look for work in Switzerland.

women herding cows

A woman herding cows

Do the pilgrims on the Camino help keep the Galician economy alive?


 Dogs guarded every farm, and many of the houses in the villages.


This cute dog was free to roam

as was this dogDSCN5457


he was chained

When you travel I hope you eat the local food. In Spain I recommend you try pulpo (octopus) and langoustines (large prawn)



How do you get fresh bread in a small village?  Its delivered. The driver honked his horn, and handed over an unwrapped loaf.

the baker honked his horn and delivered the loaf of bread

The bread delivery

Some pictures don’t need words

potable water

potable water

This water is not for drinking

This water is not for drinking


a shrine






Do I need to translate this?

Do I need to translate this?

I couldn’t manage to keep this post to 220 words – oops – there was too much information to share.

I hope you stayed to the end…

 * * * *  *

Post Script February 7, 2013:   I received a ‘special mention’ for my post …


Click here to see the other entries in this challenge.

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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81 Responses to Līgo Weekly 220w Challenge – España

  1. Josee says:

    Yes, I did! (stay to the end).
    …and savoured your every word and photograph.
    I truly “felt” your journey.

  2. Debra Kolkka says:

    We went to Spain in 2011, and liked parts of it, particularly Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Cadiz, but you can keep Madrid. I liked your country photos…perhaps another area to visit in the future.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’d love to go to Seville and Granada, and perhaps once I’ve been there I won’t be so full of admiration for Madrid, but I’d go back there even if just to see Guernica … Have you seen it?
      I walked on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela last summer, and that’s where I took the country photos.
      Thanks for joining the discussion Debra. Its such a pleasure to welcome a new blogger to my home.

  3. I like it that you mentioned the bread was un-wrapped. It adds to the charm!
    It’s hardly surprising that you jumped at the opportunity to show more of Spain, Rosie. Such a beautiful country, and, by the feel of the photos, what an experience!

    I shall wait for the pictures of the flowers, though!

    • dearrosie says:

      The only other time I saw bread handed over without wrapping it in something was in a street market in Israel. Do you get uncovered bread in the street markets in your part of the world?

      I knew so little about Spain before I went and I saw such a small part of the country, but I loved every single minute of it. I’d go back in a second if given the chance.

      I’ll have to do something about the flower pix. Sorry to keep you waiting so long.

  4. Oh, Rose, I’m so happy I didn’t miss this post. Neither Sara nor I have been to Spain and want to go badly. Your photos are amazing–truly stunning, my friend. Great job!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for your great comment Kathy.
      I knew so little about Spain before I went and it didn’t disappoint. Its a beautiful country and the people are really lovely.
      I’m looking forward to hearing all about Ecuador from you and Sara.

  5. sybil says:

    Love that note on the wall.

  6. A country I’ve always wanted to go to… Hopefully before Chinese replaces Spanish in the limited memory space of my brain!

    I am much more interested in small town and village life than in city life, and you’ve done this slice of Spain justice in my books. Not only interesting, but you’ve piqued my interest such that I want to know more. Especially interesting was the comment about women taking over much of the “men’s work” (sounds good to me 😉 ).

    • dearrosie says:

      If you can still remember how to speak Spanish you’ll have a really great time visiting the small villages. I can say hello, lovely day, and when I order my food off the menu I can say I’m allergic to chicken and cheese made from cow’s milk (impressive phrases I know), but as very few people speak English in Galicia I found it frustrating when I couldn’t have a “proper” conversation with people I met, for example, the people who asked me to pray for them when I got to the church in Santiago. They desperately wanted to tell me their stories…
      Thanks for your comment Tara.

  7. wow, amiga! you outdid yourself on this one! that’s a lot of work and a lot of photos that you had to manage! i love the black and white cows – they look so big! great great post! z

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for your great comment Lisa. I know you understand how much work is involved in putting so many photos in a post because you’ve also sometimes used a lot in your beautiful blog.
      The black and white cows are so ready to be milked – poor girls.

  8. Viva Espana! All the pictures speaks of what a great travel and journey should be. Fun, exciting, beautiful views, a vibrant city and countryside and the food…yummy down to the last prawns. My wife wants to go to Spain one day. I’m crossing my fingers it will happen.

    • dearrosie says:

      I didn’t see much of that beautiful country, but I loved whatever I saw (or tasted). Even something as simple as the cafe con leche tasted wonderful!
      I had to wait twenty years to go to Spain – I know you’ll get there one day IT – just be patient.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    I’ve only been to Madrid for a few days … but I would like to see more of this wonderful country … so thanks for reminding me of that!

  10. I can’t help wondering about the memorial for Myra Brennan, who died so young after completing her second Camino. Was her death unexpected and untimely or did she know she was going to die and chose to spend her last days doing something she loved so much? I suppose we’ll never know…

    Love the picture with the message to Jill on the old building…

    My sister visited Spain when she had to go to an academic conference there. I still have a small and beautiful ceramic plate she brought back for me. One of Tim’s nieces says Spain is her favorite country to visit – perhaps we’ll get to go some day. Thanks for the wonderful picture journey, Rosie – it’s always interesting “traveling” with you!

    • dearrosie says:

      Muchas gracias for your great comment Barbara. I’m happy to know you enjoy traveling with me.
      Poor Myra B, yet she walked it twice! Many people who walk the Camino have terminal illnesses. I met a German man, Wolfgang, who decided to walk the Camino (something he’d wanted to do for a long time) after he was told he had cancer and had about 6 months to live. He walked the entire route, and the love from the friendships he formed while on the Camino (there was a little group of people walking with him, all strangers he’d met on the walk) gave him such strength that he *glowed* with health and vitality. I was shocked to learn he was so sick. He was just very thin.

      I envy people who are able to go to Europe often like Tim’s niece. Spain and Italy are my favorite countries – but oh I do love the French language so much … We were in Italy three years ago (gosh already) and I can’t wait to go back there, but I’d really love to go to Barcelona and Valencia … If I was offered a free trip tomorrow? I think I’d go back to Spain.

    • bridget says:

      Greetings from Ireland and Kilkenny,
      I am the Bridget F who put a plaque up to my dear pal Myra Breenan in 2008. No she was not in pain , while her postmortem said she had a tumour which had not yet presented itself.. She died as she lived , full of life and fun. She and I loved the outdoors together.
      Twas a shock but for Myra, way to go in beautiful Santiago having finished her camino.
      I completed the french camino this year marking her 10th anniversary But ( Accidently !! as if – doing a 26km night walk on that very night she passed on , with 10 other crazy lunes under a full moon from Carrion de las condes.. She lives on the Camino.
      God bless all camino minded folk
      Bridget F 30th/08/13

      • dearrosie says:

        My dear Bridget F,
        Greetings to you over there in Ireland, and a sincere welcome to my blog.

        I’m astonished, impressed and delighted that you found my post with the photo of your friend Myra Breenan’s plaque. How on earth did you find it? Have many other bloggers photographed it?

        I didn’t photograph many memorial plaques along the Camino but your heartfelt tribute to Myra caught my attention and I stopped and paid my respects to her.

        My goodness so she had just completed her second pilgrimage but didn’t know that she was ill? I can only imagine the shock when you found your friend had passed away, but too, it must’ve be comforting that she’d completed her pilgrimage and died in peace in Santiago.

        To do a 26 km full-moon night walk on the tenth anniversary your friend passed away is a beautiful tribute to her. You’re a good friend.

        How many times have you walked the Camino?

        Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment

      • Thank you so much, Bridget, for letting us know a little more about Myra and the wonderful friendship you shared with her. Appreciating that death may come most unexpectedly to any of us makes each sip of our own lives all the more precious…

  11. It’s the slow-paced lifestyle of the small villages that I envy and it’s those photos I loved the most- all the home grown food, the walking everywhere, that wonderful old woman crossing the road, the small chapel – a community, a quality of life that is second to none. Beautiful.

    • dearrosie says:

      I also long for that slow-paced lifestyle EOS. I walked through those small villages and fields every day like a true pilgrim i.e without a single electronic device, and walking stress free without traffic jams, or even traffic lights [!] it didn’t take long before I began to slow down – putting one foot in front of the other taking long deep breaths listening to the birds – I thrived on it. I’m having a very hard time settling down to life in the big city.

  12. cindy says:

    Absolutely charming, thanks for sharing.

  13. nightlake says:

    lovely photos..thank you for sharing with us

  14. I’m so glad you could visit Guernica and Las meninas. I wrote about both of them about a year ago. I saw Guernica when it was at MOMA in NY before it returned to Spain and had stayed here in the States for decades and then went to the Reina Sofia. And I saw Las meninas when it was displayed in such an unusual way.
    Bravo on this collage — all of them new and fresh, ones you haven’t posted before. You have to be so organized to sift through so many pictures. Gosh — you make me want to make the pilgrimage too, one day. Yes, you must visit Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada, too. Southern Spain is so different with its Moorish influence. All these pictures are just splendid.

    • dearrosie says:

      I had to go through hundreds of photos to select the few I used in this post which as you can imagine was a big challenge. I’m delighted to know that you enjoyed my selection. Thank you Georgette.

      You’re lucky that you saw Guernica in the States. I remember your post about seeing it, but I don’t remember where you saw “Las Meninas”??

      I think it’s fascinating that Picasso wouldn’t allow his masterpiece to return to Spain while the fascists were in power, but its now their pride and joy. I’ve never seen a single painting guarded by two security guards before!
      I wonder whether MOMA knew they had it on a temporary loan?

      Have you been to the Moorish southern part of Spain? I know the Flamenco dancing in Madrid is put on just for tourists, and I’m sure one cannot compare it to what you see in the south. I look forward to going there one of these days…

  15. Sartenada says:

    There is all the essencial about Spain in Your post! Your photo selection is made with excellent taste.

  16. I loved the signs … and of course I made it to the end!!! Thanks for sharing, Rosie, b

  17. frizztext says:

    wonderful gallery – you made us feel like being there!

  18. I just love these photos, and admire the photographer! 🙂 She was so courageous to take this trip, don’t you think? I can’t say for sure which photos are my favorites. I love the stone church, and the photo of the old woman crossing the street is very nice. And I found the shrines very interesting. This was a perfect way to illustrate the challenge…you can get to signs of spring next week! 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      I was nervous about arriving in Madrid airport because the guide books all have warnings to be careful of pickpockets at places like airports and train stations and as I don’t speak Spanish and arrived after a sleepless night with a backpack I thought I’d be an easy target. But I was fine. YAAY! More power to the women! But I wasn’t at all nervous about walking along “the Camino”.
      Thank you for your great comment Debra and for taking the time to let me know which of the photos you liked.

  19. frizztext says:

    I enjoyed flamenco in a Madrid bar very much …
    (our daughter studied there)

  20. Made me remember our lovely visit to Spain when we went to the same museums in Madrid but a different rural area, Estrmeadura, i think it was called. also beautiful and even in the early Nineties, hard pressed economically. Great pics! Thank you.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for your great comment notes to my muses. It’s always a such a pleasure to welcome a new blogger to my home.
      I hope you were also able to see Guernica? I don’t remember when it went back to Spain.

  21. shoreacres says:

    I wouldn’t trade my visit to Madrid for anything. It was so long ago now that everything but the essence has faded away – I’ve been thinking of writing about it, and perhaps I will.

    I loved the photos of the churches – so tiny! And, although there may be economic challenges involved, I loved the apparent isolation of the countryside. I do get tired of living with such traffic and hordes sometimes. What are the winters like in Galicia? Are there parts of Spain that have snow? I suddenly have realized I know nothing of the geography of Spain! Something else to learn.

    I think my favorite photo is of the pilgrims on the road – although that first puppy dog is awfully cute!

    • dearrosie says:

      hey Linda I’d love to hear about your trip to Madrid. How very nice that I could inspire you to write of a trip you took some time ago.

      I know what you mean about longing to live in countryside like that … When I walked along those paths every day I didn’t carry a single electronic device, and being able to walk stress free and without fear of traffic [1] it didn’t take me long to slow down…All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other, take long deep breaths, and join the birds in happy singing. I’m having a very hard time settling down to life in the big city.

  22. souldipper says:

    I loved peeking at Las Meninas again…that is such an intriguing painting. And I took the time to read about the meaning behind Picasso’s Guernica. I saw Picasso originals in Winnipeg one year and was bowled over with the energy I felt off them. I literally had to sit down.

    But he was such a twit to Modigliani that I’m still a bit miffed after watching the movie about Modigliani a month or so ago. I also found a movie about Goya much to my liking…but I love biographies. Then I read up about them after gaining a feeling of “knowing” them a bit better.

    In 1966, I was in Tosca Del Mar on the Costa Brava. It was a tiny fishing village then – sigh…it’s now plastered with high-rises. However while there, it was October, the end of all the music festivals in Spain. All the flamenco artists gathered in this little village to celebrate the end of the season, drink, dance, trade stories. It was out of this world… One little fisherman was so mesmerized, he danced himself out of his trousers. Truly! The place was in an uproar with hilarity, but he simply danced on and stepped out of them!

    Ah…see what you have done. Now I’ll go to bed and dream of the place! Many thanks.

    P.S. I was fascinated with the two men on the right on your first photo. A novel could be written about those two.

    • dearrosie says:

      You can look at a painting in a book, but until you see the real piece you don’t know it. I thought I knew Las Meninas because I’d also studied it in Art History, but I had no idea it was such a large painting. You’re taken right into the picture.

      I’m also a huge fan of Modigliani. I recently saw a marvelous exhibition of his work at L.A. County Museum of Art. Wish I had more time to read biographies.

      Thank for sharing that beautiful memory of the fisherman forgetting everything but the music, and dancing out of his trousers. I hope you had good dreams last night?

      I love how you noticed those two men dressed in black. 🙂

  23. Thank you for taking me on a journey full of surprises. I particularly loved the tiny churches and the shrines. Excuse me if I disown my own countrymen for their graffiti — no relatives of mine! Not having visited Spain myself, your photos whetted my interest in the country.

    • dearrosie says:

      Welcome to my blog Sarah. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment.
      I’m delighted to know that my photos whetted your interest to travel in Spain. Its a beautiful country and well worth visiting. The Spanish graffiti are very polite if you compare them to the stuff sprayed all over our walls in the U.S. I should do a post on that!

  24. nrhatch says:

    Wonderful post and pics, Rosie. I’d love to climb right into some of the scenes. My oldest nephew is in Spain for the semester . . . junior year abroad. I told him to take lots of photos of his experiences.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m having a very hard time settling down to life in the big city, I’d also so love to climb right back into some of those scenes Nancy. I had no idea how much I’d love living the life of a pilgrim. Simply walking along those paths without any obligations – or electronic devices – it didn’t take me long to slow down when all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other…

      I’m sure your nephew’s going to have a marvelous time. I hope he manages to visit the small villages and not just the well known cities.

  25. Rosie, you have a rare gift: I feel as if I went there myself! Hard to find the highlight of your tour because everything was so absorbing, but I’m a sucker for romance and that beautiful message on the cottage (not the one about the police, the one about every step of the way) has to be my favourite, followed by the old farm. One day I must take a similar route.

    • dearrosie says:

      Welcome to my blog Kate, I feel humbled by your very kind comment. Muchas gracias.
      I also loved finding those messages on the walls – I’ve shared a few others in previous posts on Spain. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Camino, a list of my posts are listed at the top of my blog under Travel Posts

  26. Val says:

    I have a recollection of flamenco dancers in the tiny area of a bed and breakfast’s restaurant one night soon after we (my parents and I) got to Spain, oh decades ago (late 70s) and being astonished by the impromptu performance!

    Yes, I stayed til the end of your post. 🙂 Thanks Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      Yaay you also stayed to the end of the post. Thank you dear Val.

      Gosh you were really lucky to be treated to an impromptu performance of Flamenco dancing. As the club where I saw the dancing was small my table was close to the stage so I could see the expressions on their faces -they’re dancing from a place deep in their souls.

  27. bronxboy55 says:

    The unwrapped bread made me realize just how undrinkable that water must be. Thanks for this wonderful excursion, Rosie, and for not showing off the cherry blossoms — we’re expecting more snow in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I’ve always wanted to visit Madrid and Barcelona, and you’ve rekindled that hope.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’ve seen pictures of people delivering unwrapped bread in India but didn’t imagine I’d see it in Spain.
      I think I’ll be sharing the photos of the blossoms this week Charles. I know the north-east is buried under mountains of snow the past weekend, so I hope that’s OK with you?
      I hope you can visit Spain one day Charles. You won’t be disappointed.

  28. rynnasaryonnah says:

    Beautiful pictures. And the large prawns look really tasty. The photo of the dancer reminds me of this song (it’s a mix of Hindi and Spanish): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuhOFhmy3BU

    • dearrosie says:

      Loved the YouTube link rynnasaryonnah. Thank you for sharing it with us – oh my gosh those Bollywood actors can dance and sing!

      sigh those prawns were so delicious… we’d ordered too much food and Maria and I couldn’t finish them but we walked with picky eaters – only 4 people in our group were “brave” enough to taste them.

  29. Robin says:

    I did stay until the end and loved every image. I love that little remembrance. I think it would be wonderful to die peacefully in sleep, having completed what I set out to do. And signs like the last one are always appreciated. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for staying til the end Robin. I so agree with you that
      …it would be wonderful to die peacefully in sleep, having completed what I set out to do..
      and hope I can realize that wish.

      When you walk along the Camino you see so many little messages, stone cairns, and remembrances of people, that you feel their ghosts…and sometimes you’re given little gifts ie. on the third day two little butterflies accompanied me by flying circles around me for a couple of hours. It was magical.

  30. munchow says:

    I did stay to the end. Madrid is one of the great cities in the world – I believe, but when you took me along to Galicia you really caught my attention, since I have never been there. Very interesting and with your lovely photos I could get a sense of the place. Thanks for taking me along.

    • dearrosie says:

      You’ve traveled the world so it gives me much pleasure when I can introduce you to a part of the world you don’t know.
      Thank you for your support and encouragement Otto. I’m delighted to learn that you enjoyed coming along with me.

  31. yerpirate says:

    Thanks very much again – we’ve sorted out some problems and will be putting this in the online paper, and announcing your post in the ‘special mention’ shortly – superb posting. We’ll be running weekly with a slightly modified challenge – sorry about the bugs we spent time sorting out. http://ligoeditions.wordpress.com/. Please feel free to take and use our ‘special mention in dispatches’ logo, termed ‘Ligo Appreciation’ for your blog, should you wish. Thanks so much again.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello yepirate,
      I’m very honored to receive a “special mention” for my post. Thank you 🙂

      I went over to your online paper – and was most impressed – but I can’t see any mention of the Weekly challenge, or the Spain weekly challenge. How can I find it?

  32. I just added some of your ideas to my list for my upcoming trip to Spain this summer. Great! I love the things you saw along the Camino. I really want to do that pilgrimage, I hope next year (2014). I love all the little graffiti notes and the green fields of Galicia. I’m getting really excited!!

  33. Pingback: the next step of my journey… | Wondering Rose

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