It’s been a while since the last Santiago update, as we fully entered the rainy season, to the point where I forgot the feel of the sun on my skin. You can tell I’m not from here when the rain can still catch me by surprise, leading to me being drenched every time I step out of the house. I’m not complaining, though! Santiago is The Rain City. It just has this special feeling, as if its spirit comes to life the best in the rain.
Anyway, besides the low clouds constantly over our heads, we also had a trip last weekend! We visited Ourense. The city is an hour away from Santiago, on the river Miño, and has eight bridges (although I feel like I’ve counted more :P). We had a plan for that day that changed a bit when we got to the city, but we had fun anyway! It was a chill day. We walked around the city and visited all the best places.
Ourense, ”the city of water”, is the second European ”thermal capital”. We visited As Burgas, a place you need to visit if you’re ever in Ourense. As Burgas is an important site, as it relates to the origin of Ourense. On the website of the Tourist Board of Ourense, it says that in this place
was born the ancient Aquis Aurientes (“the city of golden water”), a Roman settlement formed around these mineral-medicinal springs that today keep flowing at more than 60 degrees Celsius in the heart of the Historic Centre.
We were there for a few minutes before moving on, but on a cold, humid Galician morning, warming our hands in that water was heaven (after the water was cooled down, of course!).
We then moved on and made a short stop by St. Martin’s Cathedral before continuing to the Old Bridge, also known as the Roman bridge. Up until the 20th century, this was the only bridge in the city. Built probably in the first century, the bridge was rebuilt in the 13th century, with later works and changes on it. The view from the bridge was beautiful, but it also made me think about the antiquity of the place we visited. Ourense, and the whole region, has such a rich and long history, and how it transformed to give new life throughout time is incredible. Ponte do Milenio, the Millennium Bridge, is a modern construction we saw from the bus entering Ourense, and then again on the left side of the Old Bridge. It is a fascinating link between the old and the new.
One day is not enough to explore all the fascinating things in Ourense. Everything is so close, so you technically can do it, but I wanted more time to stop and hear everything about every building, every church, square, street, and park we saw. If you ever find yourself in Galicia, please make time for this breathtaking city.
We also had the opportunity to hear the traditional gaiteiros. We followed them through the streets to Praza Mayor. That was such a beautiful experience, and I can still hear that magical melody in my ears!
Later in the afternoon, we went to spend a couple of hours in Outariz and Burga de Canedo Thermal Baths. You have to visit them, so put them on your bucket list if you are in the area! The surrounding area is just as beautiful to explore and enjoy.
[shouting]: Photo duuump!
Okay, thanks, bye!